Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (1969)
In the late 1960s, nearly
every toy car maker had the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL in their product
line. Mattel included the 280 SL hardtop
version as part of the new European Series in 1969. It was
produced only at their HK factory.
From the late '60s: the 280 SL
from Mattel, Matchbox, Corgi and Faller.
In March of 1963, Mercedes-Benz
introduced the 230 SL
sports car as a direct follow-up to the 190 SL and the 300 SL, which
been in the production line since the mid 1950s. The 230 SL was
succeeded by the 250 SL which appeared in 1967, and finally by the 280
SL which was introduced in 1968. The car sported a 2.8 litre
fuel-injected 6-cylinder engine which produced 170 HP and a top speed
of 125 mph. This
made the little Mercedes very competitive with the sports cars of
Every 280 SL was delivered with a hardtop which
could easily be removed to convert the car to a 2+2 cabriolet. In
1968, a brand new 280 SL sold for 25,000 Deutsche
Marks (about $6,250 US). When production ended in 1971,
about 24,000 280 SLs had rolled off the assembly line. Many have
survived over the years, and the SL is very popular among the lovers of
"young-timers" today. Spare parts for restoration are quite
but relatively easy to find.
Mattel's version of the 280 SL featured an
opening hood over
a detailed 6-cylinder engine. The Mercedes "tri-star" symbol can
be found on front grill, hood
and the rear deck. As
always on HK cars, the windows are blue-tinted.
view of the Mercedes 280 SL showing the 6-cylinder engine.
view of the Mercedes 280 SL.
The 280 SL was issued in various spectraflame colors with white or dark
interior. As with other European Series
cars such as the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and
the Maserati Mistral, the 280 SL can be found with a black-painted roof
although these cars are quite scarce.
A pair of
copper 280 SLs. The car at left features a black roof.
The rectangular tail lights are painted on the
bare metal chassis at the rear of the car. Early-run
280 SLs were produced with bearing-style wheels and orange tail lights;
late-run cars feature cap-style wheels and red tail lights.
showing early (left) and later (right) tail light paint.
A few prototype 280 SLs have been found in
non-production colors (e.g. gold, antifreeze and unpainted ZAMAC).
prototype 280 SL in antifreeze with clear windows.
As with its 1:1 counterpart, 1971 was the final
for the spectraflame version of Mattel's 280 SL. It was
reintroduced in 1973 in enamel colors for a single year.
A nice group of
spectraflame 280 SLs showing the white and dark interiors.
An olive 280 SL
with black roof.
& info credits: Werner Heidecke
|hard to find
|very rare if it exists
Additional photo credits: Tom Bielski, Chris Holt, Roy Nakamura,
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