280SL Pagoda – Dark Green (268) with Green Leather (212)
The trend of importing classic vehicles from the United States has been around for several years now, with aspiring owners seeking out the sun-kissed examples from the west coast online or searching the classifieds of other ‘dry’ states. This process of discovery often takes place over the internet or via ‘contacts’ stateside who are willing to take a finder’s fee to source the best vehicles. While straightforward, both avenues can present a variety of problems that you might not expect.
Earlier in the year we introduced you to an R129 imported from the states directly to SLSHOP by the owner. This vehicle was a lovely example but a classic case of one that did not marry up to the sales photos. The vehicle’s front wing was damaged on arrival to the UK and had to be repaired by SLSHOP. More on this here.
But this is not always the case… the Pagoda pictured was successfully imported from the US by Mr Bailey, collected from Portsmouth, and brought straight to SLSHOP by the owner for inspection. The owner elected for our industry leading health check to uncover the true state of the car. Our craftsmen set about an interrogative process of checking every bushing, control arm, hose and more on our Workshop ramps before setting out on the road to see how it performs in real world conditions.
The health check revealed a solid Pagoda. The owner had chosen wisely and carried out their due diligence. Whilst the Health Check revealed nothing major, due to the age of the vehicle there were obvious things that needed addressing. These included replacing brakes and all four corners, fitting new springs and shocks as well as adjusting the steering box. On the road, the steering was loose on didn’t respond correct to the driver’s inputs, this is due to lack of maintenance over the years and a leaky steering box. The oil, filter and seals have been replaced. Additional work was carried out to the drive shaft.
The US Bumpers of this lovely imported 280SL
Three piece wheels found on the earlier Pagoda models.
Part of our service for the owner was also to MOT and register the vehicle for UK roads. The administration side of importing a classic car can be taxing, which is why we offer a UK registration service. You simply leave the work to us and we will return your vehicle to you in ready to use, road-worthy condition… That’s Pagoda Perfection.
The green-on-green colour scheme of this vehicle is quite unusual, but will undoubtedly look fantastic during the Autumn periods, blending with the deep browns and greens of the falling leaves. The owner has also opted to make an unusual alteration to this Pagoda. We have swapped the later wheels for the early style centre caps which have been painted black, with the steel wheels powder coated but not painted to match the body colour. This is a unique detail and slight departure from the original, but one that the owner prefers.
Importing a classic car, follow this checklist.
- Have someone check over the vehicle in person, looking for obvious signs of corrosion and mechanical issues, as well as matching numbers to verify the originality of the vehicle
- Gather as much information about the vehicle’s history as possible and verify this with Mercedes-Benz
- Do your research on pricing so you don’t spend over the odds and ensure you are aware of costs to import
- Find a reputable shipping company
- Ensure you have all the key registration documentation sent with the vehicle
- Complete all the import documents required
- Find a specialist to look-over your vehicle as soon as it arrives in the UK – we advise a Health Check.
- This same specialist can register your car with the UK authorities to get you on the road immediately.
Congratulations Matthew on your beautiful Pagoda.
For guidance on importing a classic Mercedes-Benz to the United Kingdom, don’t hesitate to reach out to our service team. For Pagodas, email [email protected]