1963 Mercedes-Benz SL Pagode230
Year of manufacture1963
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Chassis number113.042 – 12- 001044
• Fully restored
• Interior partly original in gray leather preserved
• Automatic gearbox
• One of the very first examples (number 1044 out of 19831)
• Fully restored engine
• Blue body (Blue cod 387)
In 1961 the leaders of Mercedes Benz decided to produce a new spider. There were three basic requirements that it had to meet: it had to be bright, comfortable and spacious. The bodywork design was entrusted to Paul Bracq and Friedrich Geiger.
Thus it was that in 1963 the first version of the Pagoda was presented. The bodywork, characterized by taut but dynamic lines that also highlighted a certain agonistic ambition, was modeled on the shortened floor of the 220 SEb. The hardtop, which featured a concave shape, earned it the nickname Pagoda. Particular attention was paid to the safety of passengers, for this reason the car body was deformed in the event of a violent impact, the interiors were set up in such a way as to eliminate any dangerous protrusions and the steering column was made in two sections to avoid possible chest damage. Seat belts were available on request and the braking system was dual circuit.
The new roadster officially named 230SL, replaced the 300SL Roadster.
The 230SL externally was characterized by taut but dynamic lines, which also highlighted a certain agonistic ambition, then also confirmed by Böhringer's victory in the Rally Spa-Sofia-Liege in which the house decided to participate again in 1963. Of the W111 sedans it retains some features , such as the vertically developing front headlights. The most distinctive feature was the shape of the hardtop, where it was intended, which had a concave shape, which would have given the 230SL and subsequent W113 models the nickname of Pagoda. There were many examples with a canvas top, whose owners also requested a Hard-Top that could be mounted on the car when the top was closed in the housing. Although linked to classic mechanical schemes (rear-wheel drive, longitudinal front engine, 4-speed mechanical gearbox), the 230SL also presented some innovations in mechanics. New was the 6-cylinder in-line M127 II engine powered by injection with 2308 cm³ and 150 hp and new was the rear axle (with oscillating drive shafts). The gearbox was manual with 4 gears, but on request it was possible to have it automatic, always with 4 ratios; from September 1965, those who wished could also opt for a 5-speed manual.
The power unit allowed for decent performance although, due to the geometry of the rear axle, the car was challenging in the wet. At the height of the situation, however, the mixed braking system with brake booster. The maximum achievable speed was 200 km / h. In 1966 the roadster version was joined by the Hard-top Coupé, with a standard hardtop (however removable) and without a canvas top.The elimination of the soft top mechanism had allowed the addition of two small rear folding seats. In the same year, the Italian designer Pietro Frua created a Shooting-brake version of the 230SL, called SLX.
Already in December 1966 the 230 SL was replaced by the 250 SL, identical in everything, except for the displacement (increased to 2494 cc). Mechanically, the car also received rear disc brakes and also in this case a 4-speed manual gearbox was provided as standard, which could be replaced on request by a 5-speed or 4-speed automatic.
The magnificent example proposed by us at auction was registered for the first time in 1963. The car was almost completely restored about 10 years ago. The body has been repainted in its original Blue color (Cod. 387). The interior has been partially redone, the upholstery has been redone in blue while the seats and door panels have been preserved and are original. The engine has been completely restored by overhauling all the mechanical pumps, pipes and gaskets, even the electrical system has been totally restored. This car is part of a beautiful collection of cars belonging to an Italian-American gentleman. The car will be auctioned at the Milan AutoClassica 2021 event in extraordinary condition.