Another fine offering from Paul Russell and Company, this time, it’s a gorgeous 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL in Dark Red with Cognac leather. Please contact Alex Finigan directly for more information, full description of the car and contact details below.
This car comes out of the collection of one of our long time customers who has enjoyed driving the car for several years. It is ready to move on to the next owner as a nicely restored and great driving Mercedes-Benz 280SL “Pagoda”.
The exterior is in nice condition, showing an older repaint in dark red (542) with nicely re chromed bumpers and side trim. There are some small scuffs and scratches on the roof due to storage of the top but they do not detract from the overall appearance of the car.
The interior shows very little signs of wear. Both seats are firm and comfortable with new factory correct horsehair seat pads, as well as factory headrests. In addition, a new factory-correct interior dash wood kit has been installed and it shows beautifully against the cognac leather (140). All gauges, the clock and wipers are fully operable. An upgraded, aftermarket Sony radio is installed in place of the original radio. The engine and drivetrain have been rebuilt and the car drives extremely well with no smoke, shakes or rattles. It drives straight down the road, accelerates well and the four wheel disc brakes stop the car straight and efficiently.
Included with the car is a matching painted hard top, convertible top, spare tire and tool roll. This 280SL originally came with, and still has (249) heated rear window and tinted glass, auto transmission, power steering, and left outside rear view mirror. Nice examples of these cars have maintained their value while also being fun cars to own and drive.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the 280SL in December of 1967, less than a year after the 250SL debuted. The 280SL was the final iteration of the “pagoda” SL line and was in production until 1971 when it was replaced by the entirely new and substantially heavier 350SL. The 280 was very similar to its predecessor, using clean, elegant lines, intelligent placement of the wheels in proportion to the rest of the design, and a tall, concave “pagoda” removable hard top that allowed for ease of ingress and egress.
Like previous SL models the 280 utilized a monocoque chassis, with front coil and wishbone suspension while the rear incorporated a single-pivot swing axle and transverse springs set up to compensate for camber. Four-wheel discs provided braking power.
The primary upgrade to the 280SL was under the hood where the engine grew to 2.8-liters by increasing the bore by 4.5 mm which finally provided adequate hp for the car. The engine still retained the overhead-cam in line-6 set up as well as Bosch fuel injection, but an oil cooler was now needed for the increased engine size. The new configuration was good for 180 hp – a fair bit more than the 230 and 250SL had access to. Torque was also higher at 177 ft-lb. The car came standard with a 4-speed manual transmission, though a new 4-speed automatic transmission was optional as was a ZF 5-speed manual.
Cabin refinement was also increased with more leather, plush supportive seats, big readable gauges, Blaupunkt radios, and a quality of craftsmanship throughout, including the soft top which disappears easily and unobtrusively when not in use. New safety features included an energy-absorbing steering column and three-point seatbelts, while side marker lights are the biggest external visual difference between the 250SLs and 280SLs.
By the time the 280SL gave way to the next generation of SL’s it had firmly established itself as one of the finest cars to come from the Stuttgart firm. With timeless, graceful styling, spirited performance and handling, and build quality and reliability second to none, these Pagoda SL’s are wonderful cars to drive and own, and when they have been properly maintained or restored such as this car we are offering for sale, they are also very reliable. (Additional Photos below)