The Mercedes-Benz 190SL is a two-door luxury roadster produced between 1955 and 1963. It was first shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and was available with an optional removable hardtop. Mercedes built 25,881 examples.
This particular roadster is a 1956 that underwent a complete restoration in 2012. It features period-correct German square-weave carpets and tan leather upholstery accents its period-correct gauge cluster. It has color-matching hubcaps with chrome trim rings and wide whitewall tires. The engine compartment is clean and well done. It’s powered by a 1.9L engine with 4-speed manual transmission, and features the correct Solex carburetors, hose clamps and fuel lines.
The 190SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. While both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear, the 190SL did not use the 300SL’s purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe. Instead, it was built on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon.
The 190SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 104 hp Type M121 BII 1.9L straight-four SOHC engine that was based on the 300SL’s straight six. The car was available either as a soft-top convertible or with removable hardtop. A small third-passenger transverse seat was optional. During its first years the 190SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminum doors. In 1959, the hardtop’s rear window was enlarged.
Both the 190SL and the 300SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.