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  • Mileage 
    8 900 mi / 14 324 km
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  • Engine number 
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  • Condition 
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  • Number of seats 
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- Delivered new to Switzerland

- c.8,900 miles since restoration in mid 1990s

- Beautiful 190SL from a private collection

First seen in prototype form at the 1954 New York Auto Show, the 190 SL finally entered full production in May 1955 - the year Mercedes swept all before it on the Mille Miglia with the 300 SLR. Indeed, the graceful, new two-door, convertible grand tourer penned by Karl Wilfert and Walter Hõcker was sold alongside the road-going version of the SLR - the 300 SL - whose styling it strongly resembled. In fact, the underpinnings of the two cars were quite different and, while the 300 SL had a purpose-built tubular spaceframe (W198), its smaller sibling was built on a shortened version of the 'Ponton' Saloon (W121) platform, which was of radically different monocoque construction.

The 190 SL also boasted an all-new engine - based on the six-cylinder unit of the 300 SL, it was an over-square SOHC straight-four unit of 1,897cc that breathed through a pair of twin-choke Solex downdraft carburettors to produce some 104bhp, which was sufficient might to accelerate the Benz to 100kph in 14.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 112mph. The unit was coupled to a manual four-speed gearbox operated by a lever sited between the seats. The suspension comprised double wishbones and coil springs at the front and coil sprung swing axles at the rear. Steering was by recirculating ball and braking by power-assisted drums at all four corners.

Built to the highest standards and among the nimblest cars of its type at the time, the 190 SL featured a well-appointed cockpit, notable comfort for its occupants and relatively generous luggage space. Under the circumstances, even the steep asking price of £2,693 did nothing to deter purchasers. The convertible could be ordered with or without removable hard top (the rear window of which was enlarged from 1959 onwards) and there was also the option of a third seat placed transversely behind the front ones and big enough to carry an adult. Last but not least, in the early years the model could be ordered in sports racing guise, complete with small Perspex windscreen, lightweight alloy doors and spartan leather-covered bucket seats. The 190 SL continued in production until 1963, when both it and the 300 SL were replaced by the W113 Series 230 SL. By this time some 25,881 190 SLs had been built, the majority of which found homes in the USA, where its combination of sporty styling and boulevard ride proved especially popular.

The simply stunning left-hand drive example being sold has White bodywork that's matched to a Red hide interior. Having vacated the Stuttgart production line it was apparently delivered new to Mercedes-Benz Switzerland in 1960. At some point it then found its way across the Atlantic to the USA before being repurchased by the original owner in 1994 and imported to the UK. It was at this stage it was treated to a lengthy £24,000 restoration featuring only original 190 SL components. The Benz was then purchased by the vendor to form part of his private collection, and it was the decision to now reduce the size of that collection that has brought the car to market at this time. The vendor's view of its current condition is 'superb', and he grades the bodywork, paintwork, interior trim, four-cylinder engine and all synchromesh transmission as all being in 'excellent' condition. '879 UYO' has amassed just 8,900 miles since the completion of the restoration and has recently benefited from a thorough check over and service. It comes complete with a collection of general invoices, full documentation and photos of the restoration, plus a current MOT valid to October 10th this year.

H&H Classics
The Motor House
Lyncastle Road
United Kingdom

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