30th Nov, 2022 13:00

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

  Lot 79

1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Subject to a bare metal restoration 9,000 miles ago

Sold for £110,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 879 UYO
Chassis No: 12104010019122
MOT: May 2023

  • Supplied new to Switzerland and then resident in America before being imported to the UK during 1994
  • Subject to a two-year, bare metal marque specialist restoration from 1995-1996 and just 9,000 miles since
  • Beautifully finished in Ivory with Red leather upholstery and still in very good / excellent order

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 which 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 the pages of Playboy magazine. A true 1950s icon, its appeal remains strong today.

Finished in the stunning combination of Ivory with Red leather upholstery, this particular example was supplied new to Switzerland. Subsequently migrating to America, it ended up in Wisconsin and was imported to the UK by B. Gaskins during 1994. Seemingly not a man to do things by halves, Mr Gaskins commissioned an extensive, chassis up restoration by marque specialist Adams Automotive Engineering of Easton with numerous genuine Mercedes-Benz parts being sourced from Robinsons Autostar Garage Ltd and Majestic Garage Ltd (both main dealers). As well as having new panels grafted into its bodywork as necessary and being repainted, the two-seater received a thorough mechanical overhaul of its engine, gearbox, rear axle, suspension, steering and brakes. Rewired, retrimmed and with its brightwork smartened, the 190SL returned to the road in 1996. A testament to the skills of Adams Automotive Engineering, we doubt that most onlookers would credit that some twenty-six years and 9,000 miles have elapsed since the refurbishment was completed. Part of a private collection before joining the vendor’s own during 2017, ‘879 UYO’ is variously rated by him as being in ‘very good’ (bodywork, paintwork) or ‘excellent’ (engine, gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim) condition. Aside from a performance carburettor upgrade carried out by marque specialist Hilton & Moss in 2019, the two-seater is understood to be to standard specification throughout. Worthy of close inspection, this gorgeous 190 SL passed its most recent MOT test on 31st May 2022 with ‘no advisories’. Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document and numerous bills / photographs chronicling the restoration.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, 30th Nov, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 29th November 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 30th November 2022 from 9am

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