Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1963 as replacement for the 190 SL, the 230 SL abandoned its predecessor's four-cylinder engine in favour of a 2.3-litre fuel-injected six derived from that of the 220 SE 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 230 SL even managed a debut competition victory, as Sporting Motorist noted: "Soon after the 230 SL was announced, Eugen Böhringer 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' 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.
Finished in green with light tan leather interior, this automatic transmission 230 SL was restored in 1988 and is a former Benson & Hedges Concours winner. There is a photograph on file of its then owner Major Owen-Jones collecting the prize, and the commemorative plaque is still inside the door shut on the driver's side. The history file contains a copy of the factory data card and numerous bills for parts, maintenance, and servicing. A new stainless-steel exhaust was fitted in 2003, and in 2004 the car was serviced by renowned Mercedes specialist Roger Edwards and fitted with a new hood, hood frame, and steering wheel, over £4,600 being spent. In 2010 the Pagoda received new tyres and a Waxoyl treatment, while the cylinder head gasket was replaced (over £3,000 spent).
In 2010 the Mercedes was purchased by the previous keeper from Charles Ironside, who serviced the car annually thereafter, up to and including 2017. A full breakdown of these works is in the history file. In 2019 before being acquired by the current owner, the car was inspected and serviced by renowned specialist John Haynes. Described by the private vendor as in very good condition throughout and driving well, this beautiful Pagoda comes complete with soft-top, hardtop, wind deflector, and an indoor car cover.