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Tidy Pagoda: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

Classic Mercedes-Benz convertibles enjoy ever-rising values, and this 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL outside Bowling Green, Kentucky looks original and well-kept. The concave contour of the removable hard top led to the cars being known as the “pagoda” for their resemblance to a Japanese pagoda. The SL’s timeless styling appeals to fans of all generations, and drivers praise its lively performance from a well-designed chassis and suspension and the fuel-injected inline six cylinder engine. This specimen comes to market here on Craigslist where $84,000 makes it yours. Thanks to reader rex m for spotting this fine-looking Mercedes-Benz.

Classy and handsome inside, the SL features a four-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. The automatic proved popular in America, according to Wikipedia.

Despite being known as a comfortable cruiser, a 1963 specimen lapped the Annemasse Vétraz-Monthoux race track within 0.2 seconds of the time set by GP racer Mike Parkes driving a 3.0 liter V12 Ferrari 250 GT. A double-wishbone front suspension and other state-of-the-art bits help the little SL punch above its weight when it comes to road-holding.

What year was this engine built again? Despite looking more like technology from the 1990s, the 230 SL’s Bosch fuel injection and plenum intake manifold date to its birth. Six injection valves spray fuel into the individual cylinders’ intake runners. The seller describes that the 150 HP 230SL runs well including at highway speeds. As my German friend once exclaimed, “It is the privilege of all Germans to drive fast!” American buyers sometimes forget that no German car leaves the factory without being able to run at sustained high-speeds on the Autobahn where speed limits are still nonexistent in many places. Even classic Mercedes-Benz automobiles were engineered with the ability to run at maximum speed for an indefinite time period. Would you suspect that level of performance from this delicate-looking European drop-top?


  1. Mikefromthehammer

    Way back when I was a wee lad in the Sixties I thought clam-shell hoods were so cool. I wish I had the dough, I would take at least a sniff on this deal.

  2. Billy Bob

    Looks are cool but, not fun to drive; slow and do not shift well.

    Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Had the exact year and model in 1983………a boulevardier.a cruiser with a slushbox. I enjoyed the heck out it. You can’t beat the sound the exhaust makes. Mine was a Euro model with those beautiful euro headlights,,,,,,.but these are prone to rusting especially behind the headlight buckets . Well at least mine was.

      If I was to get another it would be a 250SL with a standard.

  3. Quidditas

    The late Sir Jack Brabham had a SL with a V8 6.3L engine shoe horned in it. However I would not consider any standard SL as a sports car with a rather deficient rear axle, a single pivot swing axle suspension, that did nothing for handling.

    My 2.0L Alfetta GTV always outhandled, out braked and out performed all SL’s up to the 280. Heck even the Jaguar E type was superior.

    Verdict; a beautiful motor car but not a sports car. Never lusted after one.

    Like 1
  4. Bob McK Member

    Last I knew these were selling for $12,000. Guess I am somewhere in the far past.

    Like 3
    • Gerard Frederick

      You and me too! Cheers and Beers.

      Like 1
  5. WayneS

    The 230SL was produced from June 1963 and ended on 5 January 1967. This example would have to be one of the very last produced as a 230SL which I would want to verify by the serial number which is NOT posted on the Craigslist ad. The 250SL went into production in December 1966 and ended in January 1968. This does seem to be a very nice example of the SL’s of the time. Especially interesting is the Behr A/C system which had to be dealer installed on the 230SL and was not available from the factory at the time.

  6. danny mather

    Ithought these programe BARN FINDS ??????????????

  7. Runner06

    A local doctor had one we used to race up the the mountain and my Opel Manta Rallye 1.9 Liter could out handle him as well as pull away! Nice looking car well put together but lacking in performance!
    I would like to have one but not for 84k

  8. Lowell Peterson

    Always a girly car? Hey! Had a customer that street rallied one in Orange County California sports car club in the ’60’s and he said it was enjoyable! But, he also was a Kaiser fanatic and drove a 2door ’55 Imperial as his daily in the ’90’s!

  9. GuernseyPagoda Member

    Nice car. I have had two 230sl’s. Although I want everyone to do as well as they can financially, this 230 is WAAAAYYYY overpriced. It’s not a 250 or a 280. My latest one was also a 67(manufactured in August ‘66), so it was a later VIN as well. Having said that, I didn’t get close to what he is asking upon selling it, regardless of production numbers. Good luck to the over zealous seller…….

    Like 2
  10. Rolls-Royce

    There is one of these driving around here.

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