Hershey Lodge
10 - 11 October 2013
Lot 228

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL


$66,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • One of the most popular vintage Mercedes-Benzes
  • Nicely restored and well-equipped
  • Rare “third seat” option

180 hp, 2,778 cc inline six-cylinder with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with twin transverse wishbones, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, single-joint low-pivot swing-axle rear suspension with coil springs, compensating springs, and gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.4 in.

Every decade has its style icons. The 1960s brought us go-go boots, bouffant hairdos, and kipper ties, but none of which aged nearly as well as the Mercedes-Benz W113 series of two-seat roadsters. The W113 was the original “car as accessory.” It was expensive and impractical enough to demonstrate one’s wealth, but it was also small and zippy enough for easy motoring through city traffic. It was sporty enough to be fast and fun to drive, and it was also comfortable enough to be luxurious. A universal car of style and flair, the W113 was always appropriate for any occasion, and it had the unique ability to make anyone look good in it.

The original W113 design was the 230 SL, and it was introduced in 1963 with the crisp, angular Paul Bracq styling, which would become the model’s signature. The original 150-horsepower six-cylinder grew in size over the decade, culminating with the ultimate 280 SL. The 280 SL was introduced in 1968 and built through 1971, and it was powered with a 180-horsepower, 2.8-liter engine. The 280 SL was the most popular W113, with 23,885 of them being produced.

The car offered here has been nicely restored in Medium Green with tan leather upholstery, and it is equipped with the unusual “third seat” option, which is exactly that, a single seat for a third adult or child that has been turned sideways behind the driver. This feature recalls similar seating arrangements in certain 540 Ks during the Classic Era. Other options and accessories include the four-speed automatic transmission, a proper Becker Europa radio, a black Haartz cloth top, and 300 SL-style chrome wheel covers with star emblems that are shod in elegant, narrow whitewall wires. This well-presented car would be a wonderful Mercedes-Benz in which to enjoy the waning days of summer, and it would be a popular entrant in local showing.

Now, as then, a 280 SL is always in style, and it is an essential part of any collection of European sports cars from the Swinging Sixties.