1959 Mercedes-Benz SL 190
The Mercedes Benz 190SL runs on a factory 120 bhp (SAE), 1,897 cc SOHC inline four-cylinder engine with dual Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent coil spring suspension with front control arms and rear swing axles, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.Following the success of the 300 SL Coupe and Roadster, Mercedes-Benz’s United States importer, Max Hoffman, suggested that a similarly styled, less costly alternative might be successful. The resulting car was the 190 SL, and it featured styling that was derived from the Gullwing, which many an enthusiast adored but only few could afford. The car proved to be popular with the public at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and it remained in strong demand throughout its nine-year production run.While the performance-driven and expensive 300 SL came out of Mercedes-Benz’s racing department, the 190 SL (internally coded W121) was an open-air boulevard cruiser that had been developed by the passenger car team. It was based on the popular “pontoon”-style sedans, coupes, and cabriolets that were introduced in 1953. The 190 SL made an immediate impression and presented sleeker bodylines that were purposely reminiscent of its senior sibling. It was available as a convertible with a folding soft top or a removable hardtop. The latter being an exceptionally rare find today and this car has it!!Mercedes-Benz successfully marketed the 190 SL as a grand touring sports car from 1955 to 1963, alongside the 300 SL, and it was the only open SL choice until the Gullwing was replaced by the 300 SL Roadster in 1957. It was solidly built in the Mercedes-Benz tradition, with a flawless finish and exquisite detail, and it found favor among the international elite. Such celebrities as the Aga Khan, Grace Kelly, and Zsa Zsa Gabor owned 190 SLs. In 1955, Road & Track wrote, “The outstanding achievement of the 190 SL is . . . its quality in design and workmanship. But a close second is the general feeling of solidity, which it immediately conveys ... We say it’s well worth the money.”The car offered here is beautifully finished in white and is wholly in very fine original condition. Equipped with the very desirable removable hardtop, it retains its original chassis number tag under the bonnet. The beautiful chrome wheels, with their distinctive body-color centers are an elegant match to the creamy finishes of the body. Chrome throughout is very good, and the interior shows surprisingly light wear and is still tight and very attractive. The car is very well maintained and has remained in the same long-term ownership for many years.The car is accompanied by an exceptional, highly detailed and documented service history. This 190 SL is in excellent condition and would surely attract lots of attention at any Mercedes-Benz club event in the future. A fresh test report for smooth registration on Austrian roads has just been made.