What is it with you Mercedes People and your cutsie names? What is a Pagoda? Like so many other Mercedes Benz models, the series of convertibles available in the late sixties earneditself a cute name. It got its name from the little 'dent' in the roof (when the hardtop was on), and became known as the Pagoda roof.
The Pagoda is technically known as a 113 series, or 230SL, 250SL and 280SL. While all of these look the same, mechanically there are a small number of differences. Like almost any Mercedes of that era, the first three numbers are indicative of engine size. So, a 230SL is a 2.3 litre 6 cylinder, 250SL is a 2.5 litre 6 cylinder and so on. One of the great things about this series is that they are mechanically compatible with the saloons available at the time (eg 250SE, 280SE), which makes them much easier to get bits for second hand (mechanically at least).
Along with the full bodies coupés and cabriolets of this era (220SE, 300SE, 250SE & 280SE), I would rate these cars as some of the most beautiful ever made. See for yourself:
The above picture is of a later model 280SL. I am personally particularly partial to the rear end of the car, I think the lines are some of the best you'll see on any vehicle. For this vehicle, there appears to be no worldwide price guide. In the US, they appear to be bringing in between USD$20-30,000 for a good example. Meanwhile, in Australia, they're fetching as high as AUD$70,000. I'm planning to get myself a 113 as my next car, so I guess a bit more saving is on the cards! There are a number of small differences between the original 113 released worldwide and the one released in the USA (is it because they just HAVE to be different?). The major differences can be seen below; this car has the trademark USA USA side marker lights and the USA headlight assembly, which in my humble opinon, looks pretty crappy!
Now, the next picture is of virtually the identical car (okay so it's maroon and the hardtop is on), but without those crappy looking USA headlights - fortunately for you USA residents, 'REAL' headlights are available (check out my Mercedes parts page for links).
More Pagoda Links...
Here's a great Pagoda Page, a true ode to these beautiful vehicles
Here's another great Pagoda Page, from a guy in the Netherlands. Well worth checking out.
Go back to my Mercedes links Page
Another excellent resource is Mercedes113.com