Lot 141

Arizona 2022

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda'

The Tenenbaum Collection


$100,800 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Offered from The Tenenbaum Collection
  • A wonderfully presented, late-production "Pagoda"
  • Clad in its factory-correct White exterior with matching hardtop and wheels over a black interior
  • Ideal open-air cruising configuration featuring power steering, automatic transmission, and Frigiking air conditioning system

The elegant styling and undeniable appeal of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda” made the German two-seater popular at the time of its first availability in the 1960s, and its long-lasting charm has sustained demand as a coveted collector car since. Introduced in 1963 as the 230 SL, the new-generation W113 Mercedes roadster was designed by Paul Bracq; the model earned its “Pagoda” nickname thanks to the distinctive concave removeable hardtop that owners could equip for all-weather driving. The 280 SL represents the last iteration of the beloved W113 model. It is noticeably enhanced with a larger displacement 2.8-liter version of the inline-six engine and other refinements over its predecessors.

This 280 SL was originally acquired by a resident of Pasadena Hills, California on 28 May 1970 via Lloyd Pearson Mercedes-Benz. Finished in its factory-correct White over black MB-Tex patterned vinyl, the car’s original data card indicates a plethora of factory specifications including factory hardtop, Becker radio, whitewall tires, black soft top, and automatic transmission. At some point during the car’s life, it was also upgraded with a dealer-installed Frigiking air conditioning system. Rather interestingly, this Pagoda has never been registered outside California.

The car’s original maintenance booklet shows regular service entries by a variety of authorized Mercedes-Benz facilities throughout Southern California until September 1991. By April 2000, this handsome 280 SL had been acquired by just its second recorded owner. Additional invoices on file show that car was periodically refurbished with OEM parts during this time, with particular focus paid to the suspension, drivetrain, and coolant systems.

The studious refurbishment of this Pagoda has continued in a consistent manner since entering the Tenenbaum Collection in December 2005. Notwithstanding regular maintenance intervals, this exceptional 280 SL has received two notable servicings within the past six years of custodianship. In 2015, a comprehensive $6,000 repair regimen was furnished by Scott Melnick at Auto Engineering in Calabasas, California; work included replacement of all the chassis mounts (engine, transmission, subframe), brake hoses, starter motor, and fuel injection hoses. More recently, a 15,000-mile maintenance schedule was performed in May 2019.

This 1970 280 SL "Pagoda" is now offered from 16 years of ownership by the Tenenbaum Collection, and accompanied by its matching hardtop, service invoices, registration records, original data card, manuals, tools, service book, and even its pre-delivery inspection sheet from Lloyd Pearson Mercedes-Benz. A timeless classic that has only become more desirable as years have passed, this attractive 280 SL is a delightful and approachable example of this storied model.