Mercedes-Benz's success with the 300SL and its tamer and more luxurious relative the 190SL led it to introduce a new series based on the W113-series 230SL in 1963. Powered by the overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine that was already developed and proven for both reliability and performance in the 220SE but enlarged to 2.3 liters for better performance. With fully independent suspension (including a low-pivot rear swing axle with compensator spring) and monocoque body/chassis it was more powerful, more luxurious, more comfortable and, many feel, more attractive than its predecessors. It was succeeded in 1967 by the 250SL and in 1968 by the 280SL, essentially similar but with larger engines and higher levels of comfort and sound deadening. This 1969 280SL is a wonderful example of the culmination of the series, with 180 horsepower, 193 lb-ft torque, a smooth-shifting 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, a correct period Becker Europa in-dash radio supplemented by an under dash-mounted Pioneer CD player. It comes with two tops, both hard and soft, and is tidy and fully original except for an older repaint. Even the firewall padding and insulation are original and unmolested. There is an impressive package of original paperwork, books, manual, records and even the original warranty plate. The door jambs (which haven't been painted over) still have their old lubrication stickers, factory decals and the tire pressure recommendations decal. In the trunk are the correct spare tire cover, trunk mat and tools. This is a very desirable car that evidences a long history of careful ownership, consistent care, regular maintenance and regular freshening to keep it attractive, comfortable and reliable. It hardly gets any better.
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