2017 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction
1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL Convertible
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 2496cc|
|Trim||MB ? Tex|
This lot is no longer available
As a piece of automotive chic, the Pagoda-roof Mercedes-Benz SL of the 1960s has few peers. The clean, crisp shape by Paul Bracq remains as stylish today as it did when new and the dished hard-top at once gives the SL an individual air and impressive versatility – it can be enjoyed as a roadster, complete with a soft-top for occasional showers, or with the hard-top in place, becomes a snug coupe perfect for winter months. Launched in 1963 and simultaneously replacing both the 300SL and 190SL models, the W113 SL range was initially available with a 2.3-litre six-cylinder engine featuring a light alloy block, single-overhead camshaft and Bosch fuel injection with six-plunger injection pump. Rated at 150 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 144.5 lb/ft, power was delivered to the rear wheels via four-speed manual gearbox. An advanced four-speed automatic or the ZF five-speed manual box were both optional. Stopping power was via an ATE dual circuit hydraulic system, employing Girling discs up front. In 1966, the 250 SL was announced with a larger 2.5-litre motor lifted from the contemporary S-Class sedan and the unit – designated M129 by Stuttgart – now had a seven main bearing crankshaft (instead of four) for smoother running and a longer stroke to improve torque. Other changes were made to the SL’s chassis at the same time, with rubber-bushed suspension eliminating the need for greasing during servicing and ATE disc brakes were fitted at the rear, along with slightly wider rims, a choice of back axle ratios and a limited-slip diff. With the replacement 280 SL arriving just eleven months after the first 250 left the Stuttgart production line, it was always going to be the rarest of the ‘pagoda’ family and just 5,196 were built in total – with many pundits claiming it was the best of the lot. While values of other classics rise and fall according to the latest trends, demand amongst enthusiasts for the Pagoda-roof SL range has remained strong for many years. As an investment that can be enjoyed on a daily basis, the 230SL Mercedes-Benz makes a lot of sense.