#FailFriday: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL


It’s time again for Fail Friday! Welcoming you into July is a wonderfully horrible 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL. Normally I wouldn’t speak such ill of the great Pagoda but I can’t hold back on this one. It’s not an outrageous price or aftermarket exterior modifications that qualify it for Fail Friday, it’s the unspeakable acts of interior homicide that have been committed. Before you click the ”Continue reading this article →” I need you to be prepared as to what lies inside this SL.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on Hemmings

Continue reading

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL


Often when we feature the classic W113 Mercedes Pagoda, it’s an example that has low-miles, flawless paint, an interior that is pristine and spends most of the time tucked away, rarely to see the light of day. With these cars now regularly fetching six figures, I don’t blame the owners for protecting their investments. Infrequently do we see a Pagoda you can feel okay about using on a regular basis to enjoy while still maintaining it’s beauty and stature. This 1971 280SL located in Atlanta can offer all that.

Dreaming of a Red Christmas: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

$_57 (1)

Walking around Manhattan a few weeks ago, I came across a W113 Mercedes-Benz SL. In style conscious New York, this is quite possibly the ultimate accessory. More petite than its predecessor, the 300SL Roadster yet a bit more classic than the R107 SL that ended production at the end of the 1980s, this is a great way to make a statement while not having something too huge to haul around the streets of the Big Apple. These SLs aren’t exactly what you would consider an affordable classic, but then again, you are getting a lot of advanced technology for the day wrapped in a decidedly vintage yet timeless skin. This restored example in Los Angeles represents the final evolution of the W113, the 280SL, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.

Click for details: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

Continue reading

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Euro-Spec

If the 911 and M3 are the recent market darlings, the dark horse in the European market has continued to be the W113 Mercedes-Benz SL. Dubbed the “Pagoda” in reference to its recessed roof, the 230, 250 and 280 aren’t great sports cars and aren’t even particularly light; however, they do perfectly represent the ethos of the “SL”. A personal luxury roadster, they’ve got muscular yet sensuous looks with flowing fenders and a subtle bulge in the hood. The wide and low stance with simple single bar grill and elongated headlights echoed the 300SL in all the right ways. With just the right amount of chrome, color-keyed (or alternating) wheel covers and beautiful fit and finish, these middle generation SLs have steadily increased in value over the past few decades.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

Continue reading

1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL


A few weeks ago I wrote up an absolutely beautiful and pristine 1963 Mercedes-Benz 220Se, a car that reached towards the high end of the market for the big coupes but remains a heck of a deal in the older-Mercedes world. One car that hasn’t remained such a deal is the much more highly sought-after SLs, and of those the manual early cars usually bring the strongest value. Top of the market in an early W113s will push $100,000, and even condition 2 cars are in excess of $50,000 these days. Like the E30 market, investors and speculators jumped on board about a decade ago and drove prices even higher, pushing them out of the reach of the common man. Despite this, once in a while a very clean example comes to market below average market value – such as the lovely red over black 4 speed today:


Year: 1965
Model: 230 SL
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 64,000 mi
Price: $39,999.99 Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

Free Shipping is Included in the “buy it now” Price for all Buyers.

Production Specs for this car:
Mileage: 64,000 original miles
Production Numbers: 4,752
VIN #: 11304210005500 Hard Top Matching # 107

All matching numbers

About my Pagoda:

This is a 1965 Mercedes Pagoda 230SL with the desirable manual transmission Convertible. This car comes with oem color combination (meaning, it is an original red car with black interior). Car has a new mats, carpets interior. The door panels, dashboard and the rest of the interior is all done with the same color. Original Becker radio comes with the car. Car comes with 2 tops, soft top is correct German canvass in black vinyl color but it is the original one, It is in working condition but it looks okay. The hard top in white. Also the hard top carrier comes with the car. Odometer records and speedometer reads in mileage because the car is a USA specs car.

This pagoda is ready to be driven mechanical sound and fun to drive. It is a 2 owner car since new. I still have the original title to prove this statement. Odometer shows 64,000 miles, which is believed to be the original mileage. It has 2 tops – a black convertible top and a white hard top. Body is in very good condition. Paint is good, chrome is good and the interior is very nice. Mechanics are in good working order.

