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The Audrain Concours Auction / 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Chassis no. 113.044.10-003720

Lot 108
1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL
30 September 2022, 16:00 EDT
Newport, Rhode Island, International Tennis Hall of Fame

Lot to be sold without reserve

US$25,000 - US$35,000

Ask about this lot

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL
Chassis no. 113.044.10-003720

2,778cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
160bhp at 5,700rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*Desirable, manual transmission equipped example
*Includes both hard 'Pagoda' top and folding soft top
*Elegant color scheme
*Perennially popular


THE MERCEDES-BENZ 280SL

In 1967, Mercedes introduced the third and final iteration of the 'Pagoda', the 280SL, and it then became apparent that some cars don't change, they just get better. "The Mercedes-Benz 280SL, the latest version of a line that began as the 230SL in 1963, is the same as ever, just better," concluded Road & Track after testing a 280SL in 1968. "For those who value engineering, finesse and high-quality construction, it's alone in the field," enthused the highly respected American motoring magazine, while its manufacturer considered the 280SL: "a Grand Tourer in the traditional sense" and "a unique combination of sports car performance and saloon car comfort (a Mercedes-Benz saloon naturally)."

The 280 featured the same modified W111 chassis with a rear swing axle and independent front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. Power came from a 2.8-liter version of Mercedes' robust inline-six and used Bosch fuel injection, a combination producing 160 horsepower in US-market variants, which had to be modified slightly to comply with emissions standards. To compensate, the rear-end ratios were changed in these US-market cars to offer greater low-end acceleration.

While the 280SL did not offer the performance of the 300SL, it is a very charming model with capable handling and braking thanks to its suspension and discs all around. These roadsters also have one of the most beautiful bodies produced in the 1960s. Thanks to their robust inline-six and their luxurious Mercedes interior, they are wonderful cars to be driven and enjoyed.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Presented here is an exceedingly charming example of the W113 Mercedes-Benz. Completed in June of 1968, it was ordered from the factory adorned in paint code 670 H 'Light Ivory' paint with a matching hardtop and soft top folded away. Inside, Bamboo leather over Brown carpets offset the exterior colors nicely. A US market car, it was fitted with a left side mirror, Becker Grand Prix radio, and automatic power antenna. Fitted with a desirable, 4-speed manual transmission, the early history of the car is not recorded.

Showing nicely today, the only appreciable change from new appears to be the fitment of a Becker Europa radio in place of the original Grand Prix unit. The subject of an older restoration, the car has been in dry storage for a few years without being driven. As such, the usual mechanical checks and tests are recommended before active use.

With such a striking color combination, the effortless style exuded by the clean lines of this 280SL will surely afford many smiles and waves from passersby on weekend cruises.

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