In the Spring of 1963, Mercedes-Benz debuted an all-new roadster to replace the 190SL and 300SL- The 230SL. The 230SL ‘Pagoda’ was a stunning Paul Bracq designed two-seat convertible that followed Mercedes’ new design language, featuring crisp lines and upright headlights. To save on weight, the hood, door skins, trunk lid, and tonneau cover are all composed of aluminium. The nickname ‘Pagoda’ was quickly adopted thanks to the slightly concave roof on the optional removable hardtop that resembled a pagoda roof. Although controversial at its introduction, these SLs are now considered a masterpiece of design.
In 1967, Mercedes introduced the third and final iteration of the ‘Pagoda’, the 280SL. The 280 featured the same modified W111 chassis with a rear swing axle and independent front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. Power came from a 2.8-litre version of Mercedes’ robust inline-six and used Bosch fuel injection- a combination producing 160 horsepower in US-market variants, which had to be modified slightly to comply with emissions standards. To compensate, the rear-end ratios were changed in these US-market cars to offer greater low-end acceleration.
This wonderful Pagoda featuring an original Becker radio and factory fitted air conditioning is an excellent all-round example. Having recently undergone a 400-mile tour in the UK, and thereafter driven to Blenheim Palace by the owner himself, its condition both mechanically and cosmetically are very difficult to flaw.
Still retaining the majority of its original interior trimmings and offered with its original owners and Becker radio manuals, its reported 37,000 miles from new is believed to be true.
A fine example of the final iteration of the Pagoda, fitted with the more desirable 2.8L engine and is ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.