- Recent restoration work by marque specialists Rudi & Company
- Original color scheme with rare two-tone interior; original engine
- Factory removable hardtop
The 190 SL was first displayed as a show car in New York in 1954. A production version followed, at Geneva in 1955. At the time, it retailed for $3,998 with a soft top or $4,295 with the optional removable hardtop. Ultimately, 25,881 Mercedes-Benz 190 SLs were produced. That works out to 270 cars every month, with 70 percent being delivered to the U.S., which was close to the goal that New York importer Max Hoffman had promised Daimler-Benz executives.
This beautiful 190SL left the factory on 5 June 1958. It was destined for Max Hoffman’s distribution center in New York and was sold new at a Mercedes-Benz dealer in California. Interestingly, the car was optioned with the very rare two-tone interior, with the upper dashboard in black and the rest of the interior in red leather – a striking combination, and quite thoughtful, as it actually reduces the glare from the sun off the dashboard!
The first recorded owner was Saverio Joseph Cina of Reseda, California, who owned the 190 SL until 1965 when he sold it to Clare J. Simpson. Two years later Simpson sold the car to Eric. J. Metcalfe, with just 13,191 miles on the odometer. The history trail goes cold for a few years and picks up again on 13 February 1979 with an application for insurance in British Columbia, Canada. Walter B. Clur, a German mechanic, who lived in North Vancouver, had imported the 190 SL for his own use.
In 1986 Mr. Clur sold his 190 SL to Frank and Vivia Nemeth, who were in the process of moving from North Vancouver to their dream home in Surrey, B.C., and commissioned the former owner to perform a considerable amount of work to make the car roadworthy. They then maintained the car until Frank’s passing in 2016, storing it for the last decade on blocks in their garage. Both the Nemeths and Mr. Clur had diligently oiled and greased many of the exposed metal parts on the car, keeping it safe from moisture after a long and careful life; it remained completely original with no rust anywhere.
The car was acquired from Vivia Clemeth by noted marque specialist Rudi Konicek of Rudi & Company, who spared no expense in the restoration. The body was taken to bare metal and fully refinished by Coachwerks, responsible for the bodywork and paint of all of his famous 300 SL restorations, while all ancillaries were removed from the engine and cleaned, re-plated, and serviced. Similarly, the same plating shop Rudi used for his 300 SL restorations refinished the brightwork. Rudi himself installed new glass and a new interior and soft top. Afterward, Rudi retired, and this was one of the final cars to leave his private restoration shop, now under new management at a larger scale.
The car shows just 21,690 miles, believed to be original, and is accompanied by the original tools, jack, spare tire, tire iron, owner’s manual, parts books, service books, work log, and, impressively, the original factory hardtop, unused and in its very rare Mercedes-Benz shipping crate!
This is a simply wonderful 190 SL, of impressive quality, in fabulous colors – always well cared for, and now splendidly presented.