1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I promise everyone, this is the last Mercedes-Benz R107 for awhile. I am just as sick of writing about them as you are reading about them, but I want to go full circle and look at this 1984 280SL up for sale in California. This European-spec car is the low man on the totem R107 pole but that doesn’t mean it is the worst of the bunch, at least not in my eyes. It uses the 2.8 liter M110 inline-6 that puts out a respectable (for the times) 182 horsepower and 176 lb⋅ft of torque.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I go back and forth on whether or not I like the R107. I just think they stuck around way too long and those that want to sell them have grand illusions of what they are actually worth. I think sellers have some kind of mental formula in their head that goes “Mercedes + old + convertible = valuable” when we all know that none of those factors matter unless someone actually pays for it. But every once in a while a R107 comes along that I actually think represent good value for the money you would pay. This 1981 280SL, which looks to be a grey-market import, really represents what I think is the R107 to buy — if you really want one in the first place.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on Mercedes Heritage

Year: 1981
Model: 280SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,000 miles
Price: $12,500

Very well cared-for German-engineered classic. I am the second owner and have owned the car for 31 years. It was 5 years old when I purchased it with 36,000 miles, current odometer is 186,000. It was always garaged but certainly driven and enjoyed over the years although with careful consideration to weather and other road conditions. I have all maintenance records and do the oil and filter changes myself every 3,000 miles. In short, this one’s been “babied” and if you have ever wanted one, this is the one! Too many attributes to list, so just enjoy the pictures and if seriously interested, let me know. As you can see, I have the original rims as well as the OEM pictured in some of the images. The soft top will need replacement soon although I had it done 8 years ago…..beginning to see some dry-rot.

The quick rundown on this R107 shows 186,000 miles which is high for one of these, but it has been with the same owner for the past 31 years. That is an insane amount of time in the car world as people who usually buy luxury cars are itching for something new around the four-year mark. If anything, it tells me that this car was taken care of as it actually was a long-term investment (I don’t like using that word) for the owner and they didn’t skimp on upkeep. The seller mentions that he has all the maintenance records but it might need a new top in the not too distant future.

Here is why I really like this car: it is a 280SL. That means proper European bumpers and headlights with the M110 straight-six under the hood. Yeah, those foglights next to the government mandated maker lights really ruin the front end of this car but it is nothing that can’t be fixed in an afternoon. This 280SL weighs almost 300 pounds lighter than a later 560SL — the R107 most will tell you is the one to buy. But my argument is that you might as well go for the smaller 2.8 liter because it isn’t like you are buying a R107 to go fast in the first place. These cars are top down pleasure cruisers, not 0-60 runners. No one cares about how much power you are making with these. A new Honda Accord makes more power than a 560SL, who cares if you have the inline-six? For my money, I’d rather have the most aesthetically pleasing car that gets slightly better fuel mileage than the range topping V8 that costs way more.

How much more? This 280SL is listed for $12,500, which isn’t that crazy. I say that meaning that I think all R107s are overpriced, but I am only one man and don’t control the market. If this was a 560SL, I’d wager you’d be asked to pay many thousands more for what is basically the same car. Yeah, you get 50 more horsepower and 100 more lb·ft of torque but you gain those 300 pounds and ugly bumpers and headlights. So while the 560SL still might be king, don’t look down on the 280SL if you can find one. There is no reason to.

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

While I may not write about them very often I actually love a vintage Mercedes. Many of the designs possess those timeless characteristics that make so many vintage automobiles desirable and perhaps none more so than the Pagoda. The SL has long showcased the sort of sleek lines and elegant styling that make people want to put the top down and be seen. Andrew has featured a few of these of late, but I hope our readers can allow for another (and I promise I haven’t just featured this one because there’s a 911 GT3 RS in the background). The one we see here, a Black 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL with Cognac interior, comes from the final year of their production and looks invitingly ready to be enjoyed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL with M104 swap

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I’ve been featuring a lot of Pagodas of late so I planned on laying off them for awhile, but I ran across one that deserves an immediate look. Usually these things are winners in totally stock form and any kind of aftermarket modification detracts greatly from it’s appeal and not to mention its value. But what we have today is something I didn’t even think was possible. So let’s check out what’s so special about this Pagoda for sale at the authority for W113s outside of Boston.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL with M104 swap at Hatch & Sons

