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Selling on Saturday Evening

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster

  • A three-owner car, with 41 years of single ownership
  • Complete numbers matching example with original spot welds and notches
  • Comprehensive restoration performed by Unique Cars of Palm Beach, Florida
  • Finished in original factory color 670G Light Ivory

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Mercedes' debut of the 230SL, the new W113 chassis, captivated the world with a sleek, elegant sportscar that would come to define the German marque’s style for decades. A serious and modern departure from the curvy silhouette of its predecessor, the W113 chassis delivered a look of clean, sexy lines compounded by a vast leap in performance that lived up to the “superlicht” SL name after the eight-year reign of the 190SL’s sluggish four-cylinder. The captivating angular physique and nuanced concave ‘pagoda’ top didn’t just steal hearts; the iconic design ensured that the W113’s allure would only grow with age. The W113 would be comprised of the 230, 250 and the continually refined 280SL was firmly perched at the apex of this legacy. More than half a century on, it’s as timeless today as it was the morning it rolled out of Stuttgart.

After the performance and financial chasm between the 300SL and the 190SL, the world was ready for an approachable SL that could perform like a true sportscar and look good doing it. The first iteration of the W113, the 230SL, over-delivered on that score, and sales of the introductory year bested 190SL’s total sales. It had looks and unparalleled performance, and it was actually the first sports car ever built and tested with a “safety body.” The 230SL truly was innovative in myriad ways for its day. The W113 chassis would reign through 1971 and its final generation, the 280SL, would be the ultimate swan song. When the 280SL hit the market in late 1967, the already lauded fuel-injected overhead-cam, inline six-cylinder engine was expanded from a 2.3-litre to a 2.8-litre, which delivered 180 horsepower. The front wishbone and single pivot swing axle rear suspension handled better than any Mercedes to date. The 280SL continued to boast unparalleled Mercedes-Benz luxury with plush, comfortable seats, and striking legible gauges. New safety features offered an energy-absorbing steering column, advanced seat belts, and new taillights with yellow turn signals. The pagoda generation of the flagship SL delivered speed, handling, and an entirely unique look that’s simultaneously timeless yet represents a snapshot of its era. It was luxurious and comfortable, fast and nimble, and safe on the road, but all that would likely have faded into the pages of history if it weren’t for the fact that the 280SL was aesthetically one of the most iconic sportscars to ever don a three-spoke star.

One of the finer 280SLs available, this example has been meticulously restored by marque experts Unique Cars of Palm Beach, Florida. Retaining much of its originality, such as the original and rarely seen spot welds and notches under the hood and trunk lids, it's finished in its original factory color of Light Ivory 670G with a black soft top and color-matched hardtop, all of which is paired with a lavish red leather interior. The original owner, a resident of California, would amazingly retain ownership until 2011 before selling it to its second private owner who would keep it until 2021. Under the stewardship of the current, and just third owner, is when this astonishing 280SL would be restored.

A numbers-matching example, the 2.8-litre Bosch fuel-injected inline six-cylinder engine presents remarkably well and is impressively correct and performs to a very high standard. Mated to an automatic transmission, the ease of drive is elevated and incredibly smooth. To add to its drivability, the factory Frigikin air-conditioner was restored and equipped with a modern compressor, ensuring it always blows cold air-conditioning, even on the hottest days. The Becker Grand Prix radio with Bluetooth was sent to Becker Sound and also restored. Other equipment includes a Hirschmann automatic antenna.

Accompanying this 280SL Roadster, is a tool roll kit, spare tire tucked away in the trunk, original owner’s manual, and service booklet, which has been filled out by the first owner. Offered here is a stunning example that will grant you access to an array of exclusive events, as its restoration and preservation elevate this example well beyond its peers. This 280SL 'Pagoda' is the ultimate drop-top Mercedes that exhibits undeniable elegance and class, whether in motion or exhibited in a collection.


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