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Diversions and Detours

Diversions, detours, divertissements, dead-ends, frivolous stuff. This page leads to interesting tidbits of information about our beloved Pagoda cars and their owners. Feel free to add stuff!

Notable Owners

W113 cars have been owned by many notable and newsworthy people since they were first introduced. This continues to this day as government personalities, Hollywood stars, and others are owners of these classics.

We are creating a list of Notable Owners just for fun. Of course, we know that a lot of us in the Pagoda SL Group belong on this list of notables but for now we'll limit the list to those mentioned in print or other media. Feel free to add names of other notable owners to this page. Please include the source of your information so we can verify past or present ownership.

John Lennon's car
  • John Lennon of the Beatles (see this interesting discussion on its ridiculous sales price, $495,000 in December 2008)
  • Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State. Member benzportland reports: "Here's some more trivia - I heard that Powell also worked on the cars himself, but not always with the best results. They frequently broke down, and caused so many traffic jams and security issues that the metro police tried mediating with him to drive more roadworthy vehicles."
  • Tina Turner (US entertainer, reported in Vanity Fair Magazine
  • Charlton Heston (movie star, car was in an auction
  • Audrey Hepburn (Used her own car in a film)
  • John Travolta (reported in Entertainment Magazine)
  • Sir Stirling Moss, Race Driver (Photo of his car)
  • John Glenn, US Astronaut (Photo of his car)
  • Juan Fangio, Race Driver (Photo of his car)
  • David Coulthard, F-1 Driver (Published photo)
  • Peter Ustinov, (Reported in a book by Heilig)
  • Priscilla Presley (widow of "The King", the car is on view at Graceland)
  • Kate Moss
  • Dawn French 1966 White Pagoda 230SL. Source: her autobiography Dear Fatty.
  • Carlo Riva (owner Riva boat company in northern Italy

Interesting threads that refer to this topic:


As you can tell, the topic comes back from time to time.

Frua's Shooting Brake (Brake de Chasse)

Frua Shooting Brake



Pietro Frua, a well known Italian carrosier, designed a Shooting Brake, a Sportkombi based on a Mercedes SL Pagode. It was built around 10 december 1964 on the basis of a Mercedes Benz 230 SL with VIN 113.042-10-008218 (113 = Baumuster, 042 = 230 SL, 10 = Manual gearbox, Lefthanddrive) and engine number 127.981-10-007000. It's colour was originally White-grey (Wei▀grau) (158), interior: Red leather.

Options: Whitewall tires (720), Powersteering (207), No Hardtop, 5 wheels (Steel 6Jx14 with Phoenix tyres 185 HR 14)

Pininfarina Pagoda

Pininfarina Pagoda

Pininfarina also designed a car based on the Pagoda which was owned and restored by Weston Hook. A little of its history is described as follows: Just a year after the introduction of the Mercedes 230 SL a unique redesign was unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show: the 230 SL coupe by Pininfarina. Currently the original design by Paul Bracq is regarded as a masterpiece, but at the time of its introduction it didn't found that much acclaim. The remarkable and upright Chinese Pagoda-style roof needed some getting used to, as did the squarish and broad lines of the bodywork. Contemporary reviews stated that the car lacked the finesse and elegance of the top class Italian sports cars.

The renowned Italian coach builder Pininfarina, most famous for its Ferrari designs, set out to create a 230 SL which incorporated the finesse and elegance that was missed by some in the original design. The result was very appealing but seemingly not convincing enough to go into production. It remained a one-off and although still extant, surrounded by mysteries concerning its reason for creation and why it disappeared so soon.

The 1960s were the heyday of special bodied cars based on mass production models. There were a number of coachbuilders around in Europe who made a living of selling often hand crafted body styles fitted on chassis of popular or premium cars. Sometimes these were show cars intended to attract attention at important car shows and sold afterwards to the highest bidder, more often these cars were build to order for rich customers and very rarely these specials turned out so good that they were taken into (limited) production.

Coachbuilder Pininfarina had the habit of introducing a number of special bodied cars each year at car shows as a styling exercise, a company showcase and of course to attract orders from the industry or individual customers. In that respect the 230 SL Pininfarina coupe was shown at the 1964 Paris Motor Show.


  2. this thread contains many pictures of the car

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