Lot 184

Arizona 2023

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda'


$187,600 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Registration
  • Stunningly preserved example, meticulously cared for by the original owner for nearly 50 years
  • Odometer displays just 33,025 miles at time of cataloguing
  • Presented in Dark Olive over Cognac MB-Tex upholstery with matching Dark Olive ‘Pagoda’ hardtop
  • Recently received a glowing report from Mercedes-Benz after undergoing a multi-point inspection
  • Voluminous service and maintenance documentation from new
  • Accompanied by original window sticker, build card, factory tool kit, original Kangol seat-belt instructions, owner’s manual, and service booklet

The encore to the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL and 300 SL was first introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motors Show as the 230 SL. Built on a new chassis, designated W113, it struck a balance between the sporting 300 SL and touring-oriented 190 SL and was subsequently nicknamed the “Pagoda” after its distinctive concave hardtop. The final iteration on the W113 chassis, the 280 SL, debuted in 1968 with engine displacement enlarged to 2.8 liters, giving a much-needed boost in power. The last 280 SL came off the assembly line in March 1971 with nearly 24,000 produced, making it the most popular of all classic Mercedes-Benz roadsters.

The 280 SL offered here must be among the most documented, well-preserved examples in existence. It was ordered new in 1968 by Dr. George Geanekopulo, who would receive the car later that year through Ed Potter Mercedes-Benz of Columbus, Ohio, titled as a 1969.

Dr. George, as he was usually addressed, was a respected dentist and true automobile enthusiast who meticulously cared for the car until his passing in 2018. His attention to detail is evident throughout his beloved Mercedes. Viewing the underside of the car would indicate it may have never seen inclement weather. A wonderfully preserved oil-change sticker in the door jamb shows the mileage at just 2,889 in 1978 and service receipts from new show most of the car’s mileage being added during the next decade. When Dr. George passed away in 2018 the mileage on his prized possession was slightly over 32,900 miles. The odometer displayed just 33,025 miles at the time of cataloguing. All mileage is said to be supported by receipts over the past 53 years, which will be available to review on site at the auction.

Finished in Dark Olive over Cognac MB-Tex upholstery, this car retains its original fabric soft-top and matching Dark Olive removable hardtop. Its original, carefully preserved window sticker lists the car coming well-equipped with optional power steering, Becker Europa AM/FM radio, tinted glass, and chromed roof bars for a final suggested retail price of $7,913.

In November 2022, the car was brought to an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealership in Connecticut for a multi-point inspection and passed with a glowing report, confirming that the car needed no attention. Recent work included the installation of a new stainless-steel exhaust system and Bilstein shocks. The current windshield is chipped and will be replaced by Mercedes-Benz prior to the sale.

In addition to the original window sticker, factory-issued pink build card, and sales order form, the car is also accompanied by a factory tool kit in mint condition, original Kangol seat-belt instructions, owner’s manual and service booklet. Even the original dealer stock key tag and red plastic key holder are included. Prospective buyers are encouraged to view the voluminous documentation in person at RM Sotheby’s onsite research desk.

Mercedes-Benz ‘Pagoda’ models are finally getting the respect they deserve, with the 280 SL being the ultimate iteration. An example of this quality, with this level of documentation and preservation from such caring long-term ownership, is sure to elevate any collection.