In March 1963 the new generation of SL sports cars was launched with the debut of the 230 SL at the Geneva Show. This revolutionary new model replaced the now ageing 190 and 300SL models. Mercedes engineering, together with elegance and practicality, made the Pagoda top SL one of the most distinctive designs of its era. In closed form it offered handsome proportions and coupé-like comfort, whilst the easy removal of the pagoda hard top turned it into an open top sports car for the summer months.
During the 1960s Mercedes-Benz refined the model, later fitting the 250 engine and finally arriving at the 280SL. The 280SL was introduced in December 1967 and was produced until 1971, with the major difference compared to the previous model was the upgrade to a 2,778cc engine which produced 170 hp. The extra urgency provided by this larger more powerful engine improved the drivability of the car and therefore made this final incarnation of the Pagoda the most sought after model. As today, Mercedes-Benz motor cars were never cheap, but superb build quality and sophisticated styling made the 280SL an extremely popular sports car with the rich and famous.
The Mercedes-Benz 280 SL we have for sale here is a superb example of a Pagoda and one of the finest available today. This LHD South African import comes with the highly sought after manual transmission and UK registration. In 2005, the already good car was sent to classic Mercedes-Benz specialists, “German Autohaus” where it was completely stripped back to bare metal and then became the subject of an extensive rotisserie restoration. All parts and assemblies have been overhauled including, but not confined to suspension, brakes, engine & gearbox and differential. Parts found to be in poor condition were replaced by new items. The interior was re-upholstered and all chrome was re-chromed. The resulting car shown here consequently won first prize in the three competitions in which it was entered. The vendor describes the car as ‘excellent’ in all aspects and it must be seen to be appreciated. Paperwork from the restoration is extensive and detailed. With just 5,500 miles since the restoration, this pristine Pagoda is ready to be enjoyed immediately for the right enthusiast.