New set of 6 BOSCH FUEL INJECTORS at $240 a piece. ($1,440 + $300 installation) Fuel Injection works really good now! 🙂
New sun visor clips
New brake lines
New Brake pads
New heather core rebuilt ($690)
New sill plate covers
New Clutch
New Interior ($700 installation and $1,175.00 materials)
IVORY Original knob matching color with Original Steering wheel professional clean
Full service done in June 2013 (synthetic oil, hose lower radiator, hose upper radiator, oil filter, air filter, belts, all new fluids, spark plugs, ($2000.00)
2 Sets of keys
Manual and Service books
Original Mercedes Tools
Spare wheel
All chrome and glass excellent.
New hoses (lower and upper radiator hoses, and clams)
All electrics in good and working condition:
Turn signals
All lights
All instruments
New hard top carrier
New Chrome Tail pipes
Hexomat Floor Mats
Over $10,000.00 spent in service, restoration in the last year with all receipts.

This is a completed original “all together” Mercedes Pagoda which can simply be purchased and enjoyed. This is not the average pagoda. We have spent money and time to make it one of the best pagodas for sale which makes for a perfect high standard weekend driver. These cars are going up in value. Restoring these can be expensive so this one makes for great buying considering everything has been done. This car has been appraised for $50,000.00 and is insured by Hagerty for this amount and also is listed in their price guide for this amount. Our reserve is very low compare to the real value of this car. Good luck with bidding on it.

Price $39,900.00 or best offer.

A comprehensive documentation of the body and mechanical restoration along with photographs and detailed receipts come with the car.

Many early SLs have undergone restoration and color changes to more popular colors such as the red on today’s model, so it’s nice to know this is an original color combination. This color combination is probably the most popular and sought after of the early SLs. The 230s have different hubcaps that are slightly more simple and in my mind, more attractive than the later 250 and 280 caps. The 230 doesn’t have as much twist as the 2.8 did later, but manuals are harder to come by on the later cars. The 4 speed is definitely the transmission you’d want to have in this package. Color combinations on these were interesting and to order, so it’s interesting to see the ivory steering wheel match the top but not the hubcaps, though a quick search will show you hundreds of different color combinations between the three. As an enjoyable classic investment, these classic Mercedes-Benz are on par with Porsches in general, but this particular model is easier on the wallet. This car appears well taken care of and ready to enjoy, and at a penny below $40,000 it seems pretty well priced considering the market.


1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SL Roadster

My favorite memory of my father’s 1971 280SL 4 speed is riding home in the evening from some vintage car races in the New England fall. His 280 didn’t have a very nice roof at that point, so we were driving with the top down. Cool, right? No, it was just downright cold. I huddled low in the cabin, trying to get as much of the heat trickling out of the non-existent ventilation system. It’s a perfect example of how spartan the W113 SLs are in comparison to the later R107 cars, but it’s also a reminder that SL stands for “Sport Light” – something the newer cars lost along the way. The W113 also got a dose of “Sport” compared to the anemic 190 SL that preceded it as well, with the 230 and 250 sporting 150 growling horsepower. The 280 gained 20 more ponies, but most were coupled to an automatic transmission that diluted the experience. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this 1969 280 SL 4 speed:


Year: 1969
Model: 280 SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 69,000 mi
Price: $45,000 Buy it Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SL on eBay

Gorgeous, head turning 280 SL Roadster. Rare 4-speed, dealer A/C. Both tops, interior is like new, radio and clock work as do all guages lights and levers. Original tool kit, like new Michelins. No known rust issues, rockers and floor pans were restored by a classic mercedes shop and are documented. Paint finish looks very good but does have a few imperfections. The soft top has a few wear spots, typical of older tops. Mechanically this car is near perfect. It runs amazingly and tracks straight as an arrow. Brakes are new all around and it has been mechanically maintained by a classic expert.

Enjoy this car as it is for years or invest in a high end paint job and you will have a show car. This car will only appreciate in value. There aren’t many available at this price in this fine condition.


In the 1990s, these cars could be had for a song. Through the 2000s though, appreciation for the very attractive Paul Bracq design and the no frills simplicity drove prices into the $40,000 range for very nice examples. Since then values have continued to climb, and mint examples fetch the best part of $100,000. This car makes no claim to be a mint example, and to me that’s its appeal. At about half the price of the best examples, you have a show worthy driver. These really are enjoyable cars to drive, though not so much on the highway – 70 miles an hour equates to nearly 4,000 RPMs, but on a back road with the top down, that throaty inline 6 will reward you rowing through the gears. It’s not a fast car, but you sure can have a lot of fun on your way to your destination! Better yet, arriving at that destination in your W113 will make you feel like you’re at a Hollywood premier. People will turn their heads to see who is driving this beautiful, classic Mercedes. It has a presence about it that cars at twice the price can’t achieve. Just dress warmly.


