Lot 195 - 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Lot 195 - 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Lot 195 - 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Lot Number 195
Registration 269 UYO
Chassis Number 1210425500823
Engine Number 121.921.5500860
Odometer reading 32,401 km
Result Sold - £104,160
  • Very desirable, matching numbers early car
  • Has rare 300SL Gullwing front seats
  • Been subject to a ground up restoration

In 1954, Mercedes displayed a concept version of the 190SL at the New York Auto show alongside the 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. This concept came to market in 1955 as the 190 SL. A more approachable, less intense sports car compared to the record-breaking 300 SL Gullwing. While the 190 SL featured a carburetted 1.9 litre in-line four-cylinder engine compared to the 300 SL’s direct-injected 3 litre slant six, they shared basic engine design, suspension system, and level of detail and craftsmanship which defined Mercedes-Benz. The new engine, which shared the same bore and stroke of the 300 SL, was paired with dual Solex carburettors and produced just over 100 horsepower. This powerplant was mated with a fully synchronized four-speed transmission which sent power to the rear swing axle. The 190 SL implemented the same suspension systems as the 300 SL, albeit with a more stable low pivot point assembly, affording it confident handling and drivability without the tail-happy nature of the 300 SL Gullwing. While the 190 SL did not quite offer the performance of other sports cars of the era, the impeccable quality and attractive styling made the 190 SL a massive success – selling 25,881 units before production ceased in 1963. Many of these models were delivered to the United States, where its driving demeanour and elegant styling were highly valued. Nevertheless, the factory did offer an option for the casual weekend racer: a Rennsport packaged 190 SLR, which included options of an aero screen, cut down doors which one could convert, and bumpers removed to reduce weight. A Rennsport derived 190 SL participated in the Mille Miglia, hence its eligibility today. Other notable achievements include a 1956 Macao Grand Prix victory for Doug Steane, and Mr W. Sulke’s SLR won the 1958 Rally of Hong Kong.

This excellent, very early 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was built to European specification for Italian delivery to its first owner. The car then ended up with a Swiss collector were the car remained in storage until it was purchased and brought to the UK around 2010. It retains many of the early features of the first production 190 SLs like the desirable early specifications the ‘Gullwing’ type sports seats providing for a firmer and sportier seating position and the small rear light units. An extensive ground-up restoration at a cost of £100,000 was carried out by a leading marque specialist who retained as much attention to detail as possible with the use of original parts. The bodyshell was stripped down to bare metal and needed very little work to the outer body panels, a credit to its original state. Running superbly on original Solex carburettors set up by Parry Chana of Lux Classics. All the restoration work was completed in 2015, in time for the 190 SL sixth anniversary celebration held at Brooklands where this car was regarded to be the best car at the show. A matching engine and chassis numbers 190 SL restored in its original black exterior colour (DB040) complemented by black mohair hood and cream leather interior. The car has had little use since being restored so when taken to a couple of classic car shows this year it was the best car of the show at Christchurch and was 2nd at Simply Mercedes held at Beaulieu. This 190 SL is supplied with a V5C registration document and comes with extensive history file detailing the restoration, original documentation dating back to 1960s and invoices to the 1970s. A small window hardtop comes complete with all chrome fittings together with a radio delete plate. This excellent 190 SL is eligible and well suited for the modern Mille Miglia event which is reserved only for cars that participated in the original, historic race held between 1927 to 1957. This is a crucial factor for many classic car enthusiasts, as it was recently discovered that a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was privately entered in the 1956 race and thus joins the privileged list of vehicles.

 

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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