Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1963, the 230SL – or W113 as the model range was internally labelled at Mercedes-Benz – was a completely new car through and through, designed to replace the outgoing 190SL. A truly modern car for its time and constructed to the high level of craftsmanship expected from Mercedes-Benz, the model quickly became a very popular two-seater among the elite thanks to its combination of luxury and high style.
Mercedes-Benz would call the W113 “a Grand Tourer in the traditional sense” and “a unique combination of sports car performance and saloon car comfort.” Many of the design and technical features were industry firsts, including the hard-top designed to withstand the car’s weight for safety reasons, and its distinct lines, featuring a large greenhouse that eventually led to the model’s popular nickname, the ‘Pagoda’.
After the 230SL came the 250SL, which boosted engine capacity by about 200cc over its predecessor; later, both were replaced by the ultimate evolution of the W113, the 280SL, introduced in 1967. The enlarged 2.8-liter 6-cylinder SOHC engine now produced 170 horsepower, and disc brakes were now standard on all four corners. These last classic Pagoda models have become increasingly collectible, featuring exceptional build quality and reliability, easy access to spare parts, not to mention being highly usable thanks to their modern specifications.
Beautifully presented in red coachwork with the original black tex interior and rare California rear seat. This is a very original example which shows just 53,000 miles on the odometer which is suggested to be correct in view of the MOT’s going back to 1990 when it had covered just 40,000 miles. Part of an extensive service file showing that it has been very well maintained by the correct specialists. Recent invoices from John Haynes Mercedes specialist totalling over £15,000 over the last 10 years, including gearbox rebuild and brake overhaul. A wonderfully sorted and rare car that drives as well as a 280 SL should.