Mercedes-Benz SL 230 Series 2001-2011

Published: April 20th, 2019     
Product Image
Author: Brian Long
Reviewed by: Rob Booth - IPMS# 37548
ISBN #: 978-1-845847-47-0
Other Publication Information: 208 pages, hardback, printed in 25cm x 25cm format.
Price: $40.00

This publication is one from a series of books covering the Mercedes Benz SL series by Veloce Publishing. It is a 208 page hardcover book, printed in 25cm x 25cm (9.75" x 9.75") format. Publication date was February, 2015.

Other publications in this series are:

  • Mercedes Benz SL R130 Series 1989-2001
  • Mercedes Benz SL & SLC 107 Series 1971-1989
  • Mercedes Benz SLK R170 Series 1996-2004

Why would an airplane guy want to review a book about cars? About five years ago, my wife completely shocked and surprised me by suggesting that we buy ourselves a convertible sports car for our anniversary that year. After test driving a few uninspiring used car lot models, one of our friends let us borrow his 2002 Mercedes SL 500 for a day. We were hooked, and began our love affair with this vehicle. It's a beautiful car with classic lines, serious muscle, and a hard-top convertible. I spent several weeks tracking down a reasonably priced model and proudly bought a 2005 SL 500 in Desert Silver with a tan leather interior. It still resides in my garage, and is my favorite way to spend a sunny Texas Hill Country Saturday afternoon on the road.

This beautiful "coffee table" book is a complete reference for the SL 500 enthusiast! It is comprised of 8 Chapters and 4 Appendices. The chapters include:

  1. The Three Pointed Star
  2. The SL - Born on the Track
  3. SL - Road Car Heritage
  4. A Car for the New Millenium
  5. The Early Production Models
  6. New Powerplants
  7. A Final Fling
  8. A New Generation

Appendices include:

  1. Year-By-Year Range Details
  2. Engine Specifications
  3. Color & Trim Summary
  4. Chassis Numbers & Production Figures

The eight chapters cover the type with clear, concise text and a wealth of photo references. The book opens with a brief history of the Mercedes-Benz brand, its founders and key designers. Next, the SL's genesis from early racing designs to the roadster prototype is well detailed, and then the evolution of that design leading up to the current series.

The next three chapters focus on the SL 230's specific body style, engines and refinements over its ten year production period. Finally, a closing chapter discusses the type's future.

The appendices cover details for pretty much every vehicle that was produced for this series. I discovered that the Desert Silver paint color on my vehicle is referred to as "Travertinbeige" or "Travertine Beige" in the European market, and that it is powered by a Type 113.963 (M113 E350) water-cooled V8 engine that delivers 306 bhp and 339 lbft of torque. The interior leather package is referred to as "Keiselbeige" in German, and "Pebble Beige" or "Stone" in worldwide markets. There were 72,778 of my specific model produced out of the total 169,433 RL series made.

Another item of particular interest to me was the section on the design and incorporation of the folding hard-top convertible mechanism. As I suspected, this was not the easiest of features to design into the car, but it is truly an engineering marvel.

The text is readable, informative and concise. Photos are numerous, and about half are in color. There are lots of advertising shots, and marketing layouts. Highlighted "text boxes" contain detailed descriptions, narratives or highlights relative to people or specific points.

While there are not many subjects available in the usual scales for the dedicated MB car modeling enthusiast, there are lots of reference photos of rare types such as the 300SL and 500K. If only someone would produce a styrene kit of a 2002-2006 SL500, I could have a miniature edition of my car to join the flying German types in my display case!

Very highly recommended to Mercedes Benz enthusiasts and all car modelers. Thanks to Veloce Publishing and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for the opportunity to review this book.

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