Very smart and relatively rare example of a 280SL, combining a four-speed manual transmission with the largest Pagoda engine (without power steering). This W113’s something of a driver’s favourite; it certainly impressed our technician along our evaluation route.
With a low mileage, yet enough to ensure regular use, this Pagoda was subjected to an extensive restoration in 2011, carried out to a very high standard. There’s photo evidence of the work carried out on an accompanying disc in the history, showing the car stripped to bare metal, before it was treated to an excellent repaint.
A Pagoda isn’t often seen as a driver’s favourite, which is a bit of a shame, as they really can be the perfect partner during a spirited drive. This one has the character of a sports car with greater feedback from its unassisted steering and that manual transmission putting you at the centre of the drive. Its great condition, still retained from its restoration and recent work, means it’s running well and ready for its next keeper to enjoy.
When that repaint took place it was done well as there’s still a lovely shine to the solid Blue paint that lifts the mildly tarnished chromework. The latter is still highly presentable but in certain places is showing its age. Most of these spots however, would polish up again; this Pagoda looks to be in great shape. Its accompanying hardtop is also very tidy indeed.
The engine bay appears honest, original and highly presentable; components showing a light oil misting rather than any leaks. New looking parts can be seen all over the place from the HT leads to the trickle charger lead, helpfully already fitted to the battery terminals.
A decent, if not remarkable, history accompanies this Pagoda. A previous keeper took the time to chart all the previous owner’s details, listing them in a typed fine within the history folder from the first to the sixth.
A good selection of invoices from Mercedes-Benz Poole charts work and parts supply to the tune of a low four-figure sum. More substantial bills can be seen from German car specialist Gas 305 in Reigate from 2010, with plenty of remedial work charted from servicing to fitting a myriad of replacement hoses, brackets, bushes and leads, leading to a further four-figure bill.
Despite covering few miles in recent decades, a steady string of invoices shows on-going care, the most recent of which comes from Carlton Service Station in Thirsk. Here the car was treated to a front suspension overhaul, electronic ignition, new speedo cable and a tuning session to cure a poor idle. The car’s last MoT was in 2018 and showed a Pagoda in good health.