The 190 SL offered here is an extraordinary example from the first year of the model’s production. Delivered new to Los Angeles, this Mercedes-Benz was purchased by Gary Kavanagh of California, who kept it for 20 years, including time spent in New Mexico. In 1975, it passed to David Clites of Oregon, who held it for 39 years through moves to Idaho and Virginia. After a stop with a caretaker in Northern Virginia, the consignor acquired the roadster in 2014, and subsequently commissioned an extensive restoration with marque expert restoration shop Les Ateliers Paul Bracq of Bordeaux, France. Shop patriarch Paul Bracq is the world-famous designer who penned the 230 SL “Pagoda,” the successor to the 190 SL.
At Bracq’s shop, chassis 5500064 was treated to a full rotisserie restoration in its original Silver (DB 180) with olive green upholstery, making for a striking and elegant presentation. As an early production example, unique details such as small taillights, a plain glove-box door with no lock, and bucket seats were all present and carefully refurbished. The matching-numbers engine and running gear were rebuilt with special attention paid to retaining original parts wherever possible. The comprehensive restoration took two years, documented by photos and more than $140,000 in receipts.
Restored to a concours level and a magnificent example of the breed, this 190 SL is now ready to bring its innumerable charms to a new owner.