The Mercedes-Benz W113 was introduced at the Geneva Motorshow on 14th March 1963 and production ran until 1971. Initially introduced with a 150hp 2.3l engine 230SL, by December 1967 the engine grew to 2.8 litre straight six, 280SL, producing 170hp and 180lbft. The smaller capacity engine performance rating was best described as optimistic, the later 280 engine was bench tested for two hours prior to fitting by Mercedes-Benz to ensure power output and reliability.
Mercedes-Benz looked to advance their brand and focused on vehicle safety. Based on Bela Barenyi extensive work, the W 113 was the first sports car with a "safety body.” It had a rigid passenger cell and designated crumple zones with impact-absorbing front and rear sections built into the vehicle structure. The interior was "rounded," with all hard corners and edges removed. The W 113 was also the first Mercedes-Benz with radial tires.
The name ‘Pagoda’ refers to the roof design and was never officially called the ‘Pagoda’. The name was first used in a French magazine and stuck. The design of the roof was intentional and was Barenyi’s focus on safety rather than esthetics or aerodynamics. In fact the roof initially caused aerodynamic issues which they resolved.
On the television show Top Gear (Season 3, Episode 8) the 280 SL is thought of highly, notably being described by its host Jeremy Clarkson as one of the cars from the 1960s that has stood the test of time, being "from a time when Mercedes was still building its cars properly".
Our car is a matching numbers example and beautifully presented having had a full restoration. It comes with the iconic Pagoda hardtop and a soft top for the odd April shower while enjoying the ‘Pagoda’ roof off. The car finished production in very late August 1970. The exterior colour is original factory Light Ivory 670H, very rare for a 1970. Originally supplied to USA market, spending most of it time in Colorado with 4 owners.
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