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1969 Mercedes 280SL

One California Owner Since 1973 (45+ Years!)

Rare European Example with 4-Speed, Factory Hardtop…
Unmodified Original

Low Mileage with Maintenance History Dating Back to Date of Delivery

Includes Original Service Manual Showing
Original Owner, Delivery Details & Maintenance

NOTE: Our listings sometimes get rather lengthy. However, we continually hear from out of state / out of country buyers (the majority of our clients) that they prefer the level of detail that we provide. However, if you are not prepared to read multiple pages of description, we ask that you review the "Specifications" on the car along with viewing the photos. And, yes, we are able to sell the car prior to the end of the eBay auction…please call us at 925-846-1451 with any questions regarding the Car, Classic Cars Ltd., or transportation.


Finally, all our photos are taken in a completely natural setting with no artificial lighting. We make every attempt to show every part of the vehicle and may have additional specific photos that we can make available upon request (we are only able to list 100 photos on our Website).





We are regularly asked to locate California "Born & Raised”, original examples of desirable Mercedes SL cars, especially the increasingly desirable Mercedes "W113” cars that were produced from 1963 to 1971. Of particular interest to collectors and enthusiasts are the later 280SL cars that offered the increased displacement of a 2.8 liter engine, along with a host of other improvements before the introduction of the R107 Mercedes (350SL - 280SL). The distinctively styled "Pagoda” (that received its name for the unique roofline of the optional hardtop) "SL" (Sports Luxury) is the Mercedes that many consider the "Best of the Best" in the class of Mercedes two-seaters. Frankly, many of the "SL" cars on the market today are not cars that we would consider worthy of consideration for our customers that are looking for high quality, well-documented, limited ownership, pre-owned Mercedes convertibles.

While many of these cars in the market today are offered at "reasonable" prices, the cars often have mechanical issues due to lack of attention by qualified technicians that can result in significant future expenditures; sometimes even in excess of the initial purchase price of the vehicle. We have learned from experience that well maintained "SL" cars can be extremely reliable and provide years of enjoyment and can be acquired at slightly more than those so-called "bargain" cars. Perhaps most important, many "SL” cars have been exposed to the elements and suffered from rust and panel replacements, or rust repair. It is increasingly difficult to locate an honest Mercedes 280Sl
L that has not been exposed to rust, had accident damage, or that has other questionable history.

This Mercedes is an exceptional example of a car that has a fully documented history dating back to its delivery in Rome, Italy on 8/4/1968. The car arrived in the USA after only a year, or so, in Europe and was acquired by a physician (now deceased), who was thoughtful enough to give the Mercedes as a birthday gift to his wife. The car has remained under her ownership and care for the entire time, and has had maintenance exclusively by Mercedes Benz professional technicians. The 280SL will be of interest to a buyer that is looking for good looking, well maintained example of an SL that is almost certain to continue to appreciate based on the limited production and desirability.

Included with the Mercedes are the following documents:

- Owner's Manual

- Factory Spare

- Factory Tools

- Original keys

Additional highlights include:

- Delivery & early servicing documented in the included MBZ Service Booklet

- Factory 4-speed example

- Retains its original European headlights, rear amber lenses, & odometer in kilometers

- Current mileage of 76,353 (176,353 kilometers, or 109,361 miles)

- Factory #'s matching engine, transmission, and other major components

- Original factory MBZ "Silver Grey" (Color Code 180G) (one quality respray)

- Very well maintained by Mercedes Benz specialists with documentation dating back to 1976

- Never stored for prolonged periods of time

- Used regularly by its elderly owner...never stored for prolonged periods of time

This Mercedes is finished in its original color of "Silver Gray” metallic with black leather interior. The 280SL has been very well cared for and travelled fewer than 2,500 miles although it has been used regularly and maintained. The Mercedes epitomizes the old adage that "You can restore a car over and over again but it is only original once.” While the maintenance history is too lengthy to list item by item, we will provide a summary later in this listing. We should mention that the car has been adult owned / driven and has never had deferred maintenance.


