Prologue - Pagoda 280 SL 6,3

Why would I trim a delicate car as the Mercedes “Pagoda” with a 6,3 l V8 engine? Let me tell you the full and fascinating story of this car.

It is well known, that this particular engine was originally incorporated into the model 600, also known as the “big Mercedes”. From 1968 on, the 6,3 l engine was also available in the 300 SEL model, which was targeting the ambitous and sporty driver at that time. Initiated by Erich Waxenberger, this travel limousine was well known as the “6.3”!

There are several ways to build a faster „pagoda“ - like integrating modern high power engines and state of the art electronics. In my eyes this would be just a “hybrid pagoda”, so my vision was rather to reconstruct a test vehicle, which has never made it to serial production.

Erich Waxenberger had proven with the “6.3 limousine”, that this engine can successfully be incorporated into a smaller car and so it finally came to the unique test vehicle in 1967 with the internal code “W113/12”.

The name “power pagoda” was born and Mercedes engineers extensively tested this prototype on the German motor course “Nuerburgring”. They were able to achieve excellent results and the team decided to equip the car further with wider tires, reinforced shockers and other improvements.

But however, as the successor model R/C was already in the development stage, this next development step never happened.

At the end of the day, the „power pagoda“ was used for some time as a courier car on the Mercedes site, but finally scrapped. There was nothing left than a picture and some sketches.

I have revived this concept of the 6.3 Pagoda and have rebuilt this historic and unique test vehicle. It was consequently reconstructed with the technology of the 1960’s, with nothing else than the Mercedes engineers had on their shelf at the same time!

To make it very clear: you could have constructed this particular vehicle in 1968 in exactly the same way than I did!

My special concern is the safety of the improved 6,3 Pagoda. I was able to transfer the chassis including the air suspension of the “limousine” into the pagoda. I am quite proud of the result, as I was even able to personally convince Erich Waxenberger himself with an extensive trial drive in the Bregenz Forest, that it is not only fun to drive the 6,3 Pagoda, but it is also very safe!

This concept was possible thanks to the already known building block system, as the fixing points for front and rear axle were identical for the SL model and the limousine.

It may actually sound simple to you when you read it – but the process to reconstruct and to rebuild this car is indeed extremely complex. Only extensive experience, enormous creativity and a lot of endurance will enable you to realize such a project, which will result at the end of the day in an absolute unique vintage car!

Of course the highlight of every finished Pagoda project is the first trial run. The rich sound of the powerful engine combined with the unique historic air suspension is filling me with enthusiasm every time.

I am proud to say, that with the Pagode 6.3, I have worked out a car, that is inspring many Mercedes vintage car fans and is even winning their biggest compliment – acceptance! With this, they are honoring the authentic reconstruction of a historic test vehicle with an improved chassis in the sense of safety.

In the golden 60’s, it was the Daimler engineers, who were fascinated by this unique vehicle – today it is the “power pagoda” with its engine performance and its unique chassis, that convinces vintage car enthusiast to have such a car rebuilt with my expertise.

I cordially invite you to visit my car craft shop and to get your own personal impression from this unique car, the power pagoda – maybe you will own one too in the future?

Christian Kromm