I attempt to bear in mind buying the 1969 June version of Avenue & Observe off the newsstand, again when a lot of these spots had been the one provide of knowledge for youthful auto lovers. The issue when put next 4 luxurious GTs: a Porsche 911T, a Jaguar E-Kind, a Chevrolet Corvette and a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL. On the time, these have been the vehicles and vans to beat, every particular person with a definite appear, identification and effectiveness profile. As my automobile-know-it-all buddies, and I poured in extra of the journal during ninth-quality homeroom, we expressed particular opinions as to the deserves of each contender.
I appreciated the Porsche, most wished the Corvette, the Jag purchased a vote or two and the Mercedes . . . correctly, it didn’t sign-up any curiosity in children enamored of sporty autos with prolonged hoods and swoopy fastbacks. Seem to think about of it, the Highway & Monitor editors had been slightly bit bewildered, too. “Generalizing about its traits,” they defined of the 280 SL, “it was essentially the most cozy, introduced the the very least performance, had the busiest motor and essentially the most vital promoting price ticket.”
Within the intervening 50-plus a very long time since that consider, these folks observations sometimes ring correct, however in an age the place an outdated automotive’s effectivity merely can not remotely evaluate to the even essentially the most cheap modern grocery getter, such components as zero-to-60 mph events are usually irrelevant. And so the SL will get a really fascinating automotive, definitely.
Crafted just like the proverbial German pillbox, the pleasure of simply closing its doorways is enough rationale to personal the car. The 280 SL was the final iteration of the design generally termed the “Pagoda,” so named for the concave roof of the removable hardtop that, when saved within the proprietor’s storage, allowed the motorized vehicle to transform a good-looking convertible.
The Pagoda was launched in 1963 after the 300 SL and 190 SL had ceased technology. It commenced life-style because the 230 SL, which was made by the use of 1967, attending to be the 250 SL by the use of 1968. That automotive’s 2.5-liter displacement was accompanied by a much more robust engine, utilizing a seven-bearing crankshaft alternatively of an individual with solely 4 main bearings. The 280 SL was developed from 1968, with just about 24,000 examples designed by 1971, further than 50 p.c coming to the US. The two.8-liter, SOHC inline-six skilled mechanical gasoline injection and formulated 180 bhp at 5,700 rpm. A four-velocity information or four-pace computerized transmission had been being obtainable.
Correctly restoring a 280 SL will be an pricey proposition, because the autos, although quite simple in look, are fastidiously manufactured and must have equally fastidious consideration to element when at present being rebuilt from the bottom up. However there’s a demand, as it’s a product which, many due to its frequent attractiveness, consolation and ease, nice driving manners and ease of possession, is a world favored between collectors of Sixties-period GTs and sports activities autos.
Primarily based in Böblingen, Germany, Arthur Bechtel Basic Motors (the outfit that created the tribute auto to the famed “Purple Pig” 300 SEL racer we have now famous on beforehand) provides a restoration software notably for the 280 SL. And the 1969 instance showcased right here is proof of the restoration home’s exemplary carry out.
A nifty configurator on the Bechtel net web page permits future house owners set up their aspiration SL, deciding on from a palette of main Mercedes-Benz colours. It’s no thriller that Mercedes equipped a few of the tastiest paint schemes of the interval, as delicate and rich-on the lookout because the autos by themselves. A collection of interiors and add-ons will be blended to construct a simply one-of-a single 280 SL. Prices for an entire auto start at $285,000, with commissions requiring six to eight months till fruition and some to 4 months for transport stateside.