Poll

My black soft top is shot, so which color should I replace it with?

Black
Light Tan
Dark Tan
Gray (trying to match body)
Off White (trying to match hard top)

Author Topic: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL  (Read 4433 times)

rwmastel

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What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« on: November 08, 2022, 22:07:27 »
My 230SL was delivered by the factory with only a hard top.  Someone in Italy put on a soft top using an older frame with the chrome bow over the back window.  If I get my top material replaced, what color would look best?  Let the opinions fly!  Pic attached of my car.
Rodd

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1966 230SL

lreppond

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2022, 22:58:47 »
What colors are used in the interior, both for seating and  the carpets/mats?  I’m assuming the hardtop is ivory based on the wheel covers?  Is the steering wheel black?

 
~Len

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thelews

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2022, 00:42:49 »
Steering wheel clearly looks black.  I'll get flack, but I don't think MB would usually do light hubcaps matching the top with a darker body color.  The pattern seemed to be darker top > darker hubs - darker body color > darker hubs.  I think this car would have had grey hub caps.

Would like to know interior color also.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 00:46:54 by thelews »
Enjoy some pictures at this link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8292359@N06/sets/72157603240571101/show/

John - Wisconsin
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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2022, 02:28:55 »
Car was repainted a long time ago, and they attempted to keep it factory colors.  124 Arabian Gray body, 158 White Gray hub caps and hard top.  Interior is still factory materials in 219, which is 1098 Natural (saddle) leather with 6564 brown square weave.  Black steering wheel and shift knob.

Here comes the flack!

.... darker top > darker hubs - darker body color > darker hubs.
Everything "darker". Benz never does light anything??

I think this car would have had grey hub caps.
I believe most, maybe all, 230's had matched hard tops and hub caps.  Not only do I have the data card, but I also have a copy of a magazine that did a story on the original owner, and the car happened to be in a photo in that article.  It's correct.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 03:09:46 by rwmastel »
Rodd

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paults1

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2022, 04:39:02 »
I also have a early 230sl, Arabian Grey 1963, I when bought it had a ragged gray soft top.  It did not match the body at all. I had a new black one installed because the interior is black leather. Looks Great.  Try to match the soft top color to the interior. You probably can get small samples of the soft top material. 

BobH

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2022, 08:12:37 »
in my humble opinion your colour combination looks superb, but this might limit your choice of soft top colour.  I even love the name of the paint "Arabian Grey"!

This colour looks fantastic with red leather interior, and a dark red soft top, but not with this wheel colour or trim
Dark blue also looks good with grey, but again, not with those wheels
I think black may be too dark a contrast
Not sure tan or off white would do it justice, ok on a Landrover, but perhaps not a pagoda
My choice would be a grey/gray slightly darker than the body, perhaps charcoal if you can find one

Just my opinion!
February 1965 230SL Automatic
UK delivered RHD
Papyrus white, blue hard top & hub caps
Blue soft top
Blue leather

AndrewB

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2022, 12:38:57 »
Don’t these look amazing with red, or am I getting confused with anthracite ?
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Lorsar

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2022, 13:50:34 »
I you found a source for a gray or off white top?  I have only seen choice of black, brown, blue, or tan.
Lori
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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2022, 14:25:14 »
I have only seen choice of black, brown, blue, or tan.
This company seems to have a good reputation, and has LOTS of color options for German Sonnenland canvas (as well as a couple other canvas materials).  There are other companies with similar options.  I didn't want to pollute the poll question with too many possible answers.
https://gahh.com/topping-color-swatches
Rodd

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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2022, 14:49:15 »
Here are some random pics from the internet.  Not all are Arabian Gray, but they give an idea of color options/looks.  The first one may look good with my 158 hub caps.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 13:11:28 by rwmastel »
Rodd

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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2022, 14:51:15 »
Here's another pick of a 124/158 car (not mine!) with hard top on.

Notice, if you compare this to my car in the first post above, this one has a deeper, darker, richer color.  This one is more correct.  My repaint is a little light as I can tell by dash board and inside the glove box door.  I don't know if the difference is from the paint color chosen by the owner at the time, or maybe the paint quality chosen by the owner (and has since faded?).  These non-metallic paints with no clear coat might not stand up to decades of weather very well.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 18:09:13 by rwmastel »
Rodd

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1966 230SL

lreppond

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2022, 16:33:43 »
I understand your conundrum.  You’ve got a lot of colors going on that seemingly don’t belong together but work nonetheless.  I’d think about going with a slightly darker grey soft top.  To match the body color would be impossible but a slightly deeper version would make for a subtle contrast while holding the entire color theme together. 

