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Mercedes 280 SL
Personal luxury convertibles came into their own with the advent of the 1968-1971 Mercedes 280 SL.
The pagoda nickname was given to 280 SL models due to the atypical hardtop shape. Labeled the W113, 280 SL cars were introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. A new decade meant a new design for Mercedes and the 280 SL.
While driving the 280 SL is the main attraction in owning this collectible, the car can also be viewed as a worthy investment.
Here’s the reason:
280 SL Technological Advances
When the 280 SL debuted, it was a technological advancement over other vehicles of its time. Fuel-injection, overhead camshaft, a straight-six engine with 2778 cc that produced 170 horsepower were a few of the technological elements that made the 280 SL a special car.
Disc brakes on all four of the 280 SL wheels were a rarity for the time as Mercedes wanted the car to stop as well as it accelerated. The majority of American-marketed SL cars contained smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission. Four and five-speed manual transmissions were also available.
0-60 mph could be reached in 8.6 seconds. Air conditioning was offered as a desirable option for those living in sunnier climates.
280 SL is a solid cruising car. Unibody construction on the 280 SL contained front and rear deformation zones, which was a first for sports cars of the time.
Part of what makes the 280 SL a design masterpiece is the perfect balance between achieving a light, airy feel while still having a solid structure. Construction of the hardtop allows some protection in the event of a rollover scenario.
It’s no surprise that 280 SL values have risen in recent years. While the 280 SL siblings have achieved a rise in popularity as well, what makes the 280 SL pop on the market is the advanced technology and enhanced performance. In today’s age, the 280 SL stands as a vehicle that’s gorgeous, usable, and has enough modern additions to make the car drivable.
Driving dynamics present in the 280 SL are refined and comfortable. Classic bucket seats present in the 280 SL make placing one arm up while cruising an appealing invitation. A glance at the 280 SL reveals an exceptional build by itself.
280 SL Demanded Control
First created as a sports coupe/convertible, increased demand within the US market morphed the car into a touring vehicle with sporty intentions. Automatic transmission and air conditioning are a couple of key elements that helped the 280 SL slide into the American market in style.
While the automatic transmission version with cabin cooling dominated the US market, collectors nowadays fight for the ZF 5-speed manual transmission version to achieve a more coveted state.
The 280 SL is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful convertibles of the late 1960s and early 1970s. SL models prove to be a continued hit with car collectors, both young and old. Compared to the Mercedes 300SL, the 280 SL is a more attainable option that doesn’t sacrifice looks or performance.
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