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Fire Engine Red | Roadster | 4 Speed Manual | 1.9 litre inline 4 cylinder | 99,379 miles showing | AU$399,995
The vision of highly influential luxury European car importer Max Hoffman, then, Mercedes-Benz representative in the USA, the 190 SL was designed to serve as a more lifestyle-oriented complement to the outlandish 300SL Gullwing.
Virtually identical in design to its six-cylinder big brother, sharing the same dramatic curvaceous shape and bank-vault solid construction the 190 SL outsold it’s exotic relative due to Hoffmans once more proven genius to present an attractive and more affordable alternative following a “less is more” approach previously done with Porsche 356 Speedster.
Due to its outright success, the 190 SL in automotive culture is one of the most collectible and recognisable cars of the modern era.
The power unit used is the M121 1.9 Litre Inline Four-Cylinder sharing the same bore and stroke as the original six-cylinder from the 300 SL, less two, which breathes through twin Solex downdraft carburetors and produces 110HP. The first of its kind for Mercedes-Benz and enough to propel the little roadster 0 - 100km/h in 13 seconds.
The M121 was mated to a fully synchronized 4-speed transmission that sent power to the rear swing axles and implemented the same suspension systems as the 300 SL, affording it confident handling and drivability.
We are pleased to offer this stunning Australian delivered and numbers matching 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster in its original colour Fire-Engine Red with Black hardtop over Biscuit MB-Tex.
An absolute gem, this 190 SL is the best we’ve seen, originally delivered to South Australia and sold new in July of 1961. Residing in South Australia for the next two decades, it was the subject of a high-quality restoration completed in 1984 and to quote a letter from the owner to the restorer “I will leave all incidental decisions to you, I want the car restored to first class order” and sparingly driven since.
Presenting today as if it just left the restoration workshop yesterday, this Mercedes-Benz Roadster from every angle is something special. Masterfully restored, the paintwork carries a glass finish, the panels all-align, the polished chrome shines and the correct Bosch headlights remain.
The interior is impeccable, the upholstery is unblemished with not a stitch out of place, the characteristically 50’s/60’s Benz dash carries all its original chrome VDO dials and Bakelite switches in perfectly preserved condition. The original Bakelite steering wheel and shift knob are smooth to the touch and even the original Becker Mexico stereo remains.
In accompaniment with the sale is its very hard to find factory-optioned “Large Window” Hardtop, all of its original Mercedes-Benz service booklets, owner's manual, original toolkit and jack. In addition, it has a history file detailing its original sale history, restoration receipts, letters and receipts for major mechanical work completed only recently in 2018.
This jaw-droppingly gorgeous 190 SL will provide a lifetime of enjoyment for its next lucky custodian. Whether you are looking to enjoy your favorite scenic roads in open motoring fashion or to compete in prestigious concours events this superb 190 SL will do it all.
A car with this provenance is a one-off prospect to own and with these blue-chip sports classic's achieving sky-high results internationally this truly is a great opportunity to purchase an outstanding example of a charming and iconic Mercedes-Benz Roadster.