- Lovely exterior finished in a classic Mercedes color with very high gloss, even paint and no reports or indication of partial re-painting / touch-up since the car received a complete re-paint in its original factory color (retains the color code plate of 180G, Silver Gray Metallic)

- Extremely nice matching silver factory hardtop with excellent headliner (refer to photos)

- Black, high quality canvas convertible top in very good condition with clear window

- Fully operational soft top frame and convertible top cover

- Original, stock steering wheel

- Beautiful factory correct wheels & hubcaps and proper period whitewall tires

- Original jack & spare

- Documentation of its Northern California history for over 45 years by the same owner

- Very clean, but not overdetailed engine compartment reflecting a level of care (Refer to Photos)

- Serviced by Mercedes Benz and Mercedes Benz specialists

- Dry, free from rust through, rot or body damage throughout including; trunk, rust or other rust in the typical areas (Rocker panels, engine bay, and door sills) seen on Midwest / East Coast cars

The owners of the Mercedes, including the current owner, was a VERY particular owner, and has maintained the Mercedes to the highest standards in order to ensure reliability and great appearance at all times. The Mercedes was used as a fair weather car and received limited but regular use to ensure that it was in 100% operational condition at all times.

The 280SL is virtually 100% stock including the original factory hard top that is in beautiful condition.


The Mercedes 280SL's paint is in very good condition and, of course, the Mercedes has always been garaged when not in use. The car is totally free from any rust through both external and, as the undercarriage photos reflect, on the underside, suspension and other components. The underside only shows a patina for use but we have not cleaned or detailed the underside to show its original condition. No undercoating, black paint, or other effort to take away from the cars originality.

The 280SL exterior is truly in lovely condition including the "bright work", rubber trim and other exterior parts. The 280SL shows minor flaws, characteristic with a limited use vehicle of this age but, considering its age, presents extremely well.

The body is very straight, and we have seen no signs of body panel replacement or major accident damage. The body itself is free from dents and other damage with the exception of some minor door dings that do not detract from the appearance of the Mercedes. The bumpers are straight, free from damage, and the chrome is very nice "California quality.” Also, inspection of the other exterior parts of the car (emblems, grill, trim, etc.) shows them to be in excellent, original condition. The photos accurately describe the cars condition and a video is provided to see the car start and hear the engine.

The convertible top on the Mercedes functions properly. The top raises and folds easily, and latches properly. It seals well, although this particular car has been used almost exclusively with the top down, or with the hardtop in place. Unlike many SL tops that are full of scratches and are even damaged from taking them on and off improperly, this top is in very nice condition.

The doors, hood, and trunk gaps are very good and close / lock securely. The doors do not sag, and the hinges are solid and rust free. The undersides of the hood and trunk are free from rust, dirt and grease and in excellent condition. The entire engine bay retains its original color paint, as does the trunk. The engine has not been cleaned up for the photographs but as a result of ongoing maintenance is clean and free from excessive dirt/grease build-up.

The glass on the car is free from cracks, but there are scratches from windshield arms rubbing against the windshield. We have not made an attempt to have them buffed out. All of the lenses, lights are free from cracks and damage and 100% functional.


The interior on this Mercedes is all original and in its stock configuration. Both drivers and passenger side seats are free from significant damage due, in part, to the slight of build woman owner/driver of the car. The gauges are clear and the door panels and r other interior areas show well. The carpet is original with only minimal signs of use/wear. The wood on the forward part of the dash was previously re-done as was the center console (that is missing the ash-tray) and while they are in acceptable condition, they would benefit from a freshening up.

The seats are structurally solid and move forward with the release and lock in place. in any way. From the seats to the dash, door panels and carpeting, everything has been well cared for, with the interior holding up quite well for its age. A wooden Mercedes shift knob has been added to match the wood on the console. The photos will provide the prospective buyer with an accurate depiction of the quality of the interior including the center console, instruments, dash, seats, carpet, and other portions of the interior.

The steering wheel is stock and the car has a functional horn, gauges, and lighting system. The radio is a vintage Blaupunkt Portland SQR28 radio and a power antenna.


We have a history of representing sports and high performance cars that enjoy the benefit of extensive and thoroughly documented repair history along with original delivery documents. We agree with our customers that place considerable emphasis on finding a car with this information as it is generally evidence that a car has received excellent maintenance. The service history of this SL is documented by receipts by the owner during the course of her 45~ years of ownership. The car was serviced exclusively by trusted Mercedes specialists in Northern California and all repair recommendations were implemented by the cars elderly owner.

