While I stated in the Comments to the original post that New Wife only liked a few of the British sports cars available, my husband’s sense of responsibility wouldn’t allow it, simply because I’d soon get sick of phone calls telling me that the MG/Healey/Triumph had broken down again, and what was I going to do about it? Clearly, we would need a more reliable alternative, so the 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL pretty much picks itself.
Like me, New Wife prefers a stick shift, so here we go:
While Mercedes has made many good-looking sports cars over the decades (the 1950s 300 Gullwing and 1960s 190 SL come to mind), I still think that the 230/250/280 SL pagoda-tops were the prettiest of them all, to this day, and it would be a perfect car for her.
I didn’t remember that they came with a stick. I always thought it was a classy car, a friend of my dad’s had one. It never did much for me, but I thought there were few cars with better outward visibility (that had a roof) Nice choice, and I wonder what it would sell for? It may be practically affordable.
Kim. These cars are part of your extensive car collection, remember. They are not daily drivers. You don’t need to worry about them breaking down. All them have been restored to better than new condition. Most of the time they sit in your climate controlled custom built showcase garage being looked after and fussed over by one of your three staff mechanics when they are not working on restoring your latest Barn find. When one of these 50 year old garage queens does break down on your trip to the Ice cream stand, golf club, yacht club or your wife’s art studio you just tell “Red” to come and pick it up with the flat bed and drop off one of your other cars. Besides, you don’t drive them when it’s cold and rainy anyway so that eliminates most of the breakdowns.
…… and your 50 year old Pagoda roof MB is now just as likely to have an issue as one of those British Cars so feel free to indulge.
I have a buddy back in Seffrica whose Mom passed away a while back (I think around 2002). She had been given a 230 SL for a wedding present — her first car, and as it turned out, the ONLY car she ever drove. Never broke down, required only regular maintenance (oil, tires etc), and I think the brakes were replaced in the early 1990s. Her granddaughter (my friend’s daughter) inherited it, and in 2010 she had it repainted, got new tires and a new radiator.
It’s still chugging along.
Back in this car’s day in the spring you’d take your SL to the dealer where they’d perform whatever services or repairs were needed to fix the ravages of winter, thoroughly detail it, and finally they would remove your hard top and check the soft top for proper operation and general condition, and swap your winter tires for your summer tires which they had stored for you. Your winter tires would be stored until needed again in the call and the top would be stored upright on a rolling protective frame.
You’ve got my vote for this one. I’ve always liked the looks of these.
An associate in SoCal had one that needed a new engine, and being the sort of fellow he is, he decided to go full Germanic Hot-Rod by installing a 6.3…….made things very exciting.
Probably doomed his warranty… not to mention his life insurance policy.
+1 on the SL, so far that’s the only car we have in common.
I’ve got a later one, a 94 R129 sl 500 with 25,000 kilometres on it, but I’d swap for that pagoda in an instant
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