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 liter fuel-injected six cylinder engine 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. The 230SL even managed a debut competition victory, winning the Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally in the hands of Eugen Bohringer.
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 right hand drive Pagoda 230 SL is a beautiful matching numbers example. Presented in a crisp white with blue interior and a blue hard top, the car has undergone an extensive restoration meaning it is now in ‘the same, if not better condition’ than when it left the factory 51 years ago. With all-new chrome-work, new trim, new paint-work and a rebuilt engine the car is described as being in ‘excellent condition throughout’. Rarely do we sees 230 SLs in such outstanding condition.