The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction | Lot 237
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
$200,000 - $240,000 USD | Not Sold
| Los Angeles, California
8 December 2018
- Presented in stunning Tunis Beige over black leather
- Restored in Germany by marque experts SL-Classics
- Retains its original engine
- Includes both hard and soft tops, as well as matching fitted luggage
After witnessing the success of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL coupe and roadster, foreign car importer and dealer Max Hoffman, the man who gave birth to the model, believed that a somewhat smaller and less expensive car, but that bore similar styling to the 300 SL, could also be commercially successful. Top brass at Mercedes-Benz did not take much convincing of this, and the resulting model was dubbed the 190 SL. Introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show, it proved to be a popular and profitable model for the marque and remained in production for nine years.
At its heart was a 1.9-liter, inline four-cylinder engine topped with twin Solex carburetors, making the engine capable of producing 120 hp and providing a top speed of over 105 mph. Intended for grand touring, the 190 SL featured copious amounts of luggage space and offered customers the choice of having either a hardtop, convertible soft top, or both, making it ideal for year-round use.
This example was subject to a concours-quality restoration by the noted SL specialists at SL-Classics in Düren, Germany. No expense was spared to return the car to virtually as-new condition. Particular emphasis was placed upon maintaining as many of the car’s original components as possible. Tunis Beige (DB 46), a seldom seen and very tasteful yet understated color, was chosen for the car’s paintwork, while the interior was trimmed in black leather. Importantly, this 190 SL features both a black canvas soft top and removable factory hardtop in black, as well as an additional set of black hub caps. Furthermore, a complete tool kit, owner’s manual, and fitted luggage trimmed in matching black leather accompany the car.
Treasured by many for their good looks, usability, and reliability, the 190 SL has been a well sought-after collector car for years and provides looks similar to its big brother without the similar purchase price. This example is presented today in stunning condition following thorough restoration by marque experts and would be a joy to drive and enjoy.