Mercedes-Benz 1963-1971, 230SL, 250SL, 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz entry into the consumer sports car market of the mid-sixties
were the three W113 chassis SL models: the 230 SL, the 250 SL, and the
280 SL. The car was designed by French painter, sculptor and master coach
builder Paul Bracq, who was chief of Mercedes-Benz design from 1957-1967.
These attractive "SL" sports cars were produced with great attention
to detail and a build quality superior to other production cars of this
era and as a result have remained sought after classics. Production of
the 280SL ended in 1971.
The W 113 SL's are sometimes called "Pagoda" cars, referring to the
distinctive Japanese Style Pagoda shape of the hardtop roof. The centerline of
the roof is slightly lower than the sides allowing easier entry and exit while
permitting larger side windows and a roof strength capable of supporting a 2000
pound load. This unique hardtop is a patented design by pioneering safety engineer
Béla Barényi, head of Mercedes-Benz department of safety from 1939-1972.
This same roofline was carried into the next generation of SL's, the 107 chassis
cars built from 1973 to 1989.
The 1963 SL-series began with a straight 6-cylinder engine with a displacement
of 2306 cc, producing 150 hp at 5500 rpm. This engine was updated in December
1966 with a new 2436 cc unit, still delivering 150 hp. This new engine featured
a crankshaft with seven bearings instead of the original four. In December 1967
the first 280SL was produced powered by a 2778cc engine developing 170 hp at
5750 Rpm. All SL engines had a mechanical fuel injection system and most had
an automatic transmission.
All the SL's pictured here have been serviced or restored by Oldtimer
Restoration Center in Harvard, Massachusetts.
Production for the 230SL from March 1963 until January 1967:
Total 230SL=19,831 units
Production of the 250SL from November 1966 until January 1968:
Total 250SL=5,196 units
Production of the 280SL from December 1967 until March 1971:
Total 280SL = 23,885 units
Total W 113 SL’s=48,912