16-17 January 2014

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Lot 18

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda'

  • Chassis no.
  • Engine no. 130.983.12.011747

Sold for $165,000

180 bhp, 2,778 cc overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder engine with Bosch fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and unequal A-arms, independent rear suspension with low-pivot swing axles, trailing arms, and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

  • One of the finest original 280 SLs in the world
  • Less than 25,000 actual miles
  • Original, unopened tool kit and original books and Pagoda hard top

Every decade has its style icons. The 1960s brought us go-go boots, bouffant hairdos, and kipper ties, but none of which have aged nearly as well as the Mercedes-Benz W113 series of two-seat roadsters. The W113 was the original “car as accessory.” It was expensive and impractical enough to demonstrate one’s wealth, but it was also small and zippy enough for easy motoring through city traffic. It was sporty enough to be fast and fun to drive, but it was also comfortable enough to be luxurious. The W113 was always appropriate for any occasion, and anyone looked good in it.

The original W113 design was the 230 SL; it was introduced in 1963 with the crisp, angular Paul Bracq styling and Pagoda removable hard top, which would become the model’s signatures. The original 150-horsepower six cylinder grew in size over the decade, with the ultimate model being the 280 SL, which had the 180-horsepower, 2.8-liter engine and was introduced in 1968 and built through 1971. The 280 SL was the most popular W113, as it accounted for 23,885 cars.

Offered here is what can only be described as one of the finest 280 SLs in existence, as was confirmed for the present owner by preeminent West Coast Pagoda guru Tom Colitt. It is all the more impressive for having survived this way by loving care and preservation, rather than restoration.

Only the body has been refinished, with a high-quality professional repaint in the Dark Red-Brown that is original to this car, and it is backed up by over $40,000 in receipts for the paintwork and the detailing of the engine and chassis to exact factory specifications. The paint on the Pagoda hard top is original, as is the entire interior, including the Beige MB-Tex upholstery, carpeting, walnut, and door panels; all of these are in incredible time-warp condition. As a testament to the preservation of this car, the trunk floor is original and has never been repainted, the factory-installed firewall pad is still intact, and the car still wears all the correct markings and stampings that a Daimler-Benz employee would have recognized in 1970.

The car is supplied with its original tool kit, which has never been opened and is still in the heat-sealed bag, and its original books in their factory pouch, and it shows less than 25,000 actual miles.

Without exaggeration, this is the finest original 280 SL to be offered in recent memory. It is a truly world-class, irreplaceable specimen of one of Mercedes-Benz’s all-time most popular and versatile machines.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more