The Pacific Grove Auction

Lot 39
1964 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster


Selling on Thursday

1964 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster

CHASSIS NO: 11304210005627

• Meticulous professional restoration
• Matching chassis, engine and gearbox numbers
• Repainted and upholstered with original colors
• Only 37,000 original kilometres


2.3-litre OHC inline six-cylinder engine, Bosch fuel-injection, four-speed manual gearbox, wishbone front and single-pivot swing axle rear suspension, power steering, front disc and rear drum brakes


The 230SL was a fresh, eye-catching look for Mercedesí flagship SL line when it debuted in 1963. SL, standing for Sehr Leicht, or ďvery light,Ē was and continues to be, Mercedesí top-of-the-line and this particular body style, the W113 chassis, was destined to become among the most iconic in SLís illustrious history. Designed to replace the previous SL generation, which had softer, more rounded curves, this new SL was far from a rehash. It delivered a more angular, restrained modernist look with the quintessential, unparalleled elegance the world expected from Mercedes. The sleek lines and inimitable ďPagodaĒ roof, which also allowed superior visibility, rendered the 230SL simply unmistakable and it continues to attract collectors in droves over 50 years later. The 230SLís predecessor, the 190SL, had star power on looks alone, but it was never beloved for speed. The new 230SL, however, delivered speed that surpassed 125 and handling with nimble, responsive agility. The overhead-cam, inline six-cylinder, 2.3-litre engine with Bosch fuel-injection and 148 horsepower was a major step up from the 190SLís inline four-cylinder. The 230SL delivered looks, luxury, power, speed and handling. Inevitably, it bested sales at the pinnacle of the glamourous 190SLís heyday.

This enchanting 230SL Roadster, the obvious recipient of a painstaking restoration by Virtuoso Performance of California, retains the rare trifecta of matching chassis, engine and gearbox numbers. This early European 230SL was brought to the U.S. as a youngster and flaunts its origins with 37,000 original kilometres on the odometer. During restoration this 230SL underwent a complete disassembly. The body was block sanded to bare metal and primed; the chassis is all-original with the exception of a previous front-end repair, only discernable from the absence of factory weld marks under the hood. The body, small parts and dash were returned to their original white color code with PPG Enviro-based paint. The brightwork has been re-chromed and cadmium plated as necessary. Under the frame, every detail has been accounted for including rebush, scrape and body schultz, with springs and shock absorbers replaced. The hubcap inlays were repainted in the matching color, the stainless was polished and the footwear is sporting new tires. The pump and fuel distributor were expertly rebuilt and calibrated at Gus Pfister/Pacific Fuel. Inside the cabin, all the plush, soft interior has been refitted the original red. Loop carpeting in original red/oatmeal has been laid throughout. The instruments and clocks have been rebuilt and an electric antenna and Becker Grand Prix radio were installed. The soft top has been redone in the correct Erman Hartz/Sonnen black canvas and the hardtop has received a new period-correct headliner. If you dream of an impeccably restored, no-expense-spared Pagoda Mercedes that drives like itís just rolled off the showroom floor, look no further!

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