The Overview

The “Sport Leicht” or SL as we know it was the Mercedes-Benz answer to the need for not only a homologation car for racing, but for a sports car for the public. Something the company had not offered in years past. The limited runs of 680S, SS, SSK and 500K/540K cars meant huge money even for those looking to own some of the fastest and most lavish cars in Europe, or the US. The atmosphere at the now post-war Mercedes-Benz was onward and upward. A flagship was needed to carry the company competitively within each model range. Thus the SL was introduced as a concept and shortly thereafter produced as the 300SL and Gullwing, as well as the 190SL. With great success, the introduction of the next generation in 1963 meant even more volume, as well as a car that was far ahead of its time.


Today, we know the “Pagoda” cars (or W113) as a comfortable sports tourer that offered everything Jaguar or other companies lacked. It was easy to use, sporting, comfortable and very reliable. As such it ended up in the driveways and garages of both sports car enthusiasts and those who simply wanted a comfortable, reliable two door convertible. The example on offer here is perhaps the iconic 230SL that most desire when they think of an SL. It is finished in Fire Engine Red with a Black interior and offers both tops. As a Euro-Spec 4-Speed example it has the benefit of a touch more power from the engine as well as a standard shift which tremendously enhances the experience of these SL’s.  For those seeking a class winning and perfect SL, this may not be the car. However, if an excellent, well serviced, sorted and no needs SL is of preference, this is indeed the ultimate enthusiast-example.


Thanks to The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, we know that Chassis # 11304210004985 was completed on July 14th 1964 and destined for Italy to be sold new.  The exact specification per factory records is as follows:


Engine: 127981.10.004462

Transmission: 004546

190- Paint, Graphite Grey

119- Interior Trim, White Grey MB-Tex

401-Single seats

416- Hardtop mounted

524- Paintcoat preservation

593- Heat-insulating glass

615- Additional turn signal lamps for Italy

621- Export license plate

668- Mode of packing VE III

720- Folding top fabric, Black

Front left axle- 053886

Front right axle- 053756

Rear axle- 05160

Steering box- 230064

Wheel- 5.5JK.14H

Tire- 185.14Phon



Today the car shows to have received a well completed (to good driver standards) cosmetic restoration at some point within the past 5 years. It received 568H, Signal Red paint on straight panels with great gaps; rendering the paint very nice throughout along with a very straight body. The chrome was also completed at this time as were many of the rubber trim items. While the paint has a couple chips or blemishes here or there form being driven and enjoyed, there is nothing major that warrants any refinishing. The chrome is of the same consistency, very nice throughout. Otherwise the only other item to be noted is the glass on the exterior rear view mirror which does have a crack. Overall its shows impressively well and would easily be a contender at any local show and/or a pleasure to view at any MB Club event.


Upon entering the interior, it is quite obvious that there was much care taken in the installation of what is a very correct interior. Finished in 201 Black with correct black square weave carpets,  the interior shows very well with nothing major to be noted. The dash top, wood, visors, dash fascia and door panels are absolutely superb in their condition and presentation. The interior overall is nicely appointed and very correct throughout.  This example is also offered with both tops, of which both are in excellent condition with the soft top the correct German Canvas type and nearly new. The Hardtop shows a nice headliner and nicely finished wood. The chrome on the hardtop is not perfect and is original.


The engine bay shows to be excellent, tidy, serviced, and clean for a car that is driven and enjoyed regularly. We can report that a clutch and new tires were recently installed and a total service completed by the prior collector owner only a few hundred miles ago. The trunk is of the same consistency, with no rust present, and what appears to be a never rust trunk compartment as many of them are. It has the correct spare, jack, and still retains its tools in there pouch. The underside and rockers on this example are of driver quality, they appear to be solid and straight with nothing noted. Inspecting the underside shows recent brake, suspension servicing and a car that is overall very much in order and rust free from our assessment.


The running condition of this SL is superb thanks to a totally rebuilt engine completed only a few thousand miles ago by the previous owner. The car makes excellent power, has a new clutch (in need of adjustment however), and runs out nicely with no issues noted. Great oil pressure, good operating temperature, this SL feels reliable and strong with the braking, steering and suspension systems up to date and in order.


This is one of the better opportunities for anyone in search of a great SL in sporting colors that is complete with 2 tops, tools, jack, spare and mechanically superb; a good car that will offer a prime investment opportunity and fun for years to come. Please inquire with any additional interest or with an offer.


 Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)