1959 Mercedes-Benz SL 190
Year of manufacture1959
1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster
Registration no. 959 UYO
Chassis no. 9500100
"It proved to be fast and tireless, exhilarating to drive and was probably created with long distance, comfortable travel in mind..." - The Autocar on the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, 10th January 1956.
For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its hyper-expensive race-bred sports car - the 300 SL - Mercedes-Benz offered the less exotic but no less refined 190 SL, which was cleverly styled along the lines of its more costly sibling. Announced in 1954 and based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190 SL 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 sports cars 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 sub-frame 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 DIN (120bhp SAE) at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 100km/h (62mph) in 14.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 171km/h (106mph). With its four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes, and fully independent suspension, the 190 SL was both more refined and more comfortable than any contemporary British sports car. The fact that the 190 SL's ride was more boulevard than sporting 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.
Offered here is a very attractively finished left-hand drive example, whose body, ivory paintwork and exterior trim is described by the vendor as in very good condition, while the red leather interior is rated as very good throughout. The engine is said to start and run very well, and the running gear likewise is reported to be very good.