Category Archives: Mercedes Pagoda

Post literate potpourri

NatLampCo car but certainly  NOT the "Family Truckster"

NatLampCo Vacation car but certainly NOT the “Family Truckster”

Based in Southern California as we are, we are sometimes overwhelmed, rendered fahrklempt, if you will, by the spectrum of feral finds accrued within the space of one day.  As an experiment in feral foraging, we collected some examples stalked within the last 24 hours.  No big narrative thread this time, just 7 unrelated — OK two are Italian and red — vehicles seen during a one-day period within the confines of a 5 square mile area.  Ain’t life grand?

Ford Econoline pressed into hipster servitude

Ford Econoline pressed into hipster servitude

Alfa Duetto makes the retail scene

Alfa Duetto makes the retail scene

Corolla FX: feral freeway flyer

Corolla FX: feral freeway flyer

Tempo topper

Topaz – costume jewelry from Mercury

El Camino sentenced to hard labor

El Camino sentenced to hard labor

Topless MBZ "Pagoda" motors on

Topless MBZ “Pagoda” motors on

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.



In praise of older Mercedes

Pagoda, not Toyota

Pagoda, not Toyota: 1970 280SL

Mercedes Benz has been around, under one name or another, since January 29, 1886 when Karl Benz patented his home-built internal combustion-powered Motorwagen.

Autobahn burner

Autobahn burner:  1971 280SE

In recent years, the company that Benz founded has transcended its roots as a maker of hand built cars to become a mass manufacturer.  This is typified by this year’s launch of the CLA 250, the first front-wheel drive Mercedes to be marketed in the US, the starting price for which is under $30,000. It’s a bargain in Mercedes terms, the cost being just a bit north of top of the line Camrys, Accords and Fusions.

Classy commuter

Classy commuter: 1969 280SE Coupe

In the 50s, 60s and into the 70s, quite a few Mercedes were, if not hand built, hand finished and were priced accordingly.  We took an inventory of some examples that we’ve encountered over the past few months.

Note: Model year designations are approximations as year to year changes were often subtle.  Thanks for your understanding and if you have any corrections to offer, please don’t hold back.                     The Management

A full range of befinned Mercedes sedans, introduced in the 60s, seemed to ape the lines of humble Ramblers of the late 50s; we suspect a lot more  of those Heckflosse (fintails) survive today than do AMC products of the era.  We saw this somewhat neglected example parked on a Palo Alto street.

Das alte Heckflosse

Das alte Heckflosse: 1967 220S

How about this bulbous 190SL roadster we found the other day?  We admit it: we’re suckers for body color matching hubcaps and big fog lights.

Pontoon fender roadster

Pontoon fender cutie: 1959 190SL

Back atcha

Bumperlicious: 1959 190SL

It’s pretty unusual to find a “Pontoon” (after the shape of the fenders) 4 passenger cabriolet these days as the collector market has them going for upwards of $150,000.  The beautiful veneered dashboard and horsehair padded convertible top underscore the craftsmanship that went into making them so special.  That notwithstanding, we did discover one being driven on a late night errand quite recently and parked with the windows rolled down. That’s some real down-home gemütlichkeit!

Cabriolet, not convertible

Cabriolet, not convertible: 1960 220S

Adenauer era fun ride

Adenauer era fun ride: 1960 220S

Special mention should be made of the “Pagoda” style 230 – 250 – 280SL removable hardtop-roadsters built between 1963 and 1971.  The slightly concave hardtop and tall “greenhouse” marks it as one of the most beautiful, delicately styled Mercedes of all time.  Prices are heading for six figures but we know of a few that are used as daily drivers, such as this un-restored example.

Pagoda profile

Pagoda profile: 1970 280SL

On a much larger scale is the 220SE Coupe.  Its sporting affect belies the fact this is a true heavyweight, tipping the scales at 3329 lbs, more than 200 pounds heftier than a 2014 Camry.  The doors do, however, close with a  bank vault-like thunk.

Coupe de Stuttgart

Coupe de Stuttgart: 1969 280SE Coupe

Hightone hardtop

Large scale grace: 1969 280SE

Coupes, cabriolets and roadsters are exciting but even the sedans exude an air of calm, elegant confidence.  We offer this veteran early 70s autobahnstormer as evidence.

Benz rear end

Benz enz: 1969 280SE

Three pointed stare

Three pointed stare: 1960 220SE

Video here from Mercedes Benz Classic Center with lots of Pagoda goodness and an episode of  Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee webseries starring a 1970 280SL and Alec Baldwin (he’s a comedian??)

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.