1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL ‘Pagoda’


  • UK right-hand-drive example
  • Body restoration ,replacement engine and interior retrim circa 4,000 miles ago
  • Desirable spec – power steering and automatic transmission
  • Recent soft-top
  • Recently serviced – ready to enjoy!
  • Factory hard top

The Appeal

There’s an inherent rightness to this SL. The right spec, an impressive history, and – most importantly – willing usability. This is an example that starts on the first turn of the key, runs beautifully and is a pleasure to drive. It’s only covered around 4,000 miles since it was restored by marque specialists Silchester, which involved a body resto and repaint, engine bay detailing, new carpets and leather interior, and a new soft-top.
The archetypal premium roadster, the W113 Mercedes SL – nicknamed ‘Pagoda’ for the characterful profile of its hard-top roof – is a supremely desirable car. The model we have here is a 230 SL, one of the original run of Pagodas that was produced between 1963-67; this is a 1966 model, and it’s noteworthy that this is a right-hand-drive UK car rather than an LHD import. In lovely condition throughout and very much ready to go, this is a sought-after roadster you won’t want to miss…

The History and Paperwork

  • V5
  • Original owner’s manual
  • 2023 – invoice for £1,464 – new starter, points, condenser, bushes, brake cylinder, gear linkage repair, oil/plug service
  • 2021 – invoice for £295 – fuel tank removed, cleaned and refitted
  • 2018 – invoice for £667 – new ignition switch and solenoid
  • 2015 – invoice for £537 – new wheel cylinder, service/MOT, etc
  • 2014 – invoice for £492 – new front brake caliper
  • 2009 – invoice for £600 – welding and full underseal, repainting 4x arches
  • Service/maintenance invoices from 1970s (showing mileage) – including replacement short block and cylinder head overhaul in 1976
  • Documentation for replacement block (1976)
  • Sheaf of old MOTs back to 1990s
  • Documentation for immobiliser/alarm (2017)
  • CD of restoration photos

The Interior

  • New leather - seats, dash and doorcards
  • New carpets

With its recent full retrim, the interior is rather special to behold. The makeover included new leather seat trim, dashtop and doorcards, and fresh carpets, but the restorers were careful to maintain the car’s characterful patina in the wood trim. The seats are well presented and pleasantly supportive, with each one tilting forward and resecuring correctly.

The steering wheel is in good condition, and the car is fitted with a period push-button radio. The dash is all straight, tidy and complete, with the gauges functioning as they should. Inside the boot it’s all very tidy too, with a matching spare wheel with Pirelli tyre. 

The Exterior

  • Body resto and repaint in silver
  • Recent soft-top

The body restoration has been carried out to a pleasing standard, with the car finished in a supremely attractive shade of era-correct Mercedes silver. All of the chrome trim is present and gleaming, and the light lenses and window glass are in good order. The SL has benefitted from a recent soft-top, which is a quality item that raises, latches and stows correctly. The car also comes with a hard-top, finished in a tasteful contrasting black.

The wheels are in good order with correct matching hubcaps; they have a matching set of tyres with plenty of tread.

The Mechanics

  • Replacement engine circa 4,000 miles ago
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power steering

The Pagoda’s drivetrain is a pleasingly sweet arrangement, with the fuel-injected straight-six mated to a slick automatic transmission, and it’s all in fine fettle here. We can see from the history file that the car has been attended to by the right specialists over the years, having had a replacement engine as part of its restoration (c.4,000 miles ago), and today it’s running fabulously: it’s happy to fire up instantly and comfortable settling into an even idle.

On the move, the gearbox is smooth and shifts in a timely fashion, with the engine keen to pull through the revs. The suspension rides well with no knocks or noises, the brakes feel strong, and the power steering is appropriately direct. A solid and enjoyable Pagoda to drive.


This is a lovely SL, with all the right ingredients present. It’s an earlier model, being a 230, and its contrasting roofs provide a wonderful variety of tasteful aesthetics. The car drives beautifully, just as a Pagoda should, and what’s really compelling about this SL is that usability: the car is in lovely condition inside and out, but it’s no trailer queen – this is a dependable classic that’s ready to be enjoyed.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1966
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SL Class 230 SL
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 94,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2306
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Wandsworth
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • De•••• £76,250 22/09/23
  • ch•••• £71,000 22/09/23
  • De•••• £70,000 22/09/23
  • ja•••• £65,000 22/09/23
  • ch•••• £64,000 22/09/23
  • ha•••• £63,000 22/09/23
  • ch•••• £62,500 21/09/23
  • ke•••• £60,000 21/09/23
  • ch•••• £56,000 21/09/23
  • Pa•••• £55,000 21/09/23

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