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1968 Mercedes 280SL 'Pagoda'

  • Exterior: Fire Red

  • Interior : Black leather

  • Engine: 2,788cc 6 cyl

  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic

  • Mileage: 200 kms


  • Chassis: xxx

  • Engine No. xxx

  • Location: Cote d’Azur, France

  • Registration: USA

  • LHD

Model History:

Launched at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, the W113 was a clean sheet design for a new decade and was produced from until 1971. It replaced both the 300 SL (W 198) and the 190 SL (W 121 BII). 

Designed by Frenchman Paul Bracq, head of Mercedes-Benz design studios at the time, the W113 SL was a technological marvel when it debuted, and featured a fuel-injected, overhead camshaft, straight-six engine. 

The unibody construction featured front and rear deformation zones, a first for a sports car. An aluminum bonnet, rear boot and door skins saved weight. The infamous ‘Pagoda’ slightly concave hardtop designed for maximum visibility though airy and apparently lightweight is as solid as the body structure itself and designed to bear a load of up to 1000 Kg.

The comparatively short and wide chassis, combined with an excellent suspension, powerful all four disc brakes, a rarity at the time and radial tires gave the W 113 superb handling for its time. The styling of the front, with its characteristic upright "fishbowl" headlights and simple chrome grille, dominated by the large three-pointed star on the nose panel, paid homage to the 300 SL roadster.


The 280 SL was the final iteration of the W113 and was introduced in December 1967 and continued in production through February 1971, when the W 113 was replaced by the entirely new and substantially heavier R107 350 SL. It remains themost sought after and most valuable of all the Pagodas. With softer suspension, better seats and a stronger engine featuring seven main bearings, 23,885 examples, of which approximately half were destined for North America.

The inline six-cylinder 2,778 cc M130 engine with multiport fuel injection produced 168 horsepower and 244 Nm of torque, which finally gave the W 113 adequate power over previous models. 0-100kph arrived in 8.6 seconds making the SL’s performance more than acceptable today as a useable classic.

With disc brakes on all four corners, a rarity for the time period, the braking performance was equally impressive. Four- and five-speed manual transmissions were available, but around 90% of 280 SL’s were equipped with a very smooth four-speed automatic.

This car:

This exceptional example of the 280SL was imported from the United States as a 1 owner, fully documented car with matching numbers. Originally registered in the USA in 1968, the car once in Europe underwent a full incredibly detailed and meticulous ground up restoration. It is presented in its original configuration with less than 200km since completion. 

The exterior is finished in bright ‘Fire’ Red paintwork and is as expected completely immaculate. Every detail observed is in better than new condition. All joints and chrome work are new, the body and unibody chassis were taken back to bare metal before being brought back to this exceptional condition. The hardtop is also in perfect condition as the black cloth convertible hood.


The interior is also as can be seen in our gallery, simply beyond reproach. Finished in the originally configured black leather and wood with the optional air conditioning as specified from new. It is exactly as per original configuration with the exception of the hands-free device through the period Becker car radio, in addition toheated seats, a welcome comfortoperated by a switch discreetly mounted under the dashboard.


The chassis and mechanicals are all restored to new condition. The engine and gearbox fully rebuilt with new internals while maintaining the original block and casing. The driveline, brakes and suspension are also all new as can be clearly seen in our detailed gallery. No detail has been overlooked, this is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the meticulous nature of the owner who commissioned the restoration.  

The 280 SL was the last and most sought after of the W113 series, and today is a true collectors item. Owners of past and present include  One of the great 60's classics, it might also be considered a useable new motorcar, as well as a collectable investment. 

This truly exceptional restored example of the 280SL is one that can really be appreciated. It is currently located in South of France and is visible to view at the Garage du Panorama. Full documentation and detailed photographs can be provided on request.


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