19th Oct, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 60

1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster
Fresh extensive restoration

Sold for £168,750

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: DSU 174
Chassis No: 12104220016446
MOT: February 2023

  • Original UK-delivered RHD car
  • One of only 562 produced in right hand drive
  • Just four owners across 62 years
  • Extensive restoration with full photographic record
  • Only covered 200 miles since restoration
  • Circa £100,000 spent in a quest for perfection

Unveiled in prototype form at the 1954 New York Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was a ground-breaking design. Far more civilised than many contemporary sports cars, its ethos foreshadowed that of the ‘personal luxury cars’ which dominated the American market the following decade. Featuring a monocoque bodyshell, wind-up windows, snug fitting soft-top and all-round independent suspension years before the likes of Jaguar, Austin-Healey, MG and Triumph caught up, the newcomer was powered by a 1.9 litre SOHC four-cylinder engine allied to four-speed, all synchromesh manual transmission which endowed it with a 107mph top speed. The 190 SL’s rear suspension might have been derived from that of Mercedes-Benz’s all-conquering W196 Grand Prix cars but it was the Convertible’s styling that really grabbed buyers’ attention. Second fiddle to the 300 SL (W198) Roadster or not, the 190 SL (W121) was still bewitchingly pretty. Only in production from 1955 – 1963 during which time some 25,881 examples were made, the model’s popularity has been perpetuated by appearances in hundreds of films, advertisements, pop videos and even on the pages of Playboy magazine. A true 1950s icon, its appeal remains strong today.

The Mercedes-Benz 190SL offered here was originally delivered to the United Kingdom in March 1960. Being a rare, original right-hand drive car, it is finished in a striking, period correct Mercedes Grey with a Red leather interior and matching hood. In May 1988 the car was acquired by a Mr L. Campbell from Boars Hill, Oxfordshire who kept the car until September 2009. He then sold the 190SL to Mr J.M. Meredith from Penarth, Wales. Under his ownership, the roadster was meticulously maintained to a very high standard, as the collection of invoices on file will attest. However, for the current vendor nothing but the best will do, so after acquisition of the Mercedes in July 2019, it was decided to subject the car to an extensive and costly restoration by Classic & Sportscar Centre of Malton, North Yorkshire. The bodyshell was stripped back to bare metal and carefully rebuilt, refinished and repainted to almost better than factory specification. This same approach was also used for the rebuild of the engine, transmission, suspension and the reupholstering of the interior and hood. The extensive photographic record together with the supporting invoices clearly shows the thoroughness of the entire project, the cost of which came to well over £95,000! The car comes with all tools, the aforementioned restoration invoices and photographs, and a thick folder containing invoices, old and current V5c and MOTs dating back to 1973.

For more information, please contact:
Roy Hitchman
07718 584216


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 19th Oct, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 18th October 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 19th October 2022 from 9am
Additional viewing for lots 200-254 on Thursday 20th October 2022 from 9am

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