Finished in white with black leather interior, this car is an automatic transmission example of the 230 SL, a landmark model that founded a sports car dynasty that would prove an enormous commercial success for Mercedes-Benz. 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 refined 230 SL even managed a debut competition victory, as Sporting Motorist noted: "Performances of the Mercedes-Benz range in the competition field are legendary, and we think particularly of participation in the most rugged of rallies where the cars have proved their strength and stamina beyond doubt. 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 - devised by French automotive designer and classic car enthusiast, Paul Bracq - these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and remain highly sought after by collectors.
The 230 SL offered here was delivered new to the UK and is a rare original right-hand drive model. Noteworthy features include power assisted steering and a factory third seat. 'LWY 43D' has had only two previous keepers and there is a 2013 letter on file from the second a Dr Firth testifying to the "very little mileage". The odometer reads 24,878 miles which we cannot confirm but believe to be genuine. Restored in 2012, the car is described by the vendor as in good condition throughout. Offered with a V5C document.