The Mercedes Benz 190SL is a two-door grand touring convertible with removable hardtop. The SL debuted at the New York Auto Show in 1954 before going into full production in early 1955. The Mercedes 190SL took many of its design cues from its big brother the more expensive race-bred 300SL, the road going version of the Mille Miglia winning SLR. The two cars however, were quite different. Whilst the 300SL had a purpose-built tubular spaceframe (W198), its smaller sibling was built on a shortened version of the 'Ponton' saloon (W121) platform, which was of monocoque construction. The 190SL also boasted an all-new engine - an over-square SOHC straight-four unit of 1897cc that produced 105bhp, which was sufficient to propel the car to a maximum speed of 112mph. The engine was coupled to a manual four-speed gearbox. The suspension comprised double wishbones and coil springs at the front and a coil-sprung swing axle at the rear. Steering was provided by means of a recirculating ball system and braking by power-assisted drums all round. Built to the highest standard, the 190SL featured a well-appointed cockpit offering comfort for its occupants and relatively generous luggage space. Options included a third seat placed transversely behind the front ones which was big enough to carry an adult. The 190SL continued in production until 1963, when both it and the 300SL were replaced by the 230SL (W113).
The Mercedes Benz 190SL offered here at Autostorico is chassis no. 121.040.6500981, and was first registered on New Year’s Day 1956. Finished in Ivory with Red leather interior and a Black hood this stunning example was purchased from its long-term owner in 2016. Subject to careful restoration, documented from 1990, this 190SL is in immaculate condition throughout and drives as well as it looks. The 190SL is the perfect blend of style and build quality, and enhanced Mercedes reputation for elegance and a decent turn of speed.
As an early 190SL from the 1955 model year this stunning car is a possible entrant to the Mille Miglia.
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