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230 SL Pininfarina Coupe
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  Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Pininfarina Coupe      

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1964
Numbers built:1
Introduced at:1964 Paris Motor Show
Internal name:W113
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 04, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAlthough the Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Coupe is today universally known and loved for its concave roof, which earned it the nickname 'Pagoda', the verdict was not in yet when it was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1963. It was a hugely significant model for the German manufacturer as it replaced both the high-end 300 SL and more mainstream 190 SL. Powered by a relatively modest 2.3 litre straight six, it would surely have appealed more to customers, who had previously bought a 190 SL.

In order to provide an altogether more exclusive option, Mercedes-Benz commissioned Italian carrozzeria Pininfarina to create a design for the 230 SL Coupe of their own, while retaining enough of the original lines to make the car instantly recognisable. Several of Pininfarina's stylists pitched their ideas for the revised 230 SL Coupe. Eventually, it was young American designer Tom Tjaarda, who was awarded the assignment. Although he was just 28 years old, this was not the first major job for Tjaarda at Pininfarina.

While the nose was pretty much carried over from the production SL, subtle changes were made to the grille like angling the Mercedes-Benz star forward slightly. The greenhouse was all new and featured much slimmer panels and a conventional roof. The crease along the side of the car dropped down at the rear, where the brief allowed more creative freedom. The tail was much more compact on than on the 230 SL and featured relatively small taillights. Chrome trim was used throughout but with considerable restraint.

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  Article Image gallery (14) Specifications