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Mercedes-Benz – 230SL Pininfarina Coupé

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Vehicle Overview

Just two months after the world premiere of the new W113 230SL at the Geneva Motor Show, in May 1963, Karl Wilfert, head of the coachbuilding department at the Sindelfingen plant, received a letter from Pininfarina, asking him to authorize the creation of a new coupé based on the W113. Permission was obtained and Pininfarina began to work.

It should be noted that in the 60s the creation of individual bodies based on production models was not uncommon, and the Turin company Pininfarina was one of the leaders in the manufacture of individual original bodies. As it does not seem strange to us today, not everyone enthusiastically welcomed the creation of Paul Bracq and Bela Barenyi, since the roof in the style of the Chinese pagoda was very unusual and required getting used to. The general styling of the car was also unusual, which the modern press considered too rectangular with wide flat surfaces, which contradicted the image of an elegant roadster / coupe, especially from the trendsetters of automobile fashion in this direction – the Italians. Therefore, Pininfarina’s desire to demonstrate her vision of the 230 SL looks natural.

Pininfarina’s leadership organized a contest among their designers for a two-seat coupe based on the 230 SL, already at the first stage, the project of the young 28-year-old American designer Tom Tjaarda was choosen.

Tom decided to keep the platform, the interior, most of the glass, optics, radiator grille of the original bodywork. When designing, Tom took into account the possibility of expanding small-scale production, and possibly completely replacing the original body with the newly designed Mercedes-Benz factory.

In 1964, at the Paris Motor Show, the silver Mercedes Benz 230 SL coupe Pininfarina was unveiled to the public. The car was well received and about thirty potential customers turned to Pininfarina with an order request. However, the coupe remained a one off, which was sold to the German newspaper tycoon Axel Springer (Axel Springer), after which the coupe received the second name “Springer Pagoda”.

After Springer, the coupe changed several owners who repainted it in red and black, and also replaced steel wheels with caps with alloy wheels. In 1997, the car was restored to its original condition.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1964
  • Make
    Mercedes-Benz
  • Model
    230SL Coupé
  • Coachbuilder
    Pininfarina
  • Length (mm)
    N/A
  • Width (mm)
    N/A
  • Height (mm)
    N/A
  • Photo credits
    N/A
  • Engine Type
    N/A
  • Designer
    N/A

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