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Chassis no. 121042-10-016822
For those insufficiently wealthy to afford its hyper-expensive race-bred sports car – the 300SL – Mercedes-Benz offered the less exotic but no less refined 190SL. Announced in 1954 and based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190SL 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 sportscars 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 subframe 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 carburetors, the M121 unit produced 105bhp DIN (120bhp SAE) at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 100km/h (62mph) in 14.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 171km/h (106mph). Refined, comfortable and stylish, 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.
We are advised that this example has been restored, benefiting from an engine recently overhauled with original Mercedes-Benz parts and converted to unleaded compatibility, and a superbly reupholstered interior and new soft-top. Finished in white with blue leather interior and matching soft-top.