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

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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

The W113 Mercedes-Benz Pagoda is one of those cars you can buy an example for $40,000 all the way up to $240,000 and no one would bat an eye at you for doing so. Condition and spec can vary widely, so naturally prices do as well. Outside of the wheel choices, they all have the same general look and the only major factor in determining price is the engine choice. You can chose between the 230, 250, or 280 spec with generally the 280 and manuals demanding the greatest dollar amount. Are the other two choices bad? Not at all. You aren’t exactly competing in vintage road racing in a Pagoda, so while the upgraded power from the 280 is surely nice, the main goal of this car is to cruise and look good. So if a 230SL came up for sale for a reasonable price with the right transmission, like we have today, would you say no?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

It has been a little while since I’ve looked at a Mercedes-Benz Pagoda, so now is a good a time as any to jump back in and check one of these out. Normally, I feature the top of the range 280SL because those are usually in the nicest condition, are optioned the fullest and are painted in the coolest colors. Today, I actually want to look at the one of the early Pagodas in the 230SL. This 1966 up for sale in Los Angeles is an extremely low mileage example with just a little over 19,000 and from the looks of it, has been maintained rather well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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#FailFriday: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL


Yesterday I was doing my daily rounds searching for interesting cars and scrolled upon a 1965 Pagoda. I looked at the price and saw $19,995 (more on this later) and my eyes got really big. The going rate for a decent Pagoda is about $50,000, so my finger was creeping awfully close to the ”Buy It Now” button. Everything looked good, no major body damage, the interior was nice despite an aftermarket CD and air conditioning system. But that all could be sorted out easy enough. It had a clean title and only a little over 39,000 miles. Maybe I did just stumble across a Pagoda from someone who still prices cars from a book they keep in the top drawer of their desk. Everything looked like I was going to Pagoda owner until I saw what was under the hood.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Euro-Spec

If the 911 and M3 are the recent market darlings, the dark horse in the European market has continued to be the W113 Mercedes-Benz SL. Dubbed the “Pagoda” in reference to its recessed roof, the 230, 250 and 280 aren’t great sports cars and aren’t even particularly light; however, they do perfectly represent the ethos of the “SL”. A personal luxury roadster, they’ve got muscular yet sensuous looks with flowing fenders and a subtle bulge in the hood. The wide and low stance with simple single bar grill and elongated headlights echoed the 300SL in all the right ways. With just the right amount of chrome, color-keyed (or alternating) wheel covers and beautiful fit and finish, these middle generation SLs have steadily increased in value over the past few decades.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL


A few weeks ago I wrote up an absolutely beautiful and pristine 1963 Mercedes-Benz 220Se, a car that reached towards the high end of the market for the big coupes but remains a heck of a deal in the older-Mercedes world. One car that hasn’t remained such a deal is the much more highly sought-after SLs, and of those the manual early cars usually bring the strongest value. Top of the market in an early W113s will push $100,000, and even condition 2 cars are in excess of $50,000 these days. Like the E30 market, investors and speculators jumped on board about a decade ago and drove prices even higher, pushing them out of the reach of the common man. Despite this, once in a while a very clean example comes to market below average market value – such as the lovely red over black 4 speed today:


Year: 1965
Model: 230 SL
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 64,000 mi
Price: $39,999.99 Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

Free Shipping is Included in the “buy it now” Price for all Buyers.

Production Specs for this car:
Mileage: 64,000 original miles
Production Numbers: 4,752
VIN #: 11304210005500 Hard Top Matching # 107

All matching numbers

About my Pagoda:

This is a 1965 Mercedes Pagoda 230SL with the desirable manual transmission Convertible. This car comes with oem color combination (meaning, it is an original red car with black interior). Car has a new mats, carpets interior. The door panels, dashboard and the rest of the interior is all done with the same color. Original Becker radio comes with the car. Car comes with 2 tops, soft top is correct German canvass in black vinyl color but it is the original one, It is in working condition but it looks okay. The hard top in white. Also the hard top carrier comes with the car. Odometer records and speedometer reads in mileage because the car is a USA specs car.

