*This is a translation done by a machine.
Mercedes-Benz first began using the name "SL" in its famous 300SL Galwing. It means "Sports & Light". In other words, it is a light and fast sports & GT car.
In the mid 1950s and early 1960s, the first 300SL Galwing, its successor, the 300SL Roadster, and the cheaper 190SL were produced. With the rise of the American sports car market, there was a growing demand for a sports model that would fill the gap between the two, and in 1963 the new generation sports model with the W113 name debuted as the 230SL.
The 230SL is a roadster with 6 direct engines equipped with Bosch mechanical multi-point fuel injection. It has a removable hard top and has been called "pagoda roof" because of its unique shape. Therefore, car enthusiasts refer to this W113 when they say "Mercedes Pagoda".
The 230SL, which has a strong image of the 300SL in its interior, will be replaced by the 250SL in 1967. The interior of the 250SL gradually changed to a modern one, and it evolved into the 280SL in 1968. In Mercedes at the time (until very recently), the figures represented engine displacement, so the W113 went from 2.3 liters to 2.5 liters and then to 2.8 liters.
The W113 is sometimes likened to a lady in the convertible world because of its elegant appearance. The 250SL, which produced only 5200 units in a short period of time, is the rarest model, but the 280SL (Production of 24000 units) is by far the easiest to ride, and if you want to master the classic style of "Pagoda", I recommend the 3 pedal model of the 230SL (Production of 20,000 units).
|Jun Nishikawa's Highlights!
For the first time in a long time, I was able to see the pagoda that was made with attention to detail. At first glance, you can tell that he has an aura that is not normal.
It was produced in 1968, so it is almost the last car of the 280 SL of Pagoda. It is also valuable to have all the documents, such as the receipt from the first owner and various manuals. Just looking at this will make you feel like you're on a history trip.
It is said that the car was in Japan in the early 1990s. After the current owner took over, the export was cancelled and sent to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in California, where it was restored. The exterior has been repainted in original beige and the interior has been repapered from tan to bright red.
As for what is wonderful, the way of fitting the exterior parts is very beautiful. I've never seen a pagoda with such a beautiful exterior. Certainly, if it was reproduced in the Classic Center, I can understand this finish, but I have never seen this beautiful finish other than that. In addition, the opening and closing sound of the door is wonderful. Just hearing that makes me want it!
That said, the car's appeal isn't just its cleanliness. The car was manufactured in California and the final touches were made in Japan, where the current owner applied various "craftsmanship" to the 1968 Pagoda 280SL so that it could be drived in everyday life throughout the year without spoiling the original atmosphere.
For example, it took six months just to fit the air conditioner, so there is no problem with its effectiveness. In addition, as a result of reconstructing the radiator from the heat sink, which could not increase the number of cores, it is now able to run without problems even in the middle of summer when the temperature is 35 degrees. Even driving in summer is comfortable.
The music loving owner uses a McIntosh at Pagoda. You can enjoy the sound full of a sense of reality that you wouldn't think of as a classic car.
In addition to the power window with the regulator lever, the electric antenna and HDI headlights are made with care as if they were made by a manufacturer.
If you look around the suspension, you'll see that it's fitted with a "wheel shaped like a turban shell" for the W 123, and has been upgraded to a more visually pleasing 215/65 -14 tire, but of course there's also an original wheel.
The engine remains the original, but the automatic transmission has been overhauled from the transmission case, the mechanical fuel pump has been overhauled, and the alternator's performance has been improved by about 30% to keep up with the increase in electricity use.
It is the Pagoda 280SL which is well maintained in every corner and is full of ideas to be able to ride comfortably even today. It may be the best Pagoda you can find in the Japanese market now.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on December 2018
|Year of Purchase