Bring a Trailer NO RESERVE auction preview: Desirable 4-speed Manual with power steering and both tops.
1967 Mercedes Benz 230 SL
VIN – 11304210016064
Engine No. 127 981 10 012632
Exterior Color – Red
Interior Color – Black leather
Engine – 2.3 liter in-line 6-cylinder
Transmission – 4-speed manual
Current Miles –98,780 miles
Current Owner – Purchased in 1991 with 75k miles
After more than a century of superb automotive craftsmanship, Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the industry as one of the premier automobile innovators, delivering vehicles of superior performance and optimal luxury. During the 1950s, decades of racing achievement and luxury refinements evolved as US market growth encouraged new models with technical advancements and safety features. North American sales grew to become one the largest market for Mercedes-Benz.
The mid 60s proved to be a rapidly changing time for sports cars. The budding 230SL was slated to replace both the 190SL and the iconic 300SL – an ominous task as the 300SL was a performance brute, but the 190, was nearly the opposite. The 230SL delivered a car that hit the “sweet spot”, proving immediately appealing to customers seeking a charming and sporty car with clean styling, captivating details, and spirited performance. Excellence continued under the hood with Bosch fuel-injection, overhead-cam six-cylinder engines, and an all-synchromesh 4-speed transmission. The 230 SL delivered reliable performance, convertible configuration, and substantial trunk space allowing for elegant and practical traveling, even over long distances. Among the many features, several innovative safety aspects were incorporated into the unique body design including being the first sports car with a rigid passenger cell and designated crumple zones, industry standards that are common today, but thoroughly new for a sports car in 1963.
History and Build Details of This Car
This beautifully finished 230SL represents the culmination of the first series 2.3-liter, which would briefly share the spotlight with the 250LS and eventually be replaced by the 280SL. Light, sporty and outfitted with a 4-speed manual transmission, this 230SL was ordered from the factory finished in Signal Red (568 H) with a Signal Red removable hardtop as stamped on the options tag still affixed to the right front inner fender. Delivered to North America with MPH speedometer the options tag also indicates 493 “USA version with heavy duty heat exchanger” and 508 “Left hand mirror”.
The current owner purchased this car in 1991 while living in the Washington DC/Maryland area. At that time, the interior had been redone and a fresh coat of paint applied. Offered for sale by a local Bethesda, MD Mercedes-Benz dealership, most likely from a long-term customer, the car had 75,000 miles which are believed to be original to the car at that time. The owner used the car as his daily driver for ten years off and on having it serviced at Don Pool’s shop, specializing in SLs, and in 2010 with Charles Taylor, who was head of the regional SL club at that time. In 2016, the owner relocated the car to his second home in Denver, CO.
In 2018, while in Colorado, work was performed freshening mechanicals and cosmetics as needed. Records accompanying the car date back to 2010 including new brake shoes and two brake wheel cylinders, a new ATE master cylinder, wood and dash pad refinishing, instrument services, new shifter bushings and boots, and a new firewall pad. A further invoice includes replacement of several hoses and clamps, new drag link, new tie rod ends, trailing arm bushings, front and rear shocks, new steering damper, and alignment. In 2018, Farland Classic Restoration, Englewood, CO performed paint correction, paintless dent removal, trunk detailing and paint, and undercoat paint to chassis. In November 2022, an oil and filter service were performed, rear differential service performed, brake fluid exchanged, engine coolant flushed. In preparation for consignment in October 2023, with 98,772 miles, an oil and filter service were performed, and a suspected fuel leak tested with no leak found.
Today this 230SL presents as a handsome, high-quality driver level 230SL. The glossy red paint shows only minor signs of age with a few chips in various areas but nothing of significance to alter the otherwise excellent presentation. The inboard front fender tips are not present on either side, but the front fender factory spot welds are evident on both sides of the flanged metal when viewed under the hood. The doors shut very well and retain good panel gaps and the side glass retains the factory Sekurit branding indicative of factory glass. The hood and trunk also exhibit proper fit and closure. The chrome throughout is in very good condition, with nice luster and clean, bright reflections. All lenses, lighting, and glass are in very good condition with no significant chips or marks on the windshield. The black canvas convertible top is nicely tailored with a clear and taut plastic rear window with excellent top bow tailoring and fabric welting on the underside of the top. The convertible top moves up and down smoothly and latches easily to the windshield header. The hardtop is in excellent condition finished in matching red with white headliner and very good glass. The exterior presentation overall is handsome, with proper stance, smooth bodylines and a nicely finished set of matching steel wheels with correct hubcaps and wheel trim and a set of contemporary Kumho radial tires dated 2010.
The interior has been nicely restored offering a cohesive presentation overall. The seats, door panels, and dashboard are in excellent condition. The seats feature excellent foam padding, correct pleating, and a set of matching black retractable lap belts. The instruments are in excellent condition, fronted by a correct steering wheel with a matching white padded horn button. The surrounding dash pad is in excellent condition as are the refinished wood trim and white sun visors. Drivable and enjoyable for regular use, the interior is particularly delightful with the top down, conveniently stowed underneath the hinged top cover.
The engine compartment features the correct 127 981 series engine, cast alloy cam cover, fuel-injection, and good detailing. Both the engine and engine compartment are nicely detailed and properly presented with correct parts, factory components, and updated lines and hoses. A few modern updates include an Optima battery and newer ignition wires. The trunk is clean and nicely finished in correct satin black with a full-size spare tire and vinyl cover and a correct rubber mat. Underneath the car, there is no evidence of structural compromise to the chassis floor supporting what are believed to be the original miles.
The car starts easily and idles smoothly, having benefited from regular and recent services. Driving manners are quite nice particularly for this example which offers a smooth gearbox, comfortable uptake on the clutch, and excellent acceleration through all gears. The ride engineering, responsive suspension, and ample seating room create a nice open-air experience with composed power delivery for two occupants, plenty of luggage space, and legroom suitable for tall occupants. Top down or hardtop in place makes for enjoyable driving in either configuration.
This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a driver ready 230SL. Finished in great colors with known long-term ownership, this handsome and iconic car is ready for enjoyable driving, touring with a friend, or extended weekend adventures.
Included with this 230SL
This car is offered with a factory removable hardtop, hardtop stand, a car cover, a set of factory owner’s books, a pair of coco floor mats, a set of tools and tool roll, and selected copies of service records dating back to 2010.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608