Arizona | Lot 118

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL 'Pagoda'

$68,750 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

28 January 2016

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • One of only 185 230 SLs built in 1967
  • Original numbers-matching engine
  • Equipped with automatic transmission, its original Blaupunkt radio, and both soft- and hardtops
  • A charming driver

150 bhp, 2,281 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with twin transverse wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar, single-joint low-pivot swing-axle rear suspension with coil springs and compensating springs, and servo-assisted twin-circuit hydraulic brakes with front discs and finned rear drums. Wheelbase: 94.4 in.

First introduced at the 1963 Frankfurt Auto Show, the long-awaited successor to the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL saw a new emphasis placed on safety and comfort. The 230 SL boasted dramatic and unique styling, a modern update of the 300 SL with more squared-off lines and a broad front grille, available as a two-passenger roadster or with a removable hardtop. The hardtop’s distinctive roofline, designed by Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi, featured an extensive glassy greenhouse with raised sides and a lower center panel reminiscent of a Japanese pagoda, hence the popular “Pagoda” nickname for the model. Under the hood was a Bosch fuel-injected six-cylinder engine, capable of producing 150 horsepower, which was the first Mercedes-Benz engine to have an alternator as standard equipment.

Production of the beautifully designed and constructed 230 SL continued until 1967. In the final year of production, as the company transitioned into the new 250 SL model, the 230 SL was naturally quite rare. In fact, of a total production run of 19,831 cars, it is believed that only 185 230 SLs were made in 1967, making them, by far, some of the rarest Mercedes-Benzes of their era.

The 230 SL offered here, one of those distinctive final cars, was originally sold in Edgewater, New Jersey. It is accompanied by its original window sticker, noting that it was finished, as today, in White (DB 050) with a Cognac MB-Tex (120) interior, floor-shifted automatic transmission (identified by the 12 in its chassis number), power steering, chrome roof bars, whitewall tires, the optional Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio, and the removable hardtop. It was refinished in the original color some years ago but retains what is believed to be the original MB-Tex interior, including carpets, and much of the original chrome trim. Typical of the hard-wearing MB-Tex material, the seats are in very good condition, with only minor wear evident, and the instrument panel gauges are clear and fresh.

In addition to its window sticker and data card, the car is accompanied by a 1964 230 SL catalogue, its owner’s service policy booklet (still with the original number 1 and 2 service coupons), directions for the radio and convertible top, and an original service booklet, all of which are in the original portfolio, and there is also a partial tool kit in its original bag. The trunk is properly finished and contains a full-size spare.

A great 230 SL to drive and appreciate, this car is one of the most seldom-seen Mercedes-Benzes of its era and would be an enjoyable acquisition for any enthusiast’s collection.

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