MERCEDES-BENZ: The Fifties, Volume 1

© 2016 Bernd S. Koehling
All Rights Reserved

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Excerpts from the book:

Mercedes 230 SL
At the end of the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz customers never had it so good. For the truly luxury inclined, a big and luxurious four-door cabriolet was available in form of the most expensive car, Daimler-Benz had to offer, the 300d Cabriolet. In 1959 the car found 23 customers, who were willing to pay 37,000.- DM (9,250.- US$) for the automatic version. If you thought that a luxury cabriolet should never have more than two doors, the 220SE cabriolet was the right choice for you and could be bought for 23,400.- DM (5,850.- US$). In that year around 270 customers made themselves very happy. For the fast and furious, the 300SL Roadster was the ultimate driving machine. 211 units were sold in 1959 at a price of 34,000.- DM (8,500.- US$), hardtop included. If you liked the looks of the SL but preferred something more docile, the 190SL could be yours for 17,650.- DM (4,410.- US$), again hardtop included. 3,949 buyers liked this concept in 1959.

In mid 1963 that world had changed completely. None of these cars existed anymore. All four cars had been great for the image of Daimler-Benz, but except for the Mercedes 190SL, none of them had made the company any money, most probably they had been sold below actual production costs. If there would have been a new Mercedes SL and the 190SL was living proof that such a car could be sold in reasonable numbers, it had to be based on technology and parts from the sedans. If only the 300SL would have existed, the Mercedes SL concept would have died with that car>>>

Mercedes 230 SL racing history

<<<Regulations limited the modifications to the stock 2.3 l (140.4 cu in) 150 hp six-cylinder of the 230 SL to fine-tuning the fuel injection, a slight overbore to 2.5 l (152.6 cu in), a bit of porting and polishing and the addition of a larger breathing exhaust that increased the power output from 150 hp to 165 hp. The body was stiffened by bolting on a hardtop. Changes underneath included stronger shocks, shortened springs, and protective skid plates. The gearing was also changed to deliver more low-end power. Instead of the standard 14-inch wheels, Böhringer used 15-inch wheels for added clearance off-road, changing to 13-inch wheels for better acceleration on pavement>>>

If you want to read in much more detail about the Mercedes pagoda SL, its history and what people, who owned a 230 SL back in the 1960s, felt about their car, then please go either here or here for the printed book and here for the e-book. The printed book covers next to the pagoda SL also the 600 and the W108, 109 with their six- and eight-cylinder versions. The e-book deals with all Mercedes pagoda SL versions and the engine alternatives, Mercedes was considering at that time. Both books have plenty of new color pictures, most of them never published in a book before. I am sure you will enjoy.
Mercedes 230 SL, fls
Mercedes 230 SL, interior
Mercedes 230 SL
The following videos are copied from youtube for your viewing pleasure. Some of them contain cars filmed by commercial vendors. I am not associated with them
Mercedes 230 SL History Video Mercedes 280 SL Drive Video Mercedes 230 SL Drive Video

MERCEDES 230 SL - 280 SL

Mercedes 230 SL - 280 SL W113 (1963-1971)

Great books and e-books about Mercedes cars of the 1960s