The 1969 Mercedes ‘Pagoda’ (280SL)

While Mercedes – Benz touts this model as 1969 280SL, most have come to know it as the “Pagoda”, the unofficial title taking its name from the concave roof designed by  Paul Bracq, with influence from Asian architecture

This particular car resides within the Mercedes Benz Classic Centre in LA, which houses and services the brands most unique and collectable cars. A good portion of the automobiles housed there sport spectacular prices of up to  7 figures.

Around 5 years ago you could pick one of the regular Pagoda’s up at an auction for $25,000 USD (Approx $31,300 AUD) in the States. Currently, they’re selling for $75000 USD (approx 94,000 AUD) a pop. As costs soar globally across the board for the basic 300SL Gullwing, the car becomes borderline unattainable, available only to those who are the most well off of car collectors. This is plain to see when the highest quality models can reach upwards of $200,000.

Marvelled by plenty and attested to by a select few, the Pagoda boasts excellent suspension, ensuring a smooth ride many are unaccustomed to. The six-cylinder engine harmoniously compliments the other components, the four-speed computerized transmission is apparently much smoother than anticipated, as well as the brakes and steering being accurate and a pleasure overall to handle.

The car is undoubtedly a sensible investment for collectors or potential sellers as the Pagodas price has risen steadily, yet steeply since 2005. This is not an opportunity afforded to many. As we all know, most cars typically depreciate very quickly after purchase or a certain time or value limit can apply and not be exceeded in order to return on investment. This being said, those that bought a 1969 Mercedes Pagoda back in the day for $25-50K must surely be laughing now as their value only continues to skyrocket.

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