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1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda (W113)

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price

  • Mileage~74,306 on clock
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine2.8L
  • LocationRichmond


1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda (W113)

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Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

A magnificent piece of engineering, the 280 SL is the epitome of elegance.

The 1960s was a pivotal period for Mercedes-Benz. With its reputation cemented by the legendary 300 SL "Gullwing", the brand also needed to evolve their "Sport-Leicht" cars towards a wider market without compromising the sporting ability or diluting the quality. Styled by Paul Bracq, the brief was to create a technically advanced open-top roadster, powered by a series of fuel-injected straight-six engines. The new car was also notable for its optional hardtop, earning the name "Pagoda" due to its mild concave roof.

Launched in 1963, the W113 Series of SLs evolved with several engine options culminating in the 1967 280 SL. From its initial premise of a sporting car, the 280 SL retained that agility but is now powered by the upgraded version of the M180 engine. The 170BHP 2.8L engine was ideal for the long smooth highways of America, where the 280 SL luxury and comfort gave it an extra dimension against the Porsche 911, Jaguar E-Type and Chevrolet Corvette. The US market took the car to its heart, with almost half of its total production ending up in the States.

Finished in red, this 1969 Automatic comes with a black interior and the desirable hardtop, comes to market from ~26 year ownership with just 5 former keepers. With a lengthy history file dating back to the late 1970s, it has received a remarkable amount of care and maintenance, including ~£40k worth of attention by the current owner alone. In addition to receiving extensive cosmetic care and being the subject of historical restorations, engine and gearbox rebuilds by reputable experts, this example has also benefited from years of frequent use and regular specialist servicing.

This listing was written from information supplied by Darren after meeting Eric the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

We've travelled to Europe and back in the car and made many friends on the way!

Eric bought this SL Pagoda as an early gift to himself following his retirement as Managing Director Gatwick Airport in 1998. (The car still bears the Car Park No 1 permit), the car was previously owned by his Operations Director who was looking to sell it. Looking into creating a new chapter in his life during retirement, he saw the possibility and potential of owning the SL. It's fair to say he has well and truly enjoyed the car, having actively participated in the owners club events and rallies, with numerous trips to the continent.

Keeping on top of every issue, with numerous invoices to back this up, he ensured that the car had been maintained to the highest standards by only using recommended specialists. After much thought and consideration, he feels it’s best to pass the keys to someone else where it will hopefully continue providing joy and pleasure. Eric will be happy to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.

Vehicle Owner

Eric saved £0,000* when they
sold their Mercedes with us.


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The very definition of style, this 280 SL has been exceptionally well looked after.

Wheels and Tyres

Wearing the factory steel wheels with body coloured hubcaps, there are minor signs of age on the wheel trims but they still present well.

The car has a full set of Firestone Tyres which also happens to come with their original receipt, they are over 10 years old but are in decent shape with even tread. Take a look through the images to see the detail.


The car saw a body restoration in 1987, carried out to a high standard, with the panel gaps remaining tight with a uniform panel flow. All the doors open and close without any obstructions. The rear arches and rear section saw a further renovation in 2008, again to a very pleasing standard. The body is clear from significant dents or corrosion.

The car's underside is solid, with no issues spotted on the chassis rails, floor pan or sills. The boot floor, inner wheel wells, jacking points and suspension mounts are in good condition, with the engine bay and bulkhead appearing decent too.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our high-resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view of what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


Several invoices for new paint are included in the car's rich history. A full bare metal respray was completed in 1987, and since then, the car has had further partial repaints and chip treatments. The car retains a positive lustre, with some mild orange peel noted on the bonnet and boot. Eric has had the car stored in a garage since buying it in 1998, so there is no evidence of exposure to the elements spotted on the body.

The colour match is consistent, with minor age related swirls noted under the sunlight. The front valance and bonnet edges show minor imperfections and Eric also pointed out a blemish on the outside of the driver side door well - this has now been rectified at Colin Ferns body shop at a cost of £1,260, and Eric has supplied an image of the area which has been added in line in the image as well as the invoice in the "History and Paperwork" gallery. The inside of the boot lid retains its factory-spec black matt finish.

The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these high-resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The glass is in good shape throughout, with minor lamination damage noted on the edges of the windscreen and a minor stone chip just above the passenger windscreen wiper. The windscreen seal shows signs of age and some of the other seals also display signs of mild paint overspray. The headlamps are in good shape, with the rest of the lenses presentable, we did notice a minor fracture on the offside rear lamp.

