The Mercedes-Benz 280 SL is indeed part of a very special lineage, starting with the infamous 300 SL 'Gull-Wing' continuing to cars such as the present day SL 55 AMG. The design of te 280 SL was orginally badged as the 230 SL in 1963. The Mercedes 230 SL was then rebadged as the 250 SL and finally, in 1967, rebadged again as the 280 SL as engine capacity rose once more. The Mercedes 280SL is widely regarded as a beautifully crafted sports tourer, the design of which is timeless. The two-seater (available with an optional, sideways facing, 'jump seat' in the rear) was powered by a 2778cc engine, using 6 cylinders to ensure a smooth driving experience. Although not available as a coupe, Mercedes-Benz did offer the option of a 'pagoda roof' removable hard top. The full choice of roofs was a soft top, a soft top with the removable hard top, or a removable hard top without the soft top underneath. Due to owners of the latter option having to be pretty confident of the weather before they took their cars out with the roof off, this option was less popular at dealers based in northern Europe and the U.K and as such earned the nickname 'the Californian'. Standard equipment on the 280SL was impressive for the time, included were all round disc brakes, tachometer, 3 point safety harnesses, wood trim and a clock. Although most cars built were fitted with 4-speed manual gear boxes, there are a few rare examples to be found that were fitted with 5-speed boxes. Parts and accessories for the Mercedes 280 SL are still quite easy to come by. Due to the prestige nature of the car there are several highly recommended and well established owners clubs and may parts are still available direct from Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz ended production of the 280 SL in 1971.