As part of the extensive restoration completed in 2016, the car was repainted in its original color of Beige (181). As seen in the gallery, the condition looks tremendous with a nice gloss, which is reflected in the appraisal documents.
All exterior restoration work was performed to align with the original build sheet aside from the soft top color (details below). As well, all parts – sheet metal included – were replaced with new original stock (NOS) unless they were no longer available.
The panel joints were finished using the tin–pick and file method – as it was performed originally. Additionally, the car features galvanized floor panels, including the trunk floor and rear cross member, along with an application of cavity sealing all around before reassembly.
Other restoration work includes new quarter panels, rocker panels, inner and outer wheelhouses, firewall, inner and outer connector plates, all floor pans, and trailing arm supports.
The dark brown soft top shows a tight fit with a clear rear window and resides under a body-color tonneau cover when lowered. The condition of the lowering mechanisms and bay for the top is highlighted in the gallery.
When the current owner purchased the car from the original owner’s family some 20 years ago, it came with a brown soft top, which he then replaced with a matching-colored piece.
It was not until the data card from Mercedes was later received that he noted the vehicle was originally ordered with a “seldom wished” parchment-color soft top.
This is assumed by the owner to be an honest mistake by the previous owners as the soft top matches the carpeting and seat belts, both of which are factory correct.
The original body-color “Pagoda” hardtop is also included with the sale and shown installed in the gallery. Aside from some scraping on the chrome trim, it shows very well. Both headlights are new units with fresh chrome rings, while the original tail lamps are retained.
Original stock bumpers have been re-chromed on both ends and look to be in excellent condition as do the chromed finishes on the front grille, windshield surround, driver-side mirror, door handles, rear trim pieces, and gas cap.
Other highlights include polished twin-tip exhaust outlets and original polished wheel covers with body-color centers mounted on 14” steel wheels. They look to be in very good condition and are mounted in Maxtour rubber sized 195/75 all around.
As part of the restoration, an undercoating was applied, which can be seen in the gallery. These photos also carefully depict a solid frame. Per the owner, there is no rust present.
Like the outside, the cabin of this 1969 280SL has been restored according to the specs on the original build sheet apart from the steering wheel and shift knob. Overall, it looks to be in pristine shape.
By choice, the white steering wheel and beige shift knob were installed during the restoration. They are NOS and the original black steering wheel will be included in the sale.
Featuring a chrome horn ring, the steering wheel frames original VDO instrumentation including a 7,000-rpm tachometer and a combination gauge for fuel level, oil pressure, and coolant temperature. The 140-mph speedometer has an inset odometer reading of 1,747 miles though true mileage is unknown.
The beige leather on both front seats and the factory-optional rear jump seat is new as are the cushions and backs on the fronts. They were replaced with period-correct pieces.
Overall seat condition looks very good with minor wrinkling noted on the driver-side. The brown seatbelts were restored with new data card-correct fabric and the original hardware.
The rest of the interior leather remains original and was refurbished during the restoration. The same is true of the beige interior panels and dash pieces – including wood trim – that bear factory number markings aligned with the build sheet.
New items include the gorgeous dark brown carpeting and floor mats and heater controls. As seen in the gallery video, these controls illuminate properly as does the glove box. It also shows the original Becker Grand Prix stereo in action.
Door panels, with window cranks and map pockets, both look to be in very good shape as do the door frames, sills, and jambs. The original chassis tag can be seen on the driver-side door jamb.
Other cabin highlights include original switchgear, an analog dash clock, a cream-colored perforated hardtop headliner, and a wood center storage bin. Trunk condition is highlighted in the gallery and includes a rubber mat and covered spare.
Up front, the original 2.8L M130 straight-six is fitted with a host of new parts including fuel injectors, Bosch ignition cables, valves and stem seals, engine mounts, accelerator linkage, and fan clutch. The radiator has been rebuilt, new Bilstein shocks have been installed along with new brake rotors and hoses for the power disc braking system.
It pairs with a fully rebuilt four-speed automatic transmission that spins the rear wheels. Shortly after purchasing the car 20 years ago, the owner had this rebuilt transmission installed as the original unit was exhibiting rough shifting between second and third gear at normal engine speeds. There was no other noise or grinding experienced at the time.
Since then, the original transmission has been gone over by a mechanic who confirmed there are no internal issues in need of repair and suggested the delayed upshift is due to the adjustment of the solenoid and linkage. This original unit will accompany the sale of the car.
The only known issue is a minor leak on the aftermarket main seal. The owner has a NOS replacement piece on hand but has not yet installed it. Additionally, the speedometer was not working when the current owner purchased the car, so the true mileage is unknown.
Two Family Owned
Located in Kelowna, British Columbia, this 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL was built on August 26th, 1969, and originally sold in California. Along the way, the sister of the original owner inherited the car and imported it to Canada where it remained her personal car for the rest of her life.
The current owner purchased this Pagoda from her children when they settled her estate more than 20 years ago. He drove the car for 2 to 3 years before placing it into storage until commissioning an impressive restoration that was completed in 2016.
He has added only 150 miles since the restoration was finished and approximately 6,200 miles (10,000 km) over his 20-plus years of ownership. As the speedometer was non-operational upon purchase, the true mileage is unknown.
Exhibiting all the hallmarks of a no-compromise approach to restoration, this numbers-matching 1969 280SL is remarkable. The attached appraisal documents, completed at 1,695 miles, confirm the stunning condition of this all-time Pagoda.
Please note, due to the seller’s schedule, this car will not be available for pick up prior to November 28th.