A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Buyers Premium 12.5% + VAT
The second generation of the SL series began with the 230 of 1963. Designed by Paul Bracq, its wonderfully crisp styling clothed a monocoque chassis equipped with all-round independent suspension, power assisted disc/drum brakes, recirculating ball steering and a 2306cc straight-six engine producing 150bhp and 145 lbs-ft of torque mated to either a four-speed manual or automatic transmission. The car was an international hit for Mercedes-Benz throughout the 1960's and has remained hugely popular amongst film stars, musicians and enthusiasts ever since.
The 230 SL Pagoda we have on offer here has been fully restored but, pleasingly, retains the honesty, character and charm of an original early car. It's a UK, right-hand drive car finished in Light Ivory with a hard top in Havana Brown, a colour combination frequently referred to as 'Coffee and Cream'. In common with its predecessor, the 190SL, the Pagoda was envisioned as a bit of a 'boulevard car' and by far the majority were fitted with an automatic gearbox, however, this example was supplied with the four-speed manual box, now regarded as being considerably more desirable. The car was first registered on the 1st of April 1966 and was enjoyed by its first owner until 1976, when it was looked after for seven years until 1983 by its second custodian, prior to being part of the previous owner family for the next 36 years.
During the late eighties, the car embarked on a bit of a rolling restoration, being initially dismantled prior to the chassis and bodywork undergoing a thorough restoration and the details of this are to be found in the history file. Later the seats and panels were recovered in Tan leather and the rest of the interior was refreshed and new carpets fitted. We understand that restoration was finally completed in 2009. Throughout the long process, the previous owner made a conscious effort to maintain the cars original feel, and the only modifications were to the cylinder head to enable the use of lead-free fuel, and the fitting of a Selka 1M 3.22 Immobiliser, a sensible precaution.
The car's history file is very good, going all the way back to the original owner with various invoices, receipts, service stamps and restoration records. On test, this well-preserved little Mercedes appears to drive very well, as you might expect from such a well looked after, low ownership example. The chrome is excellent, and the interior is lovely with an excellent dashboard and gently patinated seats. The whole car has an aura of having been sensitively refreshed rather than over-restored which makes it that much more attractive.
Rarely do Pagodas, UK-supplied in right-hand drive with such low ownership and lots of history, come to market making this, surely, an opportunity not to be missed.