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Lot 352: Mercedes-Benz 230SL Convertible

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

A convertible-with-hardtop model finished in eye-catching red with black interior, the car offered here is a right-hand drive example of the 230SL, a landmark model which founded a sports car dynasty that would prove an enormous commercial success for Mercedes-Benz. Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1963 as replacement for the 190SL, the 230SL abandoned its predecessor's four-cylinder engine in favour of a 2.3-litre fuel-injected six derived from that of the 220SE and producing 150bhp. An instant classic, the body design was all-new while beneath the skin the running gear was conventional Mercedes-Benz, featuring all-round independent suspension (by swing axles at the rear), disc front/drum rear brakes and a choice of four-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Top speed was in excess of 120mph. Owned by countless film stars and celebrities, the Mercedes-Benz 230SL became one of the iconic sports car of the 1960s. It even managed a debut competition victory, as Sporting Motorist noted: 'Performances of the Mercedes-Benz range in the competition field are legendary, and we think particularly of participation in the most rugged of rallies where the cars have proved their strength and stamina beyond doubt. Soon after the 230SL was announced, Eugen Bohringer drove one to victory in the Spa-Sofia-Li�ge Rally, and although competition outings are rare, this was the sort of debut one would expect from the Stuttgart factory.' Christened 'pagoda top' after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and continue to be highly sought after by collectors. An automatic transmission model, the example we offer has benefited from progressive restoration over the past 15 years. Works carried out include a full engine rebuild by Roger Edwards Motors (2001), fitting a new floor pan and sills (2005), new soft top and radiator (2006), new rear axle (2007) and a full re-spray (2009-2010). The recorded mileage when the engine was rebuilt was 35,000 and is now circa 42,000. Described as in generally excellent condition, this beautiful Mercedes-Benz soft-top is offered with numerous invoices for maintenance and parts, current road fund licence, MoT to January 2013 and Swansea V5 document.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
Lot Number352
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£20000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£23000
Condition rating1
Registration numberPGV 53E
Chassis number11304222019187
Engine number12798122005668
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2