Stylistically evocative of the mighty 300SL, but with a slightly less complex drive train, the 190SL remains among the most desirable roadsters of its era. The prototype was first shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show, with the 190SL produced between May 1955 and February 1963.
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 190SL 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 300SL. 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.
This beautiful matching numbers first series Mercedes 190SL was built in June of 1956, finding its first owner via the Mercedes Distributor of Los Angeles, California. Fitted with twin Weber carburettors which offer more power than the Solex items, our example has benefitted from an older restoration but still presents in good overall condition. The Mercedes is offered with a data card from the Mercedes Classic Center, which verifies this is indeed a matching numbers car.
The 190SL was and is still very attractive as the more affordable alternative to the exclusive 300SL, and this nicely presented example finished in black with a bordeaux red leather interior, is no exception.