5 June 2005
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 190SL ROADSTER
Chassis No. 5501716
Engine No. 5501747
Gunmetal grey with black interior and black top
Engine: four cylinder, single overhead camshaft, 1,897cc, 105bhp at 5,700rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, independent, rear, single joint swing axle, coil springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
Although it tended to be overshadowed by the larger 300SL, the 190SL was a high quality sports tourer noted for its refinement and elegance. When introduced in February 1954 it was thought to be a little slow, but by 1958 the engine output had been raised to 105bhp, commendable for a 2 liter power unit running with little stress. All this gave the car good performance with a top speed of 110mph and 0 to 60 in 13.3 seconds. Contemporary road testers found third gear a useful overtaking ratio, taking the 190SL to over 75mph. Performance was described as sparkling with a reassuring level of safety. Fuel consumption of 20 to 26mpg with a 14.3 gallon tank gave the car a cruising range of around 350 miles, emphasizing its essentially touring character. Strictly a two seater, the 190SL has ample luggage capacity. The car's stability is reassuring and the ride is good even by modern standards.
The 190SL offered here is without hesitation one of the most stunning examples. Painstakingly restored several years ago by the previous owner, literally no expense was spared. Since then, it has seen limited use but has been perfectly maintained. The gunmetal grey paint presents in excellent condition as does the black interior and top. All mechanicals are fully sorted and operating as they should. The 190SL is accompanied by a detailed file of the restoration and subsequent service history in addition to original factory manuals.
Christie's is pleased to present this fine, early production 190SL in "turn-key" fashion, ready for any collector.
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