For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its expensive race-bred sportscar, the 300SL, Mercedes-Benz offered the less-exotic 190SL. Based on the 180 saloon, the 190 made use of the latter’s running gear; this comprised independent front suspension by means of wishbones and coil springs, single-pivot swing axe at the rear, plus drum brakes all round. Announced in early 1954, the 190SL did not enter production until January 1955.
Mounted on a detachable subframe along with the four-speed manual gearbox, front suspension, and steering, the 190 power unit was a 1,897 cc overhead-camshaft four, the first such engine ever to be featured in a Mercedes-Benz. Breathing through twin Solex downdraft carburetors, the M 121 unit produced 105 bhp at 5,700 rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 100 kmh in 13 seconds and on to a top speed of 172 kmh.
Enjoyed by its second and current owner for the past ten years, and having covered around 80,000 kms, the car pictured here benefits from extensive refurbishment carried out during 1995/96. Both the engine and gearbox were overhauled, and a new hood fitted, and the car comes with bills totaling $15,500. A new hardtop is available at the sale by separate negotiation. This 190SL is finished in Ivory with blue leather/cloth interior, and has all necessary registration documents for it to be driven immediately.