Mercedes 230sl Pagoda

1965 Mercedes 230sl Pagoda
Price: £SOLD

Exterior: White
Interior: Red leather
Transmission: Auto
Mileage: 36,000

Engine: 2.3 straight 6

Layout: LHD

Drivetrain: RWD

Power: 150 bhp


This particular car has been maintained by Investor Classics for the past year, including a full body refurbishment to a very high standard.

The car drives beautifully and turns heads anywhere it goes. It truly is a masterpiece of automotive design.

The mechanical condition is as outstanding as the bodywork, as can be seen in the photographs. The works undertaken and the highlights are as follows:

  • Excellent body condition, ex-California

  • Original red leather seats in excellent condition

  • New carpets to match leather

  • Original Becker radio

  • 'Dickey' seat fitted to rear with removable footwell for rear passenger

  • New soft top in original colour

  • Hard top included, in excellent condition

  • Mercedes Benz hard top stand and cover

  • Reconditioned auto transmission in 2016

  • All original chrome parts

  • All seals replaced

  • New Mercedes Benz wind deflector

  • MOT until October 2018

ABOUT THE 230sl 'Pagoda'

Production of the 230 SL commenced in June 1963 and ended on 5 January 1967. Its chassis was based on the W111 sedan platform, with a reduced wheelbase by 30 cm (11.8 in), recirculating ball steering (with optional power steering), double wishbone front suspension and an independent single-joint, low-pivot swing rear-axle with transverse compensator spring. The dual-circuit brake system had front disc brakes and power-assisted rear drum brakes.

The 230 SL was offered with a 4-speed manual transmission, or an optional, very responsive fluid coupled (no torque converter) 4-speed automatic transmission. From May 1966, the ZF S5-20 5-speed manual transmission was available as an additional option.

The 2,308 cc (2.3 L) M127.II inline-six engine with 150 hp and 145 lb·ft torque was based on Mercedes-Benz' venerable M180 inline-six with four main bearings and mechanical Bosch multi-port fuel injection. Mercedes-Benz made a number of modifications to boost its power, including increasing displacement from 2,197 cc (2.2 L), and using a completely new cylinder head with a higher compression ratio (9.3 vs. 8.7), enlarged valves and a modified camshaft.


A fuel injection pump with six plungers instead of two was fitted, which allowed placing the nozzles in the cylinder head and "shooting" the fuel through the intake manifold and open valves directly into the combustion chambers. An optional oil-water heat exchanger was also available.


Mercedes-Benz Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who was as competent behind the wheel as any racing driver, 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 V12Ferrari 250 GT.

The 230sl is nick-named the ‘Pagoda’ due to its distinctively shaped roof, which resembles the Asian temple of the same name.

© 2018 Investor Classics Ltd