Lot 149

Amelia Island 2014

1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster


$143,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
  • Fresh nut-and-bolt restoration, completed less than one year ago
  • Features the rare, optional “kinder” third seat
  • Includes a set of fitted luggage and the factory tool kit

120 hp, 1,897 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, all-synchro four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones, low-pivot swing axle rear suspension, and servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

Addendum: Please note that this lot is not accompanied by fitted luggage contrary to what is stated in the catalog.

The 300 SL was never intended to be a sports car for the masses, nor sell in huge numbers, but it would no doubt attract customers into showrooms. Daimler-Benz began development of the 190 SL in 1952, just before the introduction of its pontoon sedans. Like the sedans, it was constructed with a welded frame-floor structure and a separate sub-frame. However, it rode a shorter wheelbase, which was, not coincidentally, exactly the same as the 300 SL.

As the company’s first volume sports car, the 190 SL shared the 120-horsepower, 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engine and running gear with the W120 model Type 180 Sedan, and it offered styling similar to the legendary 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster. The resemblance to the 300 SL was certainly intentional. At $3,840 new in 1955, it was half the price of its big brother. The 190 SL was produced from 1955 through 1963, with Mercedes-Benz building a total of 25,881 units. It was marketed as more of a comfortable cruiser, as opposed to the powerful 300 SL sports car. The factory claimed that the 190 SL had a top speed of 110 mph, with 0–60 times of 13.3 seconds, and offered up to 26 mpg, which was the perfect combination for effortless touring.

This stunning 190 SL Roadster, painted a classic combination of white over contrasting red leather, will turn heads wherever it appears. It has been subject to a complete nut-and-bolt restoration to original specifications, which was completed less than one year ago, and it has been thoroughly gone over mechanically as well, to assure its new owner reliable performance. Matching red leather fitted luggage, which was just recently finished, and the original factory tool kit are also included with the car. This 190 SL is equipped with a four-speed manual transmission and an AM-FM radio, and it also features the rare, optional “kinder” third seat, which was designed for occasional use.

Having never been shown since restoration, this jaunty 190 SL offers its new owner the opportunity to debut this stunning automobile at concours, shows, and collector car events, where it will no doubt receive high accolades. With the rapidly appreciating values of the 300 SL, the 190 SL has benefited accordingly, as it provides a more affordable alternative to its stablemate. Now is the perfect time to purchase this wonderful example.