Pile of Pagoda: 1971 Mercedes 280SL

Garage Find

This is like Where’s Waldo for car guys. The contents of the this garage contain something fairly special and I bet that at first glance you didn’t even notice the 1971 Mercedes 280SL sitting in there. It has apparently been parked in this sad state since 2004 when the car was purchased from the first owner. The new owner dreamed of restoring it, but obviously this Benz only ended up being used as a shelf to store junk upon. After a decade the owner has come to their senses and admitted to themselves that they are never going to get to it. So, it has now been listed here on eBay by what looks like a dealer. I’m not sure how they got ahold of it, but hopefully they are sharing some of the payday with the last owner. I wouldn’t pay a fraction of the current bid, but obviously a few people want it.

1971 Mercedes 280SL

Here’s the car pulled out and cleaned up. You can clearly see the reason I wouldn’t place a single bid on this one. There’s cancerous rust and lots of it! The underside does look solid, but the fenders, doors, and sills are full of the nasty stuff. The shabby look may be interesting, but I highly doubt you could just polish it up and drive as-is. The car has also suffered a respray at some point so there is no telling how many more surprises await you. There’s no doubt that the people bidding on this car want to restore it so maybe that doesn’t matter too much to them. It does to me though as does the option to shift through the gears myself. So, the automatic transmission found here is the third and final strike against it for me. If I were in the market for a Pagoda, I’d keep looking, but as always it was fun to look!


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  1. Leon

    Looks like a scene from the Hoarders show

  2. kenzo

    bidding is up to 23,600. is it worth it? not sure.

  3. Dan h

    The trick to preventing this from happening to your project car is to never ever ever put anything on top of it. No boxes, no ironing boards, no coffee cups, not even a shop towel.
    The minute things start accumulating on the hood, trunk and roof…..it’s all down hill from there.
    Keep the momentum going on your car project, folks!!!! It’s all too easy to loose focus and end up like this car. It’s a shame.

  4. Horse Radish

    I am a Mercedes guy and I think the bidding @ over $25k is , shall I say BOLD.

    The rust you see on the photos is the tip of the iceberg.
    Mind you 9/10 of that Iceberg is hidden under the surface.
    This car will never look great again unless you throw double the money at it than it will be worth (on top of the purchase price……..)

    Besides the last one you featured was by the same seller (Ebyuser: backyardfind) and was in roughly the same condition.
    THIS GUY certainly knows why he is selling them as is NON-running and delapidated. He is making the profit long before the next guy will turn the first screw or will ever see above water on this….

  5. Another Bob

    On another forum someone mentioned that the paint on the trunk miraculously lost some Green before the boxes came off. Was this staged?

  6. Roman

    The trunk has definitely been replaced with a different one. You can see that the 280sl is damaged on the trunk and paint it missing from an accident. They replaced it with a more faded straight trunk, so the dealer deserve to at least double his profits ahaha;)

  7. Woodie Man

    My long ago Euro ’67 230SL looked damn perfect. Until I got T-boned and the front fender peeled back. These bodies rust while you look at them. Absoutely one of the most beautiful designs ever imho BUT buy them done correctly……..by someone else

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