Lot 177

Arizona 2023

1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL


$106,400 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Beautifully presented example previously restored to a high standard
  • Produced in February 1959 and originally finished in Black over Red leather; dispatched to New York
  • Powered by a 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a four-speed manual transmission
  • Factory equipped with cloth soft-top, sealed beam headlights, windshield washer, bumper guards, outside, rearview mirror, and whitewall tires
  • Accompanied by copies of original build and data card

Introduced in 1955, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was squarely aimed at those taken with the styling of the mighty 300 SL but who had no need for the flagship supercar’s 160-mph performance. Although marketed as a more affordable alternative, the 190 SL was not short on style or substance. The striking sports car drew inspiration from the design language of its big brother, as well as its cutting-edge engineering, sharing a similar independent suspension setup.

To keep costs down, engineers did away with the tubular spaceframe of the W198 platform that underpinned the 300 SL, instead adapting the older W121 chassis for volume production. Meanwhile, power for the 190 SL came from a 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine derived from the 300 SL’s 3.0-liter straight-six.

From the outset, Mercedes-Benz positioned the 190 SL as a capable tourer to rival the likes of Porsche’s 356. It could comfortably accommodate two occupants with luggage for a weekend getaway, despite the upper part of the car being designed around its folding roof mechanism. Unsurprisingly, the 190 SL was an immediate success.

This beautifully restored example was completed at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Stuttgart in February 1959 and was dispatched to New York. Originally finished in black over a red leather interior, it came from the factory equipped with a cloth soft-top, sealed beam headlights, windshield washer, front and rear bumper guards, left, outside, rearview mirror, and whitewall tires.

Now finished in dazzling red over a finely crafted tan leather interior with matching carpeting and a tan soft-top, this exemplary 190 SL was comprehensively refurbished to a high standard under previous ownership. The well-executed interior features a Becker Europa, pushbutton radio, classic VDO gauges, and an elegant, ivory-colored steering wheel and gearshift knob. A testament to the time, effort, and craftsmanship invested in this beautiful roadster, even the engine bay and undercarriage are beautifully detailed.

The car rides on wide whitewall tires mounted to color-matched steel wheels with polished trim rings and color-matched hub caps. Copies of the original build sheet and data card are included, along with California black plates, a parts catalog with plastic sleeve, and a tool kit. Benefitting from extensive, high-quality refurbishment, this stunningly pristine 190 SL presents superbly, ready to be shown or enjoyed on the road.