This pagoda is ready to be driven mechanical sound and fun to drive. It is a 2 owner car since new. I still have the original title to prove this statement. Odometer shows 64,000 miles, which is believed to be the original mileage. It has 2 tops – a black convertible top and a white hard top. Body is in very good condition. Paint is good, chrome is good and the interior is very nice. Mechanics are in good working order.

New set of 6 BOSCH FUEL INJECTORS at $240 a piece. ($1,440 + $300 installation) Fuel Injection works really good now! 🙂
New sun visor clips
New brake lines
New Brake pads
New heather core rebuilt ($690)
New sill plate covers
New Clutch
New Interior ($700 installation and $1,175.00 materials)
IVORY Original knob matching color with Original Steering wheel professional clean
Full service done in June 2013 (synthetic oil, hose lower radiator, hose upper radiator, oil filter, air filter, belts, all new fluids, spark plugs, ($2000.00)
2 Sets of keys
Manual and Service books
Original Mercedes Tools
Spare wheel
All chrome and glass excellent.
New hoses (lower and upper radiator hoses, and clams)
All electrics in good and working condition:
Turn signals
All lights
All instruments
New hard top carrier
New Chrome Tail pipes
Hexomat Floor Mats
Over $10,000.00 spent in service, restoration in the last year with all receipts.

This is a completed original “all together” Mercedes Pagoda which can simply be purchased and enjoyed. This is not the average pagoda. We have spent money and time to make it one of the best pagodas for sale which makes for a perfect high standard weekend driver. These cars are going up in value. Restoring these can be expensive so this one makes for great buying considering everything has been done. This car has been appraised for $50,000.00 and is insured by Hagerty for this amount and also is listed in their price guide for this amount. Our reserve is very low compare to the real value of this car. Good luck with bidding on it.

Price $39,900.00 or best offer.

A comprehensive documentation of the body and mechanical restoration along with photographs and detailed receipts come with the car.

Many early SLs have undergone restoration and color changes to more popular colors such as the red on today’s model, so it’s nice to know this is an original color combination. This color combination is probably the most popular and sought after of the early SLs. The 230s have different hubcaps that are slightly more simple and in my mind, more attractive than the later 250 and 280 caps. The 230 doesn’t have as much twist as the 2.8 did later, but manuals are harder to come by on the later cars. The 4 speed is definitely the transmission you’d want to have in this package. Color combinations on these were interesting and to order, so it’s interesting to see the ivory steering wheel match the top but not the hubcaps, though a quick search will show you hundreds of different color combinations between the three. As an enjoyable classic investment, these classic Mercedes-Benz are on par with Porsches in general, but this particular model is easier on the wallet. This car appears well taken care of and ready to enjoy, and at a penny below $40,000 it seems pretty well priced considering the market.


Ex John Lennon Mercedes 230SL for nearly half a million $

I’ve never been a fan of celebrity cars, with the exception of race cars. You spend gobs of money on them and then park them in a museum or they turn into a Jon Voight’s LeBaron situation.

John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes 230SL










There seems to always be a John Lennon car for sale somewhere. A few year’s ago his Mercedes 600 Pullman didn’t sell when it reached £190,000 (at the time $273,600) at an auction where it had a £200,000 ($287,600) reserve, tell me if that situation doesn’t sound like some bidding shenanigans. It later appeared for sale with an ask of £320,000.

Now we have an arguably much more mundane Lennon car in this 1965 230SL pagoda that has an ask price of a quite ridiculous $465,000, down from $495,000. The price discrepancy is from varying sites listing the car, the dealership page still has the higher price. The dealer lists the odometer as reading 19,127.

I’m not going to speak about the marketplace for Beatle’s collectibles, but these W113 Benzs continue to rise in value. The Pagodas so called because of their distinctive hardtops are quality cars that garnered a high end clientele when new.

The 230SL was the smallest, in terms of engine options, of the W113 SL. The 2.3 liter inline six puts out 150 horsepower. Ideally you want to find one with the 5 speed manual, but this one was special ordered by John with an automatic.

These are fine cars and in good shape can be seen as investment grade vehicles, particularly the later 280SL. However at this price you could literally corner the market on good driver 230SLs or buy 10 very top tier Pagodas.

