1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Convertible
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2800cc|
When Mercedes-Benz simultaneously replaced both the four-cylinder 190SL and six-cylinder 300SL in the early 1960s with an entirely new SL range, Stuttgart's engineers developed a versatile sports car capable of meeting the challenges of a new era. The first 230SL was introduced in 1963 with a powerful SOHC in-line six cylinder engine using Bosch mechanical fuel injection, disc brakes up front and the option of power steering. The W113 soon earned the nickname 'Pagoda' thanks to the dished hardtop and remains one of the most stylish and sought after Mercedes-Benz sports cars ever made, offering an unmatched combination of style, practicality and driving enjoyment. Anyone who has driven an SL can confirm the perception that the SL was more boulevard cruiser than true sports car isn't correct - the Pagoda is great fun to drive and performed admirably in Europe's toughest rallies, including the Marathon de la Route, won by Eugen Böringer in 1963. In 1967 Mercedes-Benz updated the SL with a new 250 model, heralding four-wheel disc brakes and more torque thanks to the bigger engine, but it was in turn replaced within twelve months and remains the rarest of all W113s. The final evolution of the Pagoda was the 280SL, launched in November 1967 with a host of technical improvements and is now seen as the most refined iteration of the W113 series. The robust new seven-bearing engine developed 170bhp and perfectly suited the automatic transmission - most 280SLs were thus equipped. New one-piece wheel trims distinguished the last W113 but alloys were now an option. By the time production ceased in March 1971, some 23,885 had been made making the 280SL the most popular of all W113 variants. All the qualities that made the Pagoda SLs so desirable in their heyday remain today - chic styling, Teutonic build quality and wonderfully spirited driving. The 280SL has never gone out of fashion but interest - and values - have never been stronger than today.