DATE OF MANUFACTURE: 1962 | COLOUR: ANTHRACITE GRAY METALLIC (DB172) | INTERIOR TRIM: TAN LEATHER | PRICE: £175,000
LUX CLASSICS ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER THIS FULLY RESTORED ANTHRACITE METALLIC LEFT HAND DRIVE 190SL, WITH LOVELY CONTRASTING TAN LEATHER INTERIOR AND DARK BROWN SOFT TOP.
MODEL HISTORY & PRODUCTION
In 1954, Mercedes displayed a concept version of the 190SL at the New York Auto show alongside the 300SL ‘Gullwing’. This concept came to market in 1955 as the 190SL.
A more approachable, less intense sports car compared to the record-breaking 300SL Gullwing. While the 190SL featured a carburetted 1.9 litre in-line four cylinder engine compared to the 300SL’s direct-injected 3 litre slant six, they shared basic engine design, suspension system, and level of detail and craftsmanship which defined Mercedes-Benz.
The new engine, which shared the same bore and stroke of the 300SL, was paired with dual Solex carburettors and produced just over 100 horsepower. This powerplant was mated with a fully synchronized 4-speed transmission which sent power to the rear swing axle. The 190SL implemented the same suspension systems as the 300SL, albeit with a more stable low pivot point assembly, affording it confident handling and drivability without the tail-happy nature of the 300SL Gullwing.
The 190SL is immediately recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz, featuring dramatic curves and restrained use of brightwork that defined this era. Many styling cues are borrowed from the 300SL, notably the massive three-pointed star in the grille, head lamps, bumpers, dash, early 1955 190SL bucket seats and ‘eyebrows’ over the wheels.
While the 190SL did not quite offer the performance of other sports cars of the era, the impeccable quality and attractive styling made the 190SL a massive success – selling 25,881 units before production ceased in 1963. Many of these models were delivered to the United States, where its driving demeanour and elegant styling were highly valued.
Nevertheless the factory did offer an option for the casual weekend racer: a Rennsport packaged 190SLR, which included options of an aero screen, cut down doors which one could convert and bumpers removed to reduce weight. A Rennsport derived 190SL participated in the Mille Miglia, hence its eligibility today. Other notable achievements include a 1956 Macao Grand Prix victory for Doug Steane, and Mr W. Sulke’s SLR won the 1958 Rally of Hong Kong.
The 190SL is an important part of the culture of small roadsters in the 1950s, as it demonstrated how luxurious the platform could be. Now much sort after and highly collectable due to its unmistakeable ‘Style and Beauty’.
THIS ACTUAL CAR
An original European delivery 190SL to European specification, later exported to Massachusetts, USA. The vehicle has a good history file with hand-written documentation showing evidence of two recorded owners in the USA, together with a maintenance record from 1976 showing servicing at 34,987 miles attended to by Smith Motor Sales of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Other documentation dating back to the 1970s includes the original owner’s handbook, bills of sale, various USA-related ephemera, evidence of an engine block change at some point, and full documentation of its export from Jags World LLC, Miami to the UK in 2015, where it is now registered. A comprehensive full restoration has since been carried out with every component seen or unseen restored, during which the 190SL underwent a colour change from its original & rare Fantasy Yellow (DB653) with Black hard top (DB040) and Black leather interior. All the restoration works are supported by a full photographic record available to view, and a comprehensive set of relating invoices to support the works.
It now presents very well with a lovely period aura in its Anthracite metallic paint and contrasting Tan leather with Brown soft top. With a stunning visual appearance, eye-catching road presence, and as one of the last models to be built with the smoother 928 engine, this will be a superb 190SL to enjoy and own.
This vehicle will represent a good acquisition opportunity for a collector, investor, European & UK rallies & touring or first-time classic car buyer, as being a most desirable model, reminiscent of the much valued 300SL Roadster and Gullwing coupe.
It’s available for viewing in the UK near Stansted Airport on an appointment basis.
WARRANTY & FINANCE AVAILABLE
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