1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 3.5

We like to speculate about “what ifs” here at GCFSB when it comes to models a particular manufacturer may have not offered. The Mercedes-Benz SL was in for a large change in the early 1970s with the introduction of the R107 SL. Mercedes’ roadster would be transformed into more of a cruiser than a sporting machine, with a myriad of V8 engines on offer throughout its lifespan. Some lamented the fact that the SL was taking a turn towards luxury and abandoning the “sport light” formula embodied by its predecessors. A V8 was never offered in the W113 SL, but a few intrepid enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to slot two extra cylinders under the hood of these drop tops, as we see with this restored 1968 280SL sporting a period 3.5 liter V8.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 3.5 on eBay

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1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual – REVISIT

The 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL equipped with a 5-speed manual that we featured last year has turned up once again. While 560SL prices start to soar, the time is ripe to explore other R107s for a potential value. If you want something unique, at least to the US market, this one is for you.

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

The below post originally appeared on our site November 11, 2014:

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Dreaming of a Red Christmas: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

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Walking around Manhattan a few weeks ago, I came across a W113 Mercedes-Benz SL. In style conscious New York, this is quite possibly the ultimate accessory. More petite than its predecessor, the 300SL Roadster yet a bit more classic than the R107 SL that ended production at the end of the 1980s, this is a great way to make a statement while not having something too huge to haul around the streets of the Big Apple. These SLs aren’t exactly what you would consider an affordable classic, but then again, you are getting a lot of advanced technology for the day wrapped in a decidedly vintage yet timeless skin. This restored example in Los Angeles represents the final evolution of the W113, the 280SL, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.

Click for details: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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Mercedes-Benz R107 SL Extravaganza

It’s no secret that the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL is riding a popularity wave at the present time. With an almost 20 year production run, there’s a version for pretty much everyone. But which to choose? Today we’ll look at four very different R107s, from a mid-seventies example right up to the final 560SL that appeared on these shores. We’ll start with this low mileage 560SL for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

Only recently have we seen the market for the Mercedes-Benz 190SL and certain R107 SLs trend upward, but for as long as I can remember, the W113 SL, otherwise known as the “Pagoda” has been the hands down favorite of collectors. I’d almost consider it the air-cooled 911 of the Mercedes set, given where values have been hovering for the last couple of years. This 1971 280SL for sale in Texas represents the last year for the Pagoda. This one was restored by noted specialist Bud’s Benz in Georgia in an uncommon Seafoam Green.

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

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

At the other end of the gray market scale from the 500SL we featured a few days ago sits this car, the 280SL. For most of its lifespan, European customers were able to specify a six cylinder variant of the popular R107 roadster, the first examples having the engine we see here, the twin cam M110 inline-6. This example for sale in Wisconsin has remarkably low mileage and features a few nice options like alloy wheels, heated seats and the rear “kinder” seat.

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

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual

The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL isn’t exactly a car you would consider sporting. Rather, this was more a boulevard cruiser with competent performance. However, outside of the US market you could specify this SL with a six-cylinder engine and manual transmission, providing the driver a more engaging experience. Such as this manual transmission 1984 280SL for sale in Florida. This SL has the 2.8 liter M110 twin-cam six under the hood good for 182 bhp. While they weren’t sold on these shores, a few gray market examples found their way over in the 1980s and now that these cars are over 25 years old, it gives enthusiasts latitude to import one if they desire.

Year: 1984
Model: 280SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 44,470 mi
Price: $16,900 Buy It Now

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

1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster. Euro manual 5-speed, with both hard and soft tops. It only has 44,470 extra clean Florida miles. Has a silver metallic exterior finish in excellent condition with only very minor imperfections that would be consistent with a very well kept Florida car. The black Mercedes original leather interior is in excellent condition. The wood veneer trim is in perfect original shape. Perfect black soft convertible top with clear rear plastic windows, hard to find one this nice.

Non-smokers car, garaged kept, original spare tire never used. This car runs like a dream. Can be driven to the moon and back. If you are looking for a Mercedes roadster that is in exceptional condition this is the one. The 2.8 litre 6 cyl. engine runs perfect with recent basic engine service and maintenance records. Power windows, Sony Xplod stereo with 10 disc changer (also have the original radio and speakers), original owners manual with some service records and air conditioning. No accidents, non-smoker, garage kept. Everything works as it should, even the clock. Has a “like new” set of matching tires mounted on factory wheels. Take a look at the picture gallery below and you can see how nice this car really is. For Buy It Now price or any questions, call Jerry at 954-868-5128. It will go to the highest bidder if it goes to the end.

