Mercedes Benz 230 SL
In 1963, Mercedes Benz introduced a single car to replace the mass market 190SL roadster and the fast expensive 300 SL. The 230 SL`s clean and angular lines were first seen at the Geneva Salaon in March 1963. The elegant hard top which pipped towards the centre gave the new SL its Pagoda roof nickname.
The new car was based on the running gear of the W110/111 Fintail saloons which had been introduced at the end of the 1950s and the new SL sports car carried over the saloon`s double wishbone front and swing axle rear suspension. Though much shorter than the Fintail, the SL kept the wide saloon track front and rear which helped provide it with excellent roadholding.
The engine was a development of the M 127 unit which had already won a reputation for smoothness and flexibility in the Fintail Saloons. For the SL, the M 127 engine was bored out 2mm to 82 mm increasing the capacity to 2306cc. A new fuel injection system was fitted and the engine delivered 150bhp at5500rpm.
The 2.3 litre unit had to be revved hard to make the most of its power.To improve drivability a longer stronke 2.5 litre engine ( the M129) was fitted in 1967 giving the newly named 250SL no more power than before but considerably more midrange torque.
The 280SL of 1968 had even more capacity ( 2778cc) and even more power( now upto 170bhp) . It remained in production until 1971, when Mercedes Benz announced its replacement, the R107 350 SL.
Saloon car comfor and facilities build quality were major attractions of the SLs. Power steering and automatic transmission made them easy to drive.