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:


1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

Like a Rolex Submariner watch or a pair of Persol sunglasses, a classic Mercedes-Benz SL is one of those accessories that is timeless and shows infinite good taste. Introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, the W113 SL was nicknamed “pagoda,” due to its concave hardtop. Not just a pretty face, the 230SL won the Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally in 1963 piloted by Eugen Böhringer. Famous owners of the W113 SL include David Coulthard, Sofia Loren and Sir Stirling Moss. Just under 50,000 230, 250 and 280SLs were made through 1971 and these cars are highly prized not just for their looks but for their performance and practicality that is not far off from modern day motors. It’s getting harder to find good W113 SLs for under $30,000. While this example for sale in California isn’t perfect, it would be a great candidate for someone looking to undertake a few minor fixes to turn it into a nice looking driver.

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

Offered For Sale is a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL. The styling represents a rolling work of art and the model, a highly collectible piece of Mercedes history. These cars are built rock solid and definitely personify German engineering and precision of a time gone by. The highly sought after “SL” is a world-class automobile and is ready for the next owner to enjoy. Experience what a real Mercedes used to be. Even M-B doesn’t build ’em like this anymore! What’s definitely cool and rare about this particular 230SL “Pagoda,” is that it’s a European version that was brought over to the states 30 years ago. It’s still got the highly desired Euro headlamps and other neat appointments, such as a stick-shift transmission. Drive it as Mercedes-Benz engineers intended it to be.

This Mercedes was owned for nearly 30 years by the same family. I recently acquired it from this owner, who purchased the SL in Belgium back in 1982 from the car’s original owner. The Mercedes was transferred to the New York City/New Jersey area where it had remained till I purchased the car and had it brought to California. The SL was used sparingly during its stay in NY, spending most of the time in a dry garage. In fact, the Mercedes had been sitting for the last six years till it was recently resurrected.

The 230SL currently runs and drives good. She starts right up and sounds great. This Pagoda had never been restored, and it’s not perfect. It is a good “driver,” but due to sitting for years, some cosmetic and mechanical tinkering will be required to make this classic even better. Prices and collectibility for these cars have recently sky-rocketed, much like the early Porsche 911s & 912s or E-Type Jaguars. Everybody wants one, and the reasons are quite clear. This particular SL Pagoda can be had at an affordable price, where the new owner can drive and enjoy it, while making some improvements, and watching the value grow and appreciate.

It’ll feel great pulling up to the Country Club in this Mercedes. It’s definitely “old-school” elegance and class. Aside from that, the quality of the car in terms of ride, smoothness, comfort, luxury, and appearance is first rate. To enthusiasts, the allure of a German classic is when it sports authentic European characteristics, unlike the safety mandated US versions, with all the added “stuff.” This one is the real deal: large glass headlamps, no bumper over-riders, no side markers. The appearance is pure and uncluttered, as M-B intended.

Classic facia displays old-world craftsmanship and an elegance that only Mercedes-Benz could produce. It doesn’t get much more appealing than a painted metal dash and chrome bezels. Dash padding is in great condition with no obvious cracks. All gauges are functioning properly exc. for the clock. Speedometer is still in Kilometers. Electrics are in fine operating condition. Lights, wipers, horn, and signals function as they’re supposed to.

Open the door, and that period leather aroma, familiar to vintage European cars, is there and in potent supply. To me, the scent is wonderful and should be bottled. The interior is in original condition, as you can see. Genuine M-B leather upholstery is still intact and does show some wear. There are some splits in the upholstery, but being the factory leather hides makes them more desirable to me than aftermarket M-B Tex materials. Carpets, however, look to have been replaced recently. The pile is thick, both in the front of the cabin and behind the seats in the package area. Door panels, look to be original, and are in good shape. Outside door locks are not operable with the key. Glass is all good; windows roll up & down fine; there are no chips, cracks, or damages.

Soft top looks to be in good shape, aside from a couple small blemishes. Canvas is thick, and plastic window is clear. A common area for rust, especially after 46 years, is the inside well where the soft-top is folded. Water can leak in, and if it doesn’t evaporate, corrosion will form. However, as you can see on this particular SL, that is not the case. The area is dry and in great shape. Rear package area is clean and the carpet has been replaced. Headliner and convertible top frame are in very nice condition. Rails aren’t rusted out, and the inside fabric is clean and intact. It opens and folds easily, too.

Trunk is spacious for a car of this size. It’s clean as well. Original mat is present. Also intact are the spare tire (with cover) and jacking equipment. Taking the SL out for a little excursion last Saturday afternoon proved to be most enjoyable. The Mercedes runs strong, and manually shifting through the gears while making that raspy exhaust note sing, made the experience even more invigorating and exciting.

