Author Topic: Who has information about my pagoda?  (Read 395 times)

Andi_Heritage

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Who has information about my pagoda?
« on: April 20, 2021, 19:46:27 »
Hello pagoda enthusiasts

My name is Andy. I am a proud owner of a 1968 280SL Pagoda.

I am living in southern Germany, close to Stuttgart.

My car was delivered as a california Version in dark brown exterior to the US - somewhere to the West Hollywood/LA area.

I bought my car in Germany with a silver painting, red leather interior and fully functional convertible top.

The history of the car is very good since it is back in Europe in 2011.

There does not exist any history for the time the car was in the US.

A guy of Mercedes Benz gave me the hint to post a before and after picture in this forum to get any information.

So my question would be - especially to the US members here - if someone of you has any information about a brown pagoda which was modified in this way?

It is not my intention to blame anybody, I am just interested in the history.

Thank you in advance for your support.

I am happy about any information you can give me.

You are my last chance...

Kind regards

Andy

MikeSimon

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 23:13:05 »
Wow! It is hard to believe that this is the same car. All the changes that were done should have cost as much as buying another Pagoda.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

calhippie

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 00:13:06 »
The prior, brown iteration of that car is for sale?  Old listing, perhaps? 

https://www.classic-racecars-sales-events.com/verkaufte-fahrzeuge-und-referenzen/280-sl-pagode-braun/
Geoff
1970 280SL
Light Ivory

Cees Klumper

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 02:07:01 »
Nice sleuthing Geoff - though the listing you linked to is classified under 'sold cars' so likely this is more of the 'before' history.

You may get lucky and someone recognizes their old car, or their friend's or neighbour's old car etc. Being a California Coupe certainly makes it more memorable.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic white
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa
1971 Volkswagen 411 'squareback'
1968 Triumph Spitfire MK3 1.3 canary yellow
1973 Datsun 240Z (son's daily driver)
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 04:15:13 »
Dear appreciated members.

Just for clarification: the brown pagoda is just a picture how my car looked like according to the data card.

The silver color is how the car looks like now  - and yes, it is really astonishing that this car was changed this way.

The only possibility this could be worth doing is that the car was a complete wreck and should get pimped for export...

Kind regards

Andy
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 08:40:22 by Andi_Heritage »

mnahon

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 10:31:20 »
You seem to be saying the repaint/mods were done in the US. I would think it more likely the brown car was imported to Germany and redone there. In that case, you'd be more likely to find information by tracing back to 2011 in Germany.
Meyer Nahon
Montreal, Canada
1968 MB 280SL Auto Euro LHD Silver
2007 MB C280

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 10:49:13 »
Yes of course. That is also possible.

I already tried to get more imformation of the first known dealer here in Europe (Du Parc in the Netherlands). Unfortunately they say they do not have any records about the car as according to their law they only have to keep them 7 years. So that is way I tried it of the other direction...

Bonnyboy

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 15:10:27 »
Andi,  I wouldn't automatically assume your car was a wreck.  The modifications just made a cool car even better.

I met a guy who did the same modification to his car because he wanted a soft top incase he ran into rain.  His car had sentimental meaning so he had to keep it.   For some body work guys this would just be a fun project / challenge and easier to start with a good straight car. 
Ian
69 280SL
73 CB750K
75 MGB
78 FLH
82 CB750SC
94 FLHTCU
05 NPS50

neelyrc

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2021, 15:53:58 »
Andy, it is a long shot but have you checked the car registry here to see if a previous owner might have had it registered here?
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Italy
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kampala

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 15:55:03 »
Andi,

I don't know if you want to "go down this road" as it may be slippery but have you fully confirmed that the data card you have is really for the car you have?

Yes - of course one can convert a California to a softtop - not easy but it has been done.

However:


Have you confirmed that the VIN stamped under the throttle body matches the Data Card?

Have you confirmed that the body number matches the Hood stamp and the hard-top Stamp?

A USA car of 1968 will most likely have USA lights and sider marker lights - have you checked if these holes were welded for side marker and headlights changed?

What about interior - USA would car would have soft-door pockets - Euro cars would have hard pockets -- again this can be changed but it's more and more work.

How about your dash gauges?  is temp in F or C? 
 
How about Oil pressure is it in PSI or BAR

Wiper arms - matte finish of polished chrome?

Steering Wheel horn Ring - matte finish or Chrome?

Many of the above are often not changed from USA to Euro when making conversions -- of course someone could do a full on conversion.

My point is - is there a chance your silver car was always a soft-top car?   

Digging history can be interesting.
Oz
250sl - later - manual
280sl - 1971 - Auto - Limited Slip Diff.

badali

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2021, 17:55:55 »
A quick way to see is to look at the paint plate under the hood.  It should have 423H 423H 7 on the paint line if it was Tobacco Brown and a California Coupe.
Brad

1966 230 SL
2016 C 300 4 Matic
2019 E 450 4 Matic

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2021, 18:02:05 »
Thanks for all your answers and good questions:

@Ralph: just had a quick check on the registry - unfortunately/fortunately no hit

@kampala:
VIN stamp under throttle body matches data card

Hood stamp matches body number

Engine number matches data card

In the trunk you can feel that there have been sidelights

European head lights

Hard door pockets

Instruments in C, bar and km/h

Wiper arms matte

Wheel horn ring chrome

No chrome under the license plate at the back

In some places especially deep down in the motor compartment you can still see the brown body color.

Yes, digging can be exciting. Sometimes I am not sure if I really want to find out the truth - but on the other hand it cant be this bad if all the numbers are matching...

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2021, 18:02:52 »
Yes Brad. This is the case.

badali

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2021, 18:05:37 »
Can you post some pictures of the soft top compartment.  It must be done well if it looks like it never was a California Coupe.
Brad

1966 230 SL
2016 C 300 4 Matic
2019 E 450 4 Matic

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2021, 18:20:35 »
Of course Brad. I can post some pictures tomorrow. Just now the kids ask for a good night story... ;D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 09:48:10 by Andi_Heritage »

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2021, 18:33:28 »
Please find attached some pictures Brad:

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2021, 18:36:05 »
Number 2

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2021, 18:37:51 »
Outside view

Andi_Heritage

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2021, 18:39:41 »
Chrome parts

GM

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2021, 18:44:26 »
Are you aware of the springs?
Gary
1971 280SL
(98 from the end of production)
180G Silver Gray Metallic
Black MB Tex

zak

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Re: Who has information about my pagoda?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2021, 20:55:32 »
To my untrained eye the work looks well done.

jz
1967 250 SL
1983 280 SL
2015 ML 250 Bluetec
2007 ML CDI
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1999 E300 Turbodiesel