The 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster Was All About Lifestyle
Max Hoffman, the renowned luxury European automobile importer of the 1950s, was the brains behind the 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster. As a more lifestyle-oriented model of the 300SL Gullwing Coupe, the 190SL and its big brother, the 300SL, were another success for Hoffman. The four cylinder 190SL kept many of the same design details of the gullwing, especially it’s curving shapes, which appealed to the Southern California buyers that picked up the car in droves. More than 26,000 190SLs were produced and sold between the years 1955 and 1963. With that many originally inhabiting the market, it’s not too uncommon to see them in collections today.
The 190SL being offered by Sothebys could stand out from the rest, however. This particular model went through extensive, year-and-a-half frame-off restoration by “SL-Classics” in Duren, Germany. The car was originally sourced in California. SL-Classics was able to retain essentially all of the original parts. The exterior is painted in Code 172 Anthracite Grey Metallic with a matching hard top and a Tobacco Brown canvas soft top. The interior is covered in Cognac leather (originally, the interior was done in vinyl).
As for performance, the 190SL featured a 120 horsepower, 1897 cc overhead-camshaft inline four-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburetors. The car has a four-speed manual gearbox. The independent front suspension with coil springs partners with a swing axle rear suspension.
You won’t have to imagine the lifestyle of the 1960s—not with this car cruising the highways once again.