Snapshot, 1960s: Mercedes SL on the piste

No Carver, no Gore-Tex, no Go-Pro on the helmet – in the 1960s, skiing was a purist sport; and the ideal transport for the keen skier was a red Mercedes SL…

Those were the days when the outline of your Mercedes was instantly recognisable at a distance, even without the big, bold star on the grille. The harmonious proportions of the ‘Pagoda SL’ built from 1963 to 1971 have made it a design icon today. Standing out from the crowds of knobbly VW Beetles, the unmistakeable lines of the Mercedes were an indication of the success of its driver in the economic boom of the post-War era – and also hinted at his sporty personality; especially when the Mercedes, rather than sitting freshly washed in the car park of a conference centre, was to be seen on the snow with ski racks on its roof. Whether the driver had equally good style when it came to skiing, however, could only be determined out on the piste. 

Photos: Daimler archive

Many classic Mercedes-Benz SL Pagodas can be found in the Classic Driver Market.