A Structurally Superb, Great-Driving Early Production 230SL. Great History and Original Color Combination
1964 Mercedes-Benz 230SL
s/n 113.042-12-002103, engine no. 127.981-12-000189
Two Tone White Grey and Graphite Grey with Red Leather Interior
Representing Mercedes-Benz's trend towards producing more usable and practical sports cars, the 230/250/280SL line was meant to replace both the 190SL and the illustrious 300SL. The car was a comfortable two-seater that was to be neither too big nor too expensive, and exhibited excellent roadholding thanks to the innovative and sophisticated rear suspension design. Built to Mercedes' usually high standards and employing excellent visibility, the cars were popular and sold well, even if they lost the raw sporting prowess of the 300.
This particular car is a wonderfully preserved and honest example that has interesting history, excellent structure, and is a pleasure to drive. Completed in January of 1964 (230SL production began in May of 1963), this car is an early production example that was sold new in France on the 25th of February 1964. It traveled extensively during its early life, and was serviced in Paris regularly until 1968, at which point it was serviced twice in the United Kingdom (at 17,272 km). The car was serviced in Cyprus with 24,752 km in July of 1969, but was back in the United Kingdom by the 6th of August, at which point it was serviced again with 28,594 km. By the end of July 1970, the car was showing 39,892 km when it was serviced in Greece. It was serviced once more in Paris in 1972, again in Greece in May of 1973 when it was showing 54,646 km. The car was exported to Canada on 14 April 1981 and serviced at 83,600 km in Vancouver, British Columbia in May.
The car was then purchased by a long term owner, a woman in Vancouver who owned the car from 3 April 1985 until June of 2013. She added less than 13,000 km to the car during that period, but serviced the car conscientiously. She bought the car from Jack Cooney, who owned two hotels, The Drake and The Marr. In 2002, the car received a new fuel injection pump, and in 2012-2013, significant work was performed including the replacement of the fuel tank, a new starter, complete differential rebuilt (including bearings etc at a cost of many thousands of dollars), new rear wheel cylinders, complete fluid changes, new fuel pump, various engine seals to eliminate oil leaks, transmission service, points, condenser, coil, complete brake fluid flush and bleed, and new battery. Additionally, the car was serviced in August 2014 at a cost of over $4000, which included a new cold start valve, valve adjustment, tune up, adjustment to the fuel injection pump, dwell, and timing, new soft top, service and rebuilt steering box as needed, alignment, new window seals, and servicing both the clock and tachometer. As a result, the car is very well-sorted from a mechanical standpoint.
The car makes a great cosmetic impression. The car remains in its original two-tone color combination of weiβgrau (white grey) with graphite grey hard top and hubcaps and red leather interior. The body condition is excellent, and close inspection reveals just how nice the body is. The nose, which often shows evidence of collision or rust on these W113s, is intact with factory spot welds and the correct layering of the inner fender panels where they meet the grille surround. The ridges on the inboard edges of the fenders adjacent to the headlight trim rings are intact and crisp. Additionally, the inner front fenders, which tend to trap moisture and can rust, appear unadulterated. The paintwork is very nice, being glossy and attractive with no major flaws aside from some marks and scratches on top of the rear fenders where the hard top rests. The dark grey paint on the hard top shows some crazing. The chrome is very good to excellent, with no significant pitting and some light scratches/swirls only. The glass and lights are very good to excellent, and the car retains its European headlamps in excellent shape. The wheels are in very good condition, although two of the rimbelishers have some scrapes. The black canvas soft top is excellent.
The interior is wonderfully preserved and has never been restored. There is a surprisingly different feel from the interior of the late 280SLs, with a distinctly more 1960s aesthetic, especially the treatment of the door panels and controls. The original leather has wonderful patina but is in fantastic condition considering its originality. The square weave carpets are in great shape as well and the car is equipped with a Becker Europa radio. The dashboard is excellent, including instruments and switches. The heater sliders are not seized and the steering wheel is excellent. The wood is possibly original and is excellent considering this. The visors are very nice, as is the headliner of the hard top. The car is fitted with the rare and very cool sideways-facing kindersitz or child seat, a small jump seat behind the passenger’s seat.
The engine compartment is quite clean and nicely detailed, showing much evidence of recent work. Ancillary components such as the brake booster, radiator, and engine accessories are all clean and have the appearance of a recently restored car. The inner fenders appear to wear their original paint, which is clean and honest but not pristine. The firewall pad is excellent. The trunk has a matching red square weave carpet, in addition to the factory rubber mat. The jack and tire iron are present, along with the original spare, date coded December of 1963.
The undercarriage of the car is in excellent shape. The seams and panels are not only excellent, but appear to be original, with no recent undercoating or other signs of repairs. The seams of the floors, rockers, and other structural elements are crisp and extremely solid, and the structural integrity of the car is both impressive and exemplary.
The car is a pleasure to drive. The engine runs very well, operating smoothly and without issue than being a bit cold-blooded. The transmission shifts smoothly and selects gears properly, which is not always the case with these cars. The brakes are effective and drama-free in operation, while the steering and suspension are tight while still providing a civilized ride. Overall, there is a coherence and wholeness to the car’s operation that reminds the driver why Mercedes had such a legendary reputation for quality.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a superb 230SL. Finished in a great color combination and wonderfully unmolested with a lovely original interior, this car is also structurally exemplary and a joy to drive. The history is fascinating and the car is well-documented, with significant documentation from the last 20 years, in addition to the original service booklet, which is extensively stamped. There are also some photos of the car with the woman who owned it for 28 years, as well as the original data card. The car shows 9000km at this time, which based on the documentation, is 109,000km, making this a 67,000 mile car. The feel of the car has a strong 1960s flavor that is missing from the later cars, making this an interesting and particularly evocative alternative to the 280SL.
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