1966 Mercedes 230 SL Pagoda

Trade Classics > Auctions > Mercedes > 1966 Mercedes 230 SL Pagoda

 

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HISTORY LESSON

The Mercedes-Benz W113 is a two-seat roadster / coupé that introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, and produced from 1963 through 1971. It replaced both the legendary 300 SL (W198) and the 190 SL (W121 BII).

The W113 SL was developed under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz Technical Director Fritz Nallinger, Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Head of Styling Friedrich Geiger. The lead designers were Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi, who created its distinctive and slightly concave hardtop, which inspired the ‘Pagoda’ nickname.

Three key models and engines were offered during the production run, i.e. 230, 250 and the 280. All models were equipped with a straight six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The bonnet, boot lid, door skins were made of aluminium to reduce weight. The comparatively short and wide chassis, combined with an excellent suspension, powerful brakes and radial tires gave the W113 superb handling for its time. The styling of the front, with its characteristic upright Bosch ‘fishbowl’ headlights and simple chrome grille, dominated by the large three-pointed star in the nose panel, paid homage to the then already legendary 300 SL roadster.

Mercedes-Benz Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut demonstrated the capabilities of the 230 SL on the tight three-quarter mile Annemasse Vétraz-Monthoux race track in 1963, where he put up a best lap time of 47.5 seconds vs. 47.3 seconds by Grand Prix driver Mike Parkes on his 3-liter V12 Ferrari 250 GT, quite a feat.

 

THE CAR & STEPHEN

This gorgeous 230 SL is owned by Stephen and his wife Chris. They are very lucky as this is actually their second 230 SL, and they’ve cherished it since 1998. Having owned and adored it for over 20 years, they are now looking to simplify things and have decided the Pagoda will go to a new home.

They absolutely love the W113, describing it as “one of the most beautiful models Mercedes ever made”. Stephen loves the aesthetics and the engineering of the car, saying “it always puts a smile on peoples faces”.

The car is fresh from a 2 year restoration with J59 Classics in Darlington. After getting the car back Stephen and his wife at first felt that it’s too nice to part ways with, but on reflection they maybe feel it’s so pristine that they don’t want to use it as much now and so it will be sold.

 

EXTERIOR

Finished in white bodywork with a black soft and hard top, the car looks nothing short of beautiful. The car has been professionally restored over the course of 2 years by J59 Classics in Darlington, and the work looks stunning.

Wheels & Tyres
The car is sitting on wheels that match the color combination of the wheel, and they look in great condition along with the rest of the exterior. The wheels are wrapped in Triangle tyres across the entire car, all looking in the same good condition and date stamped 01/16.

Bodywork
No rust or rot on this car to be observed, with it having been taken back to bare metal and any issues remedied as part of the restoration. Take a look at the video to see the shut-lines and panels of the car.

Paint
The car has been professionally painted after stripping back to bare metal, and the quality shows. The paint is even across the car, and looks great from a final finish perspective.

Glass and Trim
All looking in line with the restoration, wherever there was trim that needed replacing this was attended to. As Stephen mentions in the “Meet the owner” video, one of the glass windows was scratched and so he had this replaced so as to not spoil the cars beauty.

 

INTERIOR

Along with the exterior renovation, anything that needing refurbishment on the interior was also addressed, and so the car now presents itself in the showroom condition as Stephen describes it. Take a look at the comprehensive video review to see the detail.

Seats and Carpets
Finished in black across all the upholstery of the car, it looks very very smart. No wear to comment on with regards the condition of the interior, everything looks just right.

Dashboard
The dashboard is trimmed in black along with the matching white bodywork. The trim looks great, and everything on the dashboard in the instrument cluster works as it should do.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The steering wheel and gear stick is finished in matching colours to the bodywork, and both show wear in line with the age of the car. Watch the video to see the detail of the restoration.

 

MECHANICS

It was a bright and breezy day up near Harrogate, and we went out in the Pagoda for our usual run to put the car through its paces. Watch the video to see the start from cold and more.

Engine and Gearbox
We followed our normal procedure, the car started from cold without issue, no blue smoke to be observed just some expected vapour. You can hear the engine purring away in the videos and the automatic gearbox functioning on cue.

Suspension and Brakes
On our run in the car, we wafted about some local ‘A roads’ in comfort, and the car stopping without issue too.

The Drive
A good drive, getting up to speed with no issues, and Stephen as can be observed in the video, handling the car with ease.

Electrics and Other
All working as they should do, you can even see the motorised arial rising and lowering with the use of the stereo system in the interior review video.

 

HISTORY

This is Stephen and his wife Chris’ second 230 SL, and they bought it from a real enthusiast in London. The car comes with some nice history, including some details of classic car runs it has done with a Mercedes club, and of course the important detailed invoices of the recent restoration.

The car is showing just over 23,941 as of 12.03.2019.

HPi Check Results
– HPI check in progress.

Mileage Records
– 13.07.2015 – 23,459 – MOT
– 10.05.2015 – 23,444 – Invoice
– 11.06.2014 – 23,430 – MOT
– 27.07.2012 – 23,348 – MOT
– 13.04.2011 – 23,185 – MOT
– 08.09.2009 – 22,371 – MOT
– 22.10.2008 – 21,818 – Invoice
– 22.07.2008 – 21,786 – Invoice
– 03.08.2004 – 20,613 – Invoice
– 02.05.2001 – 17,371 – Invoice
– 27.04.2001 – 17,371 – MOT
– 02.09.1997 – 13,252 – MOT
– 07.08.1996 – 9,605 – MOT
– 19.09.1995 – 6,508 – MOT
– 12.09.1994 – 96,752 – MOT
– 23.08.1993 – 93,594 – MOT
– 02.07.1992 – 91,849 – MOT

 

OUR SUMMARY

The W113 model range is a smart buy as it gives you the classic design of early SLs together with exceptional levels of reliability.

Importantly, this is a right hand drive car, you will often see many more LHD US spec examples for sale with the better climate they have over the pond. This car has been cherished for many years by the current owners, and brought back to a stunning standard before sale.

This lovely 230 SL with automatic gearbox and fresh out of a restoration will be perfect for the summer months that are just around the corner.

 

WRITER

GLYN WILLIAM PARRY
This listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting Stephen, the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Stephen will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.



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