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The Quail Auction / 1958 Mercedes- Benz 190SL Chassis no. 121042-85-01084 Engine no. 121921-85-00852

Lot 16
1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

US$180,000 - US$200,000

Ask about this lot

1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
Chassis no. 121042-85-01084
Engine no. 121921-85-00852

1,897cc SOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 Solex Carburetors
105bhp at 5,700rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Juergen Klockemann Concours restoration
*No less than four important Concours awards in 2021
*Rare and striking color combination
*Comes with full luggage set


'With some considerable experience with it during the 5 years since its introduction, we can state unequivocally that this machine is one of the finest 2-seater coupes on the market today. As a tribute to the excellent, all-round, well-balanced design, no really large changes have been made since our first test of the car.' – Road & Track on the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, December 1960.

In 1954 Mercedes-Benz had introduced the 300SL sports car, a 'Gullwing' coupé inspired by the German manufacturer's highly successful 300 Super Leicht series of sports-racers that had spearheaded its return to international competition. Expensive and exclusive, the 300SL caused a sensation and set new standards for high performance sports cars. Introduced at the same time was a cheaper, less exotic but no less refined sports roadster: the 190SL. Based on the 180 saloon whose all-independently-suspended running gear it used, the 190SL did not enter production until January 1955, the delay being caused by alterations aimed at strengthening the saloon's shortened platform to compensate for the open body's reduced stiffness.

Mounted on a detachable sub-frame together with the four-speed manual gearbox, front suspension and steering, the power unit was a 1,897cc overhead-camshaft four - the first such engine ever to feature in a Mercedes-Benz. Breathing through twin Solex downdraft carburettors, this M121 unit produced 105bhp at 5,700rpm, an output sufficient to propel the 190SL to 60mph in 13.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 106mph; it was also relatively economical. Road & Track found that 'on the highway an 80mph cruising speed is extremely comfortable and well within the car's capabilities, both as to engine durability and roadability.'

With its four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox, servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes and fully independent suspension, the 190SL was both more refined and more comfortable than any contemporary British sports car. The model, a miniature 300SL in appearance, was a big hit in the USA, where many of the slightly fewer than 26,000 produced between 1955 and 1963 found homes.
The sporting elegance of the 190SL coupled to its comfort and adaptability brought the car a lot of success, excelling in long-distance drives all year long thanks to its hardtop. Despite relatively weak performances, the car was well balanced and safe enough so spirited drivers could still find fun in owning them.
"It proved to be fast and tireless, exhilarating to drive and was probably created with long distance, comfortable travel in mind..." - Autocar on the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, 10th January 1956.


The 190SL proposed here in a stunning combination of Light Green Metallic paint on Green soft top and leather interior carries an impressive track record – first at the 2021 Legends of the Autobahn where it won First in Class and the People's Choice award; then at the 2021 Hillsborough Concours where it also grabbed First in class; and if this was not enough, the car was also judged First in Class at the 2021 San Marino Concours.

While this track record might seem impressive, it becomes logical once we learn that the man behind this nut-and-bolt Concours restoration is the renown SL restorer from San Jose, CA, Juergen Klockemann. Mr. Klockemann's name is often associated with Concours winners, especially with Mercedes SLs, and this 190 is simply no exception. Through pictures of restoration, we understand that the car was stripped down entirely so every part could be entirely restored to the quality this restorer is known for.

Accompanied by pictures of restoration, its various trophies, luggage set, original toolbox, 190SL tire gauge, as well as an equally fully restored color-matching hard top, this CA yellow-plate Concours Queen is now looking for a new lucky keeper to honor.

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