Bring a Trailer NO RESERVE auction preview: Much recent work performed to an attractive early Pagoda. Fitted with A/C and offered with hard and soft tops.
1965 Mercedes Benz 230 SL
VIN – 11304212008753
Engine No. – 130.980.12-024832
Exterior Color – Burgundy Metallic
Interior Color – Cream Leather
Engine – 2.8 liter in-line six (280 SE - W108 E28 sedan and W111 E28 engine)
Transmission – Automatic
Current Miles – 22,072 (TMU)
Current Owner – Purchased in 2003
The mid 60s proved to be a rapidly changing time for sports cars. The budding 230 SL was slated to replace both the 190 SL and the iconic 300 SL. Although these were two very different cars, the 230 SL would take on the task of representing the best of both cars as a single offering. The 230 SL proved to be immediately appealing to customers seeking a charming and sporty car with clean styling, captivating details, and spirited performance. Excellence continued under the hood with Bosch fuel-injection, overhead-cam six-cylinder engines, and a synchromesh transmission, all of which delivered reliable performance. A convertible top, and substantial trunk space allowed for elegant presence and practical traveling, even over long distances. Among the many features, several innovative safety aspects were incorporated into the unique body design including being the first sports car with a rigid passenger cell and designated crumple zones, common features offered in modern cars today, but thoroughly new for a sports car in 1963.
History and Build Details of This Car
This 1965 230 SL represents one of the earlier production models of this iconic series Mercedes-Benz. Believed to have been delivered new to a European buyer, this 230 SL features European headlamps and a central instrument cluster with European nomenclature. The speedometer, which reads in miles, was changed out under current ownership. Though records of ownership through the 1970s and 1980s are not available at this time, the car is currently accompanied by service invoices dating back to 1991, then located in Rancho Cordova, CA. Between 2003 and 2004, significant body, paint, and restoration work was performed on the car totaling $19,000. According to the owner, an additional $40k was further spent for specialized parts and additional services restoring the car. Notable service work performed at 14,650 miles included new brakes, calipers, rotors, the installation of seat belts, a new head gasket, new ball studs, and new rocker arms.
In 2018 with 18,275 miles, transmission gaskets were replaced, heater controls replaced, the exhaust system adjusted, and other minor items serviced. Later that year, a rebuilt transmission and torque converter was installed ($7,000), the steering gear rebuilt, and a new tan soft top installed. The owner reports that the Fuel-Injection unit was removed and rebuilt by Pacific Fuel Injection who boast a 12% increase in horsepower with their specialized rebuild.
At some point in the history of the car, the engine was replaced with a 280 SE block fitted with a 250 head and the kilometer notation speedometer replaced with a miles per hour unit. Updated features include functional aftermarket Toshiba air conditioning which blows cold, a Nardi steering wheel, lap style seat belts, a late model Sony stereo system with Infinity speakers mounted in the rear storage area, and a rear fender mounted power retractable antenna.
Today this 230 SL presents as a handsome high-driver level 230 SL. The paint is glossy, smooth, and presents very well. The front fenders and grille fascia have been previously repaired and both inboard front fender tips are no longer present on either side. The doors shut well and retain good panel gaps and the hood and trunk also exhibit generally good fit and closure. The chrome has a range of luster including very nice front and rear bumpers, headlight trim, and grille surround. The door handles exhibit fading typical of original finishes while the hardtop trim and taillight bezels have a few minor scuff marks. All lenses, lighting, and glass are in very good condition with no significant chips or marks. A light scratch is apparent on the hardtop rear glass, and a replacement windshield is installed. The tan canvas convertible top, replaced in 2018, is nicely tailored with a clear plastic rear window and correctly finished headliner. The hardtop is finished in matching body color with generally good finishes and original glass. The exterior presentation overall is handsome, with proper stance, good bodylines, and a set of matching steel wheels with correct small wheel covers and trim rings, wearing newer Michelin 195/75R14 radial tires.
The interior has been redone in cream leather with red carpets. The seats, door panels, and dashboard are in very good condition, reupholstered with correct materials used for the low bucket seats including rear seatbacks covered with matching red carpet. The instruments are in excellent condition, including the replacement speedometer, reading in miles. Of note is the functional Toshiba Air Conditioning which blows cold.
The engine compartment is nicely detailed and properly presented with correct parts, factory components, correct lines, hoses, and hardware. The trunk is clean and nicely finished with quality materials and rubber floor mat with a removable section of tailored red carpeting. A spare tire is in place concealed by a black vinyl cover. The underside of the car is generally sound. The trunk floor has been replaced; however, the mid body floor section displays two areas under the footwells where the floor has deformed. The two main front chassis boxes that connect to the front bumper show evidence of metal work, likely performed when the front fenders and front fascia were repaired. The remaining underside including the rear suspension and exhaust appear correct.
The car starts easily and idles smoothly. Driving manners are consistent with this series car outfitted with automatic transmission. Driving with the hardtop in place, the upgraded aftermarket AC blows cold, or with the hardtop removed, the windows can be lowered for enjoyable open road driving.
Included with this car
This 230SL is offered with a factory removable hardtop, hardtop stand, hardtop cover, a set of factory owner’s books, a thermostat controller which can be installed and is used to automatically increase engine idle when the AC unit is activated. Also included are a host of previous service records and an extra set of keys.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608