Production of the Mercedes 280SL Pagoda was less than a ten-year period, and yet Mercedes-Benz managed to roll over 40,000 units off their production lines and on to the drives of an international community of elites. Of the three models, the 280SL was the most sought after in its heyday with 1969 and 1970 seeing the most units sold. It is no wonder then that the 280 SL still commands enthusiasts’ hearts around the world, with the 280SL offering a good indicator of the values of the other two variants – the 230SL and 250SL.
To the average person, a 1970s Mercedes 280SL is not markedly different from what came before or after, but those with the knowledge will know that this was the year that the last series of modifications were made to the 280 SL. These included a change to the paintwork options, with new colours added from August 1970, as well as the introduction of new seat fabrics not offered before. Other more discreet alterations were the end of optional rear axle ratios and the change to rear light colours, with the lens made separate from the chrome. This is just a snapshot of changes that are perhaps propelling interest in the 1970s 280 SL. Or perhaps, aspiring owners just think production ended this year? Who Knows?
What we do know, is that we have four varied 1970 Mercedes 280SLs for sale at present; each with its own story and opportunity to be cherished.
1. Left Hand Drive 1970s 280SL for sale
The documentation presented with a car is often the easiest way to retrace the story of ownership, enjoyment, and care. This 280 SL Mercedes is an example of a car with a rich history of care. In 2009, San Diego based Javier Sacio acquired this Pagoda from family friends who had stored the vehicle in a Warehouse in Oklahoma for almost two decades.
With low mileage and no accident history, the car was in brilliant condition to be further refined. After everything had been stripped, evidence of all the original factory markings was found to be visible and correct. The interior was found to be in fantastic order, with only new seat inserts and re-upholstering required, as well as new chrome scuff plates. Other than this, the interior is original.
Mechanically, the car was exceptional, with the original front and rear Bilstein shock absorbers still in factory condition. The suspension was cleaned and re-painted, while the engine bay was scrubbed and detailed. In 2014, Javier parted with the vehicle which ended up in the UK. Since arriving in the UK, only engine and subframe mounts and rear wheel bearings have been replaced.
In the original colour of Silver Grey (180) with Black Leather Interior, this lovely 1970 Mercedes 280SL is for sale and ready to be enjoyed. In left-hand drive format, this would make the perfect companion for someone who enjoys traversing the continent.
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2. Golden State 1970s Mercedes 280SL for Sale
This is a Pagoda that has lived a rich life in the hands of very few enthusiasts from two different continents. This 1970 Mercedes 280SL was originally sold to a Mr Loan of La Jolla, California, where the car remained for what is thought to be almost forty years. Over this period, the 280 SL passed through the family and remained in the same area of California. Present with the file is all the invoices for works carried out during this period.
The car changed hands in the 2000s and was acquired more recently by the current owner – Mr Smith – who went to great lengths to restore this vehicle to ensure he could utilise the vehicle for longer drives and endurance rallies. Utilising classic Mercedes specialist Roger Edwards, Mr Smith spent in excess of £10,000 on this 280 SL before transporting it to his home in Prague where the Pagoda underwent further restoration work. It was here that the car was altered from the original Horizon Blue (304) colourway to the Silver you see here.
Mr Smith has obsessively cared for this 280 SL – a commitment that has enabled him to compete in five Geneva-Cannes Classic Rallies; with his highest position being fifth. This routine of care also enables him to win the Czech Republics Mercedes-Benz Owners Club concours competition.
This is a 1970 Mercedes 280 SL for sale at a low entry point, with tonnes of evidence of care to assure interested parties that this is worthy of their financial and spiritual investment.
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Two 1970s 280SL Restoration Opportunities:
1. 1970 Mercedes 280SL California Coupe For Sale
The discerning enthusiast will know how unusual it is to find a 1970s Mercedes California Coupe; especially one in right-hand drive format. First introduced with the 250 SL, the California Coupe was Mercedes-Benz’s only attempt at crafting a 2+2 configuration within the W113 Pagoda. Engineers removed the soft top stowage section, designing a new format to house a rear bench seat. The California Coupe could therefore accommodate four passengers (including the driver) when the hard top was removed.
This 280SL California Coupe is presented by SLSHOP as a fantastic low-entry point for an aspiring owner to transform into their very own Pagoda. The bodywork and mechanicals need improvement, but this is a chance to craft a Pagoda according to your individual desires. While the absence of a soft top limits usage in the northern hemisphere, SLSHOP can support interested parties who wish to convert this into the usual three-stage Pagoda configuration. SLSHOP will design and create a soft top stowage, replacing the bench seat with the new soft top mechanism and hood.
We advise you to speak to our Sales team about this opportunity and book a viewing of the vehicle to understand what a fantastic opportunity this is.
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2. Silver 1970 Mercedes 280SL for sale
All original and with extremely low mileage of just over 34,000, this 1970 280SL is also sold by SLSHOP as a restoration opportunity. Finished in the factory-correct colourway of Silver Grey with Black Leather, this is a 280 SL with massive upside potential.
In its current state, the bodywork will need attention to ensure structural longevity, while the mechanicals will also need an overhaul to create a fully operational and dependable Pagoda. The options presented by this Pagoda are truly limitless – aspiring owners could opt for a 6-speed manual gearbox conversion to give the vehicle a sportier feel, adding other upgrades like performance valves, a lighter crankshaft, upgraded connecting rods, a new custom exhaust system and so much more.
This is a Pagoda that can be taken in any direction – with your passion and our expertise, we can create a masterpiece completely unique to you. We advise a full inspection of this 1970s Mercedes 280SL Pagoda to fully understand the potential.
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