Author Topic: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar  (Read 354 times)

Jack the Knife

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Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« on: January 23, 2023, 17:14:45 »
I spoke with the shop owner there the other day about his build. He did this some time ago, I believe back in the mid-00s. His M110, which is the DOHC Euro variety, fits neatly under the hood. I have read around here concerns from some of the seasoned mechanics that there might not be enough clearance.

It's an interesting modifications since it seems the 110 was Mercedes' final evolution of the inline-6 of that era. Pieter, the owner, felt it was most appropriate that his Pagoda racecar be powered by an inline-6 rather than a V8-swap. I quite like the way the M110 sounds at high revs, too. Attached are some shots of the engine (which was converted to run on a Holley carburetor) as well as two of the car. Of course, this engine has been heavily modified and makes a little over 300hp.

What's nice is that this motor and the Mercedes 5-speed compatible to it are pretty inexpensive. Granted, I have heard the DOHC motor is not the easiest to work on. One might save money on the front end only to have to spend it on the back-end rebuilding and configuring everything to one's liking. But one major benefit here is it has the same mounting points as the M130 etc and the DOHC looks cool and classic beneath the hood.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 17:24:15 »
Some more photos. Nice little touch with the Talbot mirrors, like the original show car.

It's interesting to imagine a world where Mercedes kept the Pagoda around a la the 911 Classic and continually improved upon its drivetrain, perhaps going the way of BMW in trying to conceive of lighter turbocharged motors for such applications. One can only imagine Bracq's pagoda-like 1600Ti-based roadster may have sported the little turbocharged M10, had BMW elected to develop it.
1964 230SL 4-speed
2017 BMW F82 DCT

Benz Dr.

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 18:06:52 »
I saw the same car back in 1997 with a 250SE engine in it. He opted for that engine to conform to the class he was running in. It's a bare bones car.
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MikeSimon

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 18:49:12 »

It's interesting to imagine a world where Mercedes kept the Pagoda around a la the 911 Classic and continually improved upon its drivetrain

You cannot compare the two scenarios with a "what if". The 911 for a long time was Porsche's only car and the "breadwinner". Mercedes was never really a "Sports Car" manufacturer and their SLs were niche models in the line-up. And then, MB sort of kept a SL and improved upon its drivetrain.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 19:15:32 »
You cannot compare the two scenarios with a "what if". The 911 for a long time was Porsche's only car and the "breadwinner". Mercedes was never really a "Sports Car" manufacturer and their SLs were niche models in the line-up. And then, MB sort of kept a SL and improved upon its drivetrain.

The only time Porsche was running one car was part of 1965 with the end of the 356 through 1970 with the introduction of the 914. Porsche sold many more 914s each year than 911s during its production run. The end of the 914 in 1976 brought about the beginning of the 924, which likewise sold in greater volumes than the 911. Not because those cars were necessarily better (though the 914-6 is really something), as you know, but cost... By '78, they had three options. I'm no Porsche expert but I've heard the success of the 928 and 944 in particular really is what helped keep the company afloat. Much like their SUVs today... in fact, they sell so many SUVs, you might call them an SUV company and a sports car company second. They sell 4x as many SUVs as they do 911s. But we all think of the 911 when we think of Porsche, no? And hey, Volvo isn't a sports car company, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have been with their sweet little P1800. Anyway,  point is, the sedans or station wagons and now SUVs are the bread and butter that keep the lights on, but in the popular mind, the halo car is what forms the nucleus of the brand's identity. Jag produced 72.5k XKEs across all series. Compare that to about 90k series 1 XJs, 50k Mark X/420Gs, 25k S-types, and a whopping 90k Mark 2s. That's 3.5 times as many big executive cars or saloons as sports cars (and is the series 3 XKE a sports car?). But you and I both know what comes to mind when you think of classic Jags, aside oil leaks and electronics. Perception! The 107 really isn't the same. It's a good car, but it's really uncool. Better than the XJS which was both uncool and not good, I guess...

I saw the same car back in 1997 with a 250SE engine in it. He opted for that engine to conform to the class he was running in. It's a bare bones car.
Bare bones is right! Yeah, I think he went from the 2.3 to the 2.5 and a 2.8 before the 3-liter 110.
1964 230SL 4-speed
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Benz Dr.