The window chrome trim has lasted very well with minimal pitting. There are just a few light marks on the bumpers and some of the rear chrome housing showing their age. The grille shows a little wear but still presents neatly.


Maintained to a high standard, the interior retains much of its original allure.

Seats and Carpets

The black vinyl "MB-Tex" seats are very well presented and were demonstrated to be pleasingly supportive.

In 1998 the car was fitted with new loop pile grey carpets, their high quality has ensured that they still look fresh, with just some marks on the footwell sills. The footwells are also protected by aftermarket mats. The carpets are dry, although we spotted a little dampness under the passenger seat carpet. The boot has a rubber mat and its original spare wheel jacket.


The stylish dashboard is in great shape, with the added benefit of the main instruments receiving a refurbishment in 2014. Eric noting that the clock keeps excellent time. The chrome embellishments are presented very neatly, with only the wooden dash-top trim showing some signs of age.

The visual element of the dashboard is original, except for a recently fitted auxiliary engine cooling fan switch and an aftermarket Clarion Tape/FM Stereo player. This was fitted in the 1990s, with a professionally mounted rear set of speakers and a pair on either side of the front foot wells.

The rest of the controls, dials and switches are in decent order. Eric has informed us that all are functional. The door cards and rear trim are neatly mounted and free of any significant damage, with no issues noted on the inside of the soft top

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel has aged well, and while it has mild marks and the expected signs of age, it displays well.

The automatic gear lever is also pleasingly original, with some mild damage noted on the gate. View the gallery to see the detail.


The durable engineering is only bettered by the dedication of Eric's maintenance.

Engine and Gearbox

The start-up process posed no issues for this well-maintained SL, the engine started up the first time, with no splutters or unwanted noises. The engine idled smoothly with no ignition lights remaining on. The temperature gauge remained stable as the engine warmed up, with no signs of oil pressure issues.

The engine presentation confirms the diligent spending on maintenance, having seen a rebuild by Mercedes engine specialist Crew just ~6,000 miles ago. This included servicing the fuel injection system, re-cored radiator, a new starter ring gear, radiator fan and oil cooler. The car also has electronic ignition fitted too. We didn’t notice any fluid leaks or oil/water seepage and no signs of excess exhaust smoke during our time there. The stainless steel exhaust was installed in 1999 and checked again by Roger Edwards in 2022, who verified its clean bill of operational health.

The automatic transmission was originally overhauled when the car was ~9 years old and has seen regular maintenance since then, with new seals in 2016 and new mounts in 2018. It operates without issues, and appears to select with minimal delay or slackness.

Suspension and Brakes

The car rides smoothly, with no untoward noises heard as we progress over the speed ramps and around the uneven roads. The rear shocks were replaced in 2018, and there is evidence of continuous maintenance of the lubrication of the steering and suspension components.

Fitted with all-round disc brakes, the car stopped effectively without noise or judders. The maintenance of the brake lines and components is evident in the invoices, the most recent work was carried out in 2021.

The Drive

A deceptive large car, the SL feels every inch a grand tourer. It's a smooth and refined ride cushioned by the absorbent suspension. There were no unpleasant mechanical noises or knocking from the wheels, and the power steering operated smoothly, with no pulling or vibrations noted during the short drive.

The lack of mechanical vibrations is attributed to regular maintenance, with mounts, bushes and dampers all taken care of as part of its upkeep. The engine sounded purposeful on acceleration and pulled well, the stainless steel thrum adding to the occasion. No nasty noises were heard from the differential. Eric will vouches for the car's positive reliability, as he has confidently used it on long journeys over the years.

A bonus to the SL's legendary durability and style was the warm reception that greeted us from the public as we stopped to take photos.

Electrics and Other

Eric told us all the electrical elements were working, to his knowledge. A replacement soft top was fitted in 1999, along with an after-market wind deflector. The soft top presents very well, with a minor repair noted on the nearside C pillar, but otherwise, the stitching and rear screen are in good order. It raises and lowers without problems and the hood well is solid. The car also retains its original roof handle tool.

The hardtop was not placed on the car to test its fit, but Eric has assured us that it has been used over the years, and will be sold with its stand. The roof was part of the original restoration in 1987 and retains a decent paint finish. Please note in the gallery pictures that the black marks on the off-side C pillar are superficial and not paint damage. There are no rips on the headlining, just a few age-related marks. The base frame reveals corrosion but the glass and chrome are in good shape.

History and Paperwork

Coming to market from ~26 years, just 5 former keepers, this UK RHD 280 SL Pagoda presents in lovely condition, and the car comes with an extensive body of invoices, over ~£40k spent in the last quarter century alone.

