HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: A classic Mercedes for road-rally fun

Pick of the Day: A classic Mercedes for road-rally fun

This 1966 230SL comes from the heralded W113 series


Of all the classic convertibles built in the 1960s, the W113 series roadsters from Mercedes-Benz are among the very best. These cars have a classic European looks combined with legendary Mercedes build quality and reliability. 

For events such as driving tours, the W113 roadsters are among the easiest way to enjoy a convertible with all the fun of driving a classic roadster and little or none of the hassle that is often associated with a classic car. 

Like many Mercedes roadsters, the W113 series had a long production. The car was introduced in 1963 at the Geneva motor show as a replacement for the aging 190SL. People often think that these cars were built to replace the 300SL but that is not the case. The 300SL was a true sports car and the W113 cars were built to be more of a grand touring car and were not as fast nor as stunning in appearance as the 300SL. 

What they were was a proper GT car, and when compared to the pretty but slow 190SL, a great car. They basically split the difference between the two previous models and still offer a nice compromise.

The Pick of the Day is a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL (click on the link to see the ad) that is finished in its original as delivered new colors combination of Light Ivory paint with a black painted hardtop and factory correct black soft top over a black leather interior.

The Sarasota, Florida dealer offering this 230SL describes it as being a nice driver-level car that has been well looked after over the years. It still wears its original paint and interior colors and has had much recent maintenance work including a rebuild original radiator in January, and last year a new ignition coil,  front-wheel alignment, rebuilt power-steering gearbox and new steering center linkage and dampener. 

Seats were recovered in correct black leather in 2015. The original Becker radio works as it should.

The many pictures in the advertisement show what looks to be a nice driver-condition car that appears to have no rust issues and could be bought and enjoyed with no issues.

This 230SL comes with pages and pages of service records dating from 1986 and its original manuals, spare tire, jack, toolkit, and Mercedes Benz build record card from Mercedes Classic Center.

Over the last 10 or so years these roadsters have been moving up in price with cars selling for as much as $200,000. People will tell you that the only car to buy is the 280SL due to the larger engine but I disagree. The main reason for the various displacement increases seen in these cars was to combat the ever-increasing weight of the cars as they struggled to meet crash regulations and the difference in performance between a 230SL such as this one and an end of the run 280SL is negligible at best. 

An additional point is that this perception has made the 230SL the bargain of the W113 series, making it to me to be the best buy. Also, I personally prefer the earlier interior details of the 230SL over the later 280SL.

This specific 230SL is being offered for $69,900 which in today’s market represents a pretty strong deal for one of the finest roadsters ever built.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.



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