Knowing our typical reader on this site, I suspect most of you will turn up your nose at this one, but don’t take it out on the Merc. These were some very quality cars that make for fun drivers. They also aren’t very complicated to work on and are light on a lot of the gadgetry that came in later Benzs. They also are significantly lighter than the R107 SL that replaced them and turned the SL into more of a boulevard cruiser than a twisty road driving car. Just save your money and find a non-celebrity owned one. As with any convertible keep an eye out for water leakage. The Euro models look a lot better with their headlights to me, but eitherway these cars have a great, unmistakably German and Mercedes look.


John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes 230SL

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

Like a Rolex Submariner watch or a pair of Persol sunglasses, a classic Mercedes-Benz SL is one of those accessories that is timeless and shows infinite good taste. Introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, the W113 SL was nicknamed “pagoda,” due to its concave hardtop. Not just a pretty face, the 230SL won the Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally in 1963 piloted by Eugen Böhringer. Famous owners of the W113 SL include David Coulthard, Sofia Loren and Sir Stirling Moss. Just under 50,000 230, 250 and 280SLs were made through 1971 and these cars are highly prized not just for their looks but for their performance and practicality that is not far off from modern day motors. It’s getting harder to find good W113 SLs for under $30,000. While this example for sale in California isn’t perfect, it would be a great candidate for someone looking to undertake a few minor fixes to turn it into a nice looking driver.

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

Offered For Sale is a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL. The styling represents a rolling work of art and the model, a highly collectible piece of Mercedes history. These cars are built rock solid and definitely personify German engineering and precision of a time gone by. The highly sought after “SL” is a world-class automobile and is ready for the next owner to enjoy. Experience what a real Mercedes used to be. Even M-B doesn’t build ’em like this anymore! What’s definitely cool and rare about this particular 230SL “Pagoda,” is that it’s a European version that was brought over to the states 30 years ago. It’s still got the highly desired Euro headlamps and other neat appointments, such as a stick-shift transmission. Drive it as Mercedes-Benz engineers intended it to be.

This Mercedes was owned for nearly 30 years by the same family. I recently acquired it from this owner, who purchased the SL in Belgium back in 1982 from the car’s original owner. The Mercedes was transferred to the New York City/New Jersey area where it had remained till I purchased the car and had it brought to California. The SL was used sparingly during its stay in NY, spending most of the time in a dry garage. In fact, the Mercedes had been sitting for the last six years till it was recently resurrected.

The 230SL currently runs and drives good. She starts right up and sounds great. This Pagoda had never been restored, and it’s not perfect. It is a good “driver,” but due to sitting for years, some cosmetic and mechanical tinkering will be required to make this classic even better. Prices and collectibility for these cars have recently sky-rocketed, much like the early Porsche 911s & 912s or E-Type Jaguars. Everybody wants one, and the reasons are quite clear. This particular SL Pagoda can be had at an affordable price, where the new owner can drive and enjoy it, while making some improvements, and watching the value grow and appreciate.

It’ll feel great pulling up to the Country Club in this Mercedes. It’s definitely “old-school” elegance and class. Aside from that, the quality of the car in terms of ride, smoothness, comfort, luxury, and appearance is first rate. To enthusiasts, the allure of a German classic is when it sports authentic European characteristics, unlike the safety mandated US versions, with all the added “stuff.” This one is the real deal: large glass headlamps, no bumper over-riders, no side markers. The appearance is pure and uncluttered, as M-B intended.

Classic facia displays old-world craftsmanship and an elegance that only Mercedes-Benz could produce. It doesn’t get much more appealing than a painted metal dash and chrome bezels. Dash padding is in great condition with no obvious cracks. All gauges are functioning properly exc. for the clock. Speedometer is still in Kilometers. Electrics are in fine operating condition. Lights, wipers, horn, and signals function as they’re supposed to.

