Celebrating Fifty Years of the Pagoda: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

This year marks fifty years that the Mercedes-Benz W113 SL has been with us. Nicknamed the Pagoda SL, due to its concave hardtop, the 230SL not only succeeded the legendary 300SL roadster, but the smaller, four cylinder 190SL. A mainstay in the lineup for almost a decade, Mercedes would evolve the breed by offering the 250SL and 280SL down the line until it was succeeded by the long-lived R107 SL. Almost 40% of W113 production was sold in the United States and from time to time, it’s not uncommon to see one of these classic roadsters tooling around in the streets.

Aside from the 300SL Gullwing and Roadster, these are among some of the highest valued SLs. It shouldn’t be too surprising, as they offer the thrill of classic motoring with a mix of modern day performance and convenience that is hard to match at any price. Their styling is the epitome of restrained elegance and still looks good to this day. This 1968 280SL is on offer from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California.

Year: 1968
Model: 280SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline six
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: N/A
Price: $185,000

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

This 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL is an excellent example of a W113 SL Series Roadster. It is presented in its original configuration of red paintwork (DB568) and black MB-Tex interior (DB131). The car was recently comprehensively restored at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. The refurbishment of this matching numbers car included the removal, rebuilt and reinstallation of all mechanical systems with special emphasis on correct functionality and appearance to factory new standards, right down to hardware plating and finishes.

Chassis no: 113.044-12-002587
DB 568 Red
DB 131 Black MB-Tex Interior

Anything for sale from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is certainly not going to come cheap, but I had to take a step back when I saw the asking price, as I almost got lightheaded. I’ve been used to seeing mint W113 SLs on offer in the $50,000 to $80,000 range, but I’ve rarely seen one break six figures. It will probably be challenging to find a better W113 on the market, as anything from the Classic Center will be of the utmost quality. If you ever wanted a new W113 SL, this could be the closest you could get, coming straight from the experts.

The following is a video featuring some footage of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and this exact vehicle:

-Paul

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