My Mink

One of our favorite restoration projects from over the years.

Why We Love It

Once upon a time in Hollywood, glamor ran the scene. I suppose this is not an idea inconsistent with the current day, but that is beside the point. A man and a woman were very much in love. His eyes for her could not be bigger, she would always be the Rose Queen of the Pasadena Parade of Roses who captured his heart those many years ago. Fast forward some years, for their anniversary she asks for a mink coat.

“A mink coat? In southern California?”

-Mr. X, probably. Circa 1970.

This was beyond logic but certainly understandable. He wanted to get her a ‘wow’ piece that might’ve gotten more use than a fur in constant sunny 70 degree weather. Enter the Mercedes Benz 280SL. It was and still is a beloved car for two. Cherished for generations by families and occupying great garages and collections.

When the original owner stopped driving in the early 2010’s, her family approached us to find the next caretaker for ‘My Mink’. We were eager to be a part of such a unique story, and happy to help write the next chapter.

How My Mink arrived

Exterior – Not Bad!

When it arrived, the condition of the exterior was not in shambles as many can be. Often times rust and the elements can ruin a vehicle, but the climate it existed in, provided by sunny, dry southern California, was perfect for preserving this piece.


Needed Work!

So we began the teardown.

The Engine is removed

50 years of use means a refresher of sorts would be in order.


When the engine is out, this is generally the best time to freshen an undercarriage of a vehicle. In this case, we did want to bring the finishes back to factory quality.

Hard Top fallen on hard times

This was not the cleanest hard top we have ever seen arrive, so we got to work bringing it back to showroom condition. After all – it’s the hard top that makes a Pagoda a Pagoda.

Undercarriage Refresh

Factory-spec undercoat is one of the usually unseen touches that makes all the difference to those in the know. Yes, the factory used a light beige undercoat on the floorboards. Sadly, many times today, one will find ‘rattle-can’ black here, or worse the “run for the hills,” black goo.

Cadmium plated items

Just some shiny bits to break up the monotony. We try to use as many original screws and parts in this process as possible, or direct replicas of originals if the pieces are unsalvageable.

Engine Reconstructed

With the exterior and engine bay repainted, we were quite pleased with the final look, especially with the preservation the original spot welds in the engine bay.

Interior Work

You would think the items most drastically different in their before and after on a vehicle like this one would have been the engine or cad plating. No. This is not the case. The owners decides they wanted to deviate from the blue on blue original scheme for something with a bit more flair. The steering wheel is also a Nardi which was offered in the era but was not Mercedes Benz stock. When you see the end results you can really start to see the vision they wanted to execute.

These images are from 2012 but the Mink recently was dropped off for some routine repairs and tune-ups. The owners clearly care greatly for their investment in the vehicle and have a fondness for it, because the state almost a decade after it was restored is still quite pristine.


A seldom-seen touch that holds more importance than one might think. Who wants to put an overnight luggage for a weekend trip, maybe a nice suit and gown into a dirty and rusted trunk. Rest easy, we excel at the little things – we were even able to preserve the original spare with original paint to match.

The Soft Top

We gave it a new lease on life, preserved the frame but added a new interior and exterior skin.

Exterior Finishing

We loved the full look the way this car came out, because there is no other car on the road that has such a refined sense of uniqueness. The way the paint, which was a custom request, came out to have a cool metallic sky blue look while the red interior pops inside is a thing of beauty.

And as with the interior, we have modern day shots from 2021 to show how well preserved this vehicle has been since the restoration, as well as a walkaround video of all aspects

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