Production of the 230 SL began in June 1963 and ended on January 5, 1967.

Its chassis was based on the W 111 sedan platform, with a reduced wheelbase by 30 cm (11.8 in.), Recirculating Ball Steering (with optional hydraulic steering), double wishbone front suspension, and one axle. Independent single-joint low swing rear with transverse compensating spring.

The dual-circuit brake system had front disc brakes and power-assisted rear drum brakes.

The 230 SL was offered with either a 4-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed fluid-coupled automatic transmission (without torque converter), popular on North American models.

As of May 1966, the ZF S5-20 5-speed manual transmission was available as an additional option, particularly popular in Italy. Of the 19,831 230 SLs produced, less than a quarter were sold in the US.

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