• Year of manufacture 
  • Chassis number 
    121 042 10 022167
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Drivetrain 
  • Fuel type 


1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible
Registration no. 388 UYE
Chassis no. 121 042 10 022167

"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 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. 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.
The left-hand drive 190 SL offered here was delivered new to Germany. Benefiting from being upgraded with Weber carburettors, an electric fuel pump, ceramic-coated manifolds, and a stainless steel exhaust system the car drives very well indeed. Accompanying documentation consists of a dating certificate and a V5C registration document. Finished in white with red leather interior, this delightful 190 SL represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a restored example of this classic Mercedes-Benz soft-top.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
Contact Person Kontaktperson
First name 
Bonhams Collectors’ Car department