1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster LHD

Highlights


  • Extensive, bare shell restoration
  • Matching numbers example
  • Impressive history file including photos of restoration process
  • ‘Class 1’ expert opinion appraisal
  • Registered in Poland

The Appeal


As far as luxurious and timeless classics go - you can’t get a whole lot better than this. The Mercedes-Benz 190SL was designed as a more affordable option to the all famous (and wildly expensive) 300SL Gullwing, sharing many of the Gullwings styling features and fully independent suspension setup. It was seen to be more of a GT cruiser.

This particular example of 190SL has been extensively restored at Artur Pokorski’s Vintage Car Manufactory in Poland, after being imported from Paris in 2015. After which, the vehicle was registered as a historic vehicle, and was expertly reviewed, opinionated and regarded as a ‘Class 1’ vehicle by a automotive expert member of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Some classic cars are of such opulent quality that even before you reach them, you know that looking for faults will be such a futile exercise. This is exactly the case here.

The History and Paperwork


  • Imported to Poland from Paris, France in 2015
  • Original registration certificate
  • Matching numbers example
  • Expertly opinionated report and registered as a historic vehicle
  • Incredibly detailed complete restoration
  • Very desirable, early example (1,274th ever built)

The Interior


  • Impeccably restored interior
  • Rare and desirable, original 1955 style seats
  • Rare clock-less glove compartment
  • Early two-part dashboard design
  • Original clocks and gauges
  • Stunning red-on-red interior spec

Timeless, is one way to describe it. The interior of this 190SL has had an unfathomable amount of attention to detail upon restoration, and it’s really quite easy to see. Due to this being an early 1955 model, it has some rare and unique features that were unavailable on the later models; namely the dashboard being a two-piece design which comes down to meet the centre console, non-lockable glove compartment with the absence of the clock, unique interior door handles, and the front bucket seats which are near identical to that of a Gullwing which provide much more support when compared to the later cars. These are very notable items on these cars due to the rarity of these early examples.

There is no doubt present when sitting behind the wheel of this 190SL, a true time machine that transports you back to 1955, sitting in a Mercedes-Benz dealership eagerly clutching the steering wheel; which by the way, is an art piece in itself. The clocks and gauges all glisten beautifully and all of the brightwork bezels are nothing shy of perfection. Everything here is as it should be - maybe even better.

Everything from the gorgeous red-on-red carpet and leather, to the astoundingly pretty dash cluster and wheel, is unmistakably good. No matter how deep you dig, all you do is uncover more shiny bolts. A truly concours vehicle.

The Exterior 


  • Pristine paintwork
  • Straight and true bodywork
  • Dazzling brightwork
  • Period-correct whitewall tyres
  • Stunning red drop top
  • Iconic arch eyebrows, without brightwork (rare 1955 spec)
  • Immaculate underbody

With body panels as straight as an arrow, panel gaps as uniform as can be, and a paint job that’s probably better than could ever be achieved in 1955, this 190SL is very well deserved of its expert appraisals it has received. More notable pieces of an early 1955 spec car is the absence of the chrome trims on the eyebrows above the wheel arches, the drainage location at the top of the bonnet in a different location and the differential drain plug in the 1955 location. Again, very rare and sought after details like these are what sets this vehicle apart from the rest.

Every corner of this masterpiece-on-wheels has had a careful and expert eye comb through the fine details. Every nut and bolt under the car glistens and under the bonnet you get the same impressive ‘wow’ factor. The original, numbers matching engine sits proudly at the heart of this roadster, with all of the proper factory fittings to better than showroom standards. The hammer price will exclude new boxed spinners & boxed brand new wheels, however these can be purchased directly from the vendor. 

There aren’t many cars out there that will leave you scrambling to scoop your jaw up from off the floor when you see them, but we think this could be one of them.

The Mechanics 


  • Matching number example
  • 1.9l inline 4, based off of the 300SL powertrain
  • 105bhp, RWD configuration
  • Original dual Solex carbs
  • Original 4-speed manual transmission
  • Showroom condition underside

Like the rest of this vehicle, the mechanical side of things is pure perfection. The 1.9L 4-banger doesn’t hesitate to turn over hot or cold, and purrs to life with a smooth idle. Acceleration is reported to be smooth and the gear changes are precise and confident, with no unwelcome noises coming from the suspension components. The 190SL is agile and stable, thanks to sharing the same suspension components with the 300SL, albeit with a low pivot point assembly which helps to reduce the tail-happy nature of the Gullwing.

Of course, the 190SL did not offer the same level of performance of a lot of the sports cars during that era, but the lavish styling coupled with the unmatched quality made the 190SL a massive success. Even so - the roadsters are a handful of fun to drive around in, and should definitely be taken advantage of when the weather calls for it.

It’s easy to see how much time and effort has gone into the preservation of this car, everything from the colour of the components in the engine bay to the correct fittings being used throughout. This SL’s fantastic functionality and looks is enough to put it near the top of anyone's dream car list.  

Summary


Undoubtedly among the most desirable appreciating classics, oozing with class from every corner and seam. Finding an early example such as this is becoming increasingly rare, especially in such wondrous condition throughout. 

1955 specification vehicles are very few and far between, and don’t often come up for sale. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone in the market!


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1955
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 190 SL Roadster
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 674 Kilometers
  • Engine size 1897
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location International
  • Country Poland
Bidding history
30 bids
  • preseas•••• €125,000 12/06/22
  • 3.affic•••• €123,000 12/06/22
  • preseas•••• €120,000 12/06/22
  • 3.affic•••• €117,000 12/06/22
  • preseas•••• €115,000 12/06/22
  • Heeyd €112,000 12/06/22
  • preseas•••• €110,000 11/06/22
  • SRUYTER €105,000 10/06/22
  • preseas•••• €100,000 10/06/22
  • SRUYTER €95,000 08/06/22

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