1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL

The Mercedes-Benz 280SL was the last of the popular and successful line that began with the 230 SL of 1963. The 280SL was introduced in 1967 and came with a new 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine that offered 180 horsepower, 20 additional horsepower over the preceding 250 SL's. The 120 mph top speed was the same as the 250 SL and could go from zero-to-sixty mph in 10 seconds, a whole second faster than its predecessors.

The 'SL' moniker began in the 1950s and was synonymous with 'Gullwing.' The start of the high volume SL models began in 1963 with the W113 chassis or 'Pagoda' cars and continued through 1971. These were the last of the hand-built Mercedes-Benz and they offered a level of sophistication and driving experience that was reminiscent of the original 'SL' cars.

Mercedes-Benz introduced an all-new roadster known as the 230SL in the spring of 1963, replacing the 190SL and 300SL. The 230SL 'Pagoda' wore styling by Paul Bracq and given a two-seater configuration and design that followed the company's new design language, with crisp lines and upright headlights. On the grille was a prominent three-pointed star in reference to the iconic 300SL. The hood, trunk lid, door skins, and tonneau cover were formed from lightweight aluminum.

The name 'Pagoda' was in reference to the slightly concave roof on the optional removable hardtop that resembled a pagoda roof.

The 280SL, introduced in 1967, was the third and final iteration of the 'Pagoda.' It rested on the same modified W111 chassis that came with a rear swing axle and independent front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The 2.8-liter engine used Bosch fuel injection and developed 160 horsepower in US-market examples. The engines were slightly modified to comply with emissions standards and to compensate for the loss in performance, the rear-end ratios were changed in these US-market cars to offer greater low-end acceleration.

During this era, it was common to produce models for the prospective country in which they were to be sold. Thus, the 280SL was built in US-spec and European-spec examples, and although US-spec examples were often watered-down versions of the manufacturer's original intent, the two SL versions were seemingly similar. The Euro-spec 280SL came with Bosch fish bowl headlamps, instruments in KPH and was often offered standard with a four-speed gearbox. Along with the visual differences, the U.S. versions can be identified by the designation in the serial number, '113 044 12' as opposed to the Euro-Spec versions of '113 044 10.'

The 280 had the same modified W111 chassis with a rear swing axle and independent front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. After a year of production, the 2496cc engine was enlarged to 2778cc thanks to an enlarged bore. Also new was an optional ZF five-speed manual gearbox with various final-drive ratios. Body styles included a roadster, coupe, and coupe roadster. Pricing began at $6,490 for the roadster.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019

Related Reading : Mercedes-Benz 280 SL History

The well-known German Manufacturer chose to continue in the tradition of sporty open Grand Tourismos, or ‘Roadsters by Mercedes Benz, in their release of the 1960s product range. Mercedes decided to inaugurate a whole new range of sportsSL models in the 1960s following the successful launch of earlier SL models. The origins of the Mercedes race cars began in the early 1950s. They began with....
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Related Reading : Mercedes-Benz 280 SL History

With its status today as a classic continually rising, the Mercedes-Benz 280 was truly a beautiful vehicle. Though not as shapely and voluptuous as the 190 SL, or as powerful as the 300 SL, the 280 was both practical and nimble, while the styling is a fine example of well-balanced design. Produced from 1967 until 1971, the Mercedes 280 SL was the most popular SL on the classic car market. With....
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1969 Vehicle Profiles

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

In 1963 Mercedes-Benz introduced the 230/250/280 SL Pagoda as the successor to the famous 300/190 SL Series. This 280 SL is presented here as attributed to Paul Bracq who designed it, a Frenchman who was appointed Head of Advanced Design at Mercedes....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

The W113 series of two-seat GT cars (230 SL, 250SL, 280SL) were the successors to the 300 SL coupes and roadsters. They had one big advantage over their legendary predecessors: affordability. They also offered more comfort, luxury, and performance th....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Coupe Roadster

Chassis Num: 113.044.12.005650

The new Mercedes-Benz 230SL two-seater was introduced in 1963, and was a large improvement over the previous 190SL. The 190's four-cylinder engine was replaced by a six-cylinder powerplant rated at 150 horsepower. It was gradually increased in size t....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

The 280 SL was introduced late in 1967 as the last in the W113 series and was produced through March of 1971. This particular car was built in the first week of December, 1968 and purchased on the European delivery program by its first owner from War....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

The 280 SL was the last of the series succeeding the introductory 230 SL and interim 250 SL. This particular car is a well-persevered original example presented with the Pagoda style hard top. Made as a USA model, it was built in Sindelfingen, West G....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 11304410008798

By the late '60s, Mercedes-Benz engineers were struggling with low-powered models, seeming to fall short with previous entries, namely the 220 and 230 in the SL series. After lackluster sales of the 250, Mercedes-Benz offered the 280 SL in 1967. Th....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Coupe Roadster

Chassis Num: 113.044.12.008224

The new 230SL, codenamed the W113, placed more of an emphasis on safety and comfort then the high-performance and exotic 300SL found in the Mercedes-Benz lineup of a few years prior. The four-cylinder engine found in the 190 was gone and all models w....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 113.044-10-009469

This 280 SL has a manual 4-speed transmission which is rather rare since most of the SLs imported into the United States were fitted with an automatic gearbox. This example sent many years in Oregon having been in a single Portland family's garage fo....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 113.044.12.003756

It is believed that this Mercedes-Benz has had just two owners from new and was in the care of its second owner from 1978 until recently. It was delivered new to the United States with both its factory hardtop and soft-tops, and is outfitted with the....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 113044-12-012652

This Mercedes-Benz 280 SL was purchased new by Jane Russell. It is an original example painted in an Arizona-inspired copper paint scheme. Ms. Russell used the car often, even chauffeuring many icons of the 20th century, including Bob Hope and Presid....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

The current owners have owned this 280 SL Pagoda for a decade. Purchased in Indiana, it comes in a unique colour combination, Mercedes' Midnight Blue with red interior. It was completely restored across 2017 and 2018 in its original colours.....[continue reading]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 113.044.10.008892

The Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W113) was introduced in 1963 at the Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the 190 SL and 300 SL. The Paul Bracq styling featured crisp body lines with the iconic 'Pagoda' hardtop. In December of 1967 came the culmination of....[continue reading]

Roadster
 
Roadster
 
Coupe Roadster
Chassis #: 113.044.12.005650 
Roadster
 
Roadster
 
Coupe
Chassis #: 11304410008798 
Coupe Roadster
Chassis #: 113.044.12.008224 
Roadster
Chassis #: 113.044-10-009469 
Roadster
Chassis #: 113.044.12.003756 
Coupe
Chassis #: 113044-12-012652 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: 113.044.10.008892 


Concepts by Mercedes-Benz

Similarly Priced Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz Monthly Sales Volume

November 2019
33,721
October 2019
27,867
September 2019
27,433
August 2019
24,771
July 2019
24,612
May 2019
27,080
April 2019
22,949
March 2019
27,004
January 2019
22,507
Additional Sales Volume Data


Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1,300-$6,480
1969 280 SL
$6,890-$25,580
1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Price Range: $6,480 - $6,890

$22,299 - $25,580

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Mercedes-Benz
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)340,006
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)331,682
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,368,216)284,230
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)284,230
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)280,419
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)256,713
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)256,713
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)20,691
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)16,465
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)174,007
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)165,532

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