Dr. A’s 280SL Upholstery & A/C upgrade

Dr. A’s 280SL

Dr. A initially acquired this highly original 1971 Euro spec Mercedes Benz 280SL from Motoring Investments. He was infatuated with the vehicle, and a year later he brought it back to us to add a couple of upgrades he desired. We added factory-style Frigiking air-conditioning. Additionally he wanted to upgrade from his MB-Tex to leather upholstery, and wanted new 280SL accurate multi-loop carpet installed. Finally, as a true Audiophile, he asked us to enhance his audio system as a cherry on top.

The first set of photos shows her original state and progress as we documented the condition and observations about what needed attention.

The 50-year-old MB Tex upholstery was quite nice. She featured aftermarket retractable shoulder belts and a Becker Mexico radio, which made was a year or so later than the car’s model year

The photos were captioned as, “leather,” while actually, the original material here is MB Tex. It is a high quality vinyl and was a base option on W113 Pagodas. MB Tex is nearly indestructible, however, like all of us, it develops a patina over the years. Typically the underlying ‘rubberized pads’ or cushions gave out long before the seat upholstery. Actually, it is unusual to find original MB Tex, this nice on a 50-year-old.

Walkthrough before teardown

Phase 1: Teardown

Carpeting is generally one of the most dramatic transitions on the vehicle. Always a fun progression to capture. In these circumstances, the change was not necessarily the greatest deviation from the original, as Dr. A preferred to retain the color scheme. However, the new carpet has a weave consistent with that of the factory original 280SLs.

The Rebuild Phase

It began with the newly upholstered seats and dashboard. The Air Conditioning unit was added during this process. The speaker system was also improved upon.

The fruits of our labors are always so sweet.

The final product below is a culmination of works on the interior of this car. The vehicle was up to snuff mechanically, meaning little was necessary to cover on the topic, though many of our builds have involved full engine rebuilds at the request of the clients. Interior works are generally a bit more accelerated as projects depending on car needs and supply chain possibilities.

We have included a video walkthrough of the final product below

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