Car of the Week: Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

image001Built between 1955 and 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL is arguably one of the most iconic old school Mercedes-Benz’ ever made. A two-door grand touring roadster was first shown in its prototype form at the New York Auto Show in 1954. From the time it was first released into the public eye, it was immediately obvious that the 190 SL would be a hit, and so it proved in the years to come.


Originally manufactured alongside the faster and more expensive 300 SL, the 190 SL was the affordable car of the people. It has all the style, engineering prowess and detailing of the 300 SL, but at a fraction of the price.


Both cars looked near to identical, with fully independent, double wishbone suspension. On top of this, both cars also had swing axels at the rear. In fact, the only difference between the two cars really was that the 190 SL did not have the 300 SL’s purpose-built tubular spaceframe W198 platform. Instead, the 190 SL actually utilised a shortened, monocoque R121 platform.


From the outside, however, you would not tell, and the looks of the 190 SL were arguably its greatest asset. Stunningly beautiful, with top notch Mercedes-Benz engineering under the bonnet, the 190 SL is one of the greatest classic cars of all time. To this day, it’s as visually brilliant as it once was and, the Jaguar E-Type aside, it is probably the most beautiful car of all time (if not it’s definitely in the top 10!)


Of course, the 190 SL was not without its troubles, and the ride on the early models was hardly known for being the smoothest. The engine, however, a 1.9 L straight-four SOHC, was more than powerful enough to ride through these struggles and the 104 hp it provided was powerful for such a small car.

Available in either a removable hardtop or a soft-top, (there was also a racing model available), the 190 SL was hugely popular right up until it was replaced in 1963 by the 230 SL.image011

This particular model, a 1962 190 SL Sports is red, and has only had one owner in the past 20 years. Including mod-cons such as radio and power steering, it is one of the finest models available on the market today. If you’re interested, check out the full listing today.


About Author