Author Topic: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere  (Read 414 times)

MikeSimon

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Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« on: June 16, 2022, 18:52:31 »
Real nice 280SL in Woodmere, Ohio. Talked to the owner at breakfast.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

Jonny B

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2022, 19:32:23 »
Looks pretty nice. Converted from US so had to have some new paint, the interior is in excellent condition. Has he/she had it long?
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904

Cees Klumper

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2022, 20:27:02 »
Just out of curiosity, when an American based buyer, back in the day, would have taken European delivery and then shipped the car back stateside, would they have had to convert it to US spec? I presume so, but was just wondering whether it is possible Euro spec cars might have made their way across the pond without those modifications.

(this was a tough sentence for me to construct BTW)
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic cream white
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa "Luigi"
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

lreppond

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2022, 21:01:46 »
This is a nice one, indeed.  The interior looks to have been extremely well maintained and original!  Carpets, seats, dash and door cards all look solid.  The engine bay is extremely clean.  Even though some modifications were made (headlights changed side markers and bumper over riders removed) other parts point to US market car: matte finished horn ring, black rear view mirror and map pockets and arm rests.  The overall look is extremely nice and really looks stock. 

Really love the color combo and seeing such a well cared car is always a pleasure.  Thanks for sharing this with us!
~Len

1971 280 SL
576G red/141 Beige
4 speed manual
GP stereo
Family owned since new (father —> son)

MikeSimon

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2022, 21:10:17 »
It is a U.S. sped car, originally. Ground-up, body-off restoration with a lot of attention to detail. If I would look for a perfect car and have 250k, I would buy it.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

mbpaul

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2022, 21:12:01 »
I bought a couple of Mercedes that were delivered at the factory in Stuttgart.  They were ordered through a USA dealer and the cars came equipped as needed for the USA.  No conversion necessary when they arrived here.  After driving around in Europe for a few weeks, we returned them to Mercedes and all shipping to the USA was handled by Mercedes.  I picked one up in Houston and the other one in Long Beach.  Only problem was the Long Beach one.  A few miles from where I picked the car up in Long Beach, a semi scraped the side of the new car.  Still driveable but not what you want on a new car.

Neither of these cars was our 230SL.  The 230SL is what started us buying Mercedes.

If you got a car from a European dealer at that time, there were probably conversions that had to be made.  I think the two biggest areas were headlights and emmission controls. 

MikeSimon

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2022, 21:17:22 »
Just out of curiosity, when an American based buyer, back in the day, would have taken European delivery and then shipped the car back stateside, would they have had to convert it to US spec? I presume so, but was just wondering whether it is possible Euro spec cars might have made their way across the pond without those modifications.
 

Cees, if an American based buyer would have bought a car through European delivery program, he would have received a U.S. spec car. If it wasn't the official European delivery and he would have just bought a European spec car in Europe, it had to be changed to U.S. spec. back in the day, that was almost impossible. I brought my German spec car with me in 1988 and tried to title it here and was not able to. The car was not 25yrs old and had to meet both DOT and EPA regulations. It was never "federalized". One issue was, the authorities, like DoT requested a confirmation from the manufacturer that the vehicle was identical to the one that received "type approval" in the U.S. Mercedes would not do this. I know, there were companies back then who used certain loopholes and State regulations to get that done, but ome of it was borderline illegal and pricey. My car was never changed. Now that it is older than 25 years, a different story.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2022, 21:48:49 »
Cees, let me see if this answers your question.  If not we can have another round.

Back in the day (1968), I, an American buyer living in Italy, ordered through a USA dealer a new pagoda for delivery at the factory.  Delivery took place in February 1969.  The intent was to eventually bring the car back to the USA.  Accordingly, the order included US specifications.   I don’t know if the USA dealer would have or could have accepted an order for a car without US specifications even if my intent had been to keep it in Europe.

In the early 1970s it became apparent that one could purchase a Mercedes Benz in Europe, often slightly used, and ship it to the US cheaper than buying new through a US dealer.  Many people did this. In theory the car had to be converted to US specifications.  I think the required conversion only applied to safety features, lights, emission equipment, structural items, etc. These vehicles became known as “Grey Market Cars”.  It became a big enough problem for Mercedes-Benz North America that they refused to service these vehicles.  This prompted a new non-vendor service industry for high-end European cars.

Who knows how many Pagodas were imported this way. And if some were imported, what modifications were actually required.  Some may have slipped through partially modified.  The intent of US import rules in those days was that imported vehicle meet the US specifications for the year of manufacture.



