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Weekly Motor Fix: 1970 Mercedes SL 280 Pagoda

24 May, 2016

This 1970 SL280 top-spec hardtop/soft-top (two-top) automatic (left-hand drive) convertible in the exceptionally rare and exquisitely beautiful Horizon Blue (with navy interior) is one of the finest examples you’ll find.

Most recently, this stunning work of road-going art has graced Canterbury’s roads, and wherever it goes its unmistakable shape and inherent elegance draws compliments like a magnet. The car’s owner, Tanya, has often been greeted with bunches of flowers left at the windscreen … one man even exclaiming, “A man would marry you for a car like that!” — and who can blame him? That man used to own one, and sold it — he knew all too well how special these treasures are.

‘Pagode’ (pagode is the correct German term for Pagoda), currently sports original Bundt alloys (available from 1969 as an option, and later these became very popular on many Mercedes-Benz models). Pagode also retains her original Horizon Blue–matching hubcaps, etc., and is complete with her original 1970 key, genuine Mercedes locking fuel cap, and vintage highly sought-after Becker Europa stereo. Pagode also has an immaculate navy soft-top, believed to have never been put up before last year, and the car has never been used on the road with the soft-top up.

This list simply goes on and on, all those little critical things that the in-the-know Pagoda collector looks for are here on this car in abundance. As only limited numbers were produced, and the SL280 twin-top is the acknowledged King of the Pagoda line-up, ‘Sweet Pagode’ — as she’s known locally — shines out as ‘the one’.

This car is currently for sale and expressions of interest, or for any further information, can be sent to [email protected].

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.