Mercedes-Benz 190 SL – 1961

This classic Mercedes 190SL was delivered to a Californian customer in 1961. In 1988 the car was exported to Germany, where it graced the roads with its presence until recently. At that time the car was fully restored, including an engine rebuild, a new roof and new upholstery. This car is of course a matching-numbers example, as deductible from the original sales bill.

The bodywork is in great shape and was stripped down to bare metal in 2014. It was repainted in the colour DB904 Dunkelblau, which matches the well preserved chrome beautifully. The chassis is unrepaired and in great shape. In technical terms the car is also in great shape. In the past five years many parts have been replaced including, but not limited to the front- and rear axle rubbers, steering components, engine mounts, brake components and many suspension parts. The milometer was substituted for one that read in kilometers, the original clock was revised and in 2017 the steering lock and fuel pump were renewed.
This care makes this car a prime example of a 190SL, both cosmetically and technically. The original Solex-carburetor also works perfectly, including the second valve that reduces fuel consumption at high RPMs.

In 2015 a Classic Data Report was made, classifying the car as a Class 2 vehicle with an appraisal value of 138.000 euro’s.

The Mercedes-Benz 190SL is a two-door grand touring convertible with an optional removable hardtop that was produced between May 1955 and February 1963. A prototype was first shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show.

The 190SL was sold alongside the faster, more expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL, which it closely resembled both in its styling, engineering, detailing and fully independent suspension, both cars having double wishbone suspensions at the front and swing axles at the rear. However, the 190SL did not use the 300SL’s purpose-built tubular spaceframe W198 platform, but was built on a shortened and monocoque R121 platform that modified from the W121 small saloon.

The 190SL was powered by a new, 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine (Type M121 BII), which developed 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) (or 120 gross hp). The four-cylinder engine block of the 190SL was based on the six-cylinder engine of the 300 SL. The 85 mm bore was transferred unchanged from the larger engine to the smaller, although the stroke for the 190 SL was reduced from 88.0 mm to 83.6 mm.
The car was available either as a soft-top convertible (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). Optional was a third-passenger transverse seat that could even fit an adult. 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, although any competition aspirations were modest. In 1959, the hardtop’s rear window was enlarged.

Both the 190SL and the 300SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963. The Mercedes-Benz 190SL is a timeless icon of the German automotive industry. The prices of 190SL’s in top condition are rising ever. The beautiful lines, comfortable ride, solid body and reliable technology make the SL a popular and much sought after classic.


Vehicle SL
Price Sold
Kilometers n/a
Color Blue
Transmission Manual
Drive Type Rear
Engine 4 cylinder in-line 1.9L


Year 1961
Make Mercedes-Benz
Model 190
Vehicle SL
Seats 2
Doors 2
Drive Type Rear
Transmission Type Manual
Fuel Type Gasoline
Engine Displacement (cc) 1897
Engine Displacement (ci) 116
Engine Type in-line
Engine (l) 1.9
Engine Cylinders 4
Country Germany