Seeing a W113 is a rare and special treat as they are usually well-loved by their owners, only to be driven on fair weather days or for special occasions. Despite being named for their unique "Pagoda" style roofline, these SL's are equally handsome cars with roof removed and the top down. But did you know that there was the option to have that top permanently removed from factory?
The "California Coupe" was a Mercedes produced 2+2 outfitted with a rear seat (if you would call it that) and a deletion of the factory installed soft top (code 417). Although not named after the Sunshine State as you might expect, the California Coupe was nonetheless an SL built for those fortunate enough to live in climates that rarely experience foul weather, and who would likely have ample indoor storage for those rare occasions that they do. In exchange for a soft top, you would be able to have your friends ride along with you for a trip down to the beach, or to your 2+2 date night, while still being supplied with a hardtop - just in case you wanted to change things up.
Recently listed on Ebay in Ft. Myers, Florida is what looks to be a beautiful original example of this special W113, this 1967 Mercedes 250SL California Coupe has seen just over 97,000 original miles according to the seller. No mention of the originality of the paint or interior, however both present beautifully in Black over Tan with just some light wear visible on the front seats. The trim, dashboard, steering wheel, and all chrome appear to be in very nice condition as well.
Research indicates that just under 5,200 250SL's were produced globally, and were the rarest of the SL range at the time. There is no clear evidence on just how many of those were treated with option code 417, but we'd wager that number to be significantly low in relation. Unique to the 250SL was the outfitting of the M129 producing 148hp/159ft-lb of torque originally equipped on the 250SE. Other improvements over the 230SL included a stiffer, sportier suspension and rear disc brakes.
Currently, bidding at just over $32k at the time of writing. We are, however, confident there are plenty of bids yet to come as reserve is not met if you are looking to a add a unique W113 to your collection.