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

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Just over a month ago, I featured a 1971 Pagoda that is so similar to today’s car that I actually thought it was the same car when I first looked at the listing. Luckily, it’s not, but I thought I’d investigate this one a little further because who doesn’t love a nice Pagoda? (except that forsaken 1969 in NYC we all screamed in horror over) So lets take a look at this surprisingly reasonably priced 280SL located in Queens, NY.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on Hemmings

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

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Often when we feature the classic W113 Mercedes Pagoda, it’s an example that has low-miles, flawless paint, an interior that is pristine and spends most of the time tucked away, rarely to see the light of day. With these cars now regularly fetching six figures, I don’t blame the owners for protecting their investments. Infrequently do we see a Pagoda you can feel okay about using on a regular basis to enjoy while still maintaining it’s beauty and stature. This 1971 280SL located in Atlanta can offer all that.

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I think few would have trouble seeing the beauty in any vintage Mercedes SL Roadster. I’m certainly not the first to say it, but there is something about these cars that transcends basic automotive design. They almost move into the realm of fashion becoming the ultimate accessory, but even for those who may not care about the adoring looks of others I think we can sense just what is so captivating about these cars. Like an E-Type Jag the design seems perfected from the start and all later variations continue to pay homage to that design, even if those later variants are never quite as pretty. They are complex, but also beautifully simple. The example we see here is a beautiful Burgundy Metallic 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL, located in Las Vegas, with a stated 11,116 miles on it, though that may be the mileage since its restoration.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I’ve been meaning to write up a W113 SL for some time now, and with it being Labor Day weekend, I thought there’s no time like the present. The “Pagoda SL” is the perfect convertible and every time I see one in person it stops me dead in my tracks. Doesn’t matter if the hardtop is on, the convertible top up or down, the car is beautiful in any of its 3 forms, and even the U.S. mandated bumpers can’t ruin the look of the thing, it’s just so damned pretty!

The W113 had a good run from 1963-1971 with 19,440 sold here in the States, but it was the ’68-’71 280SL that really captured people’s hearts. More than half of the 23,885 280s built came to America, though the majority of them were fitted with an automatic transmission. In addition to the really cool color combo on this example, you’ll also find a 4 speed manual, which is the key to making your classic grand touring fantasies come true. As summer turns to fall, imagine spending an evening out with this car on a quiet two lane stretch of blacktop, cool air all around you, the M130 straight six humming away. You come up on a perfect lefthand sweeper with a little camber, downshift to 3rd, turn in, nail the apex, shoot out of the corner, and shift back up to 4th. That sequence right there is why you don’t bother with an automatic transmission on a car like this. Unless of course you just want it for a show piece vs a means of achieving moments of automotive nirvana.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

Few automobiles make a bolder style statement than a vintage Mercedes-Benz SL. The original 300SL Gullwing and later Roadster were going to be a tough act to follow, but Mercedes succeeded in producing a smaller, more agile roadster for the 1960s, the 230SL. The W113 chassis SL would last into the early 1970s, culminating in the form of the 280SL. Many who bought these roadsters preferred the option of the automatic gearbox, but a few came equipped with a 4-speed manual. One option that appeared in 1966, however, was the ZF 5-speed manual gearbox. This was a very rare option on the 230/250/280SL and would be discontinued in 1969 and available only as a special request through the end of the production run. This 1970 280SL is one such SL so equipped, having undergone a complete frame-off restoration. For the W113 fan, it doesn’t get much nicer than this car right here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on Hemmings Motor News

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Classic Benz Style? The 30K Decision: 1984 280SL 5-speed v. 1964 220SEB 4-Speed

While for a few generations it’s been fairly predictable that newer used Mercedes-Benz models are cheaper than the older, well kept models, there’s been an interesting turn in the market over the past 6 months. We are witnessing a trend of ever increasing prices on all the 1980s iron, but really specifically in the Mercedes-Benz world the R107 is on the rise fastest of all. In a 5 month period, Hagerty has re-assessed its evaluation of the model’s worth, with most models doubling or tripling in value seemingly overnight. What was, in 2014, a $10,000 – $15,000 example will be on the market for double that today, or more. Is the R107 the next E30, or is this simply a demand spike that recognizes some of the best built and engineered Benz models produced? Well, it certainly does beg the question – if you were going to spend $30,000 on a R107, what other classic Mercedes-Benz models would fall into that range. For comparison, I lined up a lovely W111 coupe to consider – nearly the same miles, condition and asking price, and both are Euro-spec manuals. Which would be your choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 4-speed on eBay

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