Arizona

19-20 January 2017

Offered from a Private Collection

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Lot 272

1964 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL 'Pagoda'

  • Chassis no. 113.042.12.003621
  • Engine no. 127.981.12.000529

Sold for $62,700


150 hp, 2,281 cc OHC 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 disc and finned rear drums. Wheelbase: 94.4 in.

  • Offered from a private collection
  • High-quality restoration; beautiful deep black paint
  • Runs and drives delightfully
  • Beautiful and iconic Pagoda-roofed SL


The Mercedes-Benz product line of the late 1950s had a glaring void. The 300 SL sports car was magnificent but expensive, and its 190 SL sibling, developed from an entry-level sedan, lacked the performance to keep up. To remedy this omission, development began on a six-cylinder evolution of the 190 SL, internally coded W127 and intended to be badged as 220 SL. Along the way, however, the development was re-directed toward the S-Class, W112 platform. The result was the W113, a fuel-injected 2.3-liter sports car introduced at the March 1963 Geneva Motor Show. Badged as the 230 SL, it came as a convertible roadster or with a removable hardtop, dubbed the “Pagoda” for its slightly concave contours. Nearly 20,000 were built through 1967, of which more than half were exported, many of them to the United States.

Road & Track was impressed by its performance: “ . . . the 230 SL really belongs to the fast car group. A standing quarter mile in 17.3 seconds is not bad, and on most highways, traffic or speed limits will decide the average speed, not the car . . . . The manual-shift gearbox is first class with very fast, excellent synchromesh, and a shift lever position which is exactly right.”

Successively larger engines kept the W113 in production through 1971, as the 250 SL and finally 280 SL. When finally succeeded by the R107 and C107 cars, nearly 50,000 W113s had been built.

This 1964 230 SL is an excellent quality restoration to factory standards. As delivered, it is a U.S.-market car equipped with power steering, brakes and automatic transmission, outside driver’s mirror, Becker Europa quad-band radio, black paint, and a black fabric top. The interior is finished in red leather with matching carpet. The body is straight with excellent panel fit, and the paint has a deep shine. The interior is unworn and the brightwork exhibits no flaws. Recently serviced, the engine starts easily and runs well; the car is noted as being a delight to drive.

The Pagoda has a dedicated following and this car is emblematic of that passion, and is certain to please its new owner.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more