Our used Mercedes Pagode

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The history of the Pagoda

The history of the Mercedes-Benz Pagoda goes back to the 1960s. The Pagoda is actually the nickname given to the Mercedes-Benz W113, a range of sports cars produced between 1963 and 1971 powered by an M130 L6 (2.8 L) petrol engine.

The Mercedes-Benz W113 was introduced as the successor to the famous 300 SL, also known as the “Gullwing” because of its distinctive gullwing doors. The W113 has been designed as a more practical and accessible sports car, while retaining the elegant styling and outstanding performance of its predecessor.

French designer Paul Bracq is credited with the W113’s body design. He created a timeless aesthetic with sleek, flowing lines and an optional removable hardtop, hence the nickname “Pagoda”. The rigid roof had a distinctive curved shape, resembling the roofs of Asian temples.

The Mercedes-Benz Pagode was available in three engine variants: the 230 SL, the 250 SL and the 280 SL. Each of them referred to the displacement of its engine.

  1. Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W113): Introduced in 1963, the 230 SL was the first model in the W113 series. It was powered by a 2.3-liter in-line six-cylinder engine developing around 150 hp. The 230 SL featured Bosch mechanical fuel injection, making it one of the first production cars to benefit from this technology. It also had a four-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a four-speed automatic option available later. The 230 SL was appreciated for its balance between performance and fuel economy.

  2. Mercedes-Benz 250 SL (W113): In 1966, Mercedes-Benz launched the 250 SL model to replace the 230 SL. The 250 SL was powered by a 2.5-liter in-line six-cylinder engine developing around 150 hp. The main difference with the previous model was the introduction of a Bosch electronic fuel injection system, enhancing performance and efficiency. Like the 230 SL, it was available with a four-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic.

  3. Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W113): The 280 SL model was introduced in 1967 and became the last of the W113 series. It was powered by a 2.8-liter in-line six-cylinder engine developing around 170 hp. The 280 SL offered slightly better performance than its predecessors, thanks in particular to an increase in displacement. Like the other models, it was available with a four-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic transmission.

In addition to differences in performance, the 230 SL, 250 SL and 280 SL models could also feature minor aesthetic differences over the years of production, such as variations in headlights, bumpers or other styling details.

It’s important to note that the American versions of the 250 SL and 280 SL models were equipped with larger bumpers and distinctive taillights to comply with American road safety regulations of the time.

Despite these differences, all Pagoda models were renowned for their build quality, comfort, handling and distinctive styling, which contributed to their status as timeless automotive icons.

The Mercedes-Benz Pagoda is considered one of the most iconic collector cars in automotive history, and is highly prized in the classic car market.