1957 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
$110,000 - $125,000
RM | Auctions - AUBURN SPRING 29 MAY - 1 JUNE 2019 - The European Luxury Collection
- Offered from The European Luxury Collection
- 120 hp, 1.9-liter inline four with twin Mikuni carburetors
- Four-speed manual transmission
- Beautifully restored example
- Finished in desirable color combination
The 190 SL, Daimler-Benz’s first volume sports car, known internally as the W121, used a shortened version of the W120 platform and topped it with the unique roadster body. It shared the 180’s 120-bhp, 1.9-liter, inline four-cylinder engine and all-independent coil-spring suspension, including the swing axles, which provided considerable flexibility during aggressive cornering. The 190 SL was produced from 1955 to 1963, and Mercedes-Benz built a total of 25,881 units over the production run. The car was marketed as more of a comfortable cruiser than the powerful 300 SL sports car, and its performance was quite capable for the era, with a top speed of 110 mph and 0–60 mph times of 13.3 seconds, all the while affording upwards of 26 miles to each gallon.
Styling was intentionally similar to its bigger 300 SL sibling, with the most notable features being the rounded overall lines, low nose, and wide grille with the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, causing no one to mistake this for any other vehicle. Luggage space was provided by a comparatively large trunk and a roomy interior, which befits the sports tourer yet preserves its practical status in the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy. At $3,840 when new, it was half the price of its bigger brother, which had introduced a roadster model of its own in 1957.
This example, finished in red over tan, makes for what is arguably one of the most desirable combinations offered on the spry 190 SL. Outside, the car is equipped with thin whitewall tires that perfectly accent the color combination which is also carried to the red factory wheel covers. The car is powered by a 120 hp, 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine featuring twin Mikuni carburetors. Inside, the driver is greeted by crisp, clear VDO instrumentation and Mercedes-Benz’s characteristic ivory steering wheel and shifter, which is mated to the four-speed manual transmission. The beautifully trimmed leather interior is equipped with the appropriate Becker Europa High Fidelity radio and a sought after VDO glovebox clock.
The 190 SL is a car that still commands the presence and attention it did when new. This beautifully restored example provides its new owner with a superb opportunity to participate in Mercedes-Benz club events, concours, and rallies.