***Vendor supplied Images***
- Weber carburetors
- One owner for last 22 years
- 15,985Km indicated
- Attractive specification
When launched in the mid-1950s, the SL190 was an advanced and tactile little roadster that offered a taste of the performance and sporting prowess of the larger 300SL. These days, good examples are highly prized and much sought-after by enthusiasts and collectors.
This example has been with the same owner for the last 22 years and shows in good overall condition, with a pleasing specification that appears to be mostly as it left the factory. If you’re after a handsome and usable classic roadster, the SL190 should definitely be on your shortlist.
The History and Paperwork
- Built in June 1958
- 15,985Km indicated (five-figure odometer)
- Three keys present
- One owner for the last 22 years
- Ready to go and be used
- Registered in the Netherlands
- The vendor tells us they may be able to assist with export and transport
- Black leather upholstery
- Original Becker Grand Prix radio
- Rare Kienzle dashboard clock
- Button start for ignition
Optioned with leather seats, the cabin of this 190SL appears to be in pretty original condition. The upholstery itself presents well, with no notable damage or tears we could see. Similarly, the complementary black carpets to the floor and rear luggage shelf show some wear, but overall look to be in reasonable condition.
When the fabric roof is raised, the cabin is snug and cosseting. The headliner of the roof has seen better days, displaying some wear and staining, but appears to be intact.
Looking at the switchgear and controls, it all seems to be present and correct, with that iconic thin-rimmed Bakelite steering wheel dominating the driving environment. Also of note in the cabin is the original Becker Grand Prix radio, which the vendor tells us works just fine, and the rare dash-mounted Kienzle clock.
There’s also a lot of brightwork sprinkled about the cabin which, like the rest of the trim, is replete with a suitable level of wear and patina for the age of the car. So there are blemishes, marks and pitting present, but the controls and instruments remain eminently usable.
The boot area appears to be in good order, with the floor looking to be solid and straight. It’s covered with a layer of what appears to be underseal, presumably to help prevent corrosion. A rubber boot liner is fitted, and a full-size spare wheel is also present. Also present is a rather fetching Mercedes-Benz picnic kit, perfect for sunny days out in the countryside!
- Fire Red paintwork
- Black fabric roof
- Original steel wheels and hubcaps
With its steel uni-body construction and styling that apes its 300SL big brother, the 190SL cuts quite the dash and is a truly elegant piece of design. This example is finished in Fire Red (or ‘Feuer Rot’ in German) paintwork, which the vendor tells us is the original shade. The paint appears to be in reasonably good condition, but would benefit from a polish to eliminate some blemishes and swirling.
All of the bodywork shows well, looking straight and smooth, with no evidence of corrosion or damage apparent. It also appears as if all of the external trim and badging is there, with nothing missing as far as we could see.
The trim wears its age well, with a dusting of age-related wear and some pitting to the brightwork, but otherwise it all appears to be in fine fettle.
That manually-operated black fabric roof is in good order, with no tears to the material we could see, although the rear clear plastic screen does appear to have split. When stowed, it is covered with a black vinyl cover that shows very well indeed, with no signs of UV damage or notable wear that we could observe.
It rides on the original 13-inch steel wheels, which are neatly finished with the traditional colour-coded hubcaps. The hubcaps themselves wear a number of marks and blemishes, as well as some pitting, so would benefit from some refreshing. They are shod with a matched set of Michelin X tyres, which look to be in good condition.
- 1.9-litre four-cylinder engine
- Four-speed manual transmission
- Twin Weber carburettors
Fitted with the correct M121 single overhead cam, naturally aspirated engine, this little roadster has all the power it needs to provide an engaging and memorable driving experience. The original Solex carburettors have been swapped out for upgraded Weber items, but otherwise the engine appears to be unmodified.
The engine is mated to a four-speed manual transmission, power-assisted drum brakes all round, and double wishbone front suspension. So all the ingredients are there for a great period sports car.
We’re assured by the vendor that the car is “ready to go”, and the vendor reports only the ignition key is broken
Popular and sought-after for a reason, the 190SL is a classic roadster that is still a genuinely great drive today. With a little tidying, this could soon be a fantastic example of the breed, or could be enjoyed as it is – a fun and stylish classic sports car.
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