1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster
Chassis no. 121.042-10-021731
Engine no. 121.921-10-021861
Body no. 121.042-10-00582
Throughout its nine-year production run, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL remained immensely popular. Debuted at the 1954 New York Auto Show, it was envisioned as an alternative to the 300 SL and was successful in that it was visually similar although powered by the four-cylinder, 105-horsepower cousin of the SOHC six, the legendary power unit that helped Mercedes-Benz roar out of the wartime rubble of its factories.
Legendary Mercedes-Porsche-BMW importer Max Hoffman had influence over the product of the major German manufacturers which cannot be understated. His understanding of what the buying public wanted and ability to persuade the auto manufacturers to build resulted in the BMW 507, Porsche 356 Speedster, and Mercedes Benz 300 SL and 190 SL like the one we have on offer.
This beautiful example was purchased by the current owners from Dave Polny of 190 SL Services of Aberdeen, North Carolina, having previously been owned by an enthusiast couple in Darby, Montana. A copy of its original build sheet verifies its original specifications and major components including that it was supplied as a U.S. version in Red with a Black cloth top and Black leather upholstery. The build sheet also affirms that this example retains its original chassis, engine, and body, a verification that is more important than ever.
In 2014, the owners who were committed to see it on the road once again commissioned a ground-up rotisserie restoration overseen by CrossRoads Restorations of Anderson, South Carolina, whose previous efforts have resulted in multiple concours and club awards, including prizes at the Meadow Brook and Forest Grove concourses, as well as AACA National First Prizes and Senior Awards.
The original matching-numbers engine was fully rebuilt as was the steering, suspension, brakes, and floor-mounted manual transmission. The twin Solex carburetors were rebuilt by specialist Will Samples of S&S Imports, a new wiring harness supplied by Rhode Island Wiring, and all gauges restored by well-known experts Palo Alto Speedometer.
During a restoration, the choice of livery is perhaps the most important one to be made, and the owners chose the original factory shade of DB335 Blue with a Dark Blue top and Parchment leather interior in the original pattern. The finishes of the body, engine bay, chassis, and underbody are painted in accordance with original factory spec, and every effort was made to ensure top flight quality. As a further testament, only NOS and Mercedes OEM parts were used throughout the restoration, and the finished product is extraordinarily pleasing to the eye both as a whole and upon close inspection.
I had a chance to put some miles on this Mercedes and can say it runs and drives as nicely as it looks and as Mercedes intended it to.