For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its hyper-expensive race-bred sports car - the 300SL - Mercedes-Benz offered the less exotic but no less refined 190SL. Announced in 1954 and based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190SL did not enter production until January 1955, the delay being caused by alterations aimed at strengthening the saloon's shortened platform to compensate for the open body's reduced stiffness. 'Very few new sportscars have been so eagerly awaited or so long in coming as the moderately priced SL version of the Mercedes-Benz,' observed Road & Track magazine. Mounted on a detachable subframe along with the four-speed manual gearbox, front suspension and steering, the power unit was a 1,897cc overhead-camshaft four - the first such engine ever to feature in a Mercedes-Benz. Breathing through twin Solex downdraft carburettors, the M121 unit produced 105bhp at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 60mph in 13 seconds and on to a top speed of 107 miles per hour. The fact that the 190's ride was more boulevard than sporting and that many contemporary sports cars could out-perform it while costing a good deal less, did nothing to deter sales. The model was a big hit in the USA, where many of the slightly fewer than 26,000 produced between 1955 and 1963 found homes.
Little is known about the history of this right-hand drive 190SL, which was purchased as a donor car in the early 1990s. Some parts have been sold off over the years - hood frame, front seats, and some engine parts, etc. Dashboard instrumentation is present, with the exception of the clock. The vendor has owned the Mercedes for around 25 years but only registered it in 2017. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, the car comes with a (copy) data card and a V5C Registration Certificate.