1971 MERCEDES-BENZ 280SL  Registration Number: TNB 608J    ...



£70,000 - £75,000



Registration Number: TNB 608J                
Chassis Number:  113-044-12-019085

- Californian car, with original Pagoda roof

‘Some cars don’t change, they just get better. The Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, latest version of a line that began as the 230 SL in 1963, is the same as ever, just better,’ concluded Road & Track after testing a 280 SL 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 280 SL, ‘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 280 SL’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 280 SL’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 230 SL of 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL was introduced in 1967 powered by a new 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine that produced 180bhp, 20 horsepower more than the preceding 250 SL’s. The 280 SL’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’ after their distinctive cabin shape with its generous glass area, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and remain highly sought after by collectors.

Offered from a long-term Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, this attractive 280SL automatic was sourced by our vendor in 2016, in California, and imported to the UK in the same year. The 280 SL had benefited from restoration in the United States, and whilst overall in very good order, it required a small amount of mechanical attention in order for the car to run correctly. An experienced Mercedes-Benz technician was approached, and the car handed over to his care. The Bosch mechanical injection pump was refurbished by a London-based specialist, a new fuel tank and filter unit fitted, all fuel lines pressure cleaned, and new fuel injectors installed. The braking system was serviced with new fluids and pads, and various hoses and smaller items replaced as required. Once completed, the SL has been used lightly and dry-stored at the vendor’s home in Surrey.

Very nicely finished in Metallic Red (571H), with a matching hardtop, and black interior featuring a period-correct Becker Europa radio, this is a highly attractive example of an enduring classic.

Auction Date: 23rd Sep 2023 at 2pm

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Sale Dates:
23rd Sep 2023 2pm (Lots 1 to 39)