The R107 SL is one of those cars that has a constant place in my dream garage. It doesn’t matter if it’s a V8 or six cylinder, early or later model, I like them all. If I had to take my pick, I’d probably go for a late model 300SL, with the SOHC M103 six cylinder engine. But this 280SL would suit me just fine. Silver on black isn’t the most exciting of color combinations but it’s certainly pleasant enough. While this car is fairly clean and hasn’t traveled many miles, almost $17,000 is a bit of a reach when you can get into a clean 560SL for the same amount and the fact that the manual transmission isn’t so attractive to everyone in this market. If you could shave a few thousand off the asking price, this wouldn’t be a bad deal.


Celebrating Fifty Years of the Pagoda: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

This year marks fifty years that the Mercedes-Benz W113 SL has been with us. Nicknamed the Pagoda SL, due to its concave hardtop, the 230SL not only succeeded the legendary 300SL roadster, but the smaller, four cylinder 190SL. A mainstay in the lineup for almost a decade, Mercedes would evolve the breed by offering the 250SL and 280SL down the line until it was succeeded by the long-lived R107 SL. Almost 40% of W113 production was sold in the United States and from time to time, it’s not uncommon to see one of these classic roadsters tooling around in the streets.

Aside from the 300SL Gullwing and Roadster, these are among some of the highest valued SLs. It shouldn’t be too surprising, as they offer the thrill of classic motoring with a mix of modern day performance and convenience that is hard to match at any price. Their styling is the epitome of restrained elegance and still looks good to this day. This 1968 280SL is on offer from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California.

Year: 1968
Model: 280SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline six
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: N/A
Price: $185,000

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

This 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL is an excellent example of a W113 SL Series Roadster. It is presented in its original configuration of red paintwork (DB568) and black MB-Tex interior (DB131). The car was recently comprehensively restored at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. The refurbishment of this matching numbers car included the removal, rebuilt and reinstallation of all mechanical systems with special emphasis on correct functionality and appearance to factory new standards, right down to hardware plating and finishes.

Chassis no: 113.044-12-002587
DB 568 Red
DB 131 Black MB-Tex Interior

Anything for sale from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is certainly not going to come cheap, but I had to take a step back when I saw the asking price, as I almost got lightheaded. I’ve been used to seeing mint W113 SLs on offer in the $50,000 to $80,000 range, but I’ve rarely seen one break six figures. It will probably be challenging to find a better W113 on the market, as anything from the Classic Center will be of the utmost quality. If you ever wanted a new W113 SL, this could be the closest you could get, coming straight from the experts.

The following is a video featuring some footage of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and this exact vehicle:


1970 Mercedes 280SL in unrestored condition

This ride comes to us from reader Daniel, it is a a vintage 280SL in nice driver condition. Some W113 SLs command seriously high prices if they are in perfect condition; auction prices over $50,000 have been seen. The car featured here doesn’t appear to be a garage queen. It shows signs of use, but doesn’t show neglect. This car looks like a nice entry point for a Benz fan looking to get into the top of line of late 60s early 70s topless Mercedes motoring.

The car has 88,000 miles on it and has plenty of room for improovment in terms of comesmetic problems. Overall it presents nicely. The chrome looks decent and the engine bay looks clean. The seller says it is mostly rust free and that it is clean underneath. A new owner could fix the paint bubbles with a full strip and respray or try to do some touch up work and just enjoy it. Inside things like the cracks in the dash are easily fixed with readily available custom dash pad covers. This is a very common occurrence on Mercedes. The wood may not be past saving, but it looks close so a new owner will probably want to pull it out and see how rotted it is. Some sanding and new varnish could make a world of difference. Again this is a very common problem and many helpful Benz aficionado can provide advice or service for the wood depending on budget.

The seller says the A/C hasn’t been run in several years, that can be read as doesn’t work. A new radio is in place, while I appreciate keeping it German with a Blaupunkt unit, I’d source a proper vintage Becker unit or one of the vintage look newer units. Honestly, as much as some of the newer features are nice, the old Becker units were truly high quality devices and for regular over the air entertainment would offer satisfaction for most users when matched to some nice high efficiency speakers.

