1960 Mercedes-Benz SL 190
Year of manufacture1960
1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster with Hardtop
Chassis no. 121.040.10.019522
Engine no. 121.921.10.022174
"It proved to be fast and tireless, exhilarating to drive and was probably created with long distance, comfortable travel in mind..." - Autocar on the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, 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. 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 190 SL 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 model was a big hit in the USA where many of the slightly fewer than 26,000 produced between 1955 and 1963 found homes.
This particular 190 SL was manufactured on 1st July 1960 at Mercedes-Benz's Sindelfingen plant and has the standard four-speed manual gearbox. Unfortunately, nothing is known of its history prior to 8th October 2002 when the car was bought by Sigma System GmbH of Düsseldorf and registered as a company car. In 2005, the Mercedes was purchased one by H Werner, and a service and conversion to front disc brakes carried out.
In 2010, the 190 SL was sold by Klassik Garage Kronberg to one M Becker and serviced by them on 16th April 2013. Some five years later, in 2015, Klassik Garage Kronberg again sold the car, on this occasion to one to H Frey. On 20th May 2016 Klassik Garage Kronberg serviced the Mercedes, including a cylinder head overhaul, before buying it back again on 14th September 2017.
Known to Klassik Garage Kronberg since 2010, this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL has been maintained with considerable emphasis placed on mechanical and cosmetic perfection by the last two owners. Finished in the attractive colour combination of silver metallic with blue leather interior, the latter featuring a Becker radio, this consummate Mercedes-Benz boulevard cruiser is certain to delight the fortunate next owner.