1965 Mercedes SL230: Reader ride

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Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230
Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230
Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230
Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230 Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230

Garry Marks has been working on his 1965 Mercedes SL230 for around six years and says it's better to buy the best you can find rather than start with a project car and build it up

1965 Mercedes SL230: Reader ride
Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230

 

Garry Marks' 1965 Mercedes SL230

I was looking round for about four or five years – specifically looking for one that was blue with an auto. I found the car through a friend of a friend, who had heard about it in Orange (NSW). An Italian guy from Sydney had stored it at his farm for nearly 25 years. He used to go up there every six months to start and run it.

They got it across to Newcastle and I picked it up from there and nursed it back to Melbourne at about a litre of oil per hundred kilometres. The engine was knackered at that stage. It needed new rings and a rebuild.

I’ve been working on it for five or six years to get it where it is today. I showed it about two years ago at a Mercedes concours, just after I’d done the engine bay, and it won best in show for the engine bay. I’m taking it back soon to see if I can give it a go for the whole thing.

I’m vice-president of the international SL Pagoda group (sl113.org), which has about 2500 members worldwide, of which about 600 pay to keep a website going.

Originally I was going to buy myself a Morgan and then did my back in doing some house renovations. Someone said try a Mercedes, they’ve got really soft lounge room type seats. Before this one I had a 280SL, which was basically my trainer car, which I did up and then sold.

My advice with these ones, since they’re particularly expensive with parts, is to buy the best one you can find. Go as much as you can afford – don’t try to buy a project and then spend all the money doing it up.

Paul Bracq was the original designer of the car. A friend of mine was friends with him and when we had the Pagoda 50th anniversary in Australia, we asked Paul if he would write a letter for us on the anniversary, which he did and we gave it away as a prize. My mate in Poland said he’d had Paul sign his car for him and I asked if he would sign my glovebox lid – he agreed to do it.

Paul is now 83 or 84 and so I took off the glovebox and posted it to where he is living in France and he signed it and sent it back to me. I think there are only four SLs in the world that are signed and this is the only car in Australia. One is owned by the Mercedes Benz museum, one by a dentist in Germany, one in Poland and the fourth is my car. So the glovebox is probably now more collectible than the whole car!

 

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