PKW4141 "Pagoda SL", Types 230 SL - 280 SL (W 113), 1963 - 1971

"Pagoda SL", Types 230 SL - 280 SL (W 113), 1963 - 1971

The Geneva Motor Show in March 1963 became the scene of a remarkable debut which was widely covered in the media: With the Type 230 SL Daimler-Benz presented a new sports car which was to replace two models of the former sales programme at once. The new model was faced with a major challenge - not only because its two predecessors, the 190 SL and the 300 SL, had been extremely popular from the start and the 300 SL had even become a legend during its lifetime. The real challenge was the fact that, despite many similarities within the family of models, both models represented two radically different design concepts and it turned out to be rather difficult to make out something like a common denominator.

In a sense, the new model represented something of a compromise: the 230 SL, internally code named W 113, was neither an irredeemably tough roadster, nor a gentle boulevard-sports car - rather, it was a comfortable two-seated GT car with an excellent driving performance and maximum driving safety.

Apart from its wheelbase - the magic measurement of 2400 mm had been taken over unchanged - the new SL had almost nothing in common with its two predecessors. Still, the W 113 was not simply a new construction as its technical concept was mainly based on that of the 220 SE. For example, the new model took its curtailed and reinforced framework from the tailfin sedan including the front and rear axle suspension. the engine, too, had been developed from the 2.2-liter aggregate of the 220 SE. By reboring the engine to 2.3 liter, enhancing compression and use of a six-piston injection pump, power was increased to 150 hp.

Apart from the standard 4-speed gearbox, for the first time an SL model had become available with an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. A third version came in May 1966 with a 5-speed gearbox, produced by the Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen (ZF).

The 230 SL was the first sports car with a safety body with stiff passenger cell and deformation zones at the front and rear; this had become possible by applying the construction principles of Béla Barényi, which had been used for the first time in the "fintail" sedans. In contrast to these invisible construction elements, the body was characterised by one conspicuous design element: The 230 SL came with a removable hood, which had a concave shape, i.e. its surface curves inwards in the middle. This rather avantgardistic design was unusual for its time and met by no means only with approval. However, it was not an end in itself, but was a classical illustration for the designer maxim that "form follows function". According to the work of Béla Barényi, the pagoda shape lends a high degree of stiffness to the roof even if it uses a light construction. Moreover, access had become easier through the big side windows and vision had improved.

As with its predecessor, the 230 SL came in three versions: as a roadster with collapsible hood, as coupé with removable hood and as coupé with removable hood and a roadsterhood. All three versions could optionally be fitted with a transverse seat in the rear.

On 27. February 1967, the 250 SL, which was to replace the 230 SL after four years of production, was unveiled to the public. The newcomer, which was serially produced as early as December 1966, had the same exterior as its predecessor. Basic changes related to the engine and the brakes, which were derived from the 250 SE model in slightly modified form. The engine, the cubic capacity of which had been increased by 200 cc after the stroke of the piston had been lengthened, achieved the same performance at 10 % higher torque and was moreover equipped with seven camshaft bearings and an oil cooler. Changes of the brakes comprised disk brakes at the rear wheels, bigger brake shoes at the front and the addition of a brake-power regulator. Incorporation of a bigger 82- instead of the 65-liter fuel tank increased the travel range of the car. Beside the three 230 SL versions an optional fourth version was available for the 250 SL - a coupé with seats in the rear, which was presented for the first time in March 1967 at the Geneva Motor Show. The additional space, which had become necessary for the incorporation of the rear seats had become available after the roadster hood and hood box were removed. Because it was impossible to backfit the hood, this version was to be recommended only in areas with little rainfall or after closing the coupé hood.

Less than a year after its presentation, the 250 SL was replaced by a new model. When the new intermediate-class Types were introduced to the markets, not only the saloons, coupés and convertibles of the top class, but also the SL was fitted with a 2.8-liter engine. Owing to a camshaft with new control times, the engine version built into the 280 SL delivered an additional 10 hp compared to the basic version of the 280 SE. Compared with the 250 SL engine output had been increased by 20 hp and torque was 10 % higher. Apart from the model badge, the 280 SL could only be differentiated from the two predecessor models by the wheel trim.

