First introduced in 1963 as the 230 SL, the new-generation W113 Mercedes roadster was designed by Paul Braq with the model earning its “Pagoda” nickname thanks to the distinctive concave removeable hardtop that owners could equip for all-weather driving.
The 280 SL represents the last iteration of the of the beloved W113 model, most noticeably enhanced with a larger displacement 2.8-liter version of the inline six-cylinder engine.
The Pagoda had one big advantage over their legendary predecessors: affordability. They were also offering more comfort, luxury, and performance than the modestly powered 190SL.
These cars were icons of the 1960’s and were owned by many notable people including Formula 1 drivers like J.M. Fang and Sterling Moss.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This specific example is finished in a classic Dark Blue exterior color, over a period correct cognac leather interior, neatly matched with beige carpeting.
This beautifully restored 280SL was delivered with the desirable 4-speed manual transmission from the factory, which provides the owner with a sportier driving experience compared to the more common automatic transmission fitted in most of these cars.
The exterior of the Mercedes is very very nice. The color suits the Mercedes extremely well.
The chrome is very nice and only the chrome near the front windows on the left and right side show some patina.
A thought over decision because it was nice to keep some patina on the car. Otherwise the car should be almost a new car on a classic chassis number.
The windows are all in a very nice order.
The interior is appropriately trimmed in an extremely beautiful Cognac leather.
The interior has been restored at a very high level and completely period correct and features a VDO Kienzle dash clock and a Becker Europa radio.
All meters and gauges are in perfect working order and also the radio is in a working order as it should be in a Mercedes.
The engine bay of the Mercedes needs an extra not as the engine bay is extremely nice and completely period correct.
It almost seems as the car left the factory yesterday.
Driving a 280SL gives the feeling to drive a modern car. The styling inside looks to be very classic but the drivability of this car feels very modern.
That transmission, or at least the one in this example, mates well with the character of the car. It’s miraculously smooth. It reminded us of the gearbox in a Rolls-Royce, so unobtrusive and smooth.
There are no strange noises like cracks or beeps which we hear very often in Italian and English cars.
The Pagoda steers as if engineers removed everything excessive from an S-Class and left in all of the over-engineering. It turns out a stiff structure, backed up with quality parts screwed together with lavish attention to detail, results in an excellent driving experience.
All the qualities that made the Pagoda SLs so desirable in their heyday remain today – chic styling, Teutonic build quality and wonderfully spirited driving. The 280SL has never gone out of fashion but interest – and values – have never been stronger than today.
If one is looking for the perfect all-around car for rallies, shows and Sunday cruising, this might be the car. With an exquisite restoration and all the right accessories and specifications in place, this 280SL is among the most desirable examples we have been entrusted with.