ONE OWNER 280SL - In the classic car world, the most desirable version of the Mercedes-Benz “Pagoda” SL is the 280, and how many do you think are still one-owners? We recently acquired this car from the 90-year-old gentleman who bought it new as a surprise for his wife. Both are still driving today, but it was time to sell their least-used car. It has spent its life in Colorado, but was bought new at Loeber Motors in Chicago—see original invoice in the picture gallery. Its options were the auto transmission, power steering and chrome roof strips.
It has covered 111K miles over the years and been faithfully maintained, including a complete engine overhaul twenty years ago…but was driven little after that. Today it starts right up, has great oil pressure, does not run hot and shifts solidly. The car runs very well, has good brakes, the suspension doesn’t feel loose and inspires confidence. We have the full bundle of original owner’s books and sales invoice. That’s all the Good News.
The Not-So-Good News is it was changed to silver from the original black forty years ago (which is why the top and hubcaps are black). It has experienced minor shunts over the years, so the bodywork is far from perfect—but it does still have the spot welds on the front fenders. It’s got a couple oil leaks, but little rust. The original soft top hasn’t been up since the Reagan administration, so consider it done for. This is a good-running ongoing project for someone who would like to put some sweat equity into a car that will always have a following. It needs a dedicated do-it-yourselfer to pick away at the flaws while still being able to drive it around.