Of  the legendary “SL” series that started with the 300 SL in 1954, the most chic, the lowest silhouette W 113s were manufactured from 1963 to 1971 as the models 230, 250 and 280. They became known as the “Pagoda” SLs, so named for the curved shape of their hardtop. Manufactured for America to American standards and purchased for our Museum from an auction in Florida, this 280 SL’s transmission and upholstery have been renovated.

Introduced in 1963 with the 134.2 cu.in. Daimler-Benz M 127 II engine, the 230 SL’s successor, the 250 SL, gained a 152.3 cu.in. engine, while the last model of the series, the 280 SL, used the

169.5 cu.in. M 130 engine. The SL offered good ability of handling and high speed despite its heavy body weight of 3781 lbs. It won the Spa-Sofia-Liege Rally driven by Eugen Bohringer in its launch year.

Known as the most popular Mercedes of the 1960s, the Pagoda SL was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1963. Having the same wheelbase as the previous model 190 SL and using the 220 SE’s engine with the shortened chassis of the 220 model of the same year, these SLs consumed 3-gallons of gasoline per 62 mph. The W 113 SLs followed much of the 190 SL’s engineering with its platform chassis, front and rear suspension and monocoque body. Due to good matching of the engine and transmission, the 280 SL can easily run in top gear at 10 mph. Criticized in its period for its soft lines and high price, the SL is now recognised as a perfect example of its class, with high performance and great handling.


  • Make Mercedes-Benz
  • Model 280 SL
  • Model / Body Number W 113 E 28
  • Body Style Roadster
  • Year 1968
  • Origin Germany
  • Production Total 23,885
  • Passenger Capacity 2


  • Engine Daimler-Benz M 130, 6 cyl, In-Line, OHC, Gasoline, 169.5 cu. inch, 180 bhp, 5750 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 3.40 x 3.10 inch
  • Transmission Automatic, 4-speed, syncro, floor shift
  • Top Speed 121 mph
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph, 11 s
  • Body / Frame Steel (+ Aluminum), monocoque / Steel, platform
  • Suspension Front Double wishbone, coil springs and shock absorbers
    Rear Low single-pivot, swing axle, with transverse spring and shock absorbers
  • Electrical System 12 Volt, 55 Ampere
  • Brakes Hydraulic, 4-wheels disc
  • Wheelbase 94.5 inch
  • Overall Length 168.7 inch
  • Overall Width 69.3 inch
  • Overall Height 51.9 inch
  • Shipping Weight 3781 lbs
  • Front / Rear Tread 58.5 inch / 58.5 inch
  • Tires 185 HR 14