1968 Mercedes Benz 280 SL Pagoda

Trade Classics > Auctions > Mercedes > 1968 Mercedes Benz 280 SL Pagoda


*** UPDATE: This car has now been sold for £55,000 all inclusive ***

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The Mercedes-Benz W113 is a two-seat roadster / coupé that introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, and produced from 1963 through 1971. It replaced both the legendary 300 SL (W198) and the 190 SL (W121 BII).

The W113 SL was developed under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz Technical Director Fritz Nallinger, Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Head of Styling Friedrich Geiger. The lead designers were Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi, who created its distinctive and slightly concave hardtop, which inspired the ‘Pagoda’ nickname.

Three key models and engines were offered during the production run, i.e. 230, 250 and the more desirable 280. All models were equipped with a straight six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The bonnet, boot lid, door skins were made of aluminium 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 in the nose panel, paid homage to the then already legendary 300 SL roadster.

The final version of the Pagoda roadster was powered by an uprated straight-six, bored out to 2.8 litres. Even with the restrictions caused by new emission controls it offered more power and torque this time, though some of the benefits were lost due to the weight the car had gained. The suspension was also returned in favour of ride comfort, meaning the 280SL didn’t have quite the same handling capability as previous SLs. Despite this, still judged as an all-time great classic and the ‘one to have’ out of the W113 range that is perfect for both driving enjoyment and importantly investment potential.



This lovely Pagoda is owned by Arun. Arun is very much a car guy, and is lucky to own a collection of cars that he’s built up over time, picking cars that he has a passion for.

Along with admiring the cars for their looks, he’s also pretty handy with working on them, and enjoys tinkering when time permits and he feels he can do the job. If the job is too big then he lets the garage take care of work.

Being a car guy, he’s now set his sights on a new car he’d like to buy, and so the Pagoda will be leaving the stable to make room for a new car.



Finished in the Mercedes Benz colour of Anthracite Grey, the car has a lot of class about it just standing still. It has undergone a restoration when in Canada before Arun acquired the car.

Wheels & Tyres
The car is sitting on chrome hub-capped wheels, and classic tyres with a thin red stripe to match the interior colour on the car. We didn’t observe any defects in the wheels, take a look at the video review for details.

With the car having undergone a body restoration in 2011, and having been dry stored since, the bodywork was in great condition. There was no rust observed, and panel gaps and shut lines all looked correct. Take a look at the video review to see for yourself.

The Mercedes colour of Anthracite Grey really sets the car off. Typically you see white, red and silver on these, this grey almost looks a modern colour, and it must have done when the car rolled fresh off the factory line. The paint looks to be in good condition, even in quality and consistency across the car. There were a couple of imperfections in the lacquer observed across the car that have been pointed out in the video review. These were on the rear near-side wing, and in a couple of spots on the edge of the bonnet.

Glass and Trim
All the glass and trim across the car was in good condition. The car has had a new convertible roof fitted in recent times, as can be seen in the photos from Canada. We didn’t take the hard top off the car, but Arun assures us that it all works as it should do.



Finished in red [correction 27.01.2019] leather MB Tex with matching carpets, the interior has been sympathetically restored in some areas over time, and shows sign of patina correct for the age of the car.

Seats and Carpets
The red [correction 27.01.2019] leather MB Tex seats and carpets suit the colour combination of the car, and are very much of the time. Looking through the paperwork, it has had new carpets fitted in the last 10 years. The [correction 27.01.2019] leather MB Tex is showing some discolouration that would be expected coming from a sunny climate. The seats look in good condition otherwise, take a look at the video review for full details.

Covered in matching red [correction 27.01.2019] leather MB Tex, the dashboard is in good condition with age related patina on the [correction 27.01.2019] leather MB Tex. The dials and chrome across the dash all look good. There is a wooden strip that runs along the top of the dash up to the windscreen, this also has age related wear and would benefit from being refit. Take a look at the video review.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The steering wheel looks to be period correct, but given its condition it was likely replaced at some point. The gear stick and housing look in line with the rest of the car. Take a look at the photos and videos to review condition.



As it was a wet day in Monmouthshire, and Arun keeps his cars from any moisture, we didnt go on our usual run but a small test to see the cars running.

Engine and Gearbox
The car started from cold first time, having not been used for some time. We drove the car out of the garage and back in again as a simple test to ensure it was running ok.

Suspension and Brakes
The springy suspension handled the gravel/stone laden road without issue.

The Drive
Hard to judge on this little test run, but it felt like a Pagoda should, lots of spring to ensure the passengers are kept in comfort.

Electrics and Other
Arun informs us that everything is working on the car as it should, and from our observations the car started and stopped without issue, the dash was working as it should.



Arun acquired this car with the help of his uncle, with the car coming from a friends estate after they passed away. There is some paperwork that shows how the car has been tended to from 2000 onwards.

The car is showing just over 94,132 as of 20.01.2019.

HPi Check Results
– HPI check in progress.

Mileage Records
– 20.01.2019 – 94,132 miles
– 26.09.2018 – 94,105 miles
– 13.09.2017 – 94,071 miles
– 07.05.2015 – 91,000 miles
– 11.12.2013 – 85,942 miles
– 25.09.2009 – 82,328 miles
– 19.04.2008 – 79,320 miles
– 25.08.2004 – 76,545 miles



The W113 model range is a smart buy as it gives you the classic design of early SLs together with exceptional levels of reliability.

Sourcing the best example you can for your budget is always the way to go when buying a classic car. This example with its easy automatic gearbox make it ideal for a cruise in the summer to the coast.

Remember all the cars we consign are ‘fresh-to-market’ – this means they haven’t been advertised for sale in recent times and are only available for sale through us. This is an important aspect of our service as you know you are getting a good fresh classic at the right price.

Don’t let this 280SL get away from you; call us today before we schedule the auction.



This listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from Arun the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Arun will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.

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