1957 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL RoadsterSOLD

Grandes Marques Auction, MECC, Maastricht NL, Saturday 13th January 2007

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Estimate: €32,000-37,000

Sold: €28,000

During the Fifties, when Mercedes-Benz were the dominant force in top-level motor sport, the undisputed flagship of the firm's production car range was the stunning 300SL sports car. Highly desirable as it was, it was also financially out of the reach of most enthusiasts. Keen to capitalise on the 300SL's numerous competition successes, and find a foothold in the increasingly lucrative sports car market, Mercedes-Benz introduced its smaller stable mate, the equally beautifully engineered 190SL, instigated by legendary North American Mercedes importer, Max Hoffman.

Launched at the 1955 Frankfurt Show, the attractive 190SL roadster looked very similar to the 300SL, but thanks to more modest underpinnings it cost a great deal less. Based on the 180 saloon of 1953 - Mercedes-Benz's first car to use a unitary construction body/chassis - the 190SL sported all round coil spring suspension and power assisted drum brakes. Power came from a 1,897cc version of the 180 saloon's four cylinder engine which, via twin Solex carburettors, produced 120bhp at 5,700rpm and 101lb/ft at 3,800rpm. Allied to a four-speed manual gearbox, this endowed the sleek, aerodynamic and comparatively light 190SL with a 115mph top speed and 0-60mph acceleration in a respectable 13.0 seconds.

This car is very rare in that it never left European soil and remained in Belgium ownership all its life. The last 20 years it was owned consecutively by two owners of Mercedes-Benz dealerships who occasionally used this pretty convertible for some touring and display purposes. As one can expect from such a reputable source, the car was always properly looked after. It was professionally restored some 15 years ago and is still presented in very good condition. Furthermore it benefits from a rare factory hardtop and the original Becker Radio. Offered with Belgian registration papers.

Reference Number 5493

as of 12/22/2006

Car 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster
VIN 1210427501694