1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL RoadsterSOLD
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Engine Type: 4 Cylinder
Color:Silver / Blue Leather

Reference Number 14348

as of 10/16/2007

Overview
Car 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster
VIN 10021864 
Exterior / Interior Color      Silver /      Blue 
Mileage 5,309 miles 
Options Exterior: Metallic paint
Interior: Leather interior 
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Known History

 

1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

s/n 10021864

Silver with Blue Interior

 

Introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show in prototype form (alongside the 300SL Gullwing), the 190SL was a glamorous yet affordable way to enjoy Mercedes quality and robustness in an open air form. Like many other contemporary European sports cars (most notably the Porsche Speedster), the arrival of the 190SL in the United States owed much to Max Hoffman, the contemporary US distributor for many European car companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, MG, and Triumph. Priced at around $4000, the 190SL was slightly more than half the price of the 300SL, and consequently, nearly 26,000 examples were built between 1955 and 1963, compared to about 1800 300SL Roadsters. Therefore, today, the 190SL remains a considerably more affordable and easier to live with (but in many ways, equally striking and pretty) car than the 300SL thanks to superior parts availability and more simple mechanicals.

 

This particular car is an extremely nice example that was fully restored in 1998-1999. It remains an attractive, rust-free, and mechanically sorted example. The $28,000 restoration included a bare-metal repaint in DB 180 silver, new interior in 979 blue leather, as well as engine and transmission rebuilds. The carburetors were switched to the more desirable twin Webers. A period correct radio has been sourced and installed. Since the restoration, other mechanical aspects of the car have been refurbished, including much of the suspension and brake system. Specific work has included a valve job, replacement of the fuel supply lines from tank to engine, rebuilding the brake booster, new distributor and water pump, new brakes (including boosters), restoration of the spare wheel (and replacement of its tire), restoration of the fuel tank, steering box, suspension work (including new Bilstein shock absorbers), a new exhaust system, and a new windshield.

 

Consequently, the car is excellent order. It presents beautifully in its lovely color combination, and the work was done to high standards. The panel gaps and fit are extremely good throughout, and the paint remains free from significant blemishes. The quality of the paint is very good, with no significant issues with preparation or application. The chrome is very good throughout, with some light pitting and a few surface blemishes. The glass is excellent throughout as well, and a new top of the correct canvas has been installed at the time of the restoration.

 

The interior is very nice as well. The seats are holding up well, with only a few marks on the back of the driver’s seat from the top. The door panels are excellent, as is all chrome trim. The dash top and the gauges are excellent, having both been restored. The rubber floor mats are of the correct original type and are excellent, and the carpets are dark grey square weave German material that is also correct. The door jambs are nicely detailed.

 

The engine compartment and trunk were both redone in the correct black finish. The trunk floor is free of rust and the spare has been restored. With the car comes the factory took set, and the jack is also present. The engine compartment is clean and nicely detailed with evidence of much recent work performed. The underside is very solid and dry, while also showing evidence of careful maintenance.

 

This is an extremely appealing example of one of these robust and usable cars. It is attractive and striking, but is not too nice to be used with a clear conscience, making it an ideal car for touring, or simply for weekend jaunts. The thoughtful upgrades further increase the car’s usability, without detracting from its period feel, and it has been properly restored and maintained, which should ensure reliable operation for its new owner. Its classic color combination and numerous extras (including original sales material, reproduction owner’s manuals, and Mercedes-Benz workshop manual valued at $600, original jack, tools, and spare keys) further set this car apart from the masses of lesser cars, in addition to adding value. For the enthusiast who wants to use the car and has been disappointed by $35,000 to $45,000 cars, this car will fit the bill perfectly.