1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster with Hard Top
Chassis no. 113042-10-008613
Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1963 as replacement for the 190SL, the 230SL abandoned its predecessor's four-cylinder engine in favour of a 2.3-litre fuel-injected six derived from that of the 220SE and producing 150bhp. An instant classic, the body design was all-new while beneath the skin the running gear was conventional Mercedes-Benz, featuring all-round independent suspension (by swing axles at the rear), disc front/drum rear brakes and a choice of four-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Top speed was in excess of 120mph.
Owned by countless film stars and celebrities, the Mercedes-Benz 230SL became one of the iconic sports cars of the 1960s. It even managed a debut competition victory, as Sporting Motorist noted: 'Performances of the Mercedes-Benz range in the competition field are legendary, and we think particularly of participation in the most rugged of rallies where the cars have proved their strength and stamina beyond doubt. Soon after the 230SL was announced, Eugen Bohringer drove one to victory in the Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally, and although competition outings are rare, this was the sort of debut one would expect from the Stuttgart factory.' Christened 'pagoda top' after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and continue to be highly sought after by collectors.
This manual transmission 'Pagoda' Mercedes is offered complete with its factory hard top. The build plaque under the hood confirms that it would have been delivered new in burgundy red livery with a matched hard top in the same color. It designates as an original European (non German) market car, and would have been supplied with its soft top folded and hard top fitted. Its serial number equates to a build date at the very end of 1964, the car presumably being delivered new early in 1965. It is not known when the car was exported to the U.S., but it had certainly been in the collection from which it was extracted earlier this year for a considerable time.
To judge from the car's presentation today, it has clearly been repainted to a lighter red than it was originally supplied, but it seems likely that the interior is the original trim in a color the factory listed as 'white grey' with Tex inserts. An interesting addition is the factory option of a sideways facing single rear sear seat.
Recently checked over, the Mercedes has been made to run, but it will no doubt be advisable for a full service/re-commissioning to be undertaken before proper road use.