Subtle Sport The 19631971 Mercedes W113 Roadsters Ate Up With Motor

4 Фев 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz W113

Subtle Sport: The 1963-1971 W113 Roadsters

Some can be understood only in the context of time; others were in their day, but now make sense. When the six-cylinder debuted 50 years ago this March, it was a considerable departure previous Mercedes sports and some observers weren’t sure what to make of it. it established a very successful that’s still going today.

In this installment of Ate Up Motor, we examine the origins and of the Mercedes-Benz W113 series: the Mercedes-Benz 230SL, 250SL, and


In June 1969, Track compared the Mercedes (in its final 280SL form) to the Corvette. E-type Jaguar. and 911T. They found the the slowest, the least agile, at least in the editors’ eyes, the sexy of the four, but it was also the expensive by a substantial margin. The scored well in comfort and usability, but as a sports car, it really rate. It was a far cry from the old

A U.S.-spec 1970 280SL, the “Pagoda” hardtop that the W113 series its nickname.

If the wasn’t exactly a sports what was it? Perhaps its nearest was the original two-seat Ford a sporty-looking “personal car” emphasized dignity and comfort outright performance. Of course, the was a good deal more than the T-Bird, but the two were similar in concept.

There was no that the shift in emphasis was Mercedes-Benz in this era was nothing if not rational. To understand their we must step back a few to introduction of Mercedes’ four-cylinder in the mid-fifties.


As we’ve discussed. the 190SL (known as the W121) was the brainchild of importer Max who had Mercedes’ U.S. distribution until 1958. Introduced at the Geneva show, the 190SL was on the contemporary Mercedes 180 “Ponton” with new styling by Walter and a 1,897 cc (116 cu. in.) four with 105 PS DIN (77 kW; 120 bhp SAE).

The wasn’t tragically slow by the of the time — straight-line performance was not the first priority of fifties car buyers — but its high price it hard to ignore the fact it could be handily dispatched by a TR3 or Austin-Healey 100. either of cost substantially less. Mercedes engineers acknowledged on that the 190SL was underpowered.

Mercedes-Benz W113

At launch, the 190SL cost DM in West Germany, $3,998 POE in the over $1,000 more an Austin-Healey 100. With 120 horsepower, the Mercedes was capable of mph (0-97 km/h) in the low 13-second with a top speed of 106-109 mph km/h).

Extracting more from the M121 four have been possible, but the technology of the time, would have meant sacrificing and refinement. For the mid-fifties, 63 bhp/liter was ambitious and the M121 was not exactly smooth as it was. An intriguing was the 2,195 cc (134 cu. in.) six the 220 (W180) sedan. In stock with two Solex carburetors, the six was actually less powerful the four, albeit with torque, but experiments showed Bosch mechanical fuel would provide a healthy in power without any loss of

Test engineer Erich succeeded in shoehorning the injected dubbed M127, into the engine bay and prototypes were at the Nürburgring in 1956. The marriage of and platform was not ideal, but performance was improved and the small six was considerably pleasant than the M121. director Fritz Nallinger was impressed to recommend the six-cylinder logically dubbed W127, for

The 190SL rode the same (2,400mm) wheelbase as the bigger (and the later W113 but at 166.1 inches (4,220 mm) it was 13.8 inches (350 mm) than the 300SL roadster.

By the spring of 1957, however, Uhlenhaut’s passenger car development was already hard at work on the generation of Mercedes sedans, internally by their W110/W111/W112 codes. The new cars were to some substantial structural from the Ponton, notably the of a novel safety concept by design engineer Béla front and rear crumple designed to collapse at a controlled to absorb impacts. Given the of those changes and the logistical that would result tooling up for both a new sedan and an additional derivative of the outgoing the board eventually opted to the W127 project.

However, the of a new six-cylinder sports car was not dead. a year later, in October Uhlenhaut’s team began planning for a roadster derivative of the platform known as the W113.

Mercedes-Benz W113
Mercedes-Benz W113
Mercedes-Benz W113
Mercedes-Benz W113

Mercedes-Benz W113
Mercedes-Benz W113

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