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Cheap Pagoda? 1964 Mercedes 230SL

These Mercedes “Pagoda” convertibles have survived the bubble era to remain highly desirable versions of a drop-top Benz. Personally, I feel they make sound investments in almost any sort of condition, even a junkyard find like this 1964 model here on eBay. The seller notes it’s a good project for someone with a tight budget, a recipe for disaster I find quite appealing. The asking price is $17,070 with the option to submit a best offer.

The 230SL is in Canada, so there’s always the question of whether there’s anything resembling a floor left underneath. The seller doesn’t mention whether this was originally a U.S. car, and I’m not sure there were any significant differences between one destined for Canada when new. It does come with a clear title and some sheet metal to repair the damage to the passenger-side front. The listing says the damage is not structural in nature.

The eBay photos show a convertible top that’s been replaced by the conventional blue tarp, which has also conventionally been completely stripped away by sun, wind, and time. The interior may not look un-savable, but I doubt there’s little left in here that won’t need significant restoration. The 230SL is the less desirable automatic, but that may actually be a blessing considering what a shame it’d be if a manual car got wrecked like this.

The engine bay looks largely original and unaltered, a feature that pretty much gave me the green light to pick up my junkyard-find Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth (which we will have a significant progress report on any day now.) The W113 cars will always have a following, and given the price of entry for a good one, I’d feel comfortable making a lower offer here in hopes of bringing this one home for $12K or less. Good thing I already have three junkyard finds to finish.


  1. NotSure

    If the only thing holding you back from making an offer is the three projects that you’re currently working on then I must concede that you definitely have a larger set than I do! I see possible value in the motor but otherwise I wouldn’t get near this on. It must be rotted beyond repair.

    Like 3
  2. CapNemo

    This thing is a rat turd.

    Like 4
  3. ClassicCarFan

    That’s what we call a “parts car” ……

    “cheap Pagoda” ? only in the sense of that old joke…”there’s nothing quite as expensive as a cheap E-type Jaguar”. I’m sure you’d spend far more money rescuing this one than you’d pay for one that is already a nice driver.

    Like 9
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Slice it in half length wise, put the good side on an exterior wall… instant yard art! Could even incorporate a barbecue in it. Oh, take a zero off the price.

    Like 3
  5. John M.

    A parts car if that. It’s too far gone to do a full blown frame off resto on

    Like 3
  6. Steve

    I’ll pay you not to sell it to me.

    Like 1
  7. Louis Q Chen

    What is the Seller smoking? The price is in dreamland! These 230/280SL are cute cars and getting harder to find. This is a perfect PARTS CAR not a restoration project.

    Like 0
  8. George

    Run don’t walk.

    Like 1
  9. Ward William

    This turd is way beyond polishing.

    Like 2
    • Fiete T.

      “Hey don’t ruin my polish with that turd!”

      Like 0
  10. matthew

    only someone who has never dealt with a 230/250/280SL would buy this. the cost to renovate this POS would be enough to buy trump tower, as if anyone would want that. there is nothing salvageable with this rust bucket.
    I have owned two, and I would never buy another one unless I won powerball, then with great hesitation. the parts are outrageously expensive. uh uh, pass on this one. and I pity the fool who ends up with it, even if free.

    Like 3
  11. Skippy

    I was restoring W113 cars for a while. They are incredibly, incredibly, INCREDIBLY difficult to restore. Every body part is welded and the fender welds go under the windhield so the windshield and dash have to come out. That’s assuming you have something underneath to weld to, which this car does not. And parts? Yes, they are available, for a price. A restored grill on this car will cost $6,000! The rest of the chrome, another $6,000. So just the car and the chrome bring the cost up into buy-a-decent-driver 230SL territory. You know, one that runs and drives and only has a little rust. This is not even a decent parts car. Oh, and those $150k 280SLs on eBay? They have been relisted every month for YEARS! $30-50k is still the average sale price for a 230sl.

    Like 3
    • matt

      skippy, I so agree! with everything you said. I shake my head when I see these cars listed for $100M+. they made too many for them to be considered a classic, though they fit the term from every other aspect. expensive new, desirable, but not made in small #s. that’s the kicker. the bubble will burst and the prices will come down. and 280SE convertibles are right behind.

      Like 0
  12. Maestro1

    I agree with Skippy. Prices on these cars are overinflated and there’s no reason to start a project like this. And the BIN price is way too high. Don’t do this.

    Like 1
    • matt

      can you spell bubble? I believe deeply that the market on these cars is ready for a crash. like the economy. remember when XKEs were selling for over $100M? I do.

      Like 0
  13. Mike

    Not a good sign when the tarp has disintegrated. I wonder if they could get closer to their price if they pulled it out, removed the tarp, organized the loose parts and cleaned up the muck.

    Like 2
  14. skibum2

    Sorry, I have to leave the room… So many are just not worth the effort anymore.. oh well….

    Like 0

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