Author Topic: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl  (Read 110010 times)


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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2011, 10:57:53 »
In the mid to late 60s Mercedes was forced to make design changes due to the fact that they were transiting from old, shot up, melted down, recycled 'Patton' tank steel to new virgin Krupp steel.  A single Patton made 20 or so Pagodas.  The Patton steel had lingering design memories that were trumped by Krupp iron.  

Remember this the next time you reflect in your Pagoda.  Patton Karma is different than Krupp Karma.

Your Pagoda could have been an 88mm Howitzer in its previous life!!

...and your reference source for this claim?

First of all, the Patton Tank, (M46, M47, M48, M60) were not produced until 1950, post war.  At that point production was for need, and there were not thousands of "shot up" Pattons laying around for German steel makers to scavenge.

The Sherman tank (M4) was the main battle tank for the US Army in WWII.  Perhaps much of that surplus was scrapped in Europe in the late 1940's, maybe early 1950's, but I can hardly believe that there would still be enough of them around "by the mid to late 1960s".  That's a long time for scrap to sit around waiting for recycling.  I could be wrong, which is why I wanted to know the source of your information.

If 100% of the weight of a Sherman were recyclable steel, and the Pagoda's weight was all steel, one tank might provide enough steel for the 20 Pagodas claimed...however that neglects some facts such as some cast iron (engine block); cast aluminum (head); sheet steel, sheet aluminum, brass, copper, and non-metallic products adding to the weight.  All of those metals have differerent compositions.  Mercedes specified the steel, suppliers supplied it.  If it did not meet spec, it wasn't used--that's generally the case.

But the biggest suspect in the story is that the Pagoda was barely a blip on the radar of auto manufacture.  Volkswagen?  Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, Fiat, Opel, Ford?  All European manufacturers using a lot more steel that the Pagoda production ever consumed.

The claim also infers there was something suspect about the quality of the steel/iron used in the M4...anybody who has worked on Mercedes of the era, or any car of that era regardless of domicile, knows that they all rust pretty easily.

When I was researching the article on the American Mercedes published in The Star earlier this year, one of the sales tactics used by the importers of the German Mercedes (nearly identical) was "German Steel"; I suspected this claim and consulted a well known metallurgist.  He told me (and this was published) that the quality of steel in Germany and USA at the turn of the century was the same as they had the same processes.  The German quality was a marketing tactic.  Neither Mercedes--American or German--of the time flourished in the USA.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 12:14:03 by mdsalemi »
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
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Benz Dr.

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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #76 on: June 22, 2011, 14:00:35 »
I drove a 250SE coupe for about a year and really liked the car. I also drove a 220SEb for a few years before that. Both were decent cars and are very much like a bigger 113 with nicer seats and interior.

Cool, Was the 220SEb the famous benz on which you cut your fuel-injection teeth, so to speak?

BTW  it's a binacle not a barnicle. One is living the other isn't.....
Blistering binnacles!  :D  Noted and corrected, thanks.

Waqas in Austin, Texas

I bought the 220SEb around 1980 or 1981 and learned quite a bit about it before I sold in in 1993.  The FI is much more difficult to sort out on the 220 cars than the later 6 element pumps used on 250 or 280SL's. If you can make a 220 run properly, you've done something.

I'm finding all of this discussion interesting but not that relevant. We don't have car show as a club, or whatever you'd like to call it, and although this might be important to someone restoring a car it makes little difference other than that.
If we ever have judged car shows, then all of this information IS important because you would loose points for things that aren't correct. Until then, we are instructed to go to MBCA events if we have any interest in such things. I'll reseve comment about that.....
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 08:34:31 by Peter van Es »
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2011, 12:14:26 »
This is my list in order of preference:

1) Audrey Hepburn's car (must have original seats)
2) very early 230sl, ideally < #100
3) pre October '65 230sl, i.e. those with the exhaust headers, I think they sound great (but that could also be the hole in my muffler)
4) '67 250sl, for all the reasons previously mentioned
5) '68 250sl or 280sl, '66 or '67 230sl
6) '69-71 280sl
Prefer euro over US and manual over auto.
So, for me, 280sl rates lowest, though still way above almost anything else out there.

My 230sl is an original black plate Californian car from May '65. 4-spd manual, 4.08 rear, DB190 graphite gray with red tex interior and ivory trim. I have a ZF trans in storage in the UK waiting for an opportunity to transport here (to Australia). At least I think I have one, I still haven't had it unpacked to check. My mother's there at the moment so I might prevail on her to verify it for my peace of mind. I also have all the gear for 'europeanisation': a set of new euro headlights, kmh speedo and NOS early Italian/Australian tail lights with the amber reflectors.
I'd like to get the hardtop and hubcaps painted white gray, DB158. Not original to this car but was an original option at the time. In addition to its retro appeal, I believe this colour scheme should keep the interior measurably cooler. Another Australian in the group (forgotten who) remarked that the Australian summer is NOT convertible season and I absolutely agree. In fact, even driving a regular car here can leave one overexposed to the sun. I have had two skin cancers excised from my face, both on my right side. When I asked my doctor if this was a coincidence she said "no, it's from driving". So I'm kinda glad that my car is LHD.
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190


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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #78 on: October 30, 2011, 15:24:06 »
Where have i heard the story of someone with a ZF gearbox, on a pallete in the UK.
Did'nt it turn out to be a scam?


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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #79 on: November 04, 2011, 09:54:19 »
Regarding that scam tel76, this is what happened:

I bought a ZF trans on ebay UK and had it shipped, crated on a pallet, to my uncle's farm in Worcestershire. Several months later one of the forum members, GGR, reported a ZF transmission for sale on Craigslist UK. The photos in the Craigslist ad were the exact same photos from the ebay page. The seller gave a fake address in Inverness. An internet search using 'ZF scam' or similar revealed that he or she had previously run a similar scam.

here's the forum topic:

and the other reported ZF scam:

I repeatedly emailed Craigslist asking them to remove the ad but nothing happened. Basically there's no regulation on Craigslist so it's full of dodgy deals. Craigslist admits this themselves and give some good advice on combating scams:

DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

After all this time I have still not verified that there IS a genuine ZF trans in my unopened crate (I am in Australia). But everything seemed legit.
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190


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Re: 230 vs 250 vs 280sl
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2012, 16:43:13 »
Early 230 because it is the most glamorous chrome wise (and because it is early and I like the vertical spare wheel) OR a "first year" 250 with the 230 style door furniture and wheel trims etc because you get a few more main bearings a few more ft/lbs and lose none of the beauty of the 230.

280 is my last choice but still right at the top of my list of cars to own !!!!!

1964 230 SL RHD  UK Supplied. 050 White/Navy.
1987 Porsche 911 3.2 Coupe. Indian Red.

Previous :-
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355 GTB
911 (3.2 with 993 engine,"lightweighted")
911 (993)
R107 300SL