In the early life of the Mercedes, the original Service Booklet provides a fascinating look into the history of the Mercedes. Original delivered in Rome, Italy on 8/4/1968, the booklet documents the service of the 280SL from the date of delivery until 11/6/1970 when it had accumulated 38,514 kilometers and received its required 40,000 kilometer service. Subsequently, the Mercedes left Europe and arrived in the USA in the 1970's. It should also be noted that while in Rome, the MBZ Service Booklet documents the proper beak-in service at the following intervals:

- 2,431 kilometers (300-1,000 kilometer "A” service)
- 6,725 kilometers (5,000 kilometer "B” service)
- 10,000 kilometer "D” service
- At 17,045 kilometers (the require "A” service)
- 18,990 kilometers (The 20,000 kilometer "E” service )
- 20,291 kilometers (The 25,000 ‽C” service)
- 30,000 kilometer service ("D” service)
- 35,000 kilometer service ("C” service)
- And, the final ‽E” service at 38,514 kilometers (required at - 40,000 kilometers) prior to the trip to the USA

So, the Mercedes was also very well cared for by its first owner.

Frankly, it would take hours to detail the repair history on this car covers over 40 years with detailed, comprehensive receipts in the file dating back as far as 1976! However, the file contains documents almost obsessive ongoing maintenance and preventive "cost no object” car. It also shows a chronological history leading up to the cars current mileage with no indication of a speedometer replacement or malfunction. To provide the reader with an idea of the owner's commitment to maintenance, the following represents a summary of the past few years. Note that with ongoing care, knowledgeable Mercedes mechanics agree that these cars are good for many hundreds of thousands of miles.

As we mentioned, the history of repairs is so extensive that it is impractical to list in detail. However, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the cars mechanical background with serious, qualified buyers. We will note that the 280SL received a recent (within 300 miles) service and inspection that included a replacement steering rack and steering pump. Within 7,500 miles, the Mercedes has had considerable work including but not limited to:

- Valve adjustment and major service
- Oil service including gaskets
- New tires
- New brakes
- New fuel tank
- All new fuel hoses
- New tie rod assembly
- New sub-frame mounts

We feel strongly that documentation of repair history is extremely important when it comes to Mercedes cars (and other fine European vehicles). Unfortunately, all too often we see cars that have not been maintained in accordance with the recommended Mercedes Benz service schedule.


The cars drivability reflects the considerable care that the Mercedes has received during its lifetime in California. The car starts immediately under all conditions, and runs cool, even in the 100+ degree weather in Northern California. The idle is smooth and the car has been totally reliable. The Mercedes has excellent power, stops and steers straight and does not pull, or wander. Factory 4 wheel disc brakes ensure that the car stops straight and sure. The parking brake works and is properly adjusted.

The transmission is free from any issues and there are no signs of slipping, noise, or shifting issues. The remainder of the cars drive-line components is equally as good.

The gauges tell the story when it comes to the car's mechanical strength. The oil pressure reads well in excess of 50 lbs. of pressure (even when cold), the temperature gauge stays in the lower/middle few hash marks (even on very warm, California days), and the charging system is excellent. Also, the climate control / heating & defrosting system is completely functional and the often times broken controls are fully functional.

The spare is the original factory spare. The original jack can be found in the trunk and there is an original Service Booklet that documents the cars original delivery and early maintenance.

Finally, an inspection of the undercarriage of the car indicates that the car is free from significant leaks and accumulated oil, grease, and very straight and solid (please refer to the photos).


The design of what many consider the last really beautiful Mercedes Benz SL roadster is credited to Frenchman Paul Barcq who headed the advanced design studios at Daimler Benz from the later 1950's to late 1960's. The 1963 - 1971 SL cars became known as "Pagoda" SL's as a result of their delicately shaped roofs which appear to dip down toward the center and which feature tapered C-pillars. No aspect of the design was an afterthought and certainly not the optional and desirable hardtop. The 280SL has become an increasingly desirable collectible as a result of its limited production, high MBZ quality, comfort, performance, and timeless styling.

* We encourage telephone calls to discuss in greater details the condition/specifics of this Mercedes .It is truly difficult to fully describe, in writing, the high quality of this particular Mercedes 280SL and some of the small things that sets it apart from other "average to good" condition Mercedes cars.

* We will be glad to discuss a sale of the car prior to the end of the listing on EBay, and ask that interested parties call us at 925-846-1451 for additional information/specifics.

* The Mercedes includes the factory hardtop (but not the stand shown in the photos)

* As with virtually all collector/specialty vehicles, we find that parts and resources are readily available for this (and most every vehicle), thanks in large part to the Internet!

