The Overview

“SL”, synonymous with “Gullwing” and both pure Mercedes-Benz. The W113 Chassis or “Pagoda” cars as they are often referred to were produced from 1963-1971. They are considered the true start of the high volume SL as we know it today, and more importantly the last of the hand built Mercedes-Benz. As such they offer a sophisticated driving experience compared to their contemporaries, and are cherished today amongst the collector car community as a must-have and a very sensible investment.


Like many car companies of the period and today, production models are often produced to the prospective country in which they are to be sold; hence US-Spec and European Spec examples.  It is often noted that US-Spec examples are watered down versions of the manufactures original intent. In this case, Mercedes-Benz produced seemingly similar SL’s for two different markets and continents.  IT can perhaps be debated then that the Euro Spec example retains the purity of Mercedes-Benz’s original intent.


The Euro-Spec 280SL was offered with a few subtle changes, such as: the iconic Bosch fish bowl head lamps, instruments in KPH and was often offered standard with a 4-speed gearbox. The example on offer here is indeed a European Specification 1969 280SL per the “113 044 10” designation in the serial number as opposed to the “113 044 12” that is found on US Specification Cars.  Thanks to the Mercedes-Benz Heritage Center, we know that Chassis # 113 044 10 011750 was ordered new with the following specifications:


Chassis number: 113 044 10 011750

Engine number:  130 983 10 004580

Transmission number:      004363

Key code:  HF 0703

Exterior color code: 396 – medium blue body & Hard Top

Interior color code:145 – parchment mbtex

Option codes:

401     single seats

416     hardtop mounted

422     power steering

524     paint coat preservation

598     heat insulated glass

620     version for Italy

665     do not put fuel in vehicle

746     soft-top fabric, dark brown



Early history on this example is not entirely known other than it was sold new to Italy in 1969. Recent history dates to its most recent owner of 10 years, a Mercedes-Benz Mechanic and enthusiast. During his ownership the car was constantly cared for and well serviced as a prized possession. Today it shows very well as a turnkey driver quality example in every regard. It has absolutely no needs as far as its mechanical abilities are concerned.  It also has the benefit of still presenting as it did on day one, with its correct factory colors and options.


Cosmetically this car really shows as a driver, but could be shown in the driver class at any local concours. The paint is consistent throughout and was done well when completed 15+ years ago. The bright work shows well but is not perfect, and all of the glass and rubber are in excellent condition. The panels are straight, gaps excellent, and the car still retains the ever important factory spots welds and headlamp notches. All things considered this 280 is believed to have never been a rough, rusty or hit example as so many have been.


The interior is of the same quality as the exterior, very presentable, usable, but not concours or perfect.  It is finished in correct MB Tex in the original color and shows some patina from being enjoyed but should not be considered damaged in anyway. The wood is good, dash shows well, and overall the interior is well appointed and up to date for an excellent driver such as this. The top is the correct German Canvas type, and the hardtop shows a nice headliner but does appear to be missing its wood.


Upon starting this 280, one can notice it takes very little effort to get it going. It runs smooth, drives very well with no fault in the shifting, braking, steering or elsewhere with all systems intact and in order. The tires are newer, and it is evident that there has been consistent servicing completed by the previous owner including fuel and injection pump servicing, brakes, cooling etc… This car is absolutely up to date, and shows excellent oil pressure while holding good temperature.


These 280SL’s have had interesting trends in recent times, and are only headed upward. This is a great driver quality example that is as solid mechanically as any restored example. It is for the enthusiast and the driver who can appreciate a good car that was never rough. Offered with two tops, a copy of the original Data Card, manuals, spare, and jack. This is an excellent opportunity to own a rare Euro Spec 280SL.