The Mercedes Benz SL, Sport Light, was first launched in 1954 and caused a sensation with its Gullwing doors and motorsport derived technology. The second generation Mercedes Benz SL models, the W113 series, were produced by Mercedes Benz from 1963 until 1971 in three different engine variations, the 230SL, 250SL and 280SL.
The “Pagoda” nickname was taken from the concave appearance of the hardtop that was designed by Mercedes Benz’s Head of Styling, Friedrich Geiger, and lead designers Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi. The W113 SL, was the first Mercedes Benz with radial tyres and the first sports car to feature a “safety body”. Barényi performed extensive research and development on safety and design for the SL’s body and added crumple zones which had front and rear sections designed to absorb impact.
The 230SL Pagoda was unveiled at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show with production commencing in June 1963. It was fitted with a 2.3 litre inline six engine with multi-point fuel injection which produced 148 BHP through either a 4-speed automatic, 4-speed manual or a 5-speed ZF manual transmission to the rear wheels.
The W113 SL Pagoda has earned a reputation over the years as one of the world's most beautiful cars, receiving recommendations from publications such as The Daily Telegraph for being on the list of “The 100 Most Beautiful Cars Of All Time” and GQ Magazine for being “The Ten Cars that made Mercedes Benz”.