Lot details Registration No: B88 CPU Chassis No: 1070422A023596 Mot Expiry: 29 Feb 2012
Mercedes have been producing an SL (Sport Leicht) model or range of models since 1954 when the landmark 300SL was unveiled. The similarly styled, but mechanically unrelated, 190 followed in 1955, completing the first generation of cars. The second generation SLs began with the 230 of 1963. It was distinguished by its lower waistline, big curved screens and a distinctive optional hardtop that earned the model its nickname of 'pagoda top'. Over its nine years of production, the second generation SL engine grew in capacity from 2.3-litres (230SL) to 2.5-litres (250SL) and finally to 2.8-litres (280SL). The larger, third generation SL was launched in 1971, initially with just a 3.5-litre engine (350SL) mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The car featured a two-door monocoque bodyshell with independent suspension all round - double wishbone, coil springs and anti-roll bar at the front and semi-trailing arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar at the rear. The power assisted steering was Daimler-Benz's own recirculating ball system. Braking was by discs all round - ventilated on the front. The range grew to two models when the 4.5-litre (450SL) derivative arrived the following year and to three when the 2.8-litre (280SL) appeared in mainland Europe in 1974. The latter became available in the UK from October 1980 and remained in production until 1985, when it was replaced by the 300SL.
This righthand drive 280SL has been hibernating since it was purchased by the vendor in London in May 2003. Apparently it was driven straight to Ireland and garaged, and only recently awoken from its slumbers in order to make the return journey - the odometer now reads an unwarranted 68,000 miles. A 1985 example, it is finished in Gold complemented by a Beige interior and is equipped with automatic transmission. Evidently the vendor regards the six-cylinder engine as 'very good' and the bodywork, paintwork, interior trim and gearbox as 'good'. The Big Benz comes complete with stainless steel exhaust system and is MOT'd until the end of February. These almost unburstable German classics will run and run if properly maintained, and this one is now seeking a touch more excitement than it's experienced in recent times.