1969 Mercedes 280SL (Pagoda)

Still Going Strong – 1969 Mercedes 280SL (Pagoda)

It’s been a little while since our 1969 Mercedes 280SL (Pagoda) left the Bridge Classic Cars workshop. After undergoing an engine rebuild with us, it left the workshop to be returned to its owner a few months ago.

Since then, we have had some great feedback about the performance of the car and it sounds like it is very much at home being back out on the road.

Feedback from the owner includes:

“I have now done over 500 mainly motorway miles in the car and it is running well. Thank you again for the work you have done”.


“the car continues to run beautiful and was a pleasure to drive on a long trip to France a couple of weeks back”.

Hearing that a restored car is bringing enjoyment to its owner is something that makes us very happy. Classic cars like this are all about having the perfect driving experience so this is exactly the type of feedback we aim to achieve.

In-Place – Fitting the New Heater Matrix and Reinstalling the Dash on the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The brand new heater matrix has been installed into the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda by the workshop team at Bridge Classic Cars.

During testing, the original heater matrix was found to be leaking so the Bridge Classic Cars team sourced a new replacement. This was fitted in behind the dash by the workshop team and the various pieces of the dash assembly secured around it.

Now with the heater matrix in place inside the classic Mercedes, the workshop technicians can begin testing the car once again.

Out the Box – Brand New Heater Matrix for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The brand new heater matrix for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda has arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop in Suffolk ready to go back into the car.

Previously, our workshop technicians discovered a leak under the dash of the classic Mercedes Pagoda and upon inspection discovered the heater matrix was leaking from a previous poor repair on the piece. The original was sent to a specialist to be refurbished but the workshop took the decision to source a brand new component for the car to make sure that everything works exactly as it should when the coolant system is repressurised.

Discoveries – Finding a Leak on the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The 1969 Mercedes 280SL had begun the final stages of its testing since the engine and gearbox rebuild at the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshops at our Pettistree HQ. During that testing, our restoration technicians discovered a leak.

Part of the tests on the classic Pagoda was to pressurise the cooling system of the car. During that crucial test, our technician John discovered a leak coming from underneath the dashboard. Removing various pieces of trim, he discovered the heater matrix for the car was leaking due to previous poor repairs at some point in the car’s life. With that, the heater matrix was removed from the car to be fully inspected.

After the inspection, it has been sent away to a Radiator and Heater Matrix specialist to be refurbished for the car.

Final Checks – Retorquing the Cylinder Head of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The engine for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda has begun its final phase of testing at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop in Suffolk.

As part of the process, after the engine has been run up to temperature and left to cool several times, the cylinder head on the 2.8-litre straight-six. This is retorqued in the correct sequences and settings to make sure that the newly rebuilt cylinder head is sitting flat and even to the top of the engine block and the gasket is fitting correctly.

With that done and rechecked, the testing of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda can continue.

Upon Inspection – Damage to the Rear Diff Seal on the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

After the installation of the engine and gearbox back into the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda, the team at Bridge Classic Cars have found some historic damage to the rear diff seal on the car.

The technicians at Bridge Classic Cars, as part of the refit, inspected all aspects of the driveline in the iconic Mercedes. Upon inspection of the rear differential, Paul discovered some historic damage to the rear different seal.

This will need to be resolved before the drive shaft can be installed back into the car and begin road testing. Paul has drilled out the original damaged nut to gain access.

Keep a lookout for more updates on the Pagoda here on the Bridge Classic Cars news page.

Safe and Sound – Engine for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda Installed

The 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop at our Suffolk HQ has hit a milestone! The engine and gearbox are now safely and securely in the car.

Jon and Paul have been working on the car for the past few days preparing everything for this moment. Carefully, the engine and gearbox were lowered into the nose of this iconic Mercedes sports car. The technicians lowered it inch by inch into the car, checking all the way that it wouldn’t snag or catch on anything. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of our technician Jon in prepping the engine bay, it all went in without a hitch.

With the engine and gearbox firmly in place by our in-house team, Jon could begin getting the wiring and the rest of the pipework all in place and ready to go. Then, the team begin the slow and important task of getting fluids into the new engine for its first start up very soon.

Nearly There – Preparing the Engine of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda for Installation

Our in-house technicians here at Bridge Classic Cars have been methodically working through the beautiful straight-six and gearbox of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL to get it ready to go back in the car.

Jon and Paul, our two in-house restoration technicians have painstakingly rerun every hose and wire that belongs to the engine and gearbox before it goes back into the engine bay of this iconic convertible. Using reference photos and catalogues made at the beginning of the project, the technicians were able to retrace each and every step to make sure that nothing has been missed off the engine.