Ralph

1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
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MikeSimon

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2022, 22:42:10 »
A key cut-off was 1967. New EPA regulations and DoT rules introduced made cars manufactured after that year almost impossible to legalize in the U.S. I remember when I looked into this for my car, side-impact was an issue. U.S. spec cars had beams welded/installed in the doors. The EPA became a little more cooperative and introduced a thing called "prior approval". It allowed a U.S. resident to bring in a car once in their lifetime that would not meet standard EPA regulations. This was mainly intended to accommodate U.S. servicemen to bring a car they bought in Europe with them back to the U.S. I was able to get that for my car. But I never followed through due to the obstacles on the DoT side.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

Cees Klumper

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2022, 23:00:01 »
Wow! A wealth of information on this subject, many thanks for that.
I have read many times that servicemen stationed overseas would bring back their Europe-bought cars. The 'once in a liftetime exemption' sounds interesting - as in, possible that at least some Pagodas came to the US that way prior to rules having been changed, such as the 25 year plus regime. I do recall now, when I was living in Florida in the eighties, the 'grey market import' phenomenon. Interesting stuff.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic cream white
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa "Luigi"
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

Shvegel

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2022, 17:52:43 »
I imported some European Porsche’s back in the 80’s.  At that time you had to install an MPH speedometer, marker lights, US headlights and bolt in Door beams.  Porsche was kind enough to offer it all as a kit. 

I mention this from time to time but if you see a really low mile European car in the US with an MPH speedometer there should be a sticker on the door jamb stating the kilometers the car traveled before the speedometer swap.  Strangely, many of these high quality stickers seem to have, “fallen” off over the years.

mdsalemi

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2022, 18:37:55 »
What’s so interesting about all of this is all of these safety and emissions rules and regulations that kept many interesting cars out of the USA 🇺🇸 in the 1960s and beyond are now widely adopted in Europe.

I cannot imagine BMW or Mercedes’ today making cars without side impact strength, front end crumple zones etc. European standards have caught up with the USA. For sure there’s differences but European cars in Europe are safe, and there are stringent emissions standards.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
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Cees Klumper

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2022, 20:14:40 »
What’s so interesting about all of this is all of these safety and emissions rules and regulations that kept many interesting cars out of the USA 🇺🇸 in the 1960s and beyond are now widely adopted in Europe.
I cannot imagine BMW or Mercedes’ today making cars without side impact strength, front end crumple zones etc. European standards have caught up with the USA. For sure there’s differences but European cars in Europe are safe, and there are stringent emissions standards.

I always considered some of the requirements, like sealed beam headlights, 5 MPH bumpers and side marker lights to be over the top and suspected they were also there to raise the barrier for imports and protect US car manufacturers. But I am glad the US, California out front, imposed strong emissions requirements. Even VW has had to abide, after being found out a few years ago by a small California non-profit.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic cream white
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa "Luigi"
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

Shvegel

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2022, 07:58:16 »
Cees,
 I can speak to the issue of the sealed beam headlamps.  In the very distant past headlamp reflectors were plated with silver.  one needed to polish the reflectors of the headlamps in order for the light output of the headlamps to stay within a safe level.  In 1939 the US mandated that all headlamps on new cars must be of the new sealed beam style which required no maintenance.  We latched onto that regulation regardless of innovations in coatings etc until the government finally relented due to pressure from the car manufacturers who wanted to use composite headlamps in the interest of better aerodynamics.

Shvegel

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2022, 08:17:04 »
The car in the photos is actually mine.  You are correct it is a US spec car converted to Euro spec headlamps etc.  When I started the restoration in 2006 The cars didn't have the value they do now and I just thought the Euro look was much cleaner.  At that time the European headlamps from Bosch were $450 USD and the Bosch headlight doors for the US cars were $250 each.  I wish I had bought both.  There are a few other small deviations from "As delivered".  The yet to be completed AC has some more modern components, The seats are leather as opposed to original MB-Tex (easy to remedy and I wanted to sit on leather) and the rear axle gears have been swapped to 3.27 while retaining the original as delivered housing.

Mike Simon,
I wish you were looking for a car too.  Your valuation was quite generous.  It will most likely be for sale soon as I am a serial restorer with a small work area and it's time to move on to an air cooled 911 of some sort. 

LakisAkylas

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2022, 11:34:09 »
This is a very competently restored car, congratulations! I don’t know if it would sell for $250K but, judging from some recent BAT sales, it might. My only ‘complaint’ is the wrinkles  that seem to be present on the firewall pad; it happened to me, too, and had to replace the firewall pad twice to get it right :)

Lakis

AdelaidePagoda

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Re: Real Nice 280SL in Woodmere
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2022, 12:03:37 »
Love the stories in this thread on cars moving from Europe to the US. I am by no means an expert on this topic although I have a car that has completed that journey, purchased and delivered to Italy in metric (KM) with Euro headlights and Italian side markers. It comes with full provenance, so here goes.
Purchased in 1983 by a Napoli stationed US NATO Airforce pilot, Lt. Col Joseph Windenger. He then had it shipped unchanged to Florida in 1988 from Germany where by this time, he was based. He drove it (sparingly) for many years in Florida without any US mandated changes before selling it to an ex-pat Australian in 1996. Soon after it was then shipped to Australia and still has its original metric speedometer, round Italian indicator side markers and without any US bumpers or engine modifications.
Not certain on how he managed to keep it stock in the US, maybe Florida had less restrictions, or his Serviceman status provide exemptions.
Regardless, delighted it retains most of it it’s originality.
Dave Cleghorn
1964 230SL 4SPD Power Steering
050 050 Black Soft top, Red Leather interior
Italian delivered/ Germany/ Florida/ Boston/ Sydney/ Adelaide (5th owner)

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