For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its hyper-expensive, race-bred sports car – the 300SL – Mercedes-Benz offered the less exotic but no less refined 190SL. Announced in 1954 and based on the 180 saloon, whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190SL did not enter production until January 1955, the delay being caused by alterations aimed at strengthening the saloon’s shortened platform to compensate for the open body’s reduced stiffness.
“Very few new sports cars have been so eagerly awaited or so long in coming as the moderately priced SL version of the Mercedes-Benz,” observed Road & Track magazine.
Mounted on a detachable subframe along with the four-speed manual gearbox, front suspension and steering, the power unit was a 1,897cc overhead-camshaft four, the first such engine ever to feature in a Mercedes-Benz. Breathing through twin Solex downdraft carburetors, this M121 power unit produced 105bhp at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 100km/h in 14.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 171km/h. The fact that the 190’s ride was more boulevard than sporting, and that many contemporary sports cars could outperform it while costing a good deal less, did nothing to deter sales. The model was a big hit in the US, where a good percentage of the slightly fewer than 26,000 produced between 1955 and 1963 found homes.
Delivered new on the 26th March 1958 this wonderful 190SL was imported from Spain to a French collector in 2006. The paintwork as well as the brightwork was finished to the highest standard, and today this elegant 190SL is an excellent representation of the model.
A photographic documentation of the restoration work carried out comes with the car, as well as French Carte Grise documents. This delightful 190SL is certain to turn heads wherever it arrives and certainly warrants further inspection.
Livrée neuve le 26 Mars 1958 Cette magnifique 190SL a été importé d’Espagne par collectionneur français en 2006. La peinture ainsi que le chrome est terminée au plus haut niveau, et aujourd’hui cette élégante 190SL est une excellente représentation du modèle.
Une documentation photographique des travaux de restauration effectués est disponible avec la voiture, ainsi que des documents Carte Grise français. Cette charmante 190SL fera certainement tourner les têtes partout où elle sera, et mérite une attention particulière.