Have you owned your W113 Mercedes for years? Perhaps you have inherited it from your parents or grandparents like Alex in the opening picture? Has it been sat unloved for a long period of time? Or perhaps some TLC is in order following years of enjoyment and adventures on the continent?
Regardless of the condition and story behind your Pagoda ownership journey so far, there is masses of opportunity to improve the condition of your vehicle, make it more reliable, economical and perform better on the open road. Beyond its driving traits, your Pagoda could benefit from cosmetic improvements to better reflect the value of your vehicle in the 21st century.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER MAKING IMPROVEMENTS TO MY PAGODA?
We all ask ourselves ‘why’ I should invest in my car, particularly as it can seem like a never-ending spiral of expenses. Nevertheless, depending on the condition of your vehicle and the time at which you acquired the vehicle, these improvements are often likely to improve the value of your vehicle.
With the earliest Pagodas now sixty years old and the scarcity of good quality examples increasing, values are reaching new heights. Some late 280SL models in right hand drive format are selling for in excess of £200,000. Making cosmetic and mechanical improvements to a Pagoda you’ve owned for years or inherited could be a wise decision to both maximise the usability of the vehicle and its future return value.
WHERE SHOULD I START?
As the leading W113 Pagoda specialist, we encourage owners (old and new) to start with our leading Vehicle Health Check service. This allows us to inspect your vehicle over the course of eight hours, interrogating every inch of your Pagoda on our ramps and out on the road. Once completed, we’ll furnish you with a report advising of any essential and ‘nice to have’ improvements.
The following could be examples of essential and ‘nice to have’ improvements that we would work with you to achieve:
A 50+ year old Pagoda will, unless tended to previously, have suffered from structural degredation. We may find that the sills, boot or floor pans have corroded. This could also be the case with the chassis legs, front cross members and wheel arches. Of course, this is worst case scenario and perhaps only minor welding work will be required.
Whether your Pagoda requires major or minor structural work, our craftsmen are experts are restoring these vehicles, working to millimetre tolerances when restoring vehicles. Where Pagodas aren’t in need of major work, our team will also carry out ‘safety-focused’ repairs, preventing any issues spreading and causing the need for further work.
Often, we find that Pagodas of all calibre – highly restored examples and original examples – have not been setup correctly. Many specialists are good at making Pagodas look pretty, but they struggle to get the engine operating efficiently and reliably. We therefore focus specifically on setting your Pagoda’s mechanicals up correctly. This focuses on:
- Distributor issues – cause poor performance at all rev ranges and may need replacing or adjusting
- Emissions – adjusting engine operation to ensure the optimum release of gases
- Cold start – the cold start injectors could be leaking causing poor startup
- Throttle Bodies: require adjustment or replacement when allowing too much air in
- Oil leaks: could be caused by rocker cover gaskets or perished rear crank seals
Once you’ve revived the essential elements that make your Pagoda usable, cosmetic and comfort elements can be addressed.
‘NICE TO HAVE’
The Pagoda is defined by its minimalist curves and chrome work. Refurbished or replacement chrome will revive the exterior of your Pagoda, particularly if you’ve had replacement panels and a repainted exterior. The chrome could be the final touch either way.
Over time, your headlamp may have become scratched or clouded, reducing their effectiveness. Replacing these with period correct examples will not only making driving easier, but evidence that your vehicle has been cared for.
MODERN MANUAL GEARBOX
Opting for a manual modern gearbox will radically improve the driving experience, allowing you to cruise more comfortably at lower revs. Similarly, you’ll have a more engaging drive, as the manual gearbox will allow you to take more control over the delivery of power.
You have the option to completely restore your interior or make partial improvements to the seats, dash topper or carpet. You could return your Pagoda to factory specification or incorporate different colours and materials.
Ultimately, the improvements you choose to make are for your own benefit. Whether you intend to use the vehicle for road trips or release it onto the market, the improvements you make are only going to add value.