The 230SL, along with its later variants, the 250SL and 280SL, comprise the third generation of the Super Leicht (“super light”) models that began with the 300SL in the 1950s. This new model introduced in 1963 at the Geneva Motor Show was an immediate hit, doubling the sales rate for even the best year of the 190SL. The styling of the 230SL set design directions for many modern Grand Touring cars. Even today the lines look crisp.
Although intended purely as a touring car, the 230SL achieved modest success in the Liege-Sofia-Liege rally, proving it had sporting abilities. The engines of the 230 and later 250 and 280 series are in-line sixes; each used single pivot independent rear suspensions and disc brakes at the front. The 230SL, available with a manual or automatic four-speed, was the lightest of the series. Top speed is quoted at 125 mph.
This example is one of just 135 cars produced in 1967, the final year of production for the 230SL. Painted in the factory color scheme of gray-beige with a Caviar MB-tex interior, it is in completely original condition. The car was first purchased in California in November 1967 and driven 9,255 miles before being sold in October 1968. The second owner drove the car 21,813 miles and then it was stored from June 1985 to September 1999.
Today the car is virtually a time capsule and looks and drives as if almost new. Features include the removable hard top, Blaupunkt AM radio (with original instruction packet), air conditioning (again with instructions), original Anthracite M-B rubber mats, accessory Koko mats, full owner’s manual and service booklet with dealer stamps for all services, owner’s ID plate, engine, trunk and jack tags, windshield stickers, black canvas top, full tool kit with fuses, even an original paint touch-up stick. The original canvas soft top is like new, so the hard top may have been used exclusively.
With a mileage of only 31,068, it is incredibly original and there can be few others in this condition. All of the major systems have been recently serviced and new tires and a new battery have been fitted.