The Overview

The 50th anniversary of anything in life is a special event, its half a century, half a life time, and for most things can be considered the test of time. The Pagode Mercedes-Benz (W113 Chassis) has proven itself as a timeless piece of automotive history. Trends have never been stronger for the values of these sophisticated and advanced sports touring cars of their time. They offer a relaxing experience that not many other cars of the period can duplicate, delivering a unique package and residing in a class all of its own. The 230, 250, and 280SL are must haves for any serious collector of sports cars, German cars, convertibles, or enthusiast who can appreciate their smart looks and subtle performance.


The example on offer here resembles the last of the W113 cars, and the last of the truly hand-built Mercedes-Benz road cars. This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL has been verified by The Mercedes Classic Center as being sold new with the following specifications:

Chassis number:   113 044 12 022639

Engine number:    130 983 12 015352

Production Month/Year:   12/70

Transmission number: 010346

Key code:   HF 1008

Exterior color code:  423 – tobacco brown body & hardtop

Interior color code:  140 – cognac mbtex

Option codes:

401     Single seats

416     Hardtop mounted

426     Power steering

440     bumper guards

461     instruments in English

491     USA version

503     outside side view mirror, left

515     Becker radio

524     paint coat preservation

595     heat insulated glass

600     trim strip on hardtop

641     white wall tires

669     mode of packing VE I

249     heated rear pane

746     soft-top fabric, dark brown


It is offered today in almost the same format as its original production with a few minor changes having been completed over the years. The original Cognac MBTex has been replaced more recently with a Parchment leatherette interior, a correct color combination for Tobacco brown, just not specific to this particular chassis #. The Hardtop is unfortunately no longer with the car; however a newer correct German canvas soft top is installed. Otherwise, we see the car as it was when new.


Cosmetically this car is very consistent as a driver, with nothing in need of attention, but not quite a show quality example. Rather it is nicely aged and very much ideal for the onlooker considering touring this example or enjoying on a more regular basis. The panels are very straight, the gaps excellent, and the paint consistent throughout and having the benefit of always having been Tobacco Brown. The paint has a few minor blemishes here or there which include a small scratch that has been touched up on the right rear quarter as well as a few chips on the deck lid. Nothing that warrants refinishing, but present and consistent with that of a driver. The bright work is great overall, but a few items are showing some light age as well as a ding in the front nose chrome, again, very consistent and nice overall. The tires are in good shape as are the top and wheel covers. The glass and rubber components are also in good condition, the window felts are nice, and the door jams clean with no issues.


Upon entering the Parchment leatherette interior we see nice overall upholstery work that is clean and well done overall. The seats are nicely done with proper carpeting throughout and in excellent condition. The dash top is well done as well including newer wood throughout. The dash fascia shows well with only the most minor imperfections and everything in working order to the best of our knowledge. The seat operation works fine, and all gauges are in order reading properly with oil pressure always high, and temperature unlikely to see past the half way point.


This SL starts instantly, runs well with no issues and absolutely no smoking as is common with many of these. We have noticed a slightly noisy exhaust in our 200 miles contributed to the odometer, but it is something that should be easily remedied. The handling, braking, steering, and shifting are all without fault and totally in order. These cars boast reliability when properly dialed in; this example is no exception and is definitely turn key for a driver quality example.


Under the bonnet shows a mostly original engine bay that shows use and enjoyment, serviced, well tended to but not concours. Everything is in place where it should be with no attention needed. We have noted that the hood number matches the build tag and that the spot welds on the inner fenders have unfortunately been glazed over during the exterior restoration along with the deletion of the headlight notches. The underside is of the same consistency with what appears to be all original metal in the floors and rockers with no issues noted beyond one very small spot on the front of the passenger side foot well towards the front, minor but present. Otherwise we see thin rust free inner fender wells, gas tank, floors, and front valence.  The trunk has unfortunately been spray glued and a carpet added. We have pulled up a section to check the integrity and can report it is solid and original with no issues present. We would suggest the removal of the carpet and a refinish in the trunk to round out this SL as a very nice example.


Offered with the original jack and spare, this last year Pagode Mercedes is an example worth much consideration, not only for the sensible investment aspect, but for the fun and enjoyment these little convertibles offer.  Welcome at any local show or club meet, this 280SL will not disappoint and is available for immediate delivery.


Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)