Lot 181 - 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster
|Odometer reading||96,223 miles|
|Estimate||£75,000 - £90,000|
|Result||Sold - £92,960|
The exquisite curves executed across the 190 SL hit the headline in 1955 and, although it did not share its elder sister’s tubular spaceframe chassis, the engine did, albeit two cylinders short. The exclusive 300 SL was sold alongside the very similar 190 SL and, not only were both instant hits, but shared much of the engineering, detailing as well as the fully independent suspension. Both cars also had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear. Interestingly, the SL was often thought to represent ‘Sport-Leicht’ or ‘Sport-Light’ but after some research in the corporate archive, it transpired to stand for ‘Super-Light’.
Exported new in February 1958 to Studebaker-Packard in South Bend Indiana, franchised Mercedes-Benz dealers in the USA, it was then purchased by the first owner, a gentleman from Los Angeles. Little is known of its history until it surfaced again in West Chester, a very well-to-do neighbourhood of New York and then imported into Felixstowe in September 2004. It was then restored by the owner over the next decade until completion in Spring of 2017. During this time, records have been kept showing a full engine-out rebuild to unleaded specification by Damico, specialists in machining, building, testing, and development of classic and performance engines. In fact, it was even dyno-tested prior to re-installation to ensure correct input and output pressures. 2014 saw the gearbox guru, Graham Bolton, rebuild the gearbox and all brightwork, from both the interior and exterior, has been re-chromed by Wyatt Polishing of Norfolk. The interior is of the supplest ‘Highlands Neptune’, a deep red in classic contrast to the Mercedes-Benz exterior silver. Additionally, modern matching red lap-belts have been installed, a nod to present day safety standards.
Bills show items such as new kingpins, exhaust, brakes, master cylinder, rubbers and electric fuel pump have also been fitted as well as a host of other smaller items as and when required during the restoration. A new black mohair hood has been installed as well as a new matching tonneau. Indeed, the vendor is no stranger to the preparation of classic and racing cars have worked for Lotus Cars for many years during which time he had prepared many show cars and special-order vehicles. Following his time at Lotus he went on to work for a number of racing teams such as Van Diemen, Peter Denty, the Jim Russell Racing School to name but a few.
High quality, well-prepared 190 SLs, such as this example are not only a work of art but are eminently usable and, at this point in time, better than money in the bank!
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Previous lotLot 180 - 1953 Citroën Traction Avant Decouvrable
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