Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

What The Heck Is A Pagoda?

1965 Mercedes 230SL

If you’ve ever been around a classic car guy, then you have most likely heard the phrase “pagoda” at least once. And they probably weren’t referring to one of those multi tiered buildings found in Asia. For whatever reason, the nickname was applied to the rooftop design used on some classic Mercedes. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the top in place on this 1965 Mercedes 230SL here on eBay to use as an example, but this is one of those cars. This particular one is claimed to have been in the same family since 1981. It suffered a respray at some point, but at least it was done in the factory color. Overall the car appears to be in great driver condition and sounds like it is ready to go.


  1. Avatar photo John

    It’s only the W113 that has the nickname ‘Pagoda’ because of the way the roof has been shaped:

    “The lead designers were Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi, who created its distinctive, patented,[2] slightly concave hardtop, which inspired the “Pagoda” nickname.”


    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Joe

    Such a great great style! What a head turner. Reminds me of Marilyn Monroe. Can you see her driving this car? Like Susanne Somers in that 56 T’Bird in American Graffiti.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Rick Wilkins

    Yes, Pagoda refers to the concave shape of the top resembling the asian roof style.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Billy Bob

    Had a 230 SL back in the early eighties. Sold it quickly. The driving experience is very underwhelming and slow but, looks cool especially to the hair dressers. These are “busy” cars to maintain and prone to leak.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Dan h

    Seems to be a clean little Pagoda. Although, I’d like to have a peek behind the front 1/4 panels, home of the cowl drain tube. It’s a spooky area, especially after the tube has rotted away and water has pooled and well…lets just say it’s a spooky area.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo bcavileer

    One of the prettiest from Benz, and the best colour combination too. Nice car. Very tempting…

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    Had a Euro ’67 230SL in the eighties. The 230 is a little slow…next one would be a 250 with a Gettrag 5 speed.then at least I d have a little torque! I stilll think they’re one of the prettier cars ever designed and I dont do hair!

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Barzini

    I have started to appreciate how the style of Mercedes seem to age better over time. Some of their cars – like this one – have a timeless quality.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo pat k

    One of my HS teachers drove one of these. Everyone loved her, of course because of her high heels and tight pencil skirts, but the car too.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo charlie Member

    Had one for a week when my cars were down, slow is not the word for it. Was assured by the owner that slow was the way it was. My Dodge Caravan had far better acceleration than the Mercedes and 10 to 12 MPG. A beautiful dog.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo John H. in CT

    This car evolved to the 250 and finally 280. 280’s are most desireable based on better performance, driveability and features.

    This listing already expired on Ebay.

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Andrew

    Auction ended at $42,850 with Reserve Not Met.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Mark

    I went with a buddy to the auto auctions around 12-13 years ago, and one of these was coming up to the block. The owner said he’d sell to me pre-auction for $2500. It was the euro version, but had a dent in the passenger fender. I didn’t realize it was a convertible, or I would have bought it! I can’t believe how their values have shot up.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.