A Mercedes-Benz 230 SL ‘Pagoda’, formerly owned by one of the world’s greatest racing drivers, will be auctioned next month.
Sir Stirling Moss famously never won the Formula 1 World Championship, but he is indisputably one of motorsport’s greatest heroes.
This 1966 230 SL was built to his own requirements, and has never been restored. It will cross the block at next month’s The Classic Sale at Silverstone.
‘Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?’
The second-generation ‘W113’ Mercedes-Benz SL was launched in 1963, and became a highly respected sports car.
Moss was particularly impressed by the 230 SL, saying: “In all the years I have been driving, I cannot remember ever driving a car that I liked more – except for racing cars”. When the Mille Miglia winner and former Mayfair resident wanted a new car, it was top of his list.
Although Moss had already retired from racing, his earlier success with the Mercedes-Benz team allowed him to make a special order for a unique SL.
The full VIP experience
Instead of the standard engine, Moss requested the more powerful 2.5-litre motor from the 250 SL. These models were reserved for American buyers, but Moss had one made in right-hand drive. The engine itself was hand-selected from the production line.
More bespoke features included an opening roof vent, added to the Pagoda’s hard-top. Engineered specially for Moss, it was based on the item used in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’.
The 230 SL was owned by Moss until 1968. A new owner had the car painted in the current Jaguar Pearl Grey, and it was later bought by Mercedes collector, Jack McAleer.
A coveted classic
Owned by the McAleer family from 1977 until today, this is the first time the SL has been offered for sale in 45 years. Its history is backed up by an extensive file of documents, including the original factory order form made out to Stirling Moss.
With a pre-sale estimate of £100,000 to £120,000, the rare Mercedes will be auctioned on Saturday 27 August.
The sale is part of the annual Silverstone Classic motorsport event, described as the world’s largest retro motorsport festival.
John Redfern writes for Retro Motor