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1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster - 4-Speed, California CarEstimate $125,000 - $150,000. Photo by David Newhardt, Courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

Thanks to the efforts of New York sports car importer Max Hoffmann, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL went from the race track to the open road in just two years. Concurrent to that event, Mercedes-Benz created an attractive and affordable alternative to the expensive 300SL in the form of the new 190SL. Visually a scaled down version of the 300SL but with a wider track, the 190SL shared the larger car’s exquisite styling, exhibiting smoothly rounded contours and the 300SL’s refined horizontal grille opening. An elegant Grand Touring machine with independent suspension and racing-inspired finned aluminum drum brakes, the 190SL was powered by a shortened version of the 300SL’s sophisticated overhead cam engine in the form of a 1.9L/120 HP inline-4 fitted with twin-choke dual carburetors. Offered with a documented ownership history to 1967, this California Black plate 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL has been garage kept in San Francisco for 30 years. It was repainted in Silver several years ago, but has gone just 200 miles since its restoration by Burlingame Motors, Inc. in Burlingame, California. Metric Motors in Los Angeles rebuilt the engine, servicing and resealing the Solex carburetors. The clutch and transmission, radiator, generator and fuel pump were rebuilt and the brake system overhauled with new master cylinder, hoses and wheel cylinders. GAHH Automotive supplied new Red seat covers, carpets, door cards and dash leather, and the auxiliary hardtop was restored with a new headliner and rubber seals. Completed with new Coker wide Whitewall tires, this freshened 190SL is offered with owner’s manual and shop manuals. 

Mecum Monterey 2015