The W113-series SL arrived in 1963 as a single-line replacement for the complex and costly 300SL and its more affordable younger sibling, the 190SL. The W113 was entirely new, and it signaled a new direction for the Mercedes Super-Leicht range of sports cars. With a strong focus on luxury and refinement, the new SL blended luxury, impeccable quality, and capable performance in a sophisticated and stylish package. The new series debuted as the 2.3-liter 230SL shared its underpinnings and drivetrain with the standard Mercedes sedan line, but it stood apart with elegant and modern styling by Paul Bracq, which is widely considered as his masterpiece. The “Pagoda” nickname stems from the unique, subtly concave removable hardtop. The iconic W113 is still one of the most practical, usable classic sports cars of the period, with a loyal, worldwide following of dedicated enthusiasts.
The example offered here is a desirable 280SL from 1968. Presented in silver over blue upholstery, this is an honest and well-equipped SL that is nicely suited to regular back road driving or to prepare for rallies and tours. The silver paintwork is in good order, appearing to be a well-maintained older respray finished to a good standard of quality. Chrome plating on the bumpers and side moldings is all well-preserved in primarily original condition, and the grille surround is in excellent order. It sits properly on the road, with factory steel wheels, correct color-keyed full wheel covers, and high-quality Michelin radials. It includes both the original color-matched removable hardtop and a blue canvas soft top.
Navy blue trim provides a pleasing complement to the bright silver body color. Hard-wearing MB-Tex upholstery is in good order on the seats and interior panels, with correct details like perforated, pleated seat inserts, and sound original fittings and hardware. Blue square-weave carpeting is in similarly good order, and the wood veneer windscreen trim and speaker grille are excellent. Equipment includes optional Frigiking air conditioning, as well as a period-correct Becker radio. The SL is a true all-season sports car, with its tight-fitting hardtop for cold weather, and a blue canvas soft top for warm weather. The cabin is pleasingly well-kept and an enjoyable place to spend a day of enjoyable motoring.
The 2.8-liter inline-six is famous for its longevity and refinement. It features a single overhead camshaft and Bosch mechanical fuel injection, and like most SLs, it pairs with a four-speed automatic transmission in this car. The drivetrain combination suits the 280SL’s relaxed, grand-touring oriented character, while the independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes provide capable, surefooted handling. This car runs and drives very well, and the engine presentation is orderly and very original. Some overspray is evident along the edges of the engine bay, and there is potential for further cosmetic detailing if the next owner chooses.
Honest and attractive, this 280SL roadster is a solid and sound example for an enthusiast seeking a driver-focused SL to use on for casual touring, rallies, and other organized driving events.
Offers welcome and trades considered