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2023, 20:43:14 »
3 liter 110? I thought 110's were 2.8  Or did I miss something?
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra

ja17

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2023, 22:12:50 »
I'm surprised he choose a M110 engine. It's heavier, more complex, and has just a bit more horsepower than the M130 pagoda engine. I would have started with using the later straight six, engine from a W124 300 E. It's lighter, simpler and had more horsepower than either the M130 or M110 engine to start with.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2023, 22:17:15 »
I'm surprised he choose a M110 engine. It's heavier, more complex, and has just a bit more horsepower than the M130 pagoda engine. I would have started with using the later straight six, engine from a W124 300 E. It's lighter, simpler and had more horsepower than either of the M130 of M110 to start with.

I agree, and that 300E motor really interests me. M104 is it?

3 liter 110? I thought 110's were 2.8  Or did I miss something?

That's right, and a bit shy of 2.8 at that. His motor has been extensively reworked...

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MikeSimon

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2023, 23:29:10 »
The only time Porsche was running one car was part of 1965 with the end of the 356 through 1970 with the introduction of the 914. Porsche sold many more 914s each year than 911s during its production run. 

Objection. The 914 was a two-part story and only the 914-6 was a true Porsche, built by Porsche. The 914-4 was a true Vokswagen, built completely by Karmann and only in the US was "called" a Porsche. Only about 3,500 914-6es were sold through the 3-year run. Both the 914 and the 9124/944 were supposed to be entry level, less expensive models for Porsche. originally replacement for the 912. The 928 was supposed to completely replace the 911 as the tooling for the air-cooled flat six was at the end of its life and the strategy was not to renew it. The lack of success of the 918 in the US made Porsche change their mind. No matter how you look at this, there is no comparison in technical or marketing concepts between the 911 and the SL. The 911 was a core product and the SL always was a segment.
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Jack the Knife

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2023, 23:45:57 »
Objection. The 914 was a two-part story and only the 914-6 was a true Porsche, built by Porsche. The 914-4 was a true Vokswagen, built completely by Karmann and only in the US was "called" a Porsche. Only about 3,500 914-6es were sold through the 3-year run. Both the 914 and the 9124/944 were supposed to be entry level, less expensive models for Porsche. originally replacement for the 912. The 928 was supposed to completely replace the 911 as the tooling for the air-cooled flat six was at the end of its life and the strategy was not to renew it. The lack of success of the 918 in the US made Porsche change their mind. No matter how you look at this, there is no comparison in technical or marketing concepts between the 911 and the SL. The 911 was a core product and the SL always was a segment.

Objection overruled!  8) No one would ever call a BMW E9 or early E24 not a "BMW" just because Karmann was the assembly. Magna-Steyr builds the G-wagen still, and even in its gaudy guise today, that's a real Mercedes through-and-through. And besides, have you ever heard "scratch a Russian, wound a tartar"? Scratch a Porsche, wound a VW! Haha. But I understand you. With joint ventures, one treads some muddy waters. Is the current Supra a BMW or a Toyota? The world may never know. Especially now, as things are so interwoven.

But I do think you're being a little uncharitable to the 914. I do believe most of its development was done by Porsche. And it was Porsche that pushed it to carry only the Porsche name in the US.. for marketing reasons, of course.
1964 230SL 4-speed
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MikeSimon

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2023, 16:19:03 »
I am not discussing this further. I have extensive particular knowledge of the 914 and its history. I owned a 914-6 M471 option car in 1974/75 in Germany and I own a factory built 1971 914-6GT now, which is one of less than 50 built.  Consequently, I am quite biased. The 914-4 had virtually no Porsche parts in it. The 4-cylinder "VW-Porsche" was internally identified as Volkswagen "Type 47" and carried VIN numbers starting with these digits while the 914-6 always had a "914" VIN number true to Porsche tradition. The 914-4 also carried a ID plate which said "Made by Volkswagenwerk", even in the U.S. The 914-6 was assembled on the same line as the 911 in Zuffenhausen. The whole story is of no consequence to the discussion here and was sparked by the remark "what if" Mercedes would have continued to build the Pagoda and improve it, like Porsche did the 911.
I still say, the two scenarios are not comparable. Punkt.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 17:24:12 by MikeSimon »
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MikeSimon

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Re: Silver Star Restorations' M110-powered 230SL Racecar
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2023, 19:13:47 »
3 liter 110? I thought 110's were 2.8  Or did I miss something?

I think you are right, Dan. The 3.0L was a successor to the M110 and was the M103.
When I lived back in Germany, we had an informal once-a-month get together of a few SL owners in the town of Hochheim, between Wiesbaden and Mainz. There were two brothers both with W113s. One had a M110 engine in his 280SL taken out of a 280SEL. We all appreciated the conversion job done and liked the much quieter and smoother running of the DOHC motor compared to our SOHC M130, M129, and m127IIs. The only thing none of us could get over with was, that the tachometer no longer worked.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner