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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
Estimate: $120,000 - $140,000 USD
SOLD: $100,000 USD
  • 1971
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • 280SL
  • 113044.12.019017
  • 13098312012474
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Documented Restoration to Concours Condition
  • Excellent Cosmetic and Mechanical Condition
  • Factory Hard Top and Air Conditioning
  • Ownership History Included
  • Owners and Service Manuals Included
  • Tool Set Included

Perfectly Proportioned

The Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster is a sophisticated sports car with wonderful driving characteristics as well as excellent build quality and comfort. Importantly, from an historic perspective, the 280SL also represents another fine entry in the long line of highly successful Mercedes-Benz SL roadsters that endures to this day. This Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster is a stunningly beautiful automobile with a grey-beige exterior and brown interior. It was completely restored to concours condition several years ago and has been used sparingly ever since. Its current excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition makes this delightful 280SL the perfect candidate for entry to an important concours or rally of the owner’s choosing.

This Car’s Past:

Original records confirm that this 280SL Roadster was completed in Stuttgart Unterturkheim in 1971, therefore being from the last year of factory production. It is an original US delivery car which a prior owner had mechanically and cosmetically restored to concours condition between 2010 and 2012. Everything is in as new or better condition. Since restoration, this 280SL has been collector owned, carefully maintained and used only sparingly. This automobile remains an exceptional example of the Mercedes-Benz 280SL in every way and is in the rare exterior factory color of Gray-Beige with Brown interior and canvas top. This vehicle has every option wanted by the serious 280SL enthusiast collector including the factory hardtop and factory air conditioning. It is complete with books, tools, service history, ownership history and copies of its original factory build sheets. It is offered for a fraction of its restoration cost.

“Some cars don’t change, they just get better. The Mercedes-Benz 280SL, latest version of a line that began as the 230SL in 1963, is the same as ever, just better.”Road & Track Magazine, Road Test, 1968.

Historic Context of this Model:

Mercedes-Benz premiered its stunningly beautiful 230SL Roadster, known internally as the W113, at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1963. This model was followed by the 250SL in 1966 and finally the ultimate variation, the 280SL, in 1967. Accredited to Frenchman Paul Bracq, then head of the Mercedes-Benz design studio, the 280SL roadster was a technical and esthetic tour de force as well as a commercial success. The W113 features a unit-body construction designed with safety in mind and featuring both front and rear deformation zones. The aluminum hood, trunk lid and door skins saved weight. The Pagoda roof is a marvel in itself and is the work of Bela Barenye. It is beautiful and airy as well as solid; again designed with safety in mind. The engine is a straight six of 2778 cc displacement featuring fuel injection and an overhead camshaft. Developing 180 horsepower, it propelled the 280SL to a top speed of 120 miles per hour. Suspension is independent all around and features A-arms and coil springs in front and the famous single-pivot swing axle with coil springs at the rear. Control of the 4-speed transmission is floor mounted, and braking is via 4-wheel discs with a vacuum booster. The 280SL is an automobile of enormous beauty and a delight to own and drive. In comparison to other sports cars of the time, it is more sophisticated with far better build quality and comfort and a bit more weight. The Mercedes-Benz 280SL was very well received by the sporting public, and by the time production ended in 1971, a total of 23,885 units had been produced. Over the years, the list of satisfied owners of this automobile has included many members of the “global glitterati” including Sophia Lauren, Herbert von Karajan, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Peter Ustinov, David Coulthard, Nico Rosberg and John Travolta.

Restoration History:

This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster is a stunningly beautiful automobile that has been totally restored to concours condition about four years ago. Since restoration it has been the property of a serious automobile collector who has maintained it with great care and used it only on a limited basis. This delightful 280SL has zero needs and is offered at a fraction of the cost of its still fresh restoration.

Market Trend:

Mercedes-Benz 280SL values have increased steadily in recent years indicating that the allure of this wonderful sporting automobile endures to this day. Helping to propel these values has been the increase in values of the limited production 300SL Gull Wing Coupes and Roadsters which are firmly above $1,500,000 for examples in concours condition. A 280SL Roadster in concours condition is in the $175,000 range today.

Summary:

With its beautifully sculptured lines, grey-beige exterior and brown interior, this 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster is an exceptional automobile in every way and represents a unique opportunity for a serious Mercedes-Benz enthusiast. It has been completely restored to concours condition several years ago and used sparingly ever since. This automobile is sure to be a welcome entrant to many an important Concours d’Elegance or Rally event across the country. As a result, this delightful final-year example of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Roadster is now ready to serve its fortunate next owner very well indeed.John Kleen, Vintage Consultant

“It was our aim to create a very safe and fast sports car with high performance, which despite its sports characteristics, provides a very high degree of traveling comfort.”Mercedes-Benz Technical Director Prof. Fritz Nallinger, Geneva Motor Show, March, 1963.

References:

Mercedes-Benz Production Models 1946–1975, W. Robert Nitske, Motorbooks International, 1977.
Mercedes-Benz Buyers Guide, Frank Barrett, Motorbooks International, 1994.

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