Simply Unique and Fabulous.
Introducing our latest 280SL restoration, completed mid-September by SLSHOP’s Heritage team just in time for the Pagoda’s 60th Anniversary.
On the 16th September, we returned this delectable 280SL to its rightful owners following a 12-month restoration completed by our very own Heritage Craftsmen. This Pagoda 280SL has been owned by the family since 1992, a time when the model was viewed with the same enthusiasm but not widely recognised as the one to own.
Upon arrival, the 280SL was clearly in need of some attention, but not the level of work we are sometimes presented with on a yearly basis. The bodywork was largely in good order, but the Dark Green finish had lost its autumnal flare – it was also not the correct factory green. Upon closer inspection, corrosion was evident in the usual spots, including the sills, chassis rails, floor pans, boot and spare wheel panels.
Tom set about rectifying these fragile points, crafting and fitting new panels before they were seam-sealed, sprayed with stone-chip (wax-based spray that sets hard) and waxoyled to ensure each new section is waterproof from the metal upwards. This process prepares the shell for repainting, which was carried out by our off-site trusted partner who specialises solely the bare metal painting of classic cars. Following this process, replacement chrome sill strips and refurbished bumpers were refitted to the exterior. Some of the replacement chrome utilised on the exterior originated from our Holland haul – the A Pillar chrome, for example, is some of the last new old stock in existence.
While being painted, the six-cylinder M130 engine was placed on our custom-built testing bed, which allows us to rigorously further text the engine beyond our standard compression & leak back process. It was established that the engine and associated systems were in good order and would require some cosmetic attention, which included sand blasting all aluminium components, gold plated fuel lines and throttle linkages. All gloss black parts were powder coated to match the rest of the Pagoda.
Other work carried out included restoring and fitting the injection pump and removing the rocker covers to be soda blasted, before being refitted with new gaskets and copper washes. New injectors were also fitted, as well as an upgraded 123 electronic ignition system for improved start, setup and reliability. Alongside this was the refurbishment of the steering box and a whole host of mechanical work too extensive to list here. A restoration, after all, is not a hasty process.
New Bamboo carpets have been fitted to match the new seatbelts. The dash topper has also been colour matched to the seats; with refurbished dials and a refurbished gloss wood pack carefully placed atop the dash.
The chrome has been refurbished to restore the sixties sparkle synonymous with the W113 Pagoda, while an ivory steering wheel with a Parchment centre boss replaces the former black wheel of the original car. To complement the interior and complete the revived exterior aesthetic, a new tan mohair hood has been fitted by our team.
The removal of the old-school car phone made way for the addition of new Alpine front footwell speakers to sit alongside the upgraded original Becker head unit which is now compatible with modern mobile devices. The hard top has also been restored; with new seals and a rear window inserted.
PREPARING FOR THE FIRST 12 MONTHS OF ADVENTURES:
As part of our restoration process, all W113 Pagodas go through our setup program, which incorporates mile after mile of shakedown drives to precisely understand what needs to be adjusted – could the cold start be improved? Does the ride feel a little too soft? Is the throttle correctly adjusted? Is the steering slightly out? All these details ensure we hand over a Pagoda that drives as good as new; with reassurance that the owner can set off with confidence.
OWNERSHIP AND ENJOYMENT:
It is always a joy to witness the handover moment. If you follow us on social media, you’ll see a snapshot of the owner taking their first drive. And while most of us can only wonder what it is like to own, enjoy and share the experience of driving a Pagoda, we can continue to indulge in our passion by living these moments vicariously through others.
THE WORDS OF THE 280SL’S OWNER:
We have not met but I had my SL in the capable hands of Olie and Dan for most of the last year.
They have been a pleasure to work with.
They have approached the renovation with the passion and professionalism that would make you feel it was their car- and in some ways it is.
You have built a great business and a unique culture and I have some experience of knowing how hard that is.
My thanks again to Olie and the Dan and the team for their passion and commitment .
I hope to meet- perhaps when the car is next in for a service .
2023 – 60 YEARS OF THE PAGODA
Next year marks the W113 Pagoda’s 60th Birthday. A mammoth moment for the Mercedes-Benz brand as it will bring with it a whole new entourage of prospective owners, and those who want to celebrate the brand’s legacy by purchasing one of their current vehicles or something from the back catalogue.
Our celebration takes a slightly different focus – one of community. We’ll be gathering owners of all Mercedes-Benz models for a series of European events, including a gathering at SLSHOP like that of our #SLSHOP50 event in 2021. The highlight though will be our curated drive to Stuttgart – a five-day drive to the home of MB, featuring hotels, activities and petrolheads from all countries on the continent.