Auctions and Brokerage
Mercedes-Benz launched the 230 SL in 1963, crisply styled by Paul Bracq, with a detachable “pagoda” hardtop. In eight years, and many updates later, 49,812 were sold.
This 280 SL was delivered to a US Navy serviceman in California on August 23, 1968. It was fitted with the desirable four-speed manual gearbox and finished in Red (DB 576 G), with a matching hardtop, black soft top and interior, and Becker Europa stereo.
The second owner acquired it in 1972, and had Stahl Motor Company of Monterey install a new engine in 1984. He gave the Mercedes to his niece in 1994, who took it to Massachusetts for a university teaching job, but drove it only 829 miles in 17 years. Sold again in 2011, the car received a bare-metal repaint and was found to be remarkably sound and original before its acquisition by the consignor in 2014.
A new Haartz cloth top was recently fitted, and the interior has an attractive patina. The car retains its production data card, delivery papers, manuals, service records, and tools, and the original engine is included with the sale. Mercedes-Benz 280 SLs are seldom found with manual gearboxes, but enthusiasts say the character of the car is immeasurably improved. With attractive colors and exemplary provenance, this roadster offers an enviable driving experience for a serious collector.