Mercedes 190 SL 1956
Mercedes 190 SL 1956
An attractive example of Mercedes-Benz’s glamorous 1950s roadster
Equipped with charming features of its era, such as a dash-mounted clock and push-button radio
Eligible for historic rally events, including the Mille Miglia
On reflection of Mercedes-Benz’s 1950s model range, this era represents the bedrock of the Three-Pointed Star’s legendary reputation for making some of the finest road-going sports cars. Bosses at the Stuttgart firm realised the importance of meeting the growing trend towards convertibles, chiefly motivated by great demand for roadsters in the USA. And so, in 1955, the 190 SL joined the line-up alongside both coupé and roadster iterations of the all-conquering 300 SL.
The entry-level 190 SL was powered by a 1.9-litre inline-four that was derived from the 3.0-litre straight-six found in the 300 SL. The similarities did not end there, with the 190 SL marketed by Mercedes-Benz as a more affordable alternative to the Gullwing—and later, the 300 SL Roadster. Many of the shared styling cues are obvious, walking around the exterior of the 190 SL, while beneath the skin both models made use of a similar independent suspension system. To keep costs down, engineers did away with the tubular spaceframe of the W198 platform, instead adapting the older W121 chassis for volume production. From its earliest years, the 190 SL was positioned by Mercedes-Benz as a capable tourer to rival the likes of Porsche’s 356. It could comfortably accommodate two occupants along with the luggage for a weekend getaway, despite the upper part of the car being designed around its folding roof mechanism.
Much of this 190 SL’s early life was reportedly spent in the ownership of one family in Belgium. Subsequently, it was shipped to Italy in 1995 where it underwent a mechanical bodywork respry in DB 180 Silver Metallic and interior restoration in leather ble, subsequently in 1998 it was approved by ASI third level. The consignee has owned the car for over ten years and has kept it in usable condition by installing a pair of Weber carburettors to ensure pleasant driveability and more power. This car is presented today with a pleasant patina of authenticity and is a rare first series from 1956 eligible for the Mille Miglia
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