Wed, 20th Apr 2016 13:30

Imperial War Museum Duxford

  Lot 48

1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Sold for £59,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: 959 UYO
Chassis No: 9500100
Mot Expiry: Feb 2017

- Recently imported from America and now UK registered and MOT'd

- Left hand drive, red leather, recently repainted, and engine serviced

- Reportedly 'very good' (interior, gearbox) to 'excellent' (body, engine, electrics)

The 190SL was introduced in 1955, the year Mercedes-Benz swept all before it on the Mille Miglia with the 300SLR, and the graceful new two-door convertible grand tourer was sold alongside the road-going version of the SLR, the 300SL, whose styling it strongly resembled. In fact, the underpinnings of the two cars were quite different and, while the 300SL had a purpose-built tubular spaceframe (W198), its smaller sibling was built on a shortened version of the 'Ponton' saloon (W121) platform, which was of a monocoque construction.

The 190SL also boasted an all-new engine, an over-square SOHC straight-four unit of 1897cc that produced some 105bhp, which was sufficient to propel the car to a maximum speed of 112mph. The engine was coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox operated by a lever between the seats. The suspension comprised double wishbones and coil springs at the front and a coil-sprung swing axle at the rear. Steering was by recirculating ball and braking by power-assisted drums all round.

Built to the highest standards and among the quickest comparable cars of the time, the 190SL featured a well-appointed cockpit, notable comfort for its occupants and relatively generous luggage space. Under the circumstances, even the steep asking price did nothing to deter purchasers.

The convertible could be ordered with or without a removable hard top. There was also the option of a third seat that was placed transversely behind the front ones and big enough to carry an adult. The 190SL continued in production until 1963, when both it and the 300SL were replaced by the Pagoda. By this time over 25,000 190SLs had been built.

This example of Mercedes-Benz's beautiful 190SL was imported from America by the vendor in 2015 and was immediately subjected to a repaint, the works of which were still to be completed during our photography; the chrome sill strips will be fitted before the sale. The vendor states that the paint is "new" and the body that it was applied to is "excellent" and features "great shut lines". The engine is also described as being "excellent" and reportedly features "great oil pressure" and we are informed that it will have a service before the sale.

With UK registration having recently been granted by the DVLA this beautiful Mercedes-Benz just awaits a new owner and the summer motoring season ahead.

PLEASE NOTE: New photographs of this vehicle were taken after the description was written which show the chrome sill strips in place.

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