* In addition to the purchase price of the vehicle, California buyers will be subject to sales tax, documentation fee, DMV transfer fees and license/registration. Out-of-state buyers will be responsible for the purchase price of the vehicle and any local taxes/fees will be the purchaser's responsibility to pay in their respective state.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if the vehicle is delivered or driven in California and driven on California roads, sales-tax, license registration and transfer fees will be assessed per California law.

* While we encourage telephone calls to discuss this vehicle in greater detail we will not respond to inquiries asking "What is the reserve". Also, if you would prefer that we call you to answer any questions about the vehicle; shipping alternatives, etc. please e-mail us with your telephone number and will gladly get back in touch with you. Also, we encourage pre-inspections but ask that you contact us in advance since we are often times away from our offices.

* As with any collectible vehicle of this vintage we are unable to provide a warranty or guarantee of condition. However, we make every effort to accurately represent our vehicles, and highlight both positive items as well as areas that require attention. We ask that prospective buyers consider our EBay history/feedback, standing
in the community, length of time in business, and other factors when purchasing a collectible vehicle from Classic Cars Ltd.

* Please keep in mind that, as with any used vehicle, minor cosmetic issues/flaws may be present that add to the "patina" of the car and are a part of even the best restoration, or even a relatively new, used "pre-owned" vehicle.


As always, we recommend that you carefully review the seller's background of any collector car being sold over the Internet. We believe that it is important to ask yourself a number of questions including, but not limited to:

- How long have they been in business?

- How much experience do they have with collector cars?

- How many positive collector car vehicle sales have completed (positive EBay feedback)?

- How detailed/complete is the description of the vehicle?

- Do the photos show details of the interior, exterior, top, chrome, etc. or are they simply "Glamour Shots" taken from a distance?

- Does the seller have a Surety Bond to protect the financial transaction?

- What about insurance, licensing by the state, and a local business license?

- Does the seller (if a business) have any DMV (Motor Vehicle) complaints and/or other history of legal action, grievances?

- Does the seller enjoy a favorable local and national/international reputation?

- Can the seller assist with funding sources, transport and out of state/country sales?


* Classic Cars Ltd. has been in the same, small, California town for over 25 years. We operate a small "brick & mortar", indoor showroom, and specialize in the sale, consignment, and purchase of sports, high performance and specialty vehicles of all types. We have a particular interest in sports cars and unique vehicles.

* The majority of our vehicles come from local, private owners and collectors, and many were sold new in California. We appreciate that rust free cars, with excellent documentation and history are especially attractive to our buyers both locally, and around the country. As a result, we do not purchase our collectible cars from "distressed" sales, such as wholesale auctions, salvage sales, or lien sales. We do not sell vehicles with salvage titles, or those that have a history of significant accident damage or repair.

* Please review our feedback on eBay (user name Never22Many) representing over 930+ positive transactions to buyers all over the United States / World.

* We are fully insured, bonded, and licensed for collector car sales all over the United States/World.

* Classic Cars Ltd. carries a $50,000 Surety bond to cover financial transactions

* We enjoy excellent relationships with a number of transport companies and, as a result, can often times obtain preferred pricing for vehicle shipping. Please give us a call and we will be glad to refer you to suitable transport companies. Needless to say, we would recommend a quality, enclosed transporter that is experience with moving high quality, collectible cars.

* We frequently sell vehicles to out of State / out of country buyers, and will be glad to provide references for buyers in your area.

Thank you,

Classic Cars Ltd.


Body Type / Style:Convertible / Hardtop
Exterior Color:Silver Gray
Interior Color:Black
Transmission:   N/A


"Euro Bumpers"
Blaupunkt AM/FM Radio
California Lic & Reg
Convertible Boot Cover
Convertible Top
Excellent Documentation
Exempt From Smog in California
Factory 4-Speed
Factory Gauges
Factory In-Dash Tachometer
Factory Mercedes Bodywork
Factory Optional Hardtop
Factory Seat Belts
Factory Spare
Fuel Injection
  Functional Horn
Heater / Defroster
Leather Seats
Local California "Survivor"
Matching Numbers Engine
Matching Numbers Transmission
Original Warranty Booklet
Originally Black Plate CA Car
Repair History
Repair Receipts
Runs / Drives Very Well
Seat Belts (Front)

Pleasanton, CA 925-846-1451 Email