Lot Number
195

1967 Mercedes-Benz 250 SL 'Pagoda'

£100,000 - £140,000

RM | Sotheby's - LONDON 2018


Chassis No.
Engine No.
113.043.10.002025
129.982.10.01146

Documents: UK V5

  • Presented in original factory colours, with factory hard top and third seat
  • Rare and highly desirable factory five-speed manual ZF gearbox
  • Restoration work approaching £40,000

Mercedes-Benz had a tough act to follow after phasing out its popular 190 SL in 1963. A new model, designated W113, appeared as the 230 SL in 1964, evolving into the larger-engined 250 SL and 280 SL. This classic Paul Bracq-penned two-seat luxury touring convertible offered a more modern and angular look, often accentuated with a tall, airy ‘Pagoda’ hardtop. The 250 SL was both expensive and rare, with only 5,196 sold between 1966 and 1968, making it the rarest of the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes.

Mercedes-Benz was justifiably proud of this modern new car, declaring in period advertising that its road manners were superior to that of the 300 SL. ‘The 250 SL stands a mere 4 ft., 4 in. high, yet overall width is almost six feet. Its track is so wide-stanced that those chubby 14-in. radial-ply tires seem to bulge out from the body sides to straddle the pavement.’ The ad went on to declare that ‘the 250 SL is only stretched to its peak when its speedometer needle nudged 124 mph.’ The new 2.5-litre engine for the 250 SL featured seven main bearings, which while having no real impact upon overall horsepower, led to an extra 15 foot-pounds of torque, making the engine more flexible. The improvement in performance was aided further by the addition of rear disc brakes. To maintain Mercedes-Benz’s bulletproof build quality, a larger capacity cooling system and an as-standard oil-water heat exchanger featured.

This 250 SL was originally delivered to Italy in blue (396) with a black MTex interior, third seat, navy blue soft top and hard top in body colour, as well as an original Becker Europa radio. It is presented in this colour scheme today. This 250 SL was also specified with the now hugely desirable and rare five-speed ZF gearbox. Only 882 Pagodas were fitted with ZF gearboxes in period, with around 100 of these being 250 SLs, making this example one of the rarest and most desirable in existence.

After subsequently making its way to California, where it spent a significant part of its life, this 250 SL was imported from California by the consignor. Described upon purchase as a ‘driver’s car’, the decision was taken to return it to its original specification, with a restoration entrusted to Pagoda specialist Roger Edwards Motors. The final invoice was close to £40,000, and the work undertaken is evident in this 250 SL’s presentation today. It benefits from new sprints, exhaust, tyres and hood, with further attention being given to the interior and chrome, and the engine has received a thorough service. Proudly wearing the famed three-pointed star, this elegant 250 SL would be a perfect candidate for either the show field or spirited wind-in-the-hair weekend cruising.



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