280 SL


If your coulda, woulda, shoulda stories stretch as long as mine, it’s time we starting taking car buying a little more seriously.

So if you’ve kicked yourself for not purchasing a (insert your own dismal tale here), it’s my civic duty to keep your future use of Kleenex to colds and not to wistful memories of what could have been.

As Ferrari SWB’s drag up Ferrari PF Coupes, so do Gullwing Benz’s boost their lesser brethren, including my pick of the month, the Mercedes 280 SL (S =Sport and L=Leicht or light)
Sometimes called “Pagoda” cars do to the shape of the optional hardtop roof, it’s not a sports car (no matter the S designation), but a sporting car, and a beautiful one at that.

Considered over a few beers with my good friend Martin Hancock (who owned one), research confirmed that the MB 280 SL is a wonderful vehicle that is both attractive and fun to drive. Add a large measure of potential “upside”, and you should be taking notes.


Just yesterday these things were $20K. Now a good driver is $50, 000 and a great one is north of $80,000.  Once a major auction house sells one for over that magic $100K number, it’s off to the races.

• 180 hp inline 6 cylinder engine
• 4 speed automatic or 4 speed manual shift
• top speed is about 130 MPH).)
• 0 to 60 mph in about 9.5 seconds

• Of the nearly 24,000 280 SL’s produced from 1967 to 1971 nearly half came to the USA…. which translates into easy to find.
• Parts, though not cheap, are still available from Mercedes
Very strong club following


Mercedes Benz Classic Car Center (www.mercedes-benz-classic.com) for questions about older cars, with specs on VIN’s, colors, engine and trans. Here is where you’ll find the original Data Card on every car ever made.  
The pick of the litter is going to be the last cars with the most factory options in the very best condition, but you already know that.

Like every other classic car you consider, do your homework and make sure to talk with club members, especially current or former owners.
If you or someone you know are thinking open air, pedigree, and strong appeal, consider the MB 280 SL.

Pass this post on to them, or have them drop me a line and I will put them in touch with those in the know.

Thank me later.

See you on down the road,


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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to DriveWithDave.com, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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