New Zealand Classic Car - - Editor's Pick -

fter hunt­ing for years — and much trial and er­ror — for the ‘right’ Pagoda, this 1970 280SL top­spec hard­top/soft-top (two-top) au­to­matic (LHD) con­vert­ible in the ex­cep­tion­ally rare and exquisitely beau­ti­ful Horizon Blue (with navy in­te­rior) was ob­tained by noted col­lec­tor and Mercedes-benz club pres­i­dent Ge­off Matthews.

In a mo­ment of weak­ness, this highly de­sir­able car was of­fered to a friend in an at­tempt to lure her to the ‘Mercedes’ side of life. It wasn’t easy with a woman whose first loves are Brits — Jaguars and As­tons — but this gor­geous ex­am­ple man­aged to pull it off!

This stun­ning work of art has graced Can­ter­bury’s roads since then, and, wher­ever it goes, its un­mis­tak­able shape and in­her­ent el­e­gance draw com­pli­ments like a mag­net. Upon re­turn to her car, the owner has of­ten been greeted with bunches of flow­ers left on the wind­screen … one man even ex­claim­ing, “A man would marry you for a car like that!” — and who could blame him?! That man used to own one, and sold it — he knows all too well how spe­cial these treasures are.

‘Pagode’ ( pagode is the cor­rect Ger­man for ‘pagoda’), cur­rently sports orig­i­nal Bundt al­loys (avail­able from 1969 as an op­tion; later, these be­came very pop­u­lar on many Mercedes-benz mod­els); re­tains her orig­i­nal Horizon Blue match­ing hub­caps, etc.; and is com­plete with her orig­i­nal 1970 key, gen­uine Mercedes lock­ing fuel cap and vin­tage highly sought-af­ter Becker Europa stereo. Pagode also has an im­mac­u­late navy soft-top — be­lieved to have never been put up be­fore last year, and the car has never been used on the road with the soft-top up.

The list sim­ply goes on and on — all those lit­tle crit­i­cal things the ‘ in-the-know’ Pagoda col­lec­tor looks for are here on this car in abun­dance. As only lim­ited num­bers were pro­duced, and the 280SL twin-top is the ac­knowl­edged king of the Pagoda line-up, ‘Sweet Pagode’ — as she’s known lo­cally — shines out as ‘The One’ (please note, no fur­ther mar­riage pro­pos­als are re­quired).

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