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Reader Find: Euro Mercedes 230SL Pair


From Bob G – Hi all, here are the photos of a pair of 1964 “garage find” Mercedes 230SLs that I purchased earlier this year. They were in a garage that belonged to a recluse-hoarder. He parked the first one in the garage in 1979 and the second one in 1980. According to the neighbors the garage door had not been opened for 25+ years!

serious rust

How they got there: From what I have been told the man used one of them when he lived in Germany. When he moved back to California he brought with him the car he had been driving and then a year later he imported the parts car. He never registered either one of them in California. I think that he passed away in 2012. One of his daughters, who is living on the east coast, is the executor of his estate. She hired a local firm to dispose of his estate including 4 vehicles, two of them the being the 230SLs.


By the photos you can see what I found when I opened the door. I am going to keep the “good one” and add it to my Mercedes Benz collection and the “bad” car is only good for parts.  I have been working on rebuilding the brakes, exhaust, and fuel systems on the keeper.


I have acquired a copy of the data card for the “good” car and I am planning on restoring it back to how it was delivered. Among other things it appears that it was delivered without a radio so I will remove the radio and install the radio delete plate and remove the antenna.

Bob G


  1. Tirefriar

    Bob, at the rate these are bringing right now even the “bad” one may be worth restoring….

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  2. Dolphin Member

    I saw a car much like these today and it reminded me how appealing these are, more so than the later, larger V8 cars. The Euro lights make them look even better.

    I think Bob has made a good purchase in a ‘good’ plus a parts car. If Tirefriar’s comment comes true there will always be the option to bring the parts car back to life too. Good luck with the restoration(s) Bob. I hope you will send in some pics to show progress or the completed car(s).

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  3. rancho bella

    Nice find Bob. I can’t think of a better way to spend time. I wouldn’t short change the parts car, it may be someones cup o’ tea to restore it as well. There are some extremely talented folk out there.

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  4. Kevin F

    You are missing the obvious with the “bad” car. Get a film crew, a Mustang II front end, crate motor and voila “Pimp Mien Ride” ja? Good luck with the find

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  5. MikeH

    Tire–that alfa proves that all things are possible. Like you, I would love to work a few years at that guy’s shop. That said, I still don’t think the Alfa had as bad a case of rust worms as the 230.

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  6. Tirefriar

    Mike, there fewer cars manuactured in the civilized West that are more prone than Alfas. The SS in that thread required the structure to be cut in halves and reattached with reproduced structural components.

    If you want to see uglies in the rust department, peruse the AlfaBB’s restoration threads. After seeing that, I would imagine you would reconsider the extent of rust detriment on the Benz in question. BTW, did you see the custom MB wagon/shooting break? I believe that the restorer of this SS would be capable of doing a ground up onthe Titanic :))

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    • MikeH

      Tire–I looked at the Alfa’s restoration. That guy could build a car if he started with only a lug nut. Wish I had metal working skills–and equipment.

      @Alan–you mention that any car can be restored, and I agree, with dedication, materials, tools and skill. You left out the most important factor—money. Loved the story about Sagan’s Corvair. I think that is the worst car I’ve ever seen that was actually restored. They never give the amount it took to restore it, but I’ll bet it’s well over resale–even with Dorogi doing the work himself—but that’s not the point, is it.

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  7. Alan (Michigan)

    Any car can be restored, with proper dedication, materials, tooling, and skill. The link posted by Tirefriar tipped a recollection of how an amateur can accomplish just as incredible a feat:


    If you want to see a before/during/after full set of photos, go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89344545@N08/sets/ There are at least 6 albums on the car, from the absolutely rusty piece of scrap metal it was found as, to the extraordinarily beautiful finished automobile.

    There has been much discussion on this forum, and elsewhere, about such projects, and whether they make any sense at all from a financial perspective. Sometimes that viewpoint can’t be the one which drives a restoration.

    OH, and Bob G.: Great Find!

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  8. RickyM

    Well done Bob – what a great find. Love the oval number plates ! Good luck with the restoration.

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  9. Woodie Man

    Had a Euro ’67 230Sl with a pagoda top and full convertible in maroon with the ( now I forgot the name of the color) light brown/tan interior.

    Absolutely beautiful auto.

    I got T-boned one day and the insurance company wouldnt repair it. Of course this was the late eighties. The front fender when peeled back looked like swiss cheese and the buckets under the lights were likewise. But from the outside it looked pristine.

    There is nothing like the sound of that six winding up even with an auto, Next time I want a getrag 5 speed..and a 250.

    Bob is a lucky man!

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  10. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    No reason to open the garage door until they’re done !

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  11. DT

    Cars are repaired daily in Germany,that bodyshops in the United States would never touch ,and there is the availabilty of patch panels available over there that we dont have easy access to here.Shipping in Europe is very expensive

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