This 230SL presents itself quite well. The ivory/white finish is shiny and still has a good gloss. From what I gather, this is the factory color, but at some point years ago, the car had been repainted. Panels appear relatively straight, considering the SL’s age, with a few routine dings and paint chips. I don’t see any evidence of rust bubbles or rot on the M-B’s panels. Undercarriage is original, and typical to a car of this vintage, there are some rust blemishes present. Most notably, the driver’s side floorboard had some metal patchwork done. At some point in the future, replacing the panel can be addressed, but for the time being, it doesn’t look bad. The passenger side appears to be solid, without issues.

Mechanically, the main components of this Mercedes are strong. It runs good and feels tight. A short YouTube video below will show the car idling and driving. However, from sitting the past several years, there are some items that will need to be addressed so the Pagoda can be used on a regular basis with confidence. The engine always fires up right away on the first try, even after sitting for awhile. Once the engine’s warmed up and driving for several miles, the operating temperature is consistently cool, and the oil pressure is always high. The previous owner had replaced the exhaust system, so it’s new from front to rear. Also, the brake calipers and front hoses look relatively new.

The motor idles smoothly and doesn’t miss or hesitate. However, upon recent driving I noticed that it does emit blue smoke when accelerating. I’m not sure if this is due to the car’s sitting, and that with driving it will evenutally go away. After checking the spark plugs, I took note that all fired evenly and none were fouled or saturated with oil, so that’s good. I also changed the oil, and noticed it was just pure oil, with no indication of water mixed in, so that’s good, too. There is an oil leak that is coming from the tachometer sending unit on the engine. Also, to be noted, the brake pedal is hard. I believe this to be the brake booster, as pressing on the pedal affects the vacuum at idle. Master cylinder looks to be recently replaced.

The clutch and transmission feel good. Shift bushings were all replaced along with new oil, so everything is smooth and tight in the gear box. There’s no growling noises and all synchros work as they should. There’s no popping out of gear. If you’re a fanatic of classic Mercedes-Benzes, then you’ll like this 1966 230SL. Quality and elegance were unsurpassed and they certainly didn’t compromise. Back then, you knew this was a Mercedes! This tangible investment is safer than the stock market and is something that can be enjoyed, now and in the future. Why not mix business with pleasure? This 230SL Pagoda is being advertised in a Buy it Now at $26,750 format. There is no auction, where missing out on a good deal in the last 15 seconds is a tragedy we all know too well. No, this classic Benz is being offered For Sale right now, at a disclosed price, so don’t let it get away.

The Buy it Now price is rather attractive, given the condition of this car. Since it seems the engine is pushing oil, valve guides and piston rings may need to be examined, as well as the brakes. In addition, a retrim of the leather seats along with sorting the loose fitting convertible top appear to be in order. Otherwise, not a terrible example that is made more attractive by the European headlamps and manual transmission.

The following is some vintage footage from Mercedes-Benz Fascination series (in German):


1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL with ZF 5-speed

Besides the original 300SL gullwing and roadster, the Pagoda SLs that succeeded them have always commanded top dollar. The 250SL represents the mid point in the evolution of the W113, which ran from 1963 through 1971. While this generation represented a shift towards more of a boulevard cruiser, you could still order your SL with a manual transmission. This particular example has the rare ZF 5-speed. Given that only 1,791 examples of the 250SL made it to the US, this is a rare piece indeed.

Yes it is a factory 5 speed ZF manual transmission, one of only 882 Pagodas with the special Mercedes ZF 5 spd built only for the SL models. And it is pristine! It is stunning and beautiful and runs like a Swiss clock. I can go into any detail you like as far as the condition but it is easier to assume it is exactly how the pictures depict it to be without any rust at all.

Chrome, paint, wood, interior, original hubcaps and beauty rims, mechanical condition all is in excellent condition. It is restored where it needed to be and has original carpet and seats and dash (still in excellent condition). It is a low mileage car with a clear CA title. The dash was never taken apart or repainted. New tires. Soft top is brand new too (didn’t have help removing hard top but all is perfect and of the highest quality correct German top).

By the way all the chrome is original except the back bumpers have been rechromed. The tail lights, grill, door trim and interior chrome trim is all original excellent condition, as new. It has been unbelievably well taken care of. I have a new trunk mat but wanted to show original mat. Underneath is perfect, no surface rust either. Well detailed car throughout. No excuses and show worthy. I am the third owner and don’t know the first but the second owner had it since the seventies.

While $55,000 seems steep for a 43 year old machine, it’s right in line with current W113 pricing. This is perhaps one of the most sought after generations of SL, especially with the 5-speed gearbox. I have to say, this is one of those cars I would pick if someone told me “you can drive one car for the rest of your life.” These roadsters are completely usable as everyday classics and the extra gear makes this a tasty proposition for highway cruising.