With its current family ownership for over thirty years and off the road for 30, this sleeping beauty 1958 Mercedes Benz 190 SL is estimated to sell for £30,000 - £40,000 with H&H Classics' next sale at Duxford on June 22. It awaits a Restoration Prince.
One of just 2,722 190SLs made during the 1958 production year it was imported into the United Kingdom from Canada and retains some nice original features and is a very worthy candidate for restoration.
Paul Cheetham of H&H says: “The 190SL was introduced in 1955 – the year Mercedes swept all before it on the Mille Miglia with the 300SLR. Indeed, 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 monocoque construction.
The 190SL also boasted an all-new engine - an over-square SOHC straight-four unit of 1897cc that produced some 120bhp, which was sufficient to propel the car to a maximum speed of 112mph. The engine was coupled to a manual four-speed gearbox. 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 around.”
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 of £2,693 did nothing to deter purchasers. Options included a third seat placed transversely behind the front ones which was big enough to carry an adult. The 190SL continued in production until 1963 when both it and the 300SL were replaced by the 230SL (W113), by which time 25,881 190SLs had been produced.
Completed during the 1958 model year (one of 2,722 examples manufactured that year), this particular example – chassis 1210408501057 – was manufactured in left-hand-drive configuration and is thought to have resided in Canada from shortly after its production.
Finished in black with red leather interior trim, and a Beige hood, the 190 SL is next known to have been purchased by a gentleman based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1986 and was retained in his possession until the late-1980s. Relocated to the United Kingdom around 1990 and registered ’BSK 768’, the vendor's late husband acquired chassis number 1210408501057 in 1990, remaining in the family ever since.
Used and enjoyed for three years, and displayed at some classic car events (with event stickers present in the windscreen), the 190 SL was taken off the road in October 1993 and laid up in the garage in preparation for a full restoration which sadly never took place.
The car has some pleasing original features such as the dashboard clock, 190 SL stamped spare wheel, and all chassis plates and body tags. With a recorded mileage of just over 92,000 miles, the Mercedes is accompanied by a history file, which contains correspondence from Mercedes-Benz, paperwork relating to the 190 SLs time in Canada, sundry paperwork, and a current V5C document and a repair and tune-up guide.