Open the door, and that period leather aroma, familiar to vintage European cars, is there and in potent supply. To me, the scent is wonderful and should be bottled. The interior is in original condition, as you can see. Genuine M-B leather upholstery is still intact and does show some wear. There are some splits in the upholstery, but being the factory leather hides makes them more desirable to me than aftermarket M-B Tex materials. Carpets, however, look to have been replaced recently. The pile is thick, both in the front of the cabin and behind the seats in the package area. Door panels, look to be original, and are in good shape. Outside door locks are not operable with the key. Glass is all good; windows roll up & down fine; there are no chips, cracks, or damages.

Soft top looks to be in good shape, aside from a couple small blemishes. Canvas is thick, and plastic window is clear. A common area for rust, especially after 46 years, is the inside well where the soft-top is folded. Water can leak in, and if it doesn’t evaporate, corrosion will form. However, as you can see on this particular SL, that is not the case. The area is dry and in great shape. Rear package area is clean and the carpet has been replaced. Headliner and convertible top frame are in very nice condition. Rails aren’t rusted out, and the inside fabric is clean and intact. It opens and folds easily, too.

Trunk is spacious for a car of this size. It’s clean as well. Original mat is present. Also intact are the spare tire (with cover) and jacking equipment. Taking the SL out for a little excursion last Saturday afternoon proved to be most enjoyable. The Mercedes runs strong, and manually shifting through the gears while making that raspy exhaust note sing, made the experience even more invigorating and exciting.

This 230SL presents itself quite well. The ivory/white finish is shiny and still has a good gloss. From what I gather, this is the factory color, but at some point years ago, the car had been repainted. Panels appear relatively straight, considering the SL’s age, with a few routine dings and paint chips. I don’t see any evidence of rust bubbles or rot on the M-B’s panels. Undercarriage is original, and typical to a car of this vintage, there are some rust blemishes present. Most notably, the driver’s side floorboard had some metal patchwork done. At some point in the future, replacing the panel can be addressed, but for the time being, it doesn’t look bad. The passenger side appears to be solid, without issues.

Mechanically, the main components of this Mercedes are strong. It runs good and feels tight. A short YouTube video below will show the car idling and driving. However, from sitting the past several years, there are some items that will need to be addressed so the Pagoda can be used on a regular basis with confidence. The engine always fires up right away on the first try, even after sitting for awhile. Once the engine’s warmed up and driving for several miles, the operating temperature is consistently cool, and the oil pressure is always high. The previous owner had replaced the exhaust system, so it’s new from front to rear. Also, the brake calipers and front hoses look relatively new.

The motor idles smoothly and doesn’t miss or hesitate. However, upon recent driving I noticed that it does emit blue smoke when accelerating. I’m not sure if this is due to the car’s sitting, and that with driving it will evenutally go away. After checking the spark plugs, I took note that all fired evenly and none were fouled or saturated with oil, so that’s good. I also changed the oil, and noticed it was just pure oil, with no indication of water mixed in, so that’s good, too. There is an oil leak that is coming from the tachometer sending unit on the engine. Also, to be noted, the brake pedal is hard. I believe this to be the brake booster, as pressing on the pedal affects the vacuum at idle. Master cylinder looks to be recently replaced.

The clutch and transmission feel good. Shift bushings were all replaced along with new oil, so everything is smooth and tight in the gear box. There’s no growling noises and all synchros work as they should. There’s no popping out of gear. If you’re a fanatic of classic Mercedes-Benzes, then you’ll like this 1966 230SL. Quality and elegance were unsurpassed and they certainly didn’t compromise. Back then, you knew this was a Mercedes! This tangible investment is safer than the stock market and is something that can be enjoyed, now and in the future. Why not mix business with pleasure? This 230SL Pagoda is being advertised in a Buy it Now at $26,750 format. There is no auction, where missing out on a good deal in the last 15 seconds is a tragedy we all know too well. No, this classic Benz is being offered For Sale right now, at a disclosed price, so don’t let it get away.

The Buy it Now price is rather attractive, given the condition of this car. Since it seems the engine is pushing oil, valve guides and piston rings may need to be examined, as well as the brakes. In addition, a retrim of the leather seats along with sorting the loose fitting convertible top appear to be in order. Otherwise, not a terrible example that is made more attractive by the European headlamps and manual transmission.

The following is some vintage footage from Mercedes-Benz Fascination series (in German):