Whatever decision you ultimately make, please share it with the forum. 
~Len

1971 280 SL
576G red/251 Beige
4 speed manual
Family owned since new (father —> son)

Mike Hughes

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2022, 17:04:41 »
I was originally in favor of light tan, to match the interior and still like that choice, if only because I have a light greyish blue M.G. TF with a biscuit interior and light tan top.  However, I am persuaded by Ireppond's argument for a gray top color that compliments, but is darker than, your Arabian gray.

Black is always a safe choice, because it goes with everything and doesn't show much dirt.  Off-white and light tan (even medium tan) soil easily, so require much more care over time.  A gray that is not too light will not soil so easily and provide the subtle contrast holding the entire color theme together that Ireppond suggests.

My Havana Brown 230SL has a Cream interior and Light Beige hardtop and hubcaps.  However, the soft top is a brown that is slightly darker than the Havana Brown.  It looks good with the hardtop, and looks good with the soft top, too!  I have once saw a Havana Brown 230SL with Cream interior like mine with a tan soft top.  I thought the car looked great but am glad I have brown as I wouldn't want to have to take care of another tan top.
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2022, 13:18:35 »
... Off-white and light tan (even medium tan) soil easily, so require much more care over time.
Mike,  Can you elaborate on this issue? For these cars that are typically driven less than 2, 000 miles each year, and much of that with to top stowed away (using hard top or no top), how much cleaning can there be?
Rodd

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Mike Hughes

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2022, 15:51:26 »
Dirty hands, bird doo, road dust, diesel bus and truck exhaust, etc., can soil the top when up and when stowing away or putting it up.  The soft top compartment itself is not an entirely dirt and dust free environment, either.  If the top and the compartment are not perfectly clean when stowed, it can be soiled at chafing points, especially the corners when folded under.  When the top is stowed away for long periods, dirt and dust do migrate into the closed compartment through the slots adjacent to the chrome B-post cap and the round access hole in the trunk.
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2022, 23:35:52 »
Hmmmm, maybe the answer is among these 8 darker samples from GAHH.  Just something to stoke the conversation.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 23:50:24 by rwmastel »
Rodd

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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2022, 23:48:26 »
First Four
Rodd

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rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2022, 23:49:36 »
Last Four
Rodd

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lreppond

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2022, 00:48:32 »
You should definitely ask for samples before ordering. Put them on top of the hood or trunk on both an overcast and sunny day and determines what looks best.  If I were a betting man, my money would be on space gray. 
~Len

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576G red/251 Beige
4 speed manual
Family owned since new (father —> son)

rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2022, 01:01:45 »
Oh, I would absolutely get samples.  Many samples from multiple suppliers.  I also need to find someone to refurbish my early style soft top frame.  I just wanted to get some feedback and ideas here, and I have.
This has been great.
Rodd

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BobH

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2022, 16:24:30 »
Have you seen this, you can use the configurator to see what colour combinations work for you

https://configurator.arthur-bechtel.com/#/
February 1965 230SL Automatic
UK delivered RHD
Papyrus white, blue hard top & hub caps
Blue soft top
Blue leather

rwmastel

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2022, 05:24:23 »
Awesome!!  Thanks so much.
Rodd

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Mike Hughes

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2022, 14:05:48 »
When I was scrolling through the GAHH offerings last week I thought that Space Gray or Titan Gray might be good candidates.  But truly, real swatches viewed on the car in as many different light conditions as possible, indoors as well as outdoors, will be the key to a happy choice.
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
  Cream M-B Tex (121)

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2022, 22:05:44 »


Well,
I strongly recommend using a soft top color that was available back then and no fantasy color that is available today.

https://www.sl113.org/wiki/DataCard/SofttopColorCodes

There was a variety of ST colors for the 230, as you know.
I recommend go with the grey 124 (which might even be close to your exterior's color).

IMHO...

Achim

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Mike Hughes

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Re: What color soft top for Arabian Gray 230SL
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2022, 00:02:59 »
Just to reinforce why one should never depend on the color representation on a web-site, The 124 Arabian Gray paint color on the Arthur Bechtel configurator doesn't look anything like the 124 Arabian Gray in Rodd's photo, and the 124 Classic Gray soft top material swatch shown on the GAHH site almost looks green.  It doesn't look anything like the 113 Classic Gray soft top on the Arthur Bechtel configurator. At least the 140 Space Gray and 153 Titan Gray material swatches both look more like gray on the GAHH site.  Only real swatches will reveal the true color, leading to a final choice.  Surely 124 Classic Gray should be in the mix of requested swatches if Rodd is considering a gray top.
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
  Cream M-B Tex (121)