The Mercedes 190SL was built at the suggestion of Max Hoffman, Mercedes largest US importer. The S represented 'Sports' while the L meant Light, or 'Sehr Leicht'. With a curb weight of 2560 pounds, it was hardly 'light' when compared with other vehicles in it class, some 500 through 1000 pounds less. It was however an excellent alternative to the higher-priced Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The gullwing-door 300SL was available only as a coupe while the 190 SL could be purchased as a Roadster with a soft top convertible or with a removable hardtop roof.
In 1954, Mercedes introduced its two-door 190SL at the New York Auto Show. Fifteen months later the production version was displayed at the 1955 Geneva Auto Show. The 300SL was initially priced at $7,460 while the 190SL was $3998. As a result the 190SL outsold the 300SL by nearly eight to one. In its best year 4,032 190SL's were produced. In its worst year only 104 examples were produced.
Under the hood was an 1897 cc four-cylinder OHC engine that was capable of producing around 105 horsepower. It took 14.5 seconds to go from zero to sixty and had a top speed of nearly 110 mph. Drum brakes were placed on all four corners of the 14 foot, one inch vehicle. Servo brakes were optional until 1956 at which point they became standard.
The engine capacity was taken into account when naming the vehicle. By moving the decimal place once to the left, it created 189.7. The number was then rounded up to 190. So the 190 represents the approximate engine capacity in liters, meaning about 1.9 liters.
The 190SL production run lasted from 1955 through 1963. Most of the body-styles were open roadsters with a few coupes thrown in for good measure. In comparison to many other nameplates, this is a very low number, guarantying its exclusivity and rarity in today's standards.
This 1961 190SL roadster has been the recipient of a recent, show quality restoration. It has been finished in the desirable colors of traditional Mercedes white with a complimenting red interior and a black convertible top. Today, the restoration remains in excellent overall condition throughout. The paint shows hardly any evidence of wear and presents extremely well. The chrome and stainless trim items appear as new. The doors, hood and trunk fit the body with even gaps and margins throughout, and the body lines are crisp and clean. The trunk compartment is well detailed and clean. The glass is excellent and the new rubber gaskets and seals remain excellent and supple. The red leather interior shows hardly any wear and the seats, door panels, carpets and dashboard also appear as new. The engine compartment and chassis are well detailed showing only minimal signs of use. Overall, this is an accurately restored and well presented example that will not only be a welcomed on the show field but will make a great road car as well.
Additional details for kate:
It is a California car as evidenced by its most recent 2007 California registration card. It was purchased by a Forida collector who had the car completely restored bewtween 2009 and 2010. The car has had a full engine rebuild, new interior, new paint , new top and new chrome. It is a well sorted, superbly restored automobile that is ready to be driven and shown on the concours field .
This is a fabulous restored Mercedes.
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