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I know when designers sit down with engineers and discuss (or fight) over a new model and how it will work, they really want to end up with the best possible product. Sometimes it ends poorly, sometimes it’s just okay, and sometimes they hit a home run. With the Mercedes-Benz Pagoda, these cheeky German knew they hit it out of the park. Actually maybe it was a “Tor!” since Germans don’t really play baseball. Either way, over 50 years later these things still turns heads. I know I badly desire one, and examples like today’s might just keep that dream alive.
This 1968 up for sale in California is finished in a lovely shade of blue over a tan interior. The condition seems about average, but the price seems awfully reasonable given the top of the food range 280 can bring six-figures for the really nice ones. I think I know why.
For all the Mercedes-Benz Pagodas I’ve ever taken a look at, for some reason I’ve never come across the California Coupe. What is the California Coupe? It is a 250SL or 280SL with a folding rear seat in the place of where the soft top would normally be with the hardtop or a tonneau cover as your option to cover the cabin. Comfortable? No. Safe? Even less so. Still, a relatively rare configuration as only around 10% of Pagodas were sold as California Coupes. You can probably guess where the majority of these cars were allocated when new and where you still find them for sale. However, just because these are relatively rare, doesn’t make them all that desirable even with the Pagoda market still being relatively strong. This example up for sale in, you guessed it, California, needs some help.