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1981 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Auto


  • Subject to a bare metal respray a few years ago which was completed to a very high standard
  • Substantial paperwork file and stamped maintenance book, detailing a rich service history
  • Beautifully presented inside, out and underneath

The Appeal

Every classic car has something different to offer, but if we could only have one, an R107 SL covers more bases than most. It’s no wonder that this perennially popular Mercedes-Benz remained in production for so long. It was well styled, brilliantly engineered and it combined the merits of both a roadster and coupé.
This 1981 280 SL is a particularly fine example that’s beautifully presented. It boasts impeccable bodywork, which was bare metal resprayed only a few years ago, and is complete with both its roofs. The interior is very fine also, with all its period-correct upholstery in fantastic order and lavish quantities of highly figured zebrano woodwork on show. Powered by a 2.8-litre straight-six, this is one of the more economical R107 SLs, while still having ample performance to keep up with modern traffic.
Moreover, there’s a substantial history file, demonstrating that this car has been judiciously maintained over the years. It has an MOT valid until October 2023, although exempt, and that distinctive cherished registration is included in the sale.
If you’re seeking a superlative R107 SL, this 280 certainly won’t leave you disappointed. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Right-hand drive UK supplied example
  • V5C present
  • MOT valid until October 2023 with no advisories - although exempt from testing and road tax
  • The odometer indicates 65,315 miles, although we’re informed that the original unit was replaced at 29,574 miles, meaning the true mileage is likely around 95,000
  • Original book pack and service schedule with numerous stamps from 1981 until 2002, with latter services evidenced by invoices saved within the history file
  • Collection of old MOT certificates
  • Numerous invoices from marque specialists and parts suppliers including SL Shop
  • In present ownership since November 2017
  • A great deal of work has evidently been carried out in recent years, with invoices for a large quantity of spares and service items

The Interior

  • Brown MB Tex upholstery with chequered cloth inserts
  • Zebrano woodwork in excellent order
  • All the switchgear and instrumentation presents well and we understand everything to be in good working order
  • Smart brown carpeting with thick pile overmats
  • The door cards are both really smart
  • Minimal wear to the upholstery or controls
  • The seats barely have any indication of use
  • No signs of UV damage to the dashboard or plastics
  • A modern Blaupunkt DIN stereo has been neatly installed 
  • Impeccably presented boot space with matching brown carpet

The Exterior 

  • Subject to a bare metal respray a few years ago
  • Both paint and bodywork are in fabulous cognition
  • Straight, corrosion-free panels and great door fit
  • Presents immensely well underneath
  • The brown fabric folding roof is in excellent condition as it was fitted new by Aldridge trimming in 2018
  • Supplied with its original hard top which was not repainted when the rest of the car was
  • The hard top also has a stand for safe storage when not in use
  • The OEM ‘Mexican Hat’ alloy wheels look wonderful and have no kerb damage or corrosion whatsoever
  • High quality Michelin 195/70 R14 tyres which are in great order
  • New rear valance ordered in 2018 and fitted during the respray
  • The original bumpers were removed, re-chromed and refitted in 2018
  • Several invoices detail acquiring various parts to ensure the bumpers and trims fit correctly and this expenditure has paid dividends

The Mechanics 

  • 2.8-litre M110 straight-six petrol engine
  • Automatic gearbox
  • Presents nicely under the bonnet
  • The vendor informs us that the car drives well, accelerating, steering, changing gear and braking as it should
  • Service kit supplied by SL Shop in 2019
  • Considerable expenditure on brake componentry in recent years


Owing to its superior build quality and the fact owners cherished them, R107 SLs have a very good survival rate and while there are still many around, very few are nearly as smart as this one. What particularly impressed us is the vendor’s attention to detail when refinishing the bodywork and trim. The result is testament to their care and makes this SL a cut above the rest.
Presented in a handsome colour combination, and said to be driving very well, be sure not to miss the chance to make this marvellous Mercedes yours.

This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
The seller is registered as a private seller which means consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not come into effect. However, you are still covered by Car & Classic’s own Terms and Conditions.. 
We request that a non-refundable fee  be paid if you are the lucky winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted Please refer to our helpful FAQs and T&Cs for specific rates. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1981
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SL Class
  • Colour Beige
  • Odometer 95,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2746
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Telford
  • Location Shropshire
  • Country United Kingdom

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