The Details

Mercedes 280SL Pagoda




  • Mileage: 93,320
  • Year: 1971
  • MOT Expiry: January 2019
  • Exterior Colour: White
  • Interior Colour: Red Leather
  • Top speed: 124
  • 0-60mph: 9.0
  • BHP: 168
  • Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 2778cc
  • Engine Configuration: Straight 6

Model History

The Mercedes-Benz W113 was a two-seat roadster produced from 1963 through 1971. It was introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show and replaced both the legendary 300SL (W198) and the 190SL (W121). The model is well known for its distinctive, patented, and slightly concave hardtop, which inspired the "Pagoda" nickname.

All W113 SL models were equipped with a straight-six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The bonnet, bootlid, door skins and tonneau cover were made of aluminum to reduce weight. The comparatively short and wide chassis, combined with an excellent suspension, powerful brakes, and radial tires gave the W113 superb handling for its time. The styling of the front, with its characteristic upright Bosch "fishbowl" headlights and simple chrome grille, dominated by the large three-pointed star, paid homage to the then already legendary 300SL roadster.

The 280SL was introduced in December 1967 and continued in production through 23 February 1971, when the W113 was replaced by its successor, the R107. Over the years, the W113 evolved from a sports car into a comfortable grand tourer, and US models were by then usually equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. Manual transmission models came with the standard 4-speed or the optional ZF 5-speed. Of the 23,885 280 SLs produced, more than half were sold in the US.

The main change was an upgrade to the 2778cc M130. The performance improvement was achieved by increasing bore by 4.5 mm, which stretched the limits of the M180 block, and required pairwise cylinder casts without cooling water passages. This mandated an oil-cooler, which was fitted vertically next to the radiator. Each engine was now bench-tested for two hours prior to being fitted, so their power specification was guaranteed at last.


Folding soft-top, Electric windows, RetroSound Radio, Lockable glove compartment, Boot carpet mat, Spare wheel with cover.


This attractive SL is finished in the timeless colour combination of white with red upholstery. Built for the German market in February 1971 this car was one of the very last Pagodas to be manufactured, with production ending later that month just 233 SLs later. As a European specification model there are no side repeaters or unnecessary over-riders to the bumpers, giving a much cleaner finish than US examples. The bumpers themselves retain an excellent mirror shine and the paintwork also appears fresh throughout, with no wear or blemishes to be found.


The charming SL interior remains in good condition throughout. Commonly worn items such as the steering wheel, dash fascia and wood trim appear in fine fettle with no damage to report. The upholstery and door cards are without any notable wear and the carpets are free from any rips. A matching carpet mat is present in the rear luggage compartment where the spare wheel can also be found, still in its original vinyl cover.


The 2.8-litre straight-six starts without fuss and idles up to temperature smoothly. The car has been mechanically prepared for sale by marque specialist SS Motors, who have just conducted a full service and light re-commissioning. The Pagoda is now in excellent fettle and performs well on test. It is complete with an advisory-free MOT until January 2019.


The 14-inch steels still sport the correct polished hubcaps with body-coloured centres. They each present with a bright finish and no unsightly curb marking to report. The wheels are shod in a matching set of Michelin MXV tyres with almost no wear to speak of. The brake fluid has recently been changed and new front brake pads have also just been fitted.

History File

This late 280SL rolled off the production line in February 1971 making it one of the very last W113 SLs built. Finished in its original colour combination of white with red upholstery this Pagoda presents an excellent opportunity to own a lovely investment-grade Mercedes.

Originally supplied to Germany when new, the car has recently been imported into the UK with all taxes paid. Upon arrival it was sent to Mercedes specialist SS Motors where a full service and light mechanical re-commissioning were carried out to ensure smooth operation. The car is now in excellent fettle and is complete with an advisory-free MOT until January 2019. A Date of Manufacture letter from Mercedes along with a copy of the original data card is present in the history file. The car will be sold UK registered for the new keeper’s peace of mind.

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