56,112 Original Miles


Automatic Transmission
2.8L Inline 6
162 hp @ 5750 RPM*
177 lb/ft torque @ 4500 RPM*
Capable 0-60 MPH: 9.9 seconds
Top Speed: 121 mph
*Base Price in 1969: $7,224


*Seller Asking:


Fast Facts:
  • The W113 generation SL was produced from 1963 to 1971
  • The underside of the hardtop is reinforced from the factory by two thick pillars (one on each side). This reduced available headroom but was a necessary modification according to Mercedes safety engineers. Not happy with the compromise, Mercedes came up with a clever method of restoring the lost headroom without raising the whole roof (which would look aesthetically unappealing) – they only raised the portion of the roof that sat directly above the driver and passenger’s heads. This made the center of the roof appear as if it were caved in, unintentionally resulting in a beautiful yet functional design that was dubbed the “Pagoda”
  • The most expensive option available on these cars was a Becker/TeKaDe in-car telephone, which initially cost buyers DM 7,400 (this was more than a third of the price of the car, which was DM 23,255). Towards the end of the production run, the price would rise to DM 9,935 – almost 40% of the SL’s DM 26,640 purchase price
  • The 280 SL’s M130 engine was a bored-out version of the company’s long running M180 motor. The increased bore stretched the limits of the block so much that the water passages between 2 pairs of cylinders had to be removed. To make up for the reduced cooling, an oil cooler was added (installed next to the radiator)
  • The M130 was a well-engineered, durable engine that featured a fully balanced forged steel crankshaft, forged connecting rods, seven main bearings, and lightweight Mahle pistons. To prolong and maximize engine life, each M130 engine was dyno tested for over two hours at the factory before it was installed in an SL
  • Mercedes sold the SL in America with a much steeper rear axle ratio (4.08:1) than in Europe (3.69:1). This was due to the lower speed limits in the U.S. (a 3.69 ratio was much more suitable for autobahn cruising, while the 4.08 produced the quicker acceleration numbers that Americans favored). The ratio was reduced to 3.92:1 on U.S. cars after July 1969 to improve fuel economy
  • An issue that plagued earlier W113 SL’s (the 230 and 250 SL) were the factory 2,000 mile service intervals(!). This was up to three times more frequent than what was common for the American consumer (even in the premium category). The frequent service consisted of greasing and lubing the suspension and steering system components
  • What annoyed buyers more was the scarce availability of service facilities. In 1965, Mercedes only had about 230 dealerships across the U.S. (Lincoln, in comparison, had twice as many). This meant dealer visits consisted of long drives for many owners
  • As a solution (for the 280SL), Mercedes converted 21 of the steering and suspension components from serviceable units to sealed parts. This increased the service interval to 6,000 miles
  • The part swap involved things such as replacing bushings with rubber joints, which changed the overall handling and ride quality from “spirited” sports car to “comfort” grand touring (with less NVH). While this disappointed a few spirited drivers, the change arguably suited the average SL buyer, who use this car for cruising down the boulevard
Key Model Year Changes:
  • Several changes occurred throughout the 1969 model year:
  • Oct. 1968: Detachable headrests appeared for safety reasons, and could be ordered in vinyl, fabric, MB-tex, or leather
  • Feb. 1969: Revised tail lights with amber turn signals
  • March 1969: First appearance of the rear fog light
  • April 1969: The Becker/TeKaDe in-car telephone option becomes available as the most expensive option ever for the W113 SL
  • July 1969: Rear axle ratio switches from 4.08 to 3.92:1 Revised headlights (the bottom half is now amber) as well as illuminated side indicators. New transistorized ignition (replacing the old breaker points). New/updated emissions equipment
  • Aug 1969: A single key replaces 3 separate keys. Cars built before this date required 3(!) keys to operate the car: one for ignition, a 2nd for the doors/fuel filler, and a 3rd for the glove box and trunk. Also, a heated rear window is available for the hardtop – this feature adds a switch to the center parcel tray to control the heating function. All models now feature the hazard lights as standard (via a hazard warning pull-switch on the dash)
  • The rare ZF 5 speed manual was removed entirely from the options list for U.S cars in May 1969. The 5spd was rarely chosen in previous years (it was expensive) and Mercedes couldn’t justify continuing this option when the new taller gearing was sufficient enough at reducing highway RPM over the older 4.08 axle cars
  • The iconic Fuchs forged aluminum wheels (“Bundt” wheels) don’t become a factory option until Aug 1970. These wheels were available only as a dealer-installed option prior to this point


Seller Notes:
  • 56k original miles
  • One owner, owned since she was 16
  • Bought new in 1969 here in Charlotte, NC
  • Unrestored except for 1 repaint 10 yrs ago by the Mercedes dealer
  • Original interior
  • Documented
  • Matching numbers
  • Data plate, books and records
  • Factory Air Conditioning!
  • Runs and drives
  • Both tops included

    • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina – (more photos below)
    • Update: the craigslist ad has expired

    – Click for shipping quote –


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1969 mercedes benz 280sl 280 sl pagoda for sale classifieds 2

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1969 mercedes benz 280sl 280 sl pagoda for sale classifieds 6

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To list your own car, contact us HERE.
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.

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