International Chairman for Motoring
A desirable manual transmission model, this outstanding Mercedes-Benz 280 SL was delivered new in Oudenaarde, Belgium by Garage NOLA. The car remained with its first owner in Oudenaarde until 2005 when it was acquired by the current (Belgian) owner, only its second in over 50 years. Finished in Papyrus White with black interior, this matching numbers car was registered when new on the short Belgian number plate, '03VJ2'. The first owner had little opportunity time to drive the Mercedes, hence its low mileage and excellent condition. It was used for the first owners' wedding and also for that of their children some 30 years later (both photographs on file).
The current owner, a car enthusiast and collector of long standing, was having difficulty finding an original Pagoda and bought this car in 2005 without a moment's hesitation. It was by far the best he had ever seen and was made all the more appealing by its lovely Flemish history and caring single-family ownership. He has since enjoyed it on several trips and international events including the Sternfahrt 2007, 18th International Rally Korsika, ... without any problems of note.
The vendor advises us that the Pagoda is in excellent mechanical condition and an absolute joy to drive, just like it would have been in 1968. Bonhams can confirm that this car is exceptionally original and honest, and in excellent overall condition; indeed, it is probably the most original and unmolested Pagoda we have ever seen. Impeccably maintained, this car is un-restored (the paintwork is largely original) and in wonderful condition with hardly any signs of age. The interior looks 'as new', with original upholstery, original carpets, and all original instruments in working condition (even the glove box light). Panel fit is excellent and the doors close as they would have done when new, which suggests they have never been removed.
The small original screws at the lower end of the door sills are a measure of this Pagoda's originality - we have seen only a couple of examples in our long history that still retain these. Spot welds in the engine compartment, the body number in the bonnet, the original firewall cover, etc are all correct and original, while original factory wax and stickers are still visible in door openings. It is believed that the soft-top is the only significant item that has been renewed.
The car comes with the following:
All original books and tools
Original documentation including the Dinitrol guarantee
Stamped service book
Invoices from new
Two copies of the original Datakart
Original radio and its cover plate
It comes even with the first owner's driving gloves, which he wore while at the wheel of this Mercedes-Benz. Extraordinary and almost impossible to fault, this amazing Pagoda is worthy of the closest inspection.
Please note that Bonhams feel that the car has received an external respray at some point earlier in its life, and while the car appears honest and sound our description is somewhat overstated as to its condition.
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