In the early 1960s, with the conclusion of the 300SL and 190SL production, Mercedes-Benz unified its SL sports car range into a single line. The 300SL was already a legend, but costly and complex to produce, while the 190SL, although stylish, lacked the performance edge. The introduction of the W113 series in 1963 marked a fusion of style, sophistication, and performance at a more attainable price. Sharing common components with Mercedes-Benz's sedan line, the 230SL chassis, like its 190SL predecessor, was designed for cost-effective production. Under the guidance of Paul Bracq, the W113 was crafted with a clean, minimalistic monocoque body, renowned for its detailed design. Notably, the series was planned from inception to include a removable hardtop, featuring Bracq’s distinctive concave top, hence the “Pagoda” nickname.
This new SL model stood out in the market as a unique blend of a traditional roadster's open-air thrill and a continental GT cruiser's comfort and utility. It featured a roomy and luxurious interior, substantial boot space, was built to Mercedes typical vault-like quality, and delivered impressive performance in a refined and understated package.
The pinnacle of the W113 line was the 280SL, launched in 1968. Despite being less aggressive than some contemporaries, its performance in challenging conditions was notable, attributed to its well-balanced independent front and swing-axle rear suspension. The robust, Bosch fuel-injected engine provided substantial torque. While the vast majority of cars left the factory gates equipped with a four-speed automatic, an optional four-speed manual gearbox added a sporty dimension to the 280SL’s relaxed GT character. The 280SL is revered for its refined qualities and dual nature as a spirited sports car and a grand tourer.
This exemplary Pagoda Roadster has undergone an extensive, detailed restoration by White Post Restoration in Virginia. The restoration, starting with an excellent original car, included a complete strip-down and refinish in its original DB158 Weiss Grau color. All brightwork and trim have been meticulously restored or replaced.
Inside, the cabin boasts dark brown leather upholstery, complemented by matching square-weave carpets and seatbacks. The restoration, true to original standards, used only high-quality, period-correct materials. The dark brown Sonnendeck canvas top is precisely fitted. Additional features include air conditioning, a VDO clock, Becker Mexico radio, and an authentically detailed boot. Since its restoration, the car has been lightly used, maintaining a fresh and sharp interior.
Lifting the lightweight alloy bonnet reveals the impeccably presented engine compartment and the numbers-matching, Bosch-injected, single-overhead-cam inline-six. The incredible level of detail includes beautifully restored yellow zinc-chromate plated hardware, correct natural cast-finish components, and fastidiously recreated labels, and decals. Similarly, the car’s undercarriage, including suspension and brakes, is restored to pristine condition. The car has seen very limited use since the 2007 restoration and remains exceptionally clean underneath. Extensive restoration records and photos documenting the car’s transformation accompany the sale as well as the original owner’s handbooks, and a copy of the original data card from Mercedes-Benz.
With its desirable specification, beautiful color combination, and stunning restoration, this exquisite 280SL is sure to satisfy the most demanding Mercedes-Benz collector seeking a Pagoda that is as crisp and elegant as the day it rolled off the showroom floor.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7607
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