Most cars in the 1960’s were either small and sporty or big and comfy. Mercedes has always liked to build “the best or nothing,” so they built the W113 chassis as a blend of sports car and luxury cruiser. It began in 1963 with the 2.3-liter 230SL and through larger straight-six engines evolved into the 280SL in 1967. It was replaced by the heavy and bland R107 in 1972, which makes the 67-71 cars very sought after. The 2.8-liter was Mercedes last six-cylinder to have a single overhead camshaft, and its smooth and rugged design was replaced by a complex DOHC engine in the R107. So what we have here is one of the last nimble and sporty SL models.
Under the hood, the 280SL’s fuel injected six-cylinder engine is thrifty even by modern MPG standards, so wave at the V8 guys as you pass the gas station. It was the first convertible car equipped with a rigid cockpit along with crumple zones for passenger protection. The strong sheet metal panels were continuously welded instead of spot welds which make for a very smooth ride and great handling.
Delray Motorcars has a knack for finding rare automotive survivors, and this 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL looks new inside and out. That’s because this example only has 58,000 miles of perfect maintenance. The tools included in the sale show no signs of usage because this car was dealer serviced. Loaded with an automatic transmission and A/C, the rare white and green machine is ready for top down cruising. Originally sold in Arizona, it has no rust and is even still finished in its original paint. Ready for a Concours show or the golf course, this SL needs to be part of your collection.
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