*** 7 Day Auction Live ***
A start price of £20,000 has been set – this is the best value 250SL for sale right now.
Tip Tip: Don’t miss out by leaving bidding until the last minute, as we’re like a traditional auction – understand why.
Recent Buyer Review – Eamonn McParland on 11th May “From my first general enquiry through to the purchase of my very own MGA, Adam and the team at Trade Classics were quite simply, awesome. I fully recommend Trade Classics without hesitation nor reservation to everyone who is seeking a classic car. A brilliant business model, supported by a really neat and usable website though ultimately managed by a great group of professional, sincere and trustworthy people”. Click here to see this and all reviews on Trustpilot.
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.
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.
Specifically the 250 SL was introduced at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. Production had already commenced in December 1966 and ended in January 1968. The short one year production run makes the 250 SL the rarest of the W 113 series cars. The 250 SL retained the stiffer suspension and sportier feel of the early SLs, but provided improved agility with a new engine and rear disc brakes. Range also improved with increased fuel tank capacity from 65 L to 82 L. Like its predecessor, the 250 SL was offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission, and 4-speed or ZF 5-speed manual transmissions. For the first time, an optional limited slip differential was also available.
The main change was the use of the 2,496 cc (2.5 L) M129.II engine with 6mm increased stroke, 2mm increased valve ports, and seven main bearings instead of four. The nominal maximum power remained unchanged at 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp), but torque improved from 145 lb?ft (197 Nm) to 159 lb?ft (216 Nm). Resiliency also improved with a new cooling water tank (’round top’) with increased capacity from 10.8 L to 12.9 L, and a standard oil-water heat exchanger.
The wider power band of the 250 SL resulted in noticeably improved performance, as the 230 SL engines rarely produced more than 143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp) in practice.
For regular readers of the cars I personally consign, you’ll be familiar with my lines like, “cars don’t come up like this everyday” in my write-ups; and that’s because of course they don’t, as we choose the best cars aligned to our service. I can easily use that line on this car, as it’s gorgeous and in lovely condition; you’ll read more about that below. However, I’m going to use this line instead in my opening paragraph, “sellers don’t come up like this everyday”.
You can judge a lot about a car by the seller, and that’s why we feature the ‘meet the owner’ videos in all of our full consignments. I’ve always believed it’s one of the top three or four things we do consistently that no one else in our industry does. It quite simply allows buyers to experience a connection with our sellers. It puts a face to the name of the person responsible for caring for the car, and thus creates an emotional connection.
Even after my first discussion a few months ago with Malcolm, it was clear to me that he is a true classic car enthusiast and his main goal is to find a new loving custodian for his favourite car. Initially he was keen to tell me everything that he felt needed attention with the car – like me, he is fastidious about maintenance and condition, and nothing less than perfect will do. If I told you Malcolm spent nearly £600 inc VAT on replacement sunvisors last November, then that should tell you a little bit about how he’s cared for this car.
Malcolm has owned this car for around six years, so has a strong bond with the car that you can see in the video. This is the car he’s always wanted and is the last one he’s decided to sell from what sounds like a pretty special collection. We think he’s kept the best until last. The only reason Malcolm has decided to sell the car is to help fund a private business venture.
Please take a look at the video to meet Malcolm and drop him a note in the comments below if you have any questions.
The bodywork is really exceptional for a fifty year old car and is of course due to spending the majority of its life in the dry area of San Diego.
Wheels & Tyres
Original factory steel wheels with chrome hub caps are fitted that are in excellent condition, as shown in the media pack. The age of the white wall tyres is uncertain but they are all the same brand and have good tread. In 2012 there was an MOT advisory saying the tyres have wear to the outside edge, so they have been replaced since that time.
As mentioned, the bodywork is really exceptional on this car. There are no noticeable parking dents and the panel fit across the car all looks visually correct. The doors, bonnet and boot all shut perfectly with that reassuring ‘clunk‘ of quality. There is one slight light dent on the boot lid, in the centre near the badge area. You have to look hard / down the reflection line to see it and presumably created by an overzealous boot closure. The sills and wheel arches are in amazing condition with no signs of rust. The floor pans and rear boot floor all look in original condition and Malcolm says the matt black paint is likely to be original factory finish. The underside also looks to be in good condition as can be seen in the video. The benefit of an older import is you can check the MOT history, as in this case there’s been no advisories on bodywork in the five MOT’s since 2012. The car was also professionally wax oiled after it was imported back in 2012 – a mandatory job to preserve the rot free condition of the car.