This RHD UK spec 280 SL was registered in Wiltshire in July 1969 where it appears to have spent its first ~8 years with the original owner. Having been bought by its second keeper in 1977, it has remained in London ever since. There are copies of the previous V5s back to 1982, MOTs back to 1981, invoices back to 1978 and is backed up with a series of handwritten notes, correspondance and purchase statements along with the invoices that help piece together a comprehensive maintenance, servicing and renovation record.

The engine was reconditioned in 1987 followed by an extensive restoration in the same year. A further respray followed in 1990 along with a rear panel replacement and two more engine overhauls by 1996, one included an engine block replacement by respected Mercedes specialist John Bilias. Eric took on the car in 1998 and has systematically carried out an extensive regime of maintenance, repairs and upkeep, which tally up to over ~£40,000 worth of spending over the ~26 years of his ownership.

The main spending over the last 10 years includes a 2022 service by Colin Ferns, work on the brakes and a rear axle rebuild with new rubber gaiters in 2021, an electric fan and ignition in 2019/2020, rear shocks and welding in 2018 and a complete engine rebuild in 2016 at the cost of £7,000 by a Mercedes specialist. Much of the servicing while the car has been in Eric's possession was carried out by specialist Roger Edwards, and more specifically by Cedric Seizer, who gained his expertise under the auspice of Formula One legend Jim Clark.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned an HPI check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment of the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bids, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
01-07-2022 Service 74,095
09-12-2021 Service + Brakes + Rear Axle rebuilt 73,987
01-08-2021 Service 73,647
2020 Electric Radiator Fan
2019 Electronic Ignition
19-10-2018 Rear Shocks + Welding 72,668
18-06-2018 Service 70,944
08-05-2017 MOT 68,774
16-05-2016 Service 68,002
14-12-2015 Engine Rebuild, Fuel injection serviced
21-04-2016 MOT 67,899
01-2016 Engine Rebuilt & Gearbox Refurb
28-04-2015 MOT 64,856
03-07-2014 Service + Hoses 63,074
06-09-2013 MOT 62,865
01-07-2013 Oil Cooler
02-08-2012 MOT 59,690
30-04-2012 Paint repair + Electrics
28-07-2011 Brakes 57,463
25-07-2011 MOT 57,441
22-06-2010 MOT 55,603
22-06-2010 Service 55,603
14-09-2009 MOT 55,530
2008 Water Pump
13-03-2008 Service, rear arches + rear panel 53,653
27-09-2007 MOT 53,572
25-07-2007 Full Service
25-07-2006 Service 51,734
08-05-2006 MOT 51,682
12-05-2005 Service 49,562
07-02-2005 MOT 49,501
20-10-2003 Oil cooler, hoses, maintenance 47,092
08-08-2003 MOT 45,779
08-08-2003 Brakes 45,779
08-07-2002 MOT 44,155
30-01-2002 Service, Discs, Alternator 43,801
26-07-2001 MOT 43,466
26-07-2001 Service 43,466
22-05-2000 MOT 40,183
15-05-2000 Track rods, grease points 40,171
07-06-1999 New Speedo Cable
05-05-1999 Body Repairs + Stainless Steel exhaust 37,633
24-03-1999 MOT 37,612
28-01-1999 Welding + New paint 37,287
25-03-1998 MOT 36,495
13-05-1997 MOT 33,815
03-1997 Service
29-03-1996 Engine Rebuild & Gearbox Refurb
27-04-1995 MOT 26,738
18-08-1994 Service 24,260
22-03-1994 MOT 22,635
12-03-1993 MOT 19,684
15-01-1991 Engine Overhauled 19,458
14-07-1987 Engine Reconditioned 9,864
14-08-1986 MOT 4,290
08-01-1988 Service
16-08-1985 MOT 95,142
12-07-1984 MOT 89,249
06-08-1983 MOT 87,211
07-07-1982 MOT 81,509
28-07-1981 MOT 78,843
28-04-1978 New Gearbox 77,072
Key Details
  • Model280 SL (W113)
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date15-07-1969
  • CC2,778
  • Mileage~174,306
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourRed
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #11304422010875
  • Engine #13098322006745
  • Last Service01-07-2022
  • RestoredYes
  • Engine RebuildYes in 2016
  • MOT08-05-2017
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes - All clear
  • Former Keepers5
  • Tyre BrandFirestone
  • Tyre Age2011
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~26 years
  • Key FeatureEngine rebuild, excellent history
  • Vehicle RegistrationOWV 62G
  • Fuel TypePetrol
  • Auction ID1917