Lot 235

Monterey 2021

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda'


$335,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • Stunning presentation in its factory original color combination of Dark Olive over Cognac
  • No expense spared restoration by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA
  • Previously displayed in the Mercedes-Benz exhibition stand at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • Maintained in concours-quality condition
Addendum: RM Sotheby’s is pleased to note that upon further inspection, this lot’s engine number matches that of the factory data card.

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 then. First introduced in 1963 as the 230 SL, the new-generation W113 Mercedes roadster was designed by Paul Braq with the model earning 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 of the beloved W113 model, most noticeably enhanced with a larger displacement 2.8-liter version of the inline six-cylinder engine along with other refinements over its predecessors.

This 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL left the factory finished in Dark Olive over a Cognac interior with brown carpets. It was further specified on the data card to have been delivered with single seats, a color-matched hardtop, power steering, automatic transmission with floor shift, English instrumentation in miles, U.S. version, driver’s sideview mirror, paint coat preservative, interference suppression without a radio, tinted glass, garnish mouldings on the hardtop, whitewall tires, and folding soft top in black.

In 2010, the 280 SL “Pagoda” was entrusted to Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA in Irvine, California, for complete restoration. Over the next year, every nut and bolt on the car would be disassembled and refinished to the incredible standard as seen today. Shortly after restoration work was completed, this car was displayed in the Mercedes-Benz exhibition stand at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—giving testament to the capabilities of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center to return a 280 SL to the same condition it would have left the factory in 1968, even to the point of replicating the factory chalk and paint inspection marks. Soon after exhibition, this car returned to the renowned Chris Marsico collection before joining current ownership early last year.

Today, this meticulously restored 280 SL is truly a sight to see. It rides on Michelin tires wrapped around steel wheels with color-matched factory wheel covers. The interior is appropriately trimmed in Cognac leather, accented by wood trim, and features a VDO Kienzle dash clock and a Becker Europa radio. During restoration, the car was refitted with stylish European-specification Bosch Lichteinheit headlights for a more streamlined appearance. It is accompanied by a tool roll, books, and manuals, and includes both a color-matched hardtop and black convertible soft top.

Few W113 roadsters have been restored to this level of correctness and quality, allowing the next owner the closest experience to showing and driving a brand-new 280 SL.