1967 Mercedes-Benz 250 SL ‘Pagoda’ (RHD)


  • Rare 250 model
  • UK RHD example
  • Original MB-Tex trim
  • Hard-top and soft-top
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Automatic transmission with power steering

The Appeal

The perennial attraction of classic Mercedes SLs is that they’re just as good to drive as they are to look at. Furthermore, they’re not known for being flaky and uncooperative like so many classics are – a well-maintained model can easily offer just as much reliability as a modern car… with the added benefit of being ineffably stylish.

The so-called ‘Pagoda’ generation, sold from 1963-71, offers a beguiling mix of style and desirability, and it’s all underpinned by strong and hard-wearing tech; the mechanicals of this car were cutting-edge for the early 1960s, with the range of straight-six engines featuring multi-port fuel injection, along with boasting double-wishbone front suspension, dual-circuit brakes with discs up front, and optional power steering. The body design was equally impressive, with the door skins, bonnet, bootlid and tonneau cover made from aluminium to reduce weight, and the combination of robust drivetrain, eager chassis and low weight makes for some very sprightly performance.

The model we have here is a real rarity: ignore the 280 boot badge, this is actually a 250 SL, and this was by far the least numerous Pagoda, and the one with the shortest production run. This model replaced the 230 in December 1966, with the final 250 being built in November ’67 – it is, in essence, an evolutionary bridge between the early 230 and late 280 models, and this particular example is a very lovely thing. With its sweet-running engine, solid body and original MB-Tex trim, this is a pretty Pagoda you can jump into and enjoy straight away. Its previous owner kept it for thirty years – we’re sure you’ll fall in love with it too.
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The History and Paperwork

  • V5
  • Current MOT
  • 2022 – invoice for £174 – new door handle and key
  • 1998 – invoice for £450 – stainless steel exhaust system
  • Sheaf of old MOT certificates 
  • (n.b. please note the cherished registration will be removed from the car before sale)

The Interior

  • Original MB-Tex seats
  • Sparkomatic radio-cassette

What’s crucial to note with this car is that the seats are still wearing the original MB-Tex material, and it’s in good condition. This material is no longer readily available, and SL restorations generally have to use either leather or vinyl instead, but it would be perfectly possible to rebuild this car’s seats with fresh foam innards and keep the original MB-Tex – and to certain collectors and enthusiasts, that’s very important indeed.

The design of the Pagoda’s interior is a masterful combination of elegance and functionality. It really is beautifully conceived, and the condition of this SL’s cabin showcases that to the full. Sporting the factory-option third seat, it also has an interestingly collectible radio-cassette player, made by the American company Sparkomatic which was established in the 1950s and went out of business back in 2000. 

All of the correct trim pieces and controls are in place, and everything appears to be working as it should. The windows raise and lower correctly, the seats tilt to allow rear access, and all of the switchgear is operational. The carpets are complete and clean, there are no cracks in the dashtop, and the wood trim is solid and well presented. It’s all dry and tidy inside the boot, with the correct spare wheel and tool roll, and it’s remarkably clean beneath the boot carpet.

The Exterior

  • Desirable colour
  • Quality Vredestein tyres

The Pagoda looks arguably at its most beautiful when finished in silver, and this car certainly proved to be a real head-turner on our test drive through south London. The hard-top has some micro-blistering and could ideally benefit from attention to the paint to make it perfect – but as for the rest of the bodywork, the paint is all pleasingly presented and the panel gaps are nice and even. The soft-top is in very good order, and is easy to raise, affix and lower.

All of the correct exterior trim is in place (aside from the 250 boot badge having been replaced with a 280 item), and the light lenses and window glass are in good condition. The wheels are tidy and proper with their correct centre caps, and wear a matching set of Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres which is a popular choice for aficionados of this model.

The Mechanicals

  • 2.5-litre straight-six
  • Stainless steel exhaust system

Being a 250 SL, this was one of the few Pagodas to be fitted with a 2.5-litre engine. This was a development of the outgoing 230’s 2.3-litre motor, but the evolution involved more than simply increasing the stroke; this engine has seven main bearings instead of four, a higher compression ratio and bigger valves. Peak power was the same as the 230 but torque was much improved and – crucially – it was a much freer-revving engine, imbuing the 250 with a uniquely playful character.

This SL drives beautifully; the suspension rides comfortably with no undue noises or vibrations, and the brakes feel appropriately strong. The engine starts easily and idles smoothly, pulling strongly through the revs with the auto transmission shifting cleanly – it’s all just as smooth and enjoyable as you’d hope.


The Pagoda is such a desirable classic, for so many reasons. Truly gorgeous to behold, tactile and playful to drive, tastefully appointed, and reliable enough to be pressed into daily urban duties if you felt so inclined. And this example has so much going for it: a right-hand-drive example with automatic transmission, original interior trim, the correct hard-top, the optional third seat… it looks fabulous and it’s ready to enjoy.


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1967
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 250 SL
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 78,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2496cc
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Wandsworth
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom

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