1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159
Lot 57
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop
Registration no. 348 NOJ Chassis no. 12104020019159
Sold for £ 110,140 (US$ 146,237) inc. premium

Lot Details
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop  Chassis no. 12104020019159
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible with Hardtop
Registration no. 348 NOJ
Chassis no. 12104020019159

* Right-hand drive
* Manual transmission
* Present ownership for 25 years
* Restored in 1995
* 4,552 miles since restoration

Footnotes

  • 'With some considerable experience with it during the 5 years since its introduction, we can state unequivocally that this machine is one of the finest 2-seater coupés on the market today. As a tribute to the excellent, all-round, well-balanced design, no really large changes have been made since our first test of the car.' – Road & Track on the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, December 1960.

    As economic conditions improved after WW2, it became inevitable that Mercedes-Benz would return to the racetrack. The result was the superb 300 Super Leicht (SL) series of W194 sports-racing cars that would prove so successful in spearheading the German manufacturer's return to international competition right from their debut in 1952. A couple of years later, in 1954, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 300 SL sports car, a 'Gullwing' coupé inspired by those highly successful sports-racers. The idea had come from Mercedes-Benz's US importer, Max Hoffman, who was so convinced that there was a potential market for such a car that he ordered 1,000 of them!

    Expensive and exclusive, the 300 SL caused a sensation and set new standards for high performance sports cars. Introduced at the same time was a cheaper, less exotic but no less refined sports roadster: the 190 SL, which shared the same wheelbase and bore a distinct family resemblance to its more expensive cousin. Based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190 SL 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.

    Mounted on a detachable sub-frame together 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 carburettors, this M121 unit produced 105bhp at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 60mph in 13.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 106mph; it was also relatively economical, typically returning fuel consumption figures of 25-30 miles per gallon. Road & Track found that 'on the highway an 80mph cruising speed is extremely comfortable and well within the car's capabilities, both as to engine durability and roadability'.

    With its four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox, servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes, and fully independent suspension, the 190 SL was both more refined and more comfortable than any contemporary British sports car. Autocar described the 190 SL as 'fast and tireless, exhilarating to drive and... probably created with long distance, comfortable travel in mind...' Understandably, given those attributes, 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.

    The right-hand drive 190 SL offered here was registered to the vendor's company on 31st December 1993, transferring to his personal ownership in 2017. In 1995 the Mercedes was restored by O'Keeffe Coach Trimming (photographs on file) since when it has covered only 4,552 miles. '348 NOJ' is finished in silver with red leather interior, the latter featuring a period Voxson radio and the optional sideways-facing rear seat. Presented in beautiful condition, this desirable 190 SL is offered with an old-style green continuation logbook (issued 1969), an old-style V5 document, current MoT, and a V5C Registration Certificate. A stand for the hardtop is included in the sale.
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