A new owner will need to pay attention to the backwards transmission. A number of Benz models featured these backwards shifting autos, with park at the bottom, before going to the more familiar park at the top layout. These cars are fun to shift manually even without the manual transmission, but enjoying that means taking note of this reverse layout. Despite the indents on the shifters it is pretty easy to unexpectedly. go from 3 to 2 or 4 to N.

The 2.8 liter engine offers plenty of power and provides great thrumming inline six sound. Being an owner of a 1970 two door Benz with this same M130 engine I can attest to its easy of maintenance and enjoyment.  This engine is a thirsty one though so despite being a six an owner should expect 15 or so MPG.

Current price is just under $14,000 with the reserve not met. A nice solid car like this will see something around $25,000 despite its needs. A couple thousand in work by a new owner and $10k more is possible.

1970 Mercedes 280SL in unrestored condition on eBay


1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual

The late 1970s was a about the halfway point for the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Here in the US, the only SL on offer was the 450SL, powered by the 4.5 liter V8 producing 222 horsepower. This engine was teamed exclusively with a 4 speed automatic in the US market. If, however, you lived in other parts of the world, you could order the 182 horsepower, 2.8 liter twin cam inline six and even opt for a manual transmission with four or five gears. In the case of our feature car, it has the desirable combination of the 2.8 liter six with the five speed manual transmission.

1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual on eBay

A Mercedes SL with a 5 speed transmission? A rare car in the USA, because it was never directly imported by the Mercedes-Benz factory, but rare even in the home markets, with 1347 produced in 1977. This car was privately imported early in life to California, so has NO RUST and no evidence of accident history. We purchased the car some time ago, with a previous history of a long term owner. We bring our favorite Mercedes-Benz cars right away to a Mercedes-Benz Factory trained technician, for a thorough inspection and repair program.

The car runs great!! The low total mileage of 115,031 represents a large amount of remaining use. Driving feel is fantastic: maneuverable, tight, responsive are all words that come to mind. Most W107 SL cars were produced with V-8 engines, mostly to satisfy the US market. The MUCH lighter twin cam six cylinder engine coupled with a 5 speed transmission gives a completely different feel. The high output engine has a definite growl and the manual transmission is a perfect match. Also, as a technical note: automatic transmissions absorb approximately 35 horsepower, where a manual transmission absorbs only 8 -10 horsepower. It makes for a better feel when the engine starts out with 185 horsepower.

While going over the car, we check over and service the brake system, cooling system, all fluids, electrical systems etc. We are happy to report that all systems are go, only needing basic operations to bring them up to date. As usual, the electrical systems on 107 Mercedes-Benz cars are quite trouble free, and this car has all working gauges, lights horns etc. Air conditioning and heating systems have been serviced and are operating properly. Water temperature and oil pressure all operate at proper levels, as befitting a low mileage car.

Chrome fittings are in excellent condition, including grille, bumpers handles and body trim. Lenses and lights all operate properly, and look great. The no-rust body and chassis is very straight and original, complemented by the blue metallic paint color. We do a polish operation on all of our cars, to bring up a fresh shine, and while the paint is presentable, there are a few chips and nicks etc, as well as varying levels of paint shine quality over the totality of the body panels. Overall, the paint is in good condition.

The red interior of this car is in excellent condition, and also very outstanding visually. All the chrome trims on the sides of the seats are intact, which is a bit rare. Carpets and dash trim look great with only a few cracks on the top of the dash pad (see photos). Also, there is a matching body color hardtop included in the sale, in excellent condition. Please note: the convertible top canvas is not present. The top frame work is stowed under the metal boot lid.

In summary, this is probably the best specification W107 SL to buy, and this car in specific is a recommended buy. It is such a different feel than a regular V-8 / automatic car, the difference is night and day, as well as a great color combination.

Blue metallic teamed with a red interior is a combination not often seen on the R107. The slimmer Euro bumpers also lend a more lithe look to this roadster than the heavy crash bumpers mandated by the US government. The only thing I’d change to finish off the package would be to add the flush fitting Euro headlights. Values of R107s have been rising across the board, as enthusiasts begin to recognize the strengths of the series. This is a nicely kept example for someone who wants a little more sporting of a drive. If this SL could be had for between $12,000 to $15,000, it would be well bought.