Introduced in December 1967, production on the Mercedes 280SL continued through the middle of February 1971, when it was replaced by its successor, the 350SL. These classic 1960's Mercedes autos were comfortable grand tourers, even offering a 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning in the US models. There were several changes that happened with the release of the 280 SL including one piece wheel covers, new tail lights with amber turn signals, improved emission control, heated rear window for hardtop, Fuchs alloy wheels as a factory option, and a coolant expansion tank to name a few. While placing a value on a Mercedes classic car can be quite difficult, there are many great options out there for the European car or Mercedes-Benz enthusiast who wants to add a 280SL to their garage.
Generally speaking, if you are considering the purchase of a Mercedes 280SL, there are several things you will want to ensure are correct before proceeding with a purchase. When approaching a 280SL, first simply walk around the car and take a step back a bit to see how the car fits together. In production, the aluminum doors, hood and deck lids were hand fitted to close specifications on the 280SL and many classic 1960's Mercedes. All should have tight uniform gaps with the adjacent panels. If the gaps are uneven, widening or tightening here and there, you will need to look for sheet metal repair. In addition, another key item is to open the hood and inspect the identification plate that sits on the left apron adjacent to the shock tower. The plate will reveal some vital information including paint codes. Another key element is that unlike the SL construction techniques of the post 1971 era, the 280SL has no body panels that will unbolt. If an SL nose or fender was beyond repair, it had to be air chiseled off the car and this process was rarely complete properly. A quick look inside the hood should reveal a steady line of spot welds, if you see a smooth clean finish, you may want to look for further signs of repair.
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Mercedes Benz 280SL Production Years: