No expenses were spared during this car’s recent (2020-21) full nut & bolt restoration,
overseen by The MB Shop in Oxfordshire, with substantial parts support from SLSHOP.
Formerly owned by the Sears family, this 280SL was allegedly bought by the late ‘Gentleman
Jack’ for his wife. The story goes that it was an apology for the late touring car ace’s many
days away from home spent winning touring car races.
This 280SL is in essentially as-new condition, having been gone through from badge to boot. Original hardware (nuts & bolts) were retained where possible, yet all have been refinished by hand, at vast expense. The total bill for all work, including the new interior, hood, bodywork and repaint came to a substantial £100,015.
It’s hard to imagine how this 280SL could be improved any further. The car’s paintwork is flawless, as is its chrome. The interior gleams like new and is as comfortable and classically refined as any of the very best we’ve experienced. The added modern convenience of that stereo makes this example even more useable, with the only decision left for you to make being which direction to point that gorgeous bonnet for your first drive.
This is one description that really requires very little exposition, it’s as new. The car’s restoration was so extensive that literally every single nut & bolt has seen either renewal or refurbishment.
Having only just emerged from said restoration in 2021 and used sparingly since, this W113 still looks as good as any we’ve seen. Work was also carried out with in the engine bay to ensure it didn’t let the side down, and we’d say mission accomplished in that regard. The engine (being tuned) has noticeably more pep than a stock unit, without ruining the model’s original and effortlessly-wafty charm.
The underside of this remarkable SL hasn’t been forgotten either, having received fresh paint and underseal to keep things tip-top. Further reassurance that the mechanicals are all fighting fit comes from the itemised restoration invoices, totalling that aforementioned six-figure sum.
This 280 was bought new and owned by the same family from 1969 to 1987. Originally purchased in the Salford area of Manchester, the car was cared for until ’73 by local firms Portman Garages and Cliff Holden. This SL saw its first round of restoration work in 1987, with invoices for new paint and chrome visible. A rifle through the rest of the history shows the aforementioned famous racing driver Jack Sears bought the car for £14,400 from Stuart Graham–himself a TT winning motorcycle racer–in Norfolk in 1988. With the Sears family keeping hold of the keys until 2019, on-going care was split between Mercedes-Benz specialist Jim Russell in Downham Marketand local firm, Ashill Garage. It’s nice to see that Jack and family clearly kept up an interest in motorsport, as we found a Silverstone ’90 International Historic Festival parking pass in the file. An itemised set of bills for the latest aforementioned £100k restoration is neatly collected alongside a highlights sheet and USB stick showing images/videos of work carried out. The final tick to the history wish list comes from some immaculate and original build sheets, plus all owner documentation booklets (in German)for the car. Oh, and there’s also MoT documentation tracing yearly use from 2006 back to 1988.
This SL seems to have been restored with the care it deserves, looking just as impressive on the inside as it does from outside. The seats have been retrimmed and look fantastic; providing the comfort for which the W113 SL is famed. The original sound insulation was stripped from the car during its restoration (a long-winded and fiddly job), the replacement material is both longer lasting and more effective.
A period Becker Europa radio gleams – along with the rest of the trim and dials – at occupants in the centre of a dashboard that’s worthy of pride. Said stereo has a trick up its sleeve too, its internals having been junked in favour of modern digital gear that also facilitates hands-free phone calls.