1969 Mercedes 280 SL Pagoda
This SL arrived off the back of the 300 SL and 190 SL, but caused a stir as it looked nothing like its predecessors.
The complicated surfacing and sensuous curves were replaced by a much simpler body shape, while a concave roof earned it the Pagoda nickname.
The 1969 280 SL we drove was equipped with a four-speed automatic gearbox, and didn’t want to be hurried along. But that wasn’t a problem when the ride was so comfortable and we were looking so damn cool.
This was the first model to confirm Mercedes’ move to a focus on comfort.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe line up the new Mercedes SL with its forebears in an exclusive showdown
- 21955 300 SL GullwingFor any car fan, it’s a privilege to lift the surprisingly light gullwing door, climb over the wide sill and drop into the 300 SL’s low-slung seat.
- 31956 190 SLThe 190 SL was built to be a 300 SL for the masses, and is far less satisfying from behind the wheel.
- 41969 280 SL Pagoda - currently reading
- 51980 450 SLThe third-generation SL first went on sale in 1971, and it stayed in showrooms for 18 years – so if you're in the market for a cheap classic SL, this is the one to go for
- 62001 SL 500
- 72005 SL 55 AMG
- 82012 SL 500