1964 MERCEDES-BENZ 230SL

The Pagoda charms onlookers with its elegant looks and delights occupants with an equally impressive cabin.

The Pagoda SL is regarded as a highpoint in Mercedes design of the 1960s. It’s an understated beauty that's a bit too broad to be called petite but athletic enough to be considered sporty. Pricey when new, these cars now cost a bomb as many good, keen owners invest in quality restorations. The work done to revive this early 230SL is of the highest calibre so it feels very tight and refined on any road, and the four-speed manual offers welcome involvement when stirring the rasping straight-six.
The Pagoda nickname was inspired by the shape of the concaved hardtop. It’s double-skinned, adds much strength to the structure, and requires two people to remove or fit. There’s also a fabric hood thats neatly folds into the boot.
The underpinnings are based on those of a humble saloon with a truncated wheelbase. That explains the wide tracks and great stance; the aluminium bonnet, bootlid and doors help explain the modest weight.
The 230SL wasn’t a range entry point as it was the only model available for the first four years of Pagoda production, up until 1967. The subsequent 250SL and 280SL differed little beyond the engine bay.
The 280 might be considered the headline act but we think an early manual 230SL in right-hand drive has a lot of appeal. Its delicate looks and classy demeanour ensure its desirability will only grow.

Driven one? Own one? Share your Pagoda SL experience: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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MERCEDES-BENZ 230SL

VARIANT W113 convertible

COLOUR Metallic grey

UPHOLSTERY red leather

ENGINE 2306cc straight-six

POWER 110kW (148bhp)

TORQUE 197Nm @ 4200rpm

TRANSMISSION 4-speed manual, RWD

0-100km/h 11 secs

WHEELS 14-inch steel

LENGTH 4.28m

WEIGHT 1295kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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