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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder August 13 – 15, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Launched in 1963 at Geneva, the new Mercedes-Benz 230 SL replaced both the 300 SL and 190 SL; at once sportier than the 190 SL while less complex than the 300 SL, the new 230 SL ushered in a new single-platform policy for Mercedes-Benz sports cars. Internally designated “W 113,” the new SL’s crisp Paul Bracq-penned bodylines bore a strong family resemblance to the other models in the Mercedes-Benz product line and marked an industry first with its comprehensive built-in safety features engineered by Bela Barényi. Among them were rigid monocoque (unit-body) construction, front and rear crumple zones, and the elimination of sharp edges from the interior compartment. In yet another case of form following function, the new SL’s optional hardtop offered high strength, rollover protection, and outstanding visibility with tall windows and slim pillars. Its unique shape also spurred the new SL’s endearing and enduring “Pagoda” nickname.
Available for purchase from summer 1963, the 230 SL largely shared its mechanicals with the contemporary 220 SEb (W 111/3) and power was delivered by a fuel-injected SOHC 2.3-liter inline ‘six’. Chassis enhancements included a rear compensator spring allowing softer springs with firmer shock absorbers. Dual-circuit brakes and radial-ply tires provided further refinement and safety. While somewhat heavier than the 190 SL, the added power and torque delivered by the six-cylinder 230 SL yielded strong acceleration and speeds over 120 mph. Improved seat belts, a collapsible steering-column, and four-wheel disc brakes appeared with the evolutionary 2.5-liter 250 SL in late 1966 for the 1967 model year. The final W 113 model was the 2.8-liter 280 SL, produced from December 1967 to February 1971. While improvements ushered in by the 280 SL were detail-oriented, the updated model’s enhanced torque curve and greater all-around flexibility captivated road testers. Today, the 280 SL reigns as the most popular and usable evolution of the “Pagoda” SL line, being quite capable of handling today’s driving conditions.
Now offered on behalf of a prolific Florida collector, this highly equipped 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL “Pagoda” features the rare and highly desirable 4-speed manual gearbox, plus a hard top, a new soft top, a Becker ‘Europa’ radio, and air conditioning. According to a recent conversation with the current owner, its vehicle is the eighth 280 SL owned by him over the years and it was purchased from a photograph when it was advertised for sale. To his delight, it met – and exceeded – his expectations upon delivery. While the car has never been totally restored, some $23,000 has been invested into to ensure it runs and drives every bit as well as it looks. The work was performed in New York and includes installation of a new quality canvas soft top, rebuilt seats including the springs, foam padding, and seat covers, engine and chassis work, and an update of the air conditioning to modern R134 refrigerant. Handsomely finished in Silver over black upholstery, the SL remains striking and it comes with one book and some tools. Only shown locally and driven sparingly during the current owner’s tenure, this very well-equipped Mercedes-Benz classic is now ready to own and enjoy!