In March 1971 production of the 280 SL ended. The successor was the 350 SL, a completely new design, the production of which began in April 1971. A total of 48,912 cars were built of the three 113 series SL-models in eight years. Due to the characteristic shape of the roof the sports car models 230 SL, 250 SL and 280 SL are now generally known as the "pagoda SL".

Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
1967
U16504
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ SL-Roadster der Baureihe W 107, Typ SSK, Typ Pagoden-SL, auf dem Hockenheimring.
79F152
MB SL-Roadster der Baureihe W 107, SSK, Pagoden-SL
Mercedes-Benz SL-Sportwagentypen von 1954 bis 1985
Von links, Mercedes-Benz 190 SL-Roadster der Baureihe W 121, Pagoden-SL der Baureihe W 113, SL-Roadster der Baureihe W 107, 300 SL-Roadster und  300 SL-Coupé der Baureihe W 198
83F118
Mercedes-Benz SL-Sportwagentypen von 1954 bis 1985
Geneva Motor Show, 1963
Béla Barényi (right) and Paul Bracq at the launch of the Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Pagoda (W 113), 03/1963
A49060
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL, 1968 - 1971.
A49599
MB 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
2.3-liter fuel-injected engine M 127 II
U12310
Petrol engine M 127
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL, 1963 - 1967
U12664
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Pagoda, 113 series, dashboard
1963
U12665
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL, 1963 - 1967
Einstieg, Türaustattung und Armaturen.
U12666
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
1963 - 1967
U20235
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
aus dem Jahre 1965
U27674
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
113 series
U41083
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 230 SL der Baureihe 113
U41085
Typ 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
engine compartment
U41087
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Sonderausführung ohne Roadsterverdeck mit vergrößertem Fond aus dem Jahre 1967
California-Ausführung (kein Softtop, dafür Rückbank)
U47524
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL, 1966-1968,
California-Ausführung (kein Softtop, dafür Rückbank)
U47526
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Armaturen
1966 - 1968
U47662
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
1966 - 1968
U47732
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz  250 SL
mit Kofferset, 1966-1968
California-Ausführung (kein Softtop, dafür Rückbank)
U47827
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
A view of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen, where the "Stroke Eight" is being assembled on two lines and the 113 series SL (Pagoda) sports cars are rolling off an adjacent one. Mercedes-Benz produces a total of more than 1.8 million "Stroke Eight" vehicles, making this upper mid-range vehicle family the first vehicle of the brand to be produced by the million.
U59439
Sindelfingen plant
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Pagoda, 113 series
1968
U59957
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
aus dem Jahre 1968
U78281
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 230 SL mit Dethleffs-Caravan, aus dem Jahre 1963
63198-34
MB 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 230 SL, aus dem Jahre 1963
63237-2
MB 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Type 250 SL (W 113), from 1965.
65040-11A
Mercedes-Benz Type 250 SL (W 113)
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda", Type 250 SL (W 113 A) from 1965.
65104-36
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda", Type 250 SL (W 113 A)
Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL, aus dem Jahre 1966
66008-16
MB 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
68076-2
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL, aus dem Jahre 1970
70248-55
MB 280 SL
Professor Béla Barényi am Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL-Pagode, 1996.
1996M222-6
Béla Barényi, Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL-Pagode
Mercedes-Benz Typ 230 SL, 1964
89F1204
Mercedes-Benz Typ 230 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SL
U87724A
Typ 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Pagoda, 113 series
1999DIG1014
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoden-SL" der Baureihe W 113
1999DIG1060
Pagoden-SL
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoden-SL" der Baureihe W 113
1999DIG1061
Pagoden-SL
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113).
1999DIG1067
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113)
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113).
1999DIG1069
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113)
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113).
1999DIG1104
Mercedes-Benz "Pagoda-SL" (W 113)
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Pagoda, 113 series
1999DIG1132
Mercedes-Benz 250 SL
Mercedes-Benz Typ 250 SL der Baureihe W 113
1998DIG404
250 SL
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