John Travolta’s Stolen Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Gets Recovered in Pieces

The 1960s undoubtedly gave us some of the prettiest cars ever made, including the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL. Famous actor John Travolta was so fond of this Mercedes-Benz model that he decided to purchase one.

However, as the actor browsed a local Jaguar dealership for around 10 minutes, Motor Authority report that the classic car vanished. Additionally, some of the details of this story allude to the idea that the theft was carried out by professionals closely following Travolta.

How did John Travolta’s Mercedes-Benz 280 SL get stolen?

An image of a Mercedes-Benz 230 SL driving down the road.
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL | NetCarShow

This stolen Mercedes-Benz 280 SL story begins in 2011 as actor John Travolta decided to visit a local Jaguar dealership. Motor Authority report that the whole incident took place in less than 10 minutes. As Travolta realized that thieves had stolen his classic car, he reportedly returned to the dealership looking for witnesses. Unfortunately, no one saw the incident
take place.

Since these thieves managed to steal the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL in around 10 minutes, Motor Authority reports that the culprits likely had plenty of experience. As a result, the thieves responsible were likely following Travolta around, waiting for him to leave his car alone for a few minutes. Additionally, Motor Authority adds that the thieves likely used a flat-bed tow truck to load up the car without attracting too much attention.

One of the best points Motor Authority brings up is that no one would give a tow truck a second look. As a result, the thieves were almost invisible to the public.

This classic car caught the attention of seasoned car thieves

An image of a Mercedes-Benz 230 SL driving down the road.
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL | NetCarShow

The Mercedes-Benz 280 SL is far from the rarest or most expensive car to come out of the 1960s. According to Hagerty, however, one of these cars in good condition can fetch up to $72,300. Additionally, the classic Mercedes-Benz can be profitable as a parts car.

Thanks to MotorTrend, we know that the thieves in question were, in fact, professionals. Not long after the initial Mercedes-Benz 280 SL theft in 2011, police managed to arrest the two men responsible. However, these arrests revealed a massive car theft ring that specifically targeted classic and muscle cars.

According to MotorTrend, video surveillance footage of the two thieves driving the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL around led police to a chop shop. However, since Travolta’s classic car had already spent some considerable time in the shop, it was in pieces. Regardless, local police managed to recover what was there.

The Mercedes-Benz eventually ended up in pieces

An image of a Mercedes-Benz 230 SL parked outdoors.
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL | NetCarShow

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While police we able to recover John Travolta’s stolen Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, the result is far from ideal. According to Reuters, the actor did not receive his car in one piece. Instead, Travolta received boxes full of parts, leaving his classic car effectively in pieces.

Reuters reported that police didn’t manage to find all of the car’s parts to add salt to the wound. As a result, Travolta’s pristine Mercedes-Benz 280 SL was now in a state of serious disrepair.

It’s been almost a decade since this now infamous classic car got stolen in broad daylight. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard any updates from Travolta or anyone around him. As a result, chances are this Mercedes-Benz never went back together and was likely sold off or scrapped.