Daimler-Benz decided, in the post war era, to re-enter the single passenger car market with the absolutely stunning 300. A car based on the hugely popular pre-war 170V that it had offered until 1951, the 300 used a 2996 cc overhead cam 6-cylinder engine, mounted to a 120" wheelbase and was available in a sedan or four-door variant. This car paved the way to the timeless 300 SL, the classic competition car which drew heavily from the 300.
The Mercedes line lacked a moderately priced sports car and filled the gap with the absolutely incredible 190 SL, which in essence served as a junior 300 SL. The platform utilised a shortened W121 monocoque which was strengthened to accommodate the lack of a roof. The engine was a 1897 cc SOHC unit that was created by taking the 300 SL engine, removing two cylinders and shortening the stroke. The engine used dual downdraft solex carbs, developed 120 bhp and was attached to a four-speed manual transmission with a floor mounted shift lever.
The suspension comprised of four-wheel independent coil-spring double wishbones in front and swing axles in the rear. The windows were manual roll-up windows, the roof was a folding soft top and cockpit heating came as standard on the car. The car was relatively expensive for its day, but it was somewhat in a class of its own as a true Grand Tourer, its only real competitor was the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.
The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was first displayed at the New York motor show in 1954 and can be largely credited to Max Hoffman who foresaw that the competition success of the 300 SL Gullwing could translate into a popular vehicle for the USA market. The 190 sat at half the price of its bigger 6-cylinder brother in the 300SL and subsequently outsold the more expensive model eight-fold.
190 SLs were produced between 1955-1963, with around 70% of these being delivered to the USA. It was the stunning design and complete usability of the car that suited the US market so well, especially in states such as California.
The LHD car we are pleased to offer for sale was purchased from ourselves in 2012 and has remained with its current owner for the last 10 years. It has been enjoyed thoroughly during this time and has been maintained regularly with our Classics department ensuring it is on the button and a joy to drive.
With its superb colour combination of Grey bodywork and Bordeaux leather upholstery, this beautiful, 190SL convertible would be a fine addition to any classic car collection. Contact us now for more information or to arrange a viewing.