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 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.
For the later 250SL, the main change was the use of the 2,496 cc engine. The wider power band of the 250 SL’s engine resulted in noticeably improved performance, as the 230 SL engines rarely produced more than 143 hp.
This 230 SL is presented in a good looking metallic grey with beige two-tone leather interior. Spending the first part of its life in Miami, the car was brought to the UK in January 2016 where it enjoyed an engine upgrade from the standard 230 engine to a more substantial 250 as well as the addition of later wheels. Described as being in good to excellent condition throughout and coming complete with its original hardtop, this Pagoda is offered at a very tidy example offered at a very reasonable price.