Monterey: 1960 190SL Roadster

11:39:00 AM

The 190SL is one of the best looking Mercedes to ever roll down the road and this handsome example is crossing the block at Monterey's Mecum Auctions this weekend. CLICK HERE for more.

Import automotive extraordinaire Max Hoffman had an idea when it came to the famed and fabled Mercedes-Benz 300SL, build a smaller car. He felt the United States would consume a number of less expensive, sporty convertible Mercedes cars, especially one built in the spirit of the 300SL. Mercedes agreed, and introduced the 190SL as a concept at the 1954 New York Auto Show. Interestingly, Hoffman wasn't terribly fond of the direction Mercedes took to produce a small sporty car, but in the end it did well to redefine the Mercedes name in the U.S. and bolster the German maker’s finances. While sharing a number of attributes from its larger, more powerful sibling, it did differ in many ways. 

Visually, the 190SL resembled a shrunken 300SL through numerous elements, like the brows atop the wheel wheels, an arch-topped grille with big Mercedes-Benz Star in the center, and single headlights ending pontoon-style fenders. It had double wishbone front suspension, and a swing arm rear axle, just like the 300SL. However, it used a twin-carbureted, 1.9L, inline-4 cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. The build quality, drivability, and enjoyment factor was high and it sold relatively well in spite of its slightly expensive price tag. Introduced for public consumption at the Geneva Auto Salon in 1955, it was well received. This striking Blue-on-Red 1960 190SL has a Tan top, replated chrome, and received a frame-up restoration in 2007 using Mercedes-Benz parts. The 1.9L engine is fed by Mikuni carburetors and is bolted to a 4-speed manual transmission. Manuals are included with the sale.

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