Following the success of the 300 SL Coupe and Roadster, Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. importer, Max Hoffman, suggested that a similarly styled, less costly alternative might be successful.
The resulting car was the 190 SL, and it featured styling that was derived from the Mercedes Gullwing, which many enthusiast adored but only few could afford.
The car proved to be popular with the public at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and it remained in strong demand throughout its nine-year production run.
Hoffman built on the racing-oriented 300 SL’s curvaceous shape, which allowed for both the hardtop coupe and the subsequent roadsters to share a design language that was unique to the Stuttgart automaker in the early 1950s. Both the six-cylinder 300 SL and four-cylinder 190 SL models were marketed, but the less expensive latter version vastly outsold its “big brother,” proving that Hoffman’s knack for success was unparalleled among automobile importers. Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were very similar aesthetically.
The 190 SL was powered by a 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder with twin Solex carburetors, and it boasted 120 horsepower, to reach a top speed of over 105 mph.
Unlike the 300 SL, which was born and bred on the race track, the 190 SL was best suited for touring, as it featured copious amounts of luggage space, despite having a convertible top. Top-down cruising was effortless, and both the driver and passenger could arrive.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This specific Mercedes 190SL is one of a kind as she is restored on a very high level. Some years ago this specific car has been restored at Classic Car Venlo. A company who is well known in the Mercedes 190SL world.
A company with 30 years of experience and a company whereby every single part is restored in-house.
From dismantling to painting, from engine rebuilt toward the restoration or renewing of the full interior.
The company is well known because they do not want to restore a car with compromises. Every single part has to be as perfect as possible and that becomes immediately clear when people take a close look to this specific 190SL.
The quality is impressive, very impressive.
We were able to buy this 190SL from a good friend and large classic car collector. This gentlemen has every serious car in his collection including rare and unique Ferrari’s as well as a 300SL Roadster and Gullwing but he just wanted to have this car because of the quality.
The reason of selling had to do with space inside his museum as the gentlemen bought 4 “new” classic cars from us and he already had another 190SL which is in the same color as his 300SL.
As a consequence of the professional approach and experience of the restoration company, the Mercedes is in an excellent overall order. It will be very hard to find a nicer example.
The color combination is absolutely one of the nicest we have ever seen. It’s a very chique and warm color.
The panel gaps and fit are extremely good throughout, and the paint remains free from any blemishes.
The quality of the paint is extremely good, with no signs of use of the car. It seems that the car actually never drove since it was finished from restoration.
The chrome is as new without any damages or pitting.
The car is fitted with Hella auxiliary lamps, which are in very good condition while all other lights and lenses are excellent.
A unique feature on the early 190 SL’s are the small rear lamps.
The glass is excellent/new throughout as well, and a new top of the correct canvas has been installed at the time of the restoration.
An extra and extremely expensive option on this Mercedes is the special tailer made hardtop with electrical sunroof. To make this sunroof, a complete car has been demolished to be able to make a hardtop with a sunroof.
It’s a very nice extra addition to this already special car.
The interior is extremely nice as well and exactly restored as it should be including the clock on the right side of the dashboard.
The door panels are excellent, as is all chrome trim.
The dash top and the gauges are excellent, having both been fully restored.
The rubber floor mats are of the correct original type and are excellent, and the carpets are in very nice beige and in the period correct material. Also in the boot the 190 SL is looking exactly as she should be.
When the key of the Mercedes is turned, the engine starts easily and it become immediately clear that the engine is running very strong.
This is off-course normal as the entire technical part of the car has been redone/rebuilt as well.
Both engine and gearbox have been fully rebuilt and the rear axle has been slightly modified to decrease the revs on the motorway.
If one drives this 190SL it is just clear that these cars are made on an absolute excellent German way and due to the amazing restoration it is a superb car to drive around with and to look at.