During the 50’s, 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 stablemate, 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 190SL was powered by a new, slightly over square 1.9 litre straight-four SOHC engine that developed 120bhp 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 sleek aerodynamic and comparatively light 190SL that boasted a top speed of 115mph and a respectable 0-60 time of 13.0 seconds.
Delivered new to Italy, this lovely original example has enjoyed a sympathetic restoration and recent mechanical overhaul. This charming 190 has resided in warm climates for much of its life, and therefore is extremely well preserved with none of the rust issues that can blight those residing in less kinder environments. Finished in the stylish combination of white with a wine red leather interior, and still retaining many original features such as its period FM Blaupunkt Radio, this is a very sensibly priced example of an all time classic.