c1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster
Chassis no. 121-042-10.000155
Mercedes signature 1950s model was the gull-wing 300SL coupe of 1952, but priced at $11,000 once it came to the United States it was a performance car for the wealthy.
Accordingly, Daimler-Benz management saw a niche for a less-ambitious, cheaper sportster priced comparably to its four-cylinder 180-series cars. The new generation of W-120 small sedans was introduced in late spring of 1952. A sports derivative was engineered from the floor pan of the sedans unit body, the engine an 1,897cc overhead-cam four-cylinder derived from the 300SLs six. Previewed at New York in 1954 it was akin to a baby 300SL, and was further refined by the time it appeared in Geneva in April 1955. Derided by purists because of its creature comforts, roll-up windows, heater and roomy cockpit, it nevertheless developed immediate popularity. At $3,998 delivered in New York, it was about the price of a Jaguar XK-140 and barely a third that of the 300SL.
Sold originally in Oklahoma, this 190SL Roadster was acquired by the present owner late in 2005. During 2007 it was repainted by Mikes Mercedes-Benz Restoration in Van Nuys, California, and Expert Auto Body in Sun Valley. The interior was done by Germanex Imports of Northridge.
Painted in white with contrasting red interior and black canvas top, it presents well, and comes with an owners handbook and a complement of tools. One of the most accessible sports cars, during its nine-year lifespan nearly 26,000 were sold. It remains a favorite today, and this freshly repainted example will be an excellent car for show or touring, or simply driving for pleasure.