1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Convertible
|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1897cc|
Alongside the glamorous – and fabulously expensive – 300SL ‘Gullwing’, the Three-Pointed Star offered a more affordable sports car in the 1950s, the 190 SL, which can be likened to the same relationship that exists today between the SL and SLK models. Designed with the booming American market in mind, the 190 SL was Daimler-Benz’ first unitary construction platform and the immensely strong steel backbone chassis was clothed in a mixture of steel and aluminium panels (including the bonnet, bootlid and doors) to keep weight down. The 1897cc four-cylinder engine, derived from the unit found in the ‘Ponton’ range of family cars, developed 105 horsepower and drove the rear wheels through an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. Braking was hydraulically operated via race-derived Al-fin type drums. One feature that made the 190 SL so popular was the versatility afforded by offering a choice of a folding top or beautifully made hardtop that effectively turned the SL into a snug coupe for the winter months. Inside, the 190 SL’s cockpit one finds an abundance of period detailing, from the padded dashboard and chrome horn ring to lovely touches like the chrome courtesy light. Build quality was typically Teutonic and all the qualities, that made the 190 SL so popular in the latter part of the 1950s and early 1960s, including including reliability, versatility and style, continue to attract enthusiasts today. With values of its big brother 300 SL firmly in seven-figure territory today, the 190 SL also represents good value and has proven a solid investment over the last ten years. The classic Mercedes-Benz roadster is guaranteed to turn heads and provide a thoroughly rewarding ownership experience.