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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Survivor

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

This beautiful 230SL is claimed to be all original with only 67k miles showing on the odometer. It was apparently given as a birthday gift to a prominent surgeon’s wife back in ’66 and has been in their care since then. These pagoda topped roadster are comfortable cruisers and have become quite collectible in recent years. This one is located in Asbury Park, New Jersey and is listed here in eBay where bidding ends Sunday morning.

Mercedes Inline Six

Thrust is provided by a fuel injected inline-six though an automatic transmission. Don’t expect incredible power here though. This was car was built to be comfortable, classy, and durable.

Amazing Dash

This automobile is like a fine Swiss watch. Just take a look at the details on that dash! I have sat in one of these before and was very impressed by the simple quality employed by Mercedes. Everything felt top notch and looked great to boot.

Ready To Cruise

It may be hard to believe that this car has never been restored, but I’ve witnessed many survivor quality Pagodas over the years so this one doesn’t shock me much.  These cars where purchased by people with the means to maintain them and store them properly. Many were used as second “fun” cars and didn’t ever see daily usage. Not that they wouldn’t have held up to it though. These are high quality machines that fetch top dollar today so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few nice ones still kicking around in another 50 years!


  1. Avatar photo RayT

    Now you’re talking, Jesse! I’ve loved these cars since they were new, but only had a chance to drive one a few years ago. Granted, it’s not as exciting as a 300SL, but a wonderful driver nonetheless. The price doesn’t seem out of line, either; if I had $50K lying around, I’d be bidding.

    The only thing I’d be tempted to do — and it wouldn’t be cheap — is to source a 5-speed ZF transmission for it, something Europeans could buy that wasn’t offered in the U.S. This made the SL feel much sportier, even if it didn’t transform it into a rocket ship.

    Forget pickup trucks and rotted 356es. This car speaks my language!

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  2. Avatar photo Fred

    If everything it appears to be, investing in this car is money in the bank.

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  3. Avatar photo randy

    The Porsche bubble has reached the low end MB’s too I see. Yes, this was the low end MB roadster at the time. These cars were scoffed at not too many years ago. Whoever buys this at the current price is going to get burnt. The 280’s of this body style were always highly sought after. I bet the wife that had this gifted to her felt jilted, so she never drove it. I can just hear her friends, “he only bought you a 230?”

    I like the body style, and would love to have one, but these prices are ridiculous.

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    • Avatar photo RayT

      The 230s, 250s and 280s were built and sold consecutively, not concurrently. There was no “base” model as far as I know (perhaps the “Pagoda Roof” was an extra-cost option; I’m not sure of that).

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      • Avatar photo randy

        That’s news to me, I could easily be wrong on that, I’ll do some reading. Thank you for the info.

        Wiki says they all overlapped at some point, with the 230 being the first to arrive, and the first to depart.Production numbers.














        230 SL
        W113.042 2.3L M127.II I6 1,465 6,911 6,325 4,945 185 19,831 4,752

        250 SL
        W113.043 2.5L M129.II I6 17 5,177 2 5,196 1,761

        280 SL
        W113.044 2.8L M130 I6 143 6,930 8,047 7,935 830 23,885 12,927
        48,912 19,440

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      • Avatar photo hoosdad463 Member

        230SL production 1963-Jan ’67
        250SL production Dec.’66-Jan ’68
        280SL production Dec ’67-Feb ’71

        There were only one month overlaps in December on model change years. Similar comments were made of the 190SL in the eighties and early nineties, comparing it to the 300SL. They are now selling for $110-$150K, with a “Pebble Beach” restoration from Bruce Adams going for $230K.

        I think this car is a fine investment. I just wish I could afford it.

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  4. Avatar photo John H.

    The 280 is by far the most desirable over the 230 and market prices reflect that. 280’s are all around better performers.

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  5. Avatar photo PilotMike

    The drivers door looks like a different shade than the rest of the car.

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  6. Avatar photo brakeservo

    Hood and trunk fit is terribly off – a personal inspection is absolutely needed on this one! But look at the bidding so far – it appears as though the seller has enlisted all his friends and neighbors to register anew for eBay to bid – those ZERO feedback bidders look a little funny to me – why would a serious buyer start so soon in the game and bring it to just under $50,000 and quit? And why would another ZERO feedback buyer step in so quick and bid it to $50,100 and stop??

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    • Avatar photo Francisco

      Ad the high bid of $55,000 was retracted.

