Arizona

19-20 January 2017

Previous Next

Lot 127

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda'

  • Chassis no. 113.044.12.018945

$140,000 - $180,000


Please note that this lot is titled as a 1971.

170 hp, 2,778 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, independent rear suspension with low-pivot swing axles, trailing arms, and coil springs; and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

  • Excellent recent restoration
  • Optional factory air conditioning
  • Very desirable white and blue color and trim combination
  • Very collectable and usable example of Mercedes-Benz styling and engineering


The 280 SL roadsters built on the W113 chassis are without a doubt at the very sweet spot of the Mercedes-Benz year and model range, still affordable in spite of rapidly increasing values over recent years, and yet stylish, reliable, and competent to be used for pleasure on a frequent basis.

The first version of the W113, with its 2.3-liter engine, was well-received, but its performance was a bit disappointing due to its limited power. Without changing the basic body and trim design, it was replaced in 1967 with the interim 250 SL, and then in 1968 by the more powerful 280 SL 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine. The 280 SL would stay in production for three years before Mercedes-Benz replaced it with the R107-chassis 350 SL.

The elegant and understated styling of these roadsters, penned by designer and artist Paul Bracq, made the model a desirable accessory in movies like Two for the Road with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, and a popular vehicle for young celebrities in Hollywood during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This example, with its brilliant white paint and rich blue interior and soft top, is among the most popular, and is certainly a very attractive color scheme. It looks just as classy with the white “Pagoda” hardtop installed.

Designed with both a soft top that folded neatly under a tonneau cover behind the front seats, and a detachable hardtop with an open and airy appearance, the W113 was practical and enjoyable in all weather. The “Pagoda” nickname came from the shape of the removable hardtop, with its concave upper surface created by reinforcing ridges running front to back on the outside edges, giving it the upturned look of traditional Japanese building style. In this case, with the two tops and the optional factory-installed air conditioning—unusual on any car even into the 1970s—the car can be enjoyed on long trips and in any weather.

This recently restored example displays careful attention given to every detail down to the body-color hub caps accented by chrome trim rings and impeccable interior and engine compartment. It should be a delight to own and drive, shown with pride at Mercedes-Benz Club of America and regional multi-marque concours events and driven for fun on backroads tours or fashionable boulevards.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 212 894 1981
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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