The Mercedes-Benz 230SL was introduced in 1963 and was a much improved version of the outgoing 190SL roadster. Power was from a 150-horsepower six-cylinder engine instead of the 190's four-cylinder unit. The design was angular with an unusual concave hardtop roof that led to the 'Pagoda Top', by which the model has since been known. Production continued through 1971 with engine displacement gradually increasing throughout the run, culminating with the most desirable 2.8-liter 280SL.
Though not intended for competition, a 230SL made its competition debut in the hands of Eugene Bohringer where it won the rugged Spa-Sofia-Liege Rally. Many of the pagoda-top SLs found their way into the care of celebrities and the wealthy, often seen cruising fair-weathered coastal roads or parked in front of trendy establishments and grand hotels.
This example, chassis number WDB11304410002878, is a 'California Coupe.' These versions were given their name because of the detachable hardtop but not with a soft top. The interior is black leather and there is a rear fold--down seat. The 2.8-liter, fuel-injected, 180 horsepower six-cylinder engine is capable of carrying the car from zero-to-sixty in 10 seconds. Top speed is in the neighborhood of 120 mph. There is a four-speed manual transmission, hydraulic four-wheel disc brakes, and a wheelbase that measures 94.5-inches.
In 2012, this California Coupe was offered for sale at RM Auction's Scottsdale, Az. auction. It had an estimated value of $55,000-$75,000 and was offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $38,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.