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  7. Avatar photo Peter R

    Really a beautiful example of the least desirable pagoda series – given that a restored 280SL breaks the $100K barrier, this is probably worth $50K+. If I had the money it would be a 280SL for me as the performance level is really improved

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  8. Avatar photo Terry J

    Knew a guy that had one of these and had the pleasure to go for a spin. It was actually quite fast both in acceleration and top speed, as well as nimble. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Here’s a Wiki quote: Mercedes-Benz Chief Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who was as competent behind the wheel as any racing driver, demonstrated the capabilities of the 230 SL on the tight three-quarter mile Annemasse Vétraz-Monthoux race track in 1963, where he put up a best lap time of 47.5 seconds vs. 47.3 seconds by Grand Prix driver Mike Parkes on his 3-liter V12 Ferrari 250 GT. ]:-) TLouisJ

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    • Avatar photo randy

      Unless the Ferrari V12 250 GT was a real turd, I am not buying this. I’ve driven these sl’s, and they are not even close to being quick. Is the track similar to a “go-cart” track where you could drive the whole track with the gas pedal on the floor?Top speed, sure, almost all MB’s had a great top speed. I do like the body style, but they are way overpriced, and the 280’s have been overpriced for quite a while.

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  9. Avatar photo wjsvb

    What does overpriced for quite a while mean? The greater fool theory, like doubling down in a poker game, inevitably ends in ruin. Intelligent buyers keep buying these things and enjoying them, and they have done so for at least 20 years. They run well, look good, maintenance can be DIY and they have real, if pricey, support from the mfr. They perceive value and they get it. On another issue, Hagerty, which has skin in the game, shows less than 20% difference in value between similarly equipped 230SLs and 280SLs. Generally accepted 0-60 times (4spd), 230SL: 10.5sec.; 280SL: 10.2sec. The 280 is marginally faster but the interior is not as attractive to some eyes. Each has its followers. I am clearly prejudiced, having had four over the years, including my current DD.

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    • Avatar photo randy

      Folks with money to spare, or better yet wanting a “safe” place to put it have turned to classic cars. These 113 chassis cars do not do anything well. They are good in most all aspects though. The 113 chassis car is hardly the car for a DYI layman.

      Just like housing, the DOW etc., this bubble will pop. Overpriced for quite a while means just that, people are paying outrageous money for a brand, and prestige. I’d bet if one were to do a little research, they’d find a much larger price gap between the 230 and 280 in similar condition. Like I said earlier, I’d love to have one, but the speculators have driven the prices to the insane level. Next we’ll see 50K 190 SL’s.

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  10. Avatar photo RonB

    Randy – 230 – 250 & 280 Sl are in the range of $290 – 360K in Europe.
    Nice 190 are in the $175 range . You have been a sleep at the wheel.
    I own a nice Pagoda with a value of $175.
    If you strip a 230 – bumpers – light weight seat and interior – it will move out rather smartly.

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    • Avatar photo randy

      I believe if that were truly the case, there would be none left here. Can you show me an example of where someone has recently stripped one of these down to take it “racing”?

      Are you talking 175K? dollars? Euro’s? Zimbabwe money?

      These cars are all for show, and status, like most other MB’s, sorry. It is like numismatic gold coins and a gold eagle, when all is said and done, it’s just an ounce of gold. Or transportation. The emperor still has no clothes.

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  11. Avatar photo wjsvb

    Value is a matter of casual opinion when not backed up by cash changing hands. Performance in the real world is also a matter of opinion, and what matters to he who opines. Further, I know of no reason why any of us with a reasonable supply of motorheadedness can’t DIY with these and most other old MB’s; they are fairly simple, mostly analogous to old diesel trucks: direct, overengineered in the best sense and filled with the best tested technology of the time. If one’s paradigm is an SBC, a 4spd Muncie, a 10-bolt rear and body-on-frame, one will never understand. And try as you might, the 230/280 gap is still only 15-25%. And $50k 190SL’s will be reached on the way down.

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    • Avatar photo Francisco


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  12. Avatar photo Thorsten Krüger

    I don’t find the little fin on the front win beside the inner top of the front lamps. Maybe pics are not good enough. If these fins are not at its place, the car is not in original condition. Please inspect before bidding

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  13. Avatar photo rancho bella

    These things are so slow they can’t get out of their own way

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    • Avatar photo Audifan

      Have you ever driven one?

      All 113s are fairly quick and never feel underpowered, even on LA’s crazy freeways.

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      • Avatar photo randy

        113’s are pretty quick when compared to an Audi 100, or a VW bug.
        I have driven plenty of them, they are slow. I think the only MB slower was the 1984 or so 190d. All kidding aside, He better sell this quick, times are a changing.

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  14. Avatar photo Ben Pizzuto

    Certified pre-owned

    “There are no scratches, no defects no imperfections”
    Dec 06, 2015 , 11:57AM
    Current bid:
    US $54,900.00
    ———————Reserve not met——–

    I wonder how much they think it’s worth?

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  15. Avatar photo PilotMike

    Now relisted with a buy it now at $64,500.

    This car has had paint work, I can see evidence in more than one pic.
    Maybe that doesn’t matter to some?

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