During the 50s, when Mercedes-Benz were the dominant force in top-level motor sport, the undisputed flagship of the firm’s production car range was the stunning 300SL sports car. Highly desirable as it was, it was also financially out of the reach of most enthusiasts. Keen to capitalise on the 300SL’s numerous competition successes, and find a foothold in the increasingly lucrative sports car market, Mercedes-Benz introduced its smaller stable mate, the equally beautifully engineered 190SL.
The 190SL was sold alongside the faster, more expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL, similar not just in terms of styling, engineering and detailing, but also sharing fully independent suspension, double wishbone suspension at the front and swing axles at the rear.
The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly over square 1.9 litre straight-four SOHC engine that developed 120hp with twin-choke dual Solex carburettors, the four-cylinder engine block was based on the six-cylinder engine of the 300 SL. Teamed with a four-speed manual gearbox, this endowed the sleep aerodynamic and comparatively light 190SL that boasted a top speed of 115mph and a respectable 0-60 time of 13.0 seconds.
Originally registered to Holland, this lovely example has been consigned from a Dutch collector of 1950s and 1960s Mercedes SL roadsters, having had a full restoration in 2013. Since being restored we are told the car has never been driven, as such the body, chassis and interior are in excellent condition.
Finished in the classic combination Elfenbein (Ivory) with a contrasting Wine red interior, and offered with a Dutch title document, this is a beautiful example of a truly iconic 1950s sports car.