1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL

Location: Indianapolis
VIN #:


Engine:in line 6

The Mercedes-Benz W 113 automobiles were produced from 1963 through 1971. They were sold as the "pagoda roof" SL Class. The W 113 replaced the W 198 SL-Class in 1963 and was replaced by the R107 SL-Class in 1972.

All models boast an inline six-cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection using a mechanical pump system adapted from the diesel motors. All are rear-wheel drive, but are also equipped with independent rear suspension, a feature that greatly improved road handling. Most of these early SLs were sold with both the removable hard top and a soft top in the so-called "Coupe/Roadster" configuration, but there was also a "California Coupe" version available that came with the removable hardtop but no soft top. In these models, the soft top well (between the passenger compartment and trunk) is removed, and a drop-down bench seat is installed in its place. The rear seat is small and not very useful, so these 2+2 models are rare but not especially sought after today. While the SLs are relatively heavy compared to other similar roadsters, weight was reduced in part by the use of aluminum panels for the trunk lid, front hood, tonneau cover and door skins.

Production began in 1963 with the 2.3 liter 230-SL. These models were commonly 4-speed manual transmission cars, but a 4-speed automatic transmission was also available and popular for U.S. market cars. The 230-SL sported front disc / rear drum power-assisted brakes. They quickly gained popularity in the U.S. market, and this eventually led to more and more cars being built with automatic transmissions. The 2.8 liter 280 SL was introduced in 1967 and continued production largely unchanged through 1971 when the W 113 was replaced by the entirely new, and substantially heavier, R 107 350 SL/450 SL. Most 280 SL cars built for the U.S. market were equipped with automatic transmission. Manual transmission cars came with either a 4-speed tramsmission or the super rare ZF-5 speed. The ZF 5 speed is very rare sought after by American collectors. In the European market manual transmission cars were still dominant. 23,885 280 SLs were produced, of which 12,927 units went to the USA and 5,754 to other countries outside of Germany.

Today, the W 113 Pagoda is considered a highly desirable collectors car, with current values for the 280 SL suggesting that it is the most desirable of the three models.

This freshly restored example has been well cared for its entire life, it came to the current owner in 1985, by way of California then Arizona. The owner decided to restore the car, and embarked on a comprehensive restoration which has just been completed. Most of the original interior was able to be retained it was in such fine shape- only the front carpet was replaced. Over 1000 hours were spent on the restoration of this stunning example. Featuring the desirable Air Conditioning, and finished in the desirable White with Chocolate Top and Leather, this is the Original color combination of the car. The car runs and drives very very well, and can be pressed into immediate service, although I would go collect some trophies before touring the car. The Dealer option chrome wheel well trim is installed properly with the correct clips versus being screwed into the body. All the Aluminum under the hood has been polished, which really gives the car the extra detail it needs to separate it from every other Pagoda on the show field. This is a spectacular example.

This is one of the finest 280SL we have had the opportunity to represent, and we sell a lot of these cars! If you are looking for the finest one you can find, look no further! The original manuals and tools accompany the car.

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