West Coast Classics are proud to present an extremely rare and absolutely remarkably unmolested and original example of this last year 1971 Mercedes 280SL legendary series W113 'Pagoda' roadster with very desirable original factory options of automatic transmission, power steering, 'Frigiking' air conditioning, 'Becker' AM/FM radio, automatic antenna, left rearview mirror, bumper guards, tinted glass, matching hubcaps, all original interior apart from the radio (original Becker radio available), original factory hard top & original factory Brown canvas soft top!
Owned for many years by one southern California family owner and always garage kept in his second home in southern California home. The car has had no accidents with original fenders with all original uninterrupted factory spot welds around the engine bay, front and rear lower body panels and factory correct inner fender notches by the headlamp bezels and its original factory hood (#998) as confirmed by the cars original data plate/fender tag (see photos below). The car also has no history of any rust with all its original sheet-metal and with the floorboards and trunk with the correct factory indentations. Also the hood, trunk and door gaps and alignments are all as they should be. It is about as fine and unabused example as you could hope to find anywhere. The car is very striking and was obviously always garaged and is still in mostly all original condition, apart from one original color 'Metallic Beige' (color code 462) professional repaint. The car has it's original 'Dark Brown' leather seats and has outstanding original features with a beautiful original leather wrapped steering wheel, carpet, uncracked and unblemished wooden dashboard moldings, white bright work and chrome dashboard inserts, wooden center console, beautiful working gauges and levers and boasts its original working clock.
By 1963 the 190SL (Super Light) and the 300SL Roadster were neither Super or Light and the 190SL was simply too heavy to compete with the likes of even the British MG or Triumph and completely underpowered compared to the Austin-Healeys or Jaguars. Mercedes had two choices, either return to the premise of the original 300SL and build another pure sports car or create a new grand touring sports car that would continue the reputation of the SL's as touring cars rather than super racing cars. Mercedes chose the latter with a compromise between the 190 and 300 with the introduction of the W113 platform 230SL which was a two-seat roadster/coupe, introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show and the series was continued through 1971.
Like the Gullwing before it, the 230SL had a distinguishing feature which was its removable hardtop with a distinctive dip in its center to offer tall windows to create a better balanced side view and more headroom for passengers getting in and out while still maintaining a low sporty roofline from the front and rear and which earned the car the nickname 'Pagoda' roof. It also proved an efficient way to remove rainwater and channel it away from the car. Top speed was about 115mph which was better than the 190SL but not in the same class as the 300SL.
All models were equipped with an inline 2.8L six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The hood, trunk lid, door skins and tonneau cover were all made of aluminum to reduce weight. The comparatively short and wide chassis, combined with an excellent suspension, powerful brakes and radial tires gave the W113 superb handling for its time. The styling of the front, with its characteristic upright Bosch 'fishbowl' headlights and simple chrome grille, dominated by the large three-pointed star in the nose panel, paid tribute to the then already legendary 300 SL roadster.
The 280 SL was introduced in December 1967 and continued in production through 23 February 1971, when the W113 was replaced by its successor, the entirely new and substantially heavier R107 350 SL. Over the years, the W113 evolved from a sports car into a comfortable grand tourer and US models were by then usually equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. Manual transmission models were much rarer and came with the standard 4-speed or the optional ZF 5-speed, which was ordered only 882 times and thus is a highly sought-after original option today. In Europe, manual transmissions without air conditioning were still the predominant choice.
The main change for the 280SL model in 1967 was an upgrade from the 2,496 cc 250SL engine, which itself had been upgraded from the 2,306cc 230SL, to the 2,778 cc (2.8 L) M130 engine with 180HP which finally gave the W 113 adequate power. The wide track and low body of the 280SL offered exceptional handling noted at the time by numerous car magazines and publications.
This particular example simply must be seen to be appreciated - the original factory 'Metallic Beige' (Code 462) color paint has been professionally repainted at some point and is in outstanding shape. The chrome work is all excellent and the all original interior apart from the radio is in exceptional shape throughout with some minor patina and wear in the leather seats but with all the gauges and switches and levers all in very good shape, the dashboard is perfect and the carpets all in amazingly beautiful condition throughout! The car also boasts it's original matching 'Dark Brown' German canvas soft top is also in very good shape with only quite minor signs of wear for it's age and the matching factory hard top is in very good condition. The car has only been driven very few miles in recent years and is in great driving condition with the engine having very good and even compression on all six cylinders.
The car is well equipped with its original factory 'Frigi-king' air conditioning, factory clock, automatic transmission, power steering and two tops. This must be one of the finest and rarest mostly all original accident free example's available anywhere of this highly collectible and desirable last year 1971 legendary 280SL roadster with no accidents or rust!