1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Convertible
|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1897cc|
Alongside the glamorous and fabulously expensive 300 SL ‘Gullwing’, Mercedes-Benz offered its affordable 190 SL sports car in the 1950s, the two models sharing a relationship similar to that of the SL and SLK today. Conceived with the booming American market in mind, the 190 SL was Daimler-Benz’ first unitary construction platform, the immensely strong steel backbone chassis clothed in a mixture of steel and aluminium panels (including the bonnet, bootlid and doors) to keep weight down. Derived from the unit found in the ‘Ponton’ range of family cars, the 1897cc four-cylinder engine developed 105 horsepower and drove the rear wheels through an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox, while the hydraulic braking system used race-derived Al-fin drums. One feature that made the 190 SL so popular was the choice of a folding hood or a 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 neat 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 – such as its 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. This classic Mercedes-Benz roadster is guaranteed to turn heads and provide a thoroughly rewarding ownership experience.