1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster
Chassis no. 113044-12-02354
2,778cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
170bhp at 5,700rpm
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Both soft and factory hardtops
*Elegant original color scheme of silver
*Four owners from new
The Mercedes-Benz 280SL
'For those who value engineering finesse and high quality construction, it's alone in the field,' enthused the highly respected American motoring magazine Road & Track after testing a 280SL in 1968, while its manufacturer considered it 'a Grand Tourer in the traditional sense' and 'a unique combination of sports car performance and saloon car comfort (a Mercedes-Benz saloon naturally).'
These attributes help explain the 280SL's phenomenal success, particularly in the all-important North American market where the optional automatic transmission was considered an essential feature by the majority of customers. The fact that it looked like 'sex on wheels' helped enormously too, of course. The 280SL's essential user friendliness broadened its appeal beyond the traditional sports car-enthusiast market; many celebrities and film stars owned 280SLs.
The last of a popular and extremely successful line begun with the 230SL of 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 280SL was introduced in 1967. The new 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine produced 180bhp, 20 horsepower more than the preceding 250SL's. The 280SL's 120mph top speed was no greater but it was significantly quicker off the mark, its 0-60mph time of 10 seconds being a whole second better than its predecessor's. Christened 'pagoda top' after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and remain highly sought after by collectors.
The Motorcar Offered
This desirable late model 280SL has a known history from new and is recorded as a three previous owner East Coast car. A 1971 year model, it is thought to have been the penultimate car delivered in December 1970. Its first owner kept the car for two years, the next, being a lady from New Hampshire acquired the car in 1973 and kept it until the middle of the 1990s, one further custodian owned the Mercedes before it arrived with the present keeper a little over a decade ago.
As new the car was delivered in the appealing and desirable color scheme of DB180 Silver, with a matched Silver hardtop and black Tex interior, and with dual rear view mirrors. As a late example it has the heated rear window on its hardtop. Its owner has had the car's paintwork refinished during his ownership, actually in preparation to show the car here at the Greenwich Concours in 2005. Its interior remains the original and is in very good order included the wood panel on the top of the dash, only the driver's side carpet has been replaced at one point.
A well presented example of the model, it offers the possibility to be used in the current tidy driver quality order, or perhaps a great basis for a concours restoration.
- Please note that the correct chassis number for this vehicle is 11304412023054.