In March 1963 the 230SL made its debut at the Geneva Show, replacing the much acclaimed 190SL and 300SL models.
Like its 190SL predecessor, its mechanical elements were derived from a contemporary saloon, in this instance the popular 220SE model. The 230SL’s 2.3-litre engine was an enlarged version of its fuel injected six cylinder overhead camshaft unit and there was the option of automatic or manual transmission. Suspension was all independent with a low pivot swing axle at the rear. Mercedes engineering integrity, together with elegance and practicality, made the pagoda top SL cars among the most distinctive designs of the era, in closed form offering handsome proportions and coupé-like comfort and with the hard top removed offering lively open-top performance. It is largely thanks to these attributes that they remain so universally popular today and command such a large market following.
This Pagoda 230 SL is an early and very original model joining us from sunny south of France.
It is a beautiful and matching numbers car with a modest 87,000 kilometres on its odometer. The bodywork is entirely rust free, with only two small welding areas on the underside. The car was repainted several years ago in its original colour of green (268); more recently a new soft top had been fitted and the car is also sold with its optional hard top. The interior is partly original and has been renewed only where necessary; for example, the carpeting is new.
On the mechanical side, new shock absorbers, radiator and a new front windshield were fitted, and we are informed by the vendor that the car runs faultlessly. This 230 SL comes with historic German registration documents and new TÜV to July 2017; its handbook and further documentation, as well as the old French road papers, are also in the car’s file.
A most pleasing Pagoda which provides a lot of fun, it represents a sure investment at a modest outlay, and as such is not to be missed.