58 Mercedes Benz Pagodas attend the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Australia
The Aussies meet 113.org’s challenge
To celebrate the introduction of the Mercedes Benz model W113, known in German as the Sport Leicht or SL and nicknamed the “Pagoda”, that was shown at the Geneva iMotor Show in March 1963, Pagodas and their owners from around Australia gathered in Canberra on the weekend of 16-17 March 2013. In total, 58 Pagodas made up of the three different models produced during the period 1963 to 1971 representing a mix of 230sl, 250sl and 280sl’s.
This is the biggest single known gathering of Pagodas out side Germany and came about through a challenge thrown down by Peter van Es, the President of the sl113 Group (www.sl113.org) whilst visiting the USA that Australia would be lucky to even have 50 of these cars running at any one time let alone get them all in the same place at the same time.
Austrailian Parliment photo-op seals the deal
The challenge for us as an International internet based Group was to let as many owners as known that we were going to better the challenged 50 and planning commenced nearly one year ago, initially to be done in Sydney but due to the shear difficulty of the logistics of gathering 50 cars in one place at one time, was moved to Canberra. The Mercedes Benz Car Club ACT agreed to host the gathering as part of the annual Shannons Wheels display but the International sl113 Group pushed further for their assistance to get a photo of all 58 participants and their cars in front of the Australian Parliament House as proof that it had been done.
First thing on the Sunday morning, we all converged on Parliament House and the evidence of the gathering was photographed and flashed around the world on the sl113 Group’s site. Now the Australians have put out a further challenge to both USA and the Europeans to better the numbers. Germany will host a gathering of Pagodas in August followed by USA in September.
If I do my sums correctly Australia has a population of appx. 23 million, that makes 2.2 cars per million. We suggested that the USA with a population of 313 Million, should be getting 600 and the Europeans lots more. After this example of Australian enthusiasm, we watch with interest to see how Europe and US meet the challenge.
Text from Garry Marks
Photography provided by Garry Marks and John Green
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