- Single ownership for 40 years
- Factory-correct black over red leather
- Includes color-matched hardtop and copies of original factory order form
Much like its 300 SL bigger brother, the 190 SL was the brainchild of Mercedes-Benz American importer Max Hoffman. He believed that a smaller, less costly roadster bearing a family resemblance to the more exotic 300 SL would prove to be just as successful. Given the car’s popularity upon debuting at the 1954 New York Auto Show and subsequent success throughout its nine-year production run, Hoffman was right.
At its heart was a 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine with dual Solex carburetors. It was rated to produce 120 horsepower and good for a reported top speed of more than 105 mph. The 190 SL was an effortless cruiser with a trunk that could easily accommodate a weekend’s worth of luggage for two. Priced at $3,840 when new, it cost nearly half as much as a 300 SL Roadster.
Copies of original factory production records indicate the example offered here to be a special delivery to the United States in February of 1959. It left the factory finished in black with a red leather interior, red carpets, and a gray soft-top. The car was further specified from new with front and rear bumper guards, windshield washer, driver’s side rearview mirror, and whitewall tires. A color-matched removable hardtop accompanies the sale.
This 190 SL roadster in well-preserved driving condition is being offered for the first time following 40 years of single ownership and is believed to be largely original. The current owner acquired it in Lausanne, Switzerland from an estate.
Lovingly maintained and cherished over four decades of long-term ownership, the car is accompanied by copies of its original production sheet and data card and should make a wonderful touring companion for its next caretaker.