Arizona | Lot 177
1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
$175,000 - $225,000 USD | Offered Without Reserve
€155,000 - €200,000 EUR
£130,000 - £165,000 GBP
| Phoenix, Arizona
27 January 2022
- 12% of the hammer price up to and including $250,000
- 10% of the hammer price in excess of $250,000
- Perhaps the most outstanding example publicly available
- Retained by same owner from 1962 to 2011; acquired by the consignor in 2013
- Finished in Anthracite Grey Metallic (DB 172) over Cognac leather; matching hardtop and brown soft top
- Retains its numbers-matching 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine
- Restored in Germany between 2013 and 2016 to a cost over $225,000
- Accompanied by its matching luggage and hardtop
Following the success of the 300 SL Coupe and Roadster, Mercedes-Benz's United States importer, Max Hoffman, suggested that a similarly styled, less costly alternative might be successful. The resulting 190 SL proved 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 well-suited for touring, as it featured copious amounts of luggage space, despite having a convertible top. The model has continued to impress discerning collectors, and masterfully restored examples such as the one offered here are fleeting in their public availability.
This stunning 190 SL was delivered new to the United States on 13 April 1962. An accompanying copy of its factory data card shows that it was originally clad in Fire Engine Red over black leather with a contrasting black hardtop, black fabric soft top, and whitewall tires. Retained by the same Maryland owner between 1962 and October 2011, this 190 SL was thusly acquired by the consignor—an Arizona resident—with the intention to have the car restored back to “factory condition.”
Shortly thereafter it was submitted to the preeminent specialists at SL-Classics in Düren, Germany for a complete and meticulous restoration which took nearly three years. The car was then flown back to the United States, where it has been stored and fastidiously maintained since. The consignor reports that over $225,000 was spent on this outstanding, three-year restoration effort which saw this 190 SL transformed into the marvel presented today.
The car’s period-correct Anthracite Grey Metallic (DB 172) paint and Cognac leather upholstery are exquisite, and the same can be said of its matching hardtop and dark brown cloth convertible top. The interior is an equally resplendent affair featuring jewellike brightwork, German square weave carpeting, a Becker Europa radio, heater box, and full complement of factory-correct VDO instrumentation.
Of course, the mechanicals, underpinnings, and numbers-matching 1.9-liter engine were all entirely torn down, rebuilt, and replenished with OEM parts throughout by SL-Classics. As evinced by the meticulous presentation of this 190 SL, no system or assembly on the car escaped masterful redressing during the extravagant restoration.
Since emerging from its restoration in early 2016, this stunning 190 SL has been rarely driven by the consignor, excepting a few short drives to local concours and enthusiast events. Surely among the finest extant specimens of Mercedes-Benz’s tremendously successful 190 SL model, this completely restored “factory condition” example is now accompanied by matching luggage and hardtop, tool roll, jack, spare wheel, manuals, and copy of its original data card.