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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL 3.5 V8

Prior to the R107 generation Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, your thirst for a V8 couldn’t be quenched. Your only options in prior generations 300SL and W113 Pagoda were inline-six powerplants in various guise. Don’t get me wrong, they were very sweet engines, especially that in the Gullwing, but V8s they were not. However, it looks like there was someone who wasn’t going to accept that. Leave it to the sneaky Germans to pull this one off.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL 3.5 V8 at Classic Cars GmbH

Year: 1965
Model: 230SL
Engine: 3.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 57,241 km (35,567 mi)
Location: Heide, Germany
Price: €165,000 ($196,932)

Unique pagoda in top condition, Classic Data 2.
Very high quality engine conversion to Mercedes V8 3500 ccm
with manual transmission. H approval
Extensive restoration, German vehicle with cardboard cover letter .
Trade-in / financing possible

This is a period-style engine swap if I’ve seen one. The factory 2.5L is replaced by a 3.5 M116 V8 used in the W108/9, W111, W116, and R107. It isn’t the most exciting engine ever, but 197 horsepower and 211 lbâ‹…ft of torque is adequate. The key thing I like here is that it looks totally factory. You can open the hood to anyone who doesn’t know any better and fool them with ease. I’d be curious to has the car reacts with the manual gearbox and extra weight in the front, but it isn’t like the Pagoda is a canyon carver to begin with.

The price on this one isn’t for the budget-minded W113 buyer. The ask on this one is €165,000, which is nearly $200,000. Yikes. Figure if this was a really nice 250SL you are looking around $75,000. Is the engine swap worth another $125,000? I can’t sit here and say it is. I know this kind of craftsmanship isn’t cheap, but this is awfully expensive.

– Andrew


  1. robert kyle
    robert kyle December 1, 2020

    Little insane. I guess one can justify it by saying a mint 280SL is about $125k USD, but still…that V8 is a bit of a heavy dog. Metronik would put in a modern V8 so one can at least get 300hp and maybe a 5-speed auto.

    Or one could put in a C36 3.6L AMG motor with a period 5-speed manual. Would be WAY WAY cheaper and just as cool.

  2. james Fuerstenberg
    james Fuerstenberg December 2, 2020

    Wow…that is a very cool restomod. The price premium is crazy…but I really like it. I dont see someone shlling out that price…as Robert said above, for much less, you could put in an AMG motor.

  3. son of stig
    son of stig December 2, 2020

    my mechanic has put a few of these in pagodas…they romp around well. not a hard swap

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