1968 W113 PAGODA
Some jobs are small and we barely get to know the vehicle, but some projects work their way into the fabric of the shop and become members of the Black Forest family. Take a look below at our featured project, a full restoration on a gorgeous 1968 W113 Pagoda.
This vehicle came to us, not quite unloved, but having never had the special touch of a classic expert or real restoration. Multiple owners over the years had fixed and patched parts as needed, keeping the car running well and looking good, but never really giving it the close inspection or deep cleaning that a 50+ year old car needs. Despite the curb appeal, making sure everything was mechanically up-to-par and replacing some of the non-period-specific repairs of old was going to take a total tear-down and engine rebuild, along with bodywork, and interior restoration.
Unluckily for this W113, the previous owner wasn’t on board. Luckily for us, the new owner was.
Like we said, the car looked pretty nice from a distance but once you got a little closer, the issues became a bit more obvious. All parts and components of the engine bay needed to be totally reworked, the undercarriage needed to be stripped and resealed, the engine itself had to come out for a deep cleaning, and all parts of the radiator, transmission, axle and wheels had to be removed, restored, and in some cases, replaced.
And that’s just the stuff that makes the car run. Going over the details with a fine-toothed comb revealed chips and scratches, warping wood and vinyl panels, worn out leather and seat springs and oxidized chrome. In short, this nice looking pagoda quickly turned into a big project car primed for total restoration. From the engine to the seats to the paint chips on the removable hard-top, The Berghammer was getting a second lease on life.
The first thing to do was remove the parts that needed work, which turned out to be just about anything that could be removed. Yes, the car ran and worked properly and no one would criticize you for keeping a seat with a small tear, but if you’re already tearing out the engine and transmission you might as well take care of the little stuff along the way.
Many of the original parts needed minimal work and were simply scrubbed, primed and resealed.
Other parts, particularly those in the engine bay, required a bit more attention due to some pretty extensive corrosion and oxidation.
The ENGINE BAy
We knew from the start that the Engine Bay and everything inside it was going to be a large part of the project. Obvious corrosion and oxidation had left the radiator almost unrecognizable and the decades of wear and tear were showing both in the performance of the engine and the ride of the vehicle. Everything was going to have to come out and, at the very least, get a deep clean.
On top of fifty years of grime, the undercarriage was, at some point, resealed in a black gritty covering that needed to be removed to ensure any rusted areas were identified and cleaned up. After days of grinding sealant, removing rust and sanding paint, much of the undercarriage was stripped to the metal, waiting to be resealed in its original off-white color.
The ENGINE continued
When it comes to your engine you can’t just polish it up like a fresh paint job. Our experts carefully deconstruct the entire engine block and all that goes along with it to diagnose exactly what needs replacing or repairs. After finding and fixing the issues, cleaning lines, replacing corroded parts, replating and repainting where necessary, the engine was looking so good it was almost a shame to put it back in the Engine Bay.
The body might be what people see as you roll down the road, but the engine is what gets you moving in the first place. With a restoration at Black Forest, we completely remove all components for expert analysis and diagnosis.
Once you take care of the guts, its time to dive into the looks. We provide full-service interior restoration including dash components, electronics and even upholstery. From cleaning up your chrome to re-stitching your seats, when your classic's working right it only makes sense to get it looking the part as well.
Pagoda’s, on the heels of the 190SL and 300SL, have been rising in value for the last decade and show no signs of slowing down. Low quality examples can reach $20-40,000 regularly with top shelf examples fetching nearly $200,000 at auction. While the 300SL and 190SL are out of range for many buyers, the Pagoda remains attainable at lower costs and, with a good, quality restoration, will stand out from any crowd.
Whether you’re looking to start a project from the ground up or want something that's ready for the road, Mercedes-Benz classic cars deserve the expert touch and no one knows Mercedes-Benz restoration and repair quite like Black Forest.