Mercedes W113: The Complete Story
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but in case you didn’t know what a “Mercedes W113” is, the front and rear views of the 250SL on the cover of this book help.
Known as “Pagoda”—not a pejorative, but a moniker earned by its distinctive roof styling—230SL, 250SL and 280SL are admired by collectors and nicely illustrate the historical evolution of the marque in the postwar era. The book helps make that point from the start by devoting a full third of its pages to walk the reader from the origins of the company right through the cars that this model replaced: the 300SL and the 190SL.
The publisher has 281 motoring titles in its catalog and a large number of them are offered, as this one in the “Crowood Autoclassics” series is, as The Complete Story.
There is no shortage of books on Mercedes-Benz cars, or its SL (“Sport Leicht”) models, or even W113s; the latest a few years earlier by Brian Long published by Veloce. But for popular marques and models, there is always interest in a fresh perspective, with more photos etc. thrown into the mix. Also, in the competitive world of publishing, the price point of this tome is a plus.
Author Kornblatt adds a multitude of sidebars dealing with various subjects and personalities connected with the W113 series, in addition to charts spelling out the specs and available options. The author’s works appear mostly in periodicals (e.g. Octane), and he serves as curator at the Miami Auto Museum in Florida.
In all the book’s 14 chapters there is scarcely a page without images. Once the story is told, it continues with the next SL, the R107; and it ends with a quick look at where we are today. There is also a chapter dealing with restorations and living with W113s, including a sidebar perspective by restorer and owner of Creative Workshop, Jason Wenig.
With its arching coverage of Mercedes- Benz history, this book serves the want for a history of the marque—an ideal gift for that young enthusiast, or a basic reference for any library. But with its focus on the W113, its value increases greatly—delivering on the promise of its cover.
Copyright 2018, Rubén Verdés (speedreaders.info).
This review appears courtesy of the SAH in whose March/April 2016 Journal #279it was first printed.