The car has had a respray at some point in the past, it used to be green and was changed to silver. Whilst not factory correct it really does suit the car and importantly contrast beautifully against the red interior. This has to be the colour for the car – difficult to argue against that. There are a few very small stone chips and I’ve pointed these out in the video, as it’s difficult to see them against the silver colour. There is one larger chip on the leading front edge on the bonnet. Last winter the car was stored in a Carcoon with a soft cover and also a dehumidifier running in Malcolm’s garage, at a new home they moved to last year. Unfortunately the new garage is part of the old coach house and not as dry as he previous garages, and the car developed some very very slight blistering over the top areas of the paint work. The car has been out of the Carcoon for a few weeks now and it has reduced. On my visit I found it very difficult to see the blistering. On careful inspection I noticed very slight blisters on the top sections of the NSF wing, door and rear wing – but I had to look very hard and catch the light at the right angle. Personally I don’t think this is an issue, however, as is the case with all classic cars, covers have to be used with caution, especially if the environment is not completely dehumidified.
Glass and Trim
The glass is in excellent condition and no stone chips were found on the front screen. The chrome is also in very good condition. The only exceptions are the OSR chrome bumper section has lost a little of its chrome finish, and could do with re-finishing. Also, the chrome sections on the ‘A’ pillars are a little worn and could do with being re-chromed too. The rubber seals that fit against the door windows are showing signs of age, and could do with being changed at some point in the future.
Sitting in ths car is a truely lovely experience. Once inside you instantly notice the quality of the car, design, thought and care and maintenance that’s gone into preserving the car over the years.
Seats and Carpets
The red leather seats are in stunning condition with new seatbelts having been fitted in recent times. There is almost no wear on the driver’s seat squab and bolster.
The dashboard and gauges are all in the condition expected with such a low mileage and well cared for car. Of course the radio has been changed at some point and needs to be replaced for a period correct version.
Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The car has its original steering wheel and gear stick and both are in excellent condition.
We took the car out on our regular ‘on the road‘ run and it performed without a problem, along with starting first time. Please review the video footage to see the cold start and how the car performed on a run whilst interviewing Malcolm during the drive.
Engine and Gearbox
There are no issues with the engine or gearbox. The engine, gearbox all perform perfectly during our 5-6 miles road test. Malcolm also had the head gasket replaced in June 2016 at a cost of £2,400 (see invoices).
Suspension and Brakes
The car has no knocks or rattles coming from the suspension. As mentioned, the car has always had the best care in Malcolm’s ownership, and you’ll see receipts for all work carried out. The PAS was reconditioned in September 2013.
The drive was without fault with all gears being selected without issue. We even tested the kick-down on the road and it performed as expected.
Electrics and Other
Please review the picture file to see the invoices and previous MOT’s that come with the car. The original service book is also included and shows good main dealer service history for the majority of the miles that were actioned in the cars formative years.
The car is showing just over 60,287 as of 10.06.2018.
HPi Check Results
– This car is HPi clear and will be supported by our own HPi check.
Mileage Records – MOT
– 22-01-1969 – 5,646 miles (service)
– 19-02-1970 – 15,701 miles (service)
– 14-07-1970 – 18,089 miles (service)
– 13-01-1971 – 21,539 miles (service)
– 29-12-1971 – 27,520 miles (service)
– 27-07-1972 – 31,062 miles (service)
– 25-04-1973 – 35,089 miles (service)
– 20-08-1973 – 36,865 miles (service)
– 20-02-1974 – 39,537 miles (service)
– 21-11-1974 – 43,487 miles (service)
– 12-08-1975 – 47,677 miles (service)
– 26-05-1976 – 51,906 miles (service)
– 16-07-2012 – 58,125 miles (MOT)
– 11-09-2013 – 59,084 miles (MOT)
– 08-09-2014 – 59,673 miles (MOT)
– 28-08-2015 – 59,772 miles (MOT)
– 23-06-2016 – 59,930 miles (service)
– 16-08-2017 – 60,105 miles (MOT)
– 16-11-2017 – 60,105 miles (service)
Being in the trade I’m privileged to see and drive beautiful and rare classic cars on a daily basis. It’s a shame but you can get sort of blasé about it and look at cars in factual terms like a bullet point of things in your head that you focus on i.e. the big hitters like service history, mileage and condition. But now and again you see a car that stirs something inside you, makes your heart jump a little, makes your pupils dilate. This is how I felt when I drove up Malcolm’s drive and saw the 250SL for the first time in the morning sunshine. It’s the sort of car you have to rush up to and look at before even noticing the owner (sorry Malcolm).
Prices for these cars range more than most, and you’ll see ones for restoration at around £30k and good usable examples around the £65k – £80k mark. I think there are some really nice examples with dealers but they have unrealistic expectations, especially when you consider the fact that the market is slower this year than last; some of these dealers are touting prices in excess of the £100k mark.
Incidentally a reputable garage valued this car at £100k in March 2017 – but don’t worry as Malcolm is not looking for anything near that. The really good news for you is that Malcolm has set a very low and realistic reserve price, should this car go to auction – it really is priced to sell.
This auction listing was written by Adam from information gained from Malcolm, the seller, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.
If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Malcolm will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.