West Coast Classics are proud to present an extremely rare California barn find (garage really!) of this 1967 Mercedes 230SL 'Pagoda' roadster with very desirable original factory options of automatic transmission, power steering, original 'Becker Europa' radio, brown canvas soft top and original factory hard top!
Recently purchased from its long time California owner who had stored the car in his garage for the last two and a half decades and which will be sold as a running project requiring some minor TLC. The car runs very well and has no signs of any accidents damage and only some very minor rust showing in two small areas of the undercarriage. Please also note that the car is currently also missing its trunk lock, driver side sun visor and has a cracked passenger side rear tail light lens. Please see detailed photos below.
By 1963 the 190SL (Super Light) and the 300SL Roadster were neither Super or Light and the 190SL was simply too heavy to compete with the likes of even the British MG or Triumph and completely underpowered compared to the Austin-Healeys or Jaguars. Mercedes had two choices, either return to the premise of the original 300SL and build another pure sports car or create a new grand touring sports car that would continue the reputation of the SL's as touring cars rather than super racing cars. Mercedes chose the latter with a compromise between the 190 and 300 with the introduction of the W113 platform 230SL which was a two-seat roadster/coupe, introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show and the series was continued through 1971.
Like the Gullwing before it, the 230SL had a distinguishing feature which was its removable hardtop with a distinctive dip in its center to offer tall windows to create a better balanced side view and more headroom for passengers getting in and out while still maintaining a low sporty roofline from the front and rear and which earned the car the nickname 'Pagoda' roof. It also proved an efficient way to remove rainwater and channel it away from the car. Top speed was about 115mph which was better than the 190SL but not in the same class as the 300SL.
All models were equipped with an inline-six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The hood, trunk lid, door skins and tonneau cover were all made of aluminum 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 tribute to the then already legendary 300 SL roadster.
The 280 SL was introduced in December 1967 and continued in production through 23 February 1971, when the W113 was replaced by its successor, the entirely new and substantially heavier R107 350 SL. Over the years, the W113 evolved from a sports car into a comfortable grand tourer and US models were by then usually equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. In Europe, manual transmissions without air conditioning were still the predominant choice.
This particular example presents a wonderful opportunity for the Mercedes enthusiast to restore or is simply a great daily driver for any classic car lover - the original factory 'White Gray' (Code 158) color paint has been repainted in the same color at some point in the past and the car still sports its matching hubcaps and has only very minor imperfections or flaws in the paintwork. The chrome work is all excellent and the original interior needs only very minor cosmetic work, all the gauges and switches and levers are in very good shape, the original dashboard and wood is all very good and the original seats and carpets show only very minor wear with a small tear in the carpet by the wooden center console and a couple of very small tears in the driver's seat. The car also boasts its original and working 'Becker Europa' radio and clock! The German canvas black soft top is in very good shape with no particular signs of any wear and the hard top is as new. As previously stated the car has been sitting for some years without much use but is in good overall driving condition and would make a perfect candidate for the enthusiast to restore further.