Lot Number
201

1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Sold For $137,200

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 2018


Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
121.040.6502563
121.921.6502615
A121.040.6500667
  • Concours restoration performed in the Netherlands
  • Matching-numbers chassis, engine, and body
  • Includes factory hardtop, manuals, and tools

Following the success of the 300 SL coupe and roadster, Mercedes-Benz's U.S. importer, Max Hoffman, suggested that a similarly styled, less costly alternative might be successful. The resulting car was the 190 SL, and it featured styling that was derived from its elder sibling, which many an enthusiast adored but only few could afford. The car proved to be popular with the public at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and it remained in strong demand throughout its nine-year production run.

The 190 SL was powered by a 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder with twin Solex carburetors, and it boasted 120 hp, to reach a top speed of over 105 mph. Unlike the 300 SL, which was born and bred on the race track, the 190 SL was best suited for touring, as it featured copious amounts of luggage space, despite having a convertible top. Top-down cruising was effortless, and both the driver and passenger could arrive at their final destination ready for whatever was in store for them after a day-long drive.

Prior to the previous owner's acquisition of this stunning 190 SL, it had been owned for most of its life by one family in California. Subsequently, it was shipped to the Netherlands, where it received a comprehensive concours restoration to exacting specifications. It was later acquired by the current owner several years ago. This delightful roadster is presented in excellent condition throughout and includes a matching hardtop as well as its manuals and tools. It currently shows less than 65,000 original miles on its odometer, of which approximately 100 have been accrued since restoration. The restoration itself was fully documented, and included with the purchase of the car is a disc with numerous photos of the work performed. Acquired by the consignor several years ago, this 190 SL has been maintained on his behalf by Vintage Autoworks in Tucker, Georgia.

The fact that the 190 SL was both stunning to behold and a good deal more practical for real-world use helped to seal the deal for well-healed buyers. More than 26,000 examples found owners during the 190 SL's production run from 1955 to 1963, and they are very well regarded to this day. This particular 190 SL is in outstanding condition, as it has traveled limited miles since the completion of its full European restoration, and it would surely attract lots of attention at any Mercedes-Benz club event.



Suggested lots

27 October 2018

The Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

RM | SOTHEBY'S

8 December 2018

The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction

Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California

RM | SOTHEBY'S