DATE OF MANUFACTURE: 1960 | COLOUR: WHITE (DB050) | INTERIOR TRIM: ORANGE LEATHER | PRICE: £125,000
LUX CLASSICS ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER THIS WELL-PRESERVED (NEVER RESTORED) RIGHT HAND DRIVE MERCEDES-BENZ 190SL, RECENTLY OUT OF LONG-TERM FAMILY OWNERSHIP
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 190SL was delivered new to the Greater Manchester area in June 1960 & supplied by Mercedes Benz Agent Brentford, Great West Road. Its original colours were the DB050 White with a Black soft top as we see today, but with a 1074 Mid Red MB Tex interior.
Its ownership remained within the same family for a number of years. After initial purchase by a business in Rochdale, ownership passed to the company owner in 1967 who drove it for her own personal use until replaced by a new Mercedes 230SL W113 Pagoda. In June 1969 she had the interior retrimmed to the existing Connolly Orange hide, before handing it onto her son in 1971, under whose ownership we believe it stayed until 2016.
Although there is evidence of a repaint at some stage in its original factory colour, with the replacement of a few body panels, this is a rarely seen, largely original 190SL. Certainly, the engine bay in particular is very well preserved, retaining a number of factory-unique clips, screws and bolts identified as being totally original, and evidence that the engine has never been removed from the vehicle.
The interior presents very well with a lovely patina to the leather and a charming period aura to the cabin environment. Even parts of the original carpet (no longer available) are to be found behind the seats.
Accompanying the vehicle is an equally engaging history file containing the original Mercedes-Benz data card, registration log book, service book, illustrated user manual, a selection of invoices dating back to 1969, and its most recent MOT from April 2021 confirming the current odometer reading of 38,061 miles.
This Mercedes-Benz 190SL is very unusual, as there are very few unrestored survivors in the market. With its sweet running engine, it will make a great car to drive as is, or as Lux Classics have previously restored numerous 190SLs to concours standard, we would be delighted to assist with its full restoration. A very rare opportunity not to be missed.
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
Stock Number: U194+44 (0) 1245 363700
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