4 June 2006
1958 MERCEDES-BENZ 190SL ROADSTER WITH HARD TOP
Chassis No. tba
Red with red interior
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 two liter power unit running with little stress.
All of this gave the car good performance with a top speed of 110mph and 0 to 60mph in 13.3 seconds. Contemporary road testers found third gear a useful overtaking ratio bringing 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 190 has good luggage capacity. The car's stability is commendable and the ride is good even by modern standards.
In unrestored and 'as found' condition, this 190SL is complete and ready for rejuvenation. It comes with both the original soft top as well as the rare factory hard top and shows the close and even panel shut lines only found on an original, unmolested car. The car bears California 'black plates' which would indicate that it spent most of its life in a rust-free environment which is borne out by the overall condition of the bodywork. The interior fittings are complete although a later radio has been fitted.
As to why Franchi purchased this 190SL, Eva Franchi explains 'Sergio loved honest, original cars with great lines - just like every man looks for a certain line in a woman. Great lines that he could bring back to life. He planned to give it as a gift to his grandson when he turned 16. It would be a terrific starter classic car for a young person, or for anyone for that matter.'
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Please note that the Chassis Number is 121042 8500864 and please also note that this car is being sold solely on a Bill of Sale from the Estate of Sergio Franchi including the Probate Court document.
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