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Lot 343: Mercedes-Benz 280SL Convertible

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

Some cars don't change, they just get better. The Mercedes-Benz 280SL, latest version of a line that began as the 230SL in 1963, is the same as ever, just better,' concluded Road & Track after testing a 280SL in 1968. 'For those who value engineering finesse and high quality construction, it's alone in the field,' enthused the highly respected American motoring magazine, while its manufacturer considered the 280SL, 'a Grand Tourer in the traditional sense' and 'a unique combination of sports car performance and saloon car comfort (a Mercedes-Benz saloon naturally).' These attributes help explain the 280SL's phenomenal success, particularly in the all-important North American market where the optional automatic transmission was considered an essential feature by the majority of customers. The fact that it looked like 'sex on wheels' helped enormously too, of course. The 280SL's essential user friendliness broadened its appeal beyond the traditional sports car-enthusiast market; many celebrities and film stars owned 280SLs and only a few years ago Bonhams sold that belonging to Oscar-nominated actress Leslie Ann Warren. The last of a popular and extremely successful line begun with the 230SL of 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 280SL was introduced in 1967 powered by a new 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine that produced 180bhp, 20 horsepower more than the preceding 250SL's. The 280SL's 120mph top speed was no greater but it was significantly quicker off the mark, its 0-60mph time of 10 seconds being a whole second better than its predecessor's. Christened 'pagoda top' after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and remain highly sought after by collectors. This automatic transmission 280SL is equipped with the bench rear seat making it a '2+2'. The car has been owned by the same family for the last 19 years and during that time has been well maintained, including a bare metal re-spray. Recent work has seen the steering drag link, track rod ends, silencer, brake pads and brake master cylinder replaced. The convertible top is new and in very good condition, and the car also comes with a very good hardtop, Covercraft custom-made cover and unused tonneau in its original pouch. Described as in generally very good/excellent condition, this desirable 280SL 'Pagoda' is offered with sundry bills, current MoT and Swansea V5. Saleroom notices Please note that the Registration for this vehicle is MER 602H not as stated in the catalogue and also that there is no tonneau cover with this car.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number343
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£34000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£39100
Year1969
Condition rating2
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number1130442011204
Engine number13098322007002
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors