The iconic 190SL is regarded by many as the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz design and one can easily see why. Just one look at those curvy, luscious lines and one can’t help but fall in love!
"It proved to be fast and tireless, exhilarating to drive and was probably created with long distance, comfortable travel in mind..." - Autocar on the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, 10th January 1956.
For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its hyper-expensive race-bred sports car - the 300 SL - Mercedes-Benz offered the less exotic but no less refined 190 SL. Announced in 1954 and based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190 SL did not enter production until January 1955, the delay being caused by alterations aimed at strengthening the saloon's shortened platform to compensate for the open body's reduced stiffness. "Very few new sports cars have been so eagerly awaited or so long in coming as the moderately priced SL version of the Mercedes-Benz," observed Road & Track magazine.
Mounted on a detachable sub-frame along with the four-speed manual gearbox, front suspension and steering, the power unit was a 1,897cc overhead-camshaft four - the first such engine ever to feature in a Mercedes-Benz. Breathing through twin Solex downdraft carburettors, the M121 unit produced 105bhp DIN (120bhp SAE) at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190 SL to 100km/h (62mph) in 14.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 171km/h (106mph). With its four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox, servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes and fully independent suspension, the 190 SL was both more refined and more comfortable than any contemporary British sports car. The model was a big hit in the USA where many of the slightly fewer than 26,000 produced between 1955 and 1963 found homes.
This particular 190 SL was manufactured on 23th May 1962 at Mercedes-Benz's Sindelfingen plant and has the standard four-speed manual gearbox. The incredible matching numbers example has been nuts & bolts restored by a Belgian marque specialist over a 2 year period and it really shows. Every single part has been meticulously restored to top condition and the expertly restored body presents super in the DB172 Anthracite grey paintwork. Having seen little use under the care of its owner, this delightful roadster has accrued barely any miles and still presents in excellent condition throughout.
On top of these wanted-options, this car still is registered on its first (!) owner that has kept the car for almost 60 years! The first owner was a Belgian Baronnes who died in 2009 after which the grandson sold the car. The car left the factory in red over black but the buyer then decided to have the car restored in this beautiful combo. All important details are factory-correct and the matching numbers engine (including the original tag-plate) engine has had a much-wanted upgrade from Solex carburators to the more driveable Weber's (40DCOE).
All and all this is not only a collectors car with the best options and just one owner, this also is a very useable driver’s car as well. This beauty comes complete with unrestored hardtop, its original (and only!) 1962 Belgian registration document, pictures of the restoration by a Belgian specialist and of course the Mercedes-Benz datacard proving this indeed is a matching-numbers vehicle.
This particular 190 SL is in outstanding condition, as it has traveled limited miles since the completion of its full European restoration, and it would surely attract plenty of attention at any Mercedes-Benz club event.
Available in Belgium and ready to be driven!