September Sale 2018

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Pagoda

Lot No.: 326

Registration: VAM 813D
Chassis Number: 113.042-10-018061
Engine Number: 127981-10-013461
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 2306
Year of Manufacture: 1966
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Sold for (£): 52,313
  • Left-hand drive, European-spec import from the US
  • Subject to a professional three-year restoration by Barkston Refinishing
  • Medium Blue Metallic with a lovely Parchment interior 
  • Believed to be matching-numbers. Manual gearbox. Hard-top 

Launched at the Geneva Auto Salon in March 1963, the 230SL – or W113 in Mercedes-Benz language – was a very different sort of sporting car from its forebears. Intended as the replacement for the 190SL, the 230SL abandoned its predecessor's four-cylinder engine in favour of a 2.3-litre fuel-injected six-cylinder SOHC engine. The Paul Bracq-penned body was an all-new, stylish design which became an instant classic. The construction utilised some of the new manufacturing techniques being adopted in the emerging 'S' Class, however, beneath the skin the running gear was conventional Mercedes-Benz, featuring all-round independent suspension, disc front/drum rear brakes, and the choice of a four-speed manual or automatic gearbox.  The cabin was classic Mercedes but a bit more 'Sixties' and the car appealed to a younger demographic, a fact that was instantly reflected in Mercedes worldwide sales figures.

The W113 SL eventually spanned three engine sizes and remained in production until 1971 with around 49,000 finding homes.  These SL models were amongst the most loved sports-tourers of their day and continue to be highly sought after by collectors with their timeless looks and neat proportions having never gone out of fashion.

The car presented here is a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Pagoda (with the desirable and rarer manual gearbox) which has been subject to a recently completed three-year restoration. This left-hand drive, European-spec example spent its life in the US before our vendor imported it and proceeded to oversee its renewal.  The car was in storage in the US just prior to being shipped but was complete and in inherently good condition.  Our vendor utilised the specialist restoration skills of ‘Barkston Refinishing’ of Grantham who undertook a full bare-metal refurbishment and mechanical overhaul.  It now looks really smart in Medium Blue Metallic (396G), the engine bay is neat and tidy, and the little Mercedes certainly sits well. Whoever is in charge of restoring interiors at  Barkston Refinishing can be justly proud of their work as it is simply splendid. The 'Parchment' leather is tight and fresh, the light blue corded carpet fits well, all the cockpit and dashboard chrome work looks excellent, and the white Bakelite steering wheel appears uncracked.

The accompanying Mercedes-Benz data-card for the car states it left the factory on the 14th September 1966.  It is believed to retain its matching-numbers status, displaying its original/correct engine number (as per its data-card) stamped on the block, plus an original Mercedes-Benz Tauschaggregat plate (with code 127 010 4100) which means, at some point, the engine was either overhauled or replaced with the correct 230SL-type at the factory (as the engine number seen in the block is still as per its data-card, it is more likely that the engine was overhauled). Unfortunately, there is no history from its time in the US, but there are invoices and photos of its restoration, plus a copy of its data-card from Mercedes-Benz. The car is now UK-registered and ready to use.  

Pagodas have an indefinable ‘chic’ and seem to generate a real pride of ownership particularly when they look this good.   In this condition, at this guide price, and after a few years building up a service history, this could be a very shrewd investment.