Mercedes Benz designed a chassis (the frame on which the car sits) then built various model cars using the same chassis design over a number of years; ranging from a year or two to 15 years or more. Cars built on the same chassis are very much alike with relatively minor cosmetic and option changes. Cars sharing the same chassis can have different engine sizes over the years. The Chassis for the SL’s that followed the 300 SL and the 190 SL in the 1960’s was the “W 113” Chassis. 113 Chassis SL’s had three different engines over the years and three different model designations.
The 230 SL, 250 SL, and 280 SL Roadsters The W 113 Chassis SL’s
The three Mercedes 113 chassis SL models were: the 230 SL, the 250 SL, and the 280 SL:
230 SL 1963 to 1966 19,741 cars (4,752 were exported to the USA)
250 SL 1966 to 1968 5,196 cars (1,761 to the USA)
280 SL 1967 to 1971 23,885 cars (12,927 to the USA)
These three models all shared the same “W 113” chassis. (The “W” is from “Wagen”.) Since a chassis more or less dictates the major design configuration of the cars built on that chassis, these three cars share many features and many parts in common. In parts catalogs, in books, the three cars are usually grouped together. While to the casual observer the three cars appear nearly identical, owners of W 113 cars are very aware of the differences in the three models and are often quite partial to their choice.
Mercedes owners often refer to the chassis number when discussing a car or ordering parts. “I have a 280 SL”, one will say. “Which one?” The reply might be “It’s a 113.” This avoids confusing car models having the same designation that may be years apart and are unrelated. One Mercedes 280 SL (the one we discuss here) is from the late 1960’s. Another Mercedes 280 SL is from the mid-1970’s. The two cars do not share the same chassis and are quite different. The later 280SL is a 107 chassis car mentioned below.
While German engineering made these cars unmistakably Mercedes Benz products, the elegant yet powerful timeless lines of the 113 SL’s were from the pen of a Frenchman, Paul Bracq who designed a number of successful cars including several BMW classics.
The Pagoda Roof
The W 113 SL’s (230SL, 250SL, 280SL) are sometimes called “Pagoda” cars.
This refers to the shape of the hardtop roof. The roof center is slightly lower than the sides reminiscent of the shape of a Japanese Style Pagoda. The sides of the roof were raised a bit to allow easier entry and exit, to permit larger side windows, and to increase roof strength. This same Pagoda roofline was carried into the next generation of SL’s, the 107 chassis cars discussed below.
When is an SL a “Roadster”? When is it a “Coupe”?
The Mercedes Benz Owners Manual for the 1971 280 SL refers to a car having only a Soft top as a “Roadster”, a car with only the removable Hardtop as a “Coupe”, and a car with both the soft and the hardtop as a “Coupe with Roadster Top””. The Owners Manual shows an accent acute over the final “e” (Coupé) to render it as “coo-pay” in the French manner.
The car offered for sale here comes with an extensive History file, fully detailing multiple service & maintenance bills dating back more than 25 years.
This car has coverd a genuine Low miles from new & been frequently dry stored.
The subject of a top quality re-spray& part restoration approximately 6 Years ago, this is a stunning looking car in Mercedes Black . The Years of storage had taken toll on various seals & rubbers —hence the car is presently undergoing meticulous engine out re-comissioning.
During the last 4 months this car has been the subject of Extensive Restoration Works—–
Engine & Gearbox have been rebuilt ,& all the Fuel system overhauled.Engine detail is second to none, with a genuine Crankshaft sourced from Germany this is an opportunity to own a truly correct car.
In Parallel with the total mechanical restoration works a full Respray has been done & the Chassis & underside meticulously prepared with then new Waxoyle treatment.
The car simply looks and drives like new, with just enough Patina to be unmistakably a car manufactured in 1969.
In Mercedes Black with matching hard top as well as full Canvas Hood this is a sensational Classic well suited to continental Touring with rock solid reliability & having just been fully set up on Rolling Road facility.
The car is offered for sale at £72,500 & represents a significant Investment possibility
as Chrome, & paint work are superb ,whilst the interior has a “restored feel” with just enough Patina to allow a new owner Nostalgia as eyes inevitably focus on the near perfect condition dash-board with all Gauges—- saying just what they should!
This rare, low mileage 280 SL model makes a wonderful touring car from this bygone era & comes with a beautiful as new Hood plus the desirable factory Pagoda roof all in excellent unmarked condition.
The car following full service & the extensive work outlined, will be supplied with a fresh 12 months MOT.
This is an opportunity to buy a low-mileage, 280 SL Pagoda, before prices further sky rocket.A superb driving car with Iconic lines, early viewing here in Suffolk strongly recommended. As allways, any Quality Part exchange is welcome,delivery through out Europe arranged ,prospective customers from further afield ,we are happy to collect from London Stansted just over an hour away. Any long time admirer of the Pagoda SL, would be sorry to pass-over this car