Now with this complete and the gearbox attached to the back of the block, the guys will prepare the engine bay for the installation in the next couple of days. Ensuring that no hoses or metal lines are in the way which could be damaged during the installation.

Keep your eye out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for updates very soon on the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda.

Hard to Reach – Fitting the Lower Pipework to the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda Engine

The engine and gearbox for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda are one step closer to going into the car!

The iconic Mercedes which is in at Bridge Classic Cars workshop at our Suffolk HQ has had all of the new and refinished pipework installed on the lower parts of the engine and gearbox while they are out of the car. This is to make sure everything fits up where it should do and will allow our technicians to accurately tighten them down.

Many of the hydraulic lines have to be run in a very specific routing around the engine and gearbox, so using original reference photos our team took when the engine was originally taken out, Jon has managed to retrace the steps and get them all neatly and safely put in place.

Not long now, and the glorious 2.8-litre straight-six will be dropped into the nose for the Pagoda.

Cleaned Up – Preparing the Engine Bay of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The Mercedes 280SL Pagoda is an iconic piece of design and automotive history. Effortlessly stylish and has cultural importance within the car world. This particular 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda is in with Bridge Classic Cars for an engine rebuild which is nearing completion. But, we want the heart and soul of this beauty to be as clean and crisp as the rest of the car.

So, the team at Viper Auto Valet came over to our Suffolk workshop to clean up the engine bay of this classic Mercedes. Colin from Viper has been methodically going through each part of the bay to make sure it is clean of any oil, grease or any other containments. Using specialist treatments, he is working on completely rejuvenating and thoroughly cleaning up this area for when the engine is finished.

With this step in progress, we can’t wait to share with you the results of the treatment. Keep a lookout on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates on the 1969 Mercedes 2680SL Pagoda very soon.

Going Together – Preparing Parts and Fitting the Gearbox for the Engine of the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda might just be one of the most beautiful cars we’ve had in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop at our Suffolk HQ. But, we want to hear it run and drive.

So, our in-house restoration technician Jon has been working on getting all the parts ready for the car and fitting up the automatic gearbox.

Jon has carefully inspected and refinished most of the reusable metal hoses for the 280SL so that each individual piece looks as good as the day it was new. He also dismantled many of the air and oil boxes/cans so they could be taken into our in-house paint shop and refinished.

Once all the pieces were back on Jon’s bench, he began to reassemble them ready for the engine installation into the car. But before then, a big piece of the puzzle had to be put in.

Jon and Paul prepped the engine to be mated to its automatic gearbox. This has been rebuilt and refinished so it looks as good as the newly built engine. Once the technicians had got the gearbox secured to the back of the engine block with all the internals correctly fitted up and spaced, Jon then began to test fit the various pipes and wires that go to and from the gearbox to make sure everything was present and correct before the next phase begins…

Coming Together – Engine Build on the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda

The engine for the 1969 Mercedes Pagoda is back after its engineering work with Scholar Engines.

The cylinder head has been precision skimmed and new valve guides cut to the specifications of our in-house engine builder Ady. Since its arrival back, the camshaft and valves have been installed into the beautiful cylinder head. This engine is a stunning piece of 1960s engineering alone but after its clean up and refacing, it looks absolutely spectacular and will perform even better.

Ady then began to assemble the long-block as much as we can whilst we await the arrival of the new pistons.

Expect to see more on the progress of the engine build for the 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda at Bridge Classic Cars.

Engine out for the Pagoda!

Paul has successfully removed the engine from our beautiful blue 1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda. The engine will be rebuilt by Ady and the engine bay will be detailed as part of the project.

Apart from a couple of small paint imperfections the engine bay is very good order so a really good clean followed by some touching up in places will present us with a lovely space to return the engine to once completed.

Mercedes 280SL drive-out

The sun was shining here in Suffolk this afternoon, the perfect weather for a lovely run out in the 280SL. Craig headed up to Rendlesham to experience the issues with the engine running.

It’s one of those classics that oozes class and sophistication. Lots of smiles and admiring glances as we drove through the villages…we assume it was for the car and not Craig!

The car is in with us for a full engine rebuild. Work will commence very soon.

Mercedes 280SL Engine Rebuild

New arrival to Bridge Classic Cars, our absolutely stunning 1969 Mercedes SL 280 Pagoda has come in for a complete engine rebuild.

Although driveable, the car is running very badly. Work will commence on the rebuild very soon.