FOR SALE: 1966 Mercedes 230SL Pagoda

1966 Mercedes 230SL Pagoda (European Specification)
Rare manual, 3 seats configuration

Engine: 2300cc

Transmission:  manual

Steering:  LHD (left Hand Drive)

Mileage: 50.437 miles / 80.700 KM

Colour: White (non-metallic)

Interior: Red leather

Seller: Drive Classics on behalf of a client

Price: £94,995


The Mercedes W113 ‘Pagoda’ was always glamorous and expensive (twice as much as a 4.2 E-type in period), with John Lennon and Charlton Heston among star owners in period. John Travolta, David Coulthard, Jason Orange and Kate Moss have added more recent flair to the model.

The motorcar offered by us comes in an extremely attractive Papyrus White paint work and perfectly complimenting red leather seats and matching red carpet as well as the red soft top. This collector owned Pagoda also comes with side-facing ‘jump seat’ making it a rare three-seater automobile. The hard top that comes with the car is a perfect solution for the British winter months. The dashboard full of chrome is fitted with period correct Blaupunkt radio receiver. In terms of modern equipment, the car has been fitted with the latest technology alarm system with immobiliser and central locking for the peace of mind.

Originally constructed for European market in 1966 in left hand drive configuration with desirable manual transmission the Pagoda currently shows only 80.700 KM (approx. 50k miles). Due to the fact the car although offered for sale it is still being used and hence the milage unlikely but can insignificantly go up.

Imported to the UK in late 2013 and registered in 2014 the Pagoda undergone a full restoration which to this day results in a car that is enjoyed with no worries for any potential major restoration costs. Mechanically the car has benefitted from a service and a clutch replacement.

We had the pleasure of driving this beautiful Mercedes Pagoda and can only confirm that it drives as well as it looks. This is an extremely well-presented example with only two previous UK owners and matching numbers. This Pagoda is a fantastic opportunity for the next custodian to acquire and enjoy an impeccable iconic automobile.


The Mercedes-Benz W 113 is a two-seat roadster/coupé, introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, and produced from 1963 through 1971. It replaced both the 300 SL (W 198) and the 190 SL (W 121 BII). Of the 48,912 W 113 SLs produced, 19,440 were sold in the US.

The W 113 SL was developed under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz Technical Director Fritz Nallinger, Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Head of Styling Friedrich Geiger. The lead designers were Paul Bracq and Béla Barényi, who created its patented, slightly concave hardtop, which inspired the “Pagoda” nickname.

All models were equipped with an inline six-cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection. The bonnet, boot lid, door skins and tonneau cover were made of aluminium to reduce weight. The comparatively short and wide chassis, combined with an excellent suspension, powerful brakes and radial tires gave the W 113 superb handling for its time.  The styling of the front, with its characteristic upright Bosch “fishbowl” headlights and simple chrome grille, dominated by the large three-pointed star in the nose panel, paid homage to the 300 SL roadster.

W 113 SLs were typically configured as a “Coupe/Roadster” with a soft-top and an optional removable hardtop. A 2+2 was introduced with the 250 SL “California Coupe,” which had a fold-down rear bench seat instead of the soft-top.

230 SL

Production of the 230 SL commenced in June 1963 and ended on 5 January 1967. Its chassis was based on the W 111 sedan platform, with a reduced wheelbase by 30 cm (11.8 in), recirculating ball steering (with optional power steering), double wishbone front suspension and an independent single-joint, low-pivot swing rear-axle with transverse compensator spring. The dual-circuit brake system had front disc brakes and power-assisted rear drum brakes. The 230 SL was offered with a 4-speed manual transmission, or an optional, very responsive fluid coupled (no torque converter) 4-speed automatic transmission, which was popular for US models. From May 1966, the ZF S5-20 5-speed manual transmission was available as an additional option, which was particularly popular in Italy. Of the 19,831 230 SLs produced, less than a quarter were sold in the US.

The 2,308 cc (2.3 L) M127.II inline-six engine with 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) and 196 N⋅m (145 lb⋅ft) torque was based on Mercedes-Benz’ M180 inline-six with four main bearings and mechanical Bosch multi-port fuel injection. Mercedes-Benz made a number of modifications to boost its power, including increasing displacement from 2,197 cc (2.2 L), and using a completely new cylinder head with a higher compression ratio (9.3 vs. 8.7), enlarged valves and a modified camshaft. A fuel injection pump with six plungers instead of two was fitted, which allowed placing the nozzles in the cylinder head and “shooting” the fuel through the intake manifold and open valves directly into the combustion chambers. An optional oil-water heat exchanger was also available.

Mercedes-Benz Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut demonstrated the capabilities of the 230 SL on the tight three-quarter mile Annemasse Vétraz-Monthoux racetrack in 1963, where he put up a best lap time of 47.5 seconds vs. 47.3 seconds by Grand Prix driver Mike Parkes on his 3-liter V12 Ferrari 250 GT.

A brief chronology of the most notable changes made to the 230 SL:

  • 10/1963: First 230 SL with automatic transmission.
  • 09/1964: Spare tire well removed; tire mounted horizontally.
  • 11/1964: Optional tinted/thermal glass and new soft-top with steel bows (distinguished by missing chrome trim on the outer trailing edge).
  • 04/1964: US models with radio Becker Europa TR instead of Europa TG.
  • 08/1965: Some harmonization with newW 108/W 109 sedans, incl. new floor panels, combined brake and clutch fluid reservoir, boot light and interior changes.
  • 03/1966: Mounts for three-point seat belts added.
  • 05/1966: OptionalZF 5-speed manual transmission; rare and now very desirable.



This car is of absolutely amazing quality and not showing signs of rust likely due to the fact that the car had been subjected to a full restoration within the last 7 years. Mechanically the vehicle is fully functional and after a test drive we can confirm that all the mechanical components are fully operational and perform as they should. Both hard top and soft top are first class condition with no leaks in rainy conditions.

Saying this the Pagoda is in fact a used car and some minimal age related marks can be found both in and outside of the car but only by the most peculiar individuals.


The leather interior is in a fantastic condition with no visible marks or rips and all the chrome and exposed paintwork components are also in perfect condition.


The engine and ancileraries are in non-fault and fully operational condition. Both engine and the gearbox run smoothly and the clutch was recently replaced by a Mercedes specialist.


Wheels and the ‘white wall’ tyres are all in a very good condition.


All the glazed elements including light clusters and windows are in great condition.