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Mercedes-Benz 190SL - SOLD


1956 Mercedes 190SL Roadster

  • 1.9 litre with 4 speed manual.
  • Stunning restoration.
  • Becker Mexico radio.
  • Stainless steel exhaust.
  • Supplied with tonneau cover, jack and tools.


Unveiled as a prototype at the 1954 New York Motor Show, alongside the 300SL it is often regarded that the New York car importer Max Hoffman, was the vision behind the car's development. Hoffman understood that whist the 300SL (known as the "Gullwing") would certainly grab the attention of buyers, the larger car had two drawbacks, early 300SLs were coupes and they were very expensive. Convincing the Mercedes-Benz senior directors to build a simplified, less costly version in cabriolet form would open up a whole new market, specifically in the United States and just over 1 year later the Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster went into production.

Powered by a single overhead camshaft, four-cylinder engine and equipped with drum brakes all round, conventional doors and a simplified swing rear axle, it retains all the style and glamour of its larger brother. The 190SL provided comfortable, luxurious driving with excellent road manners and with the exception of minor styling revisions, the 190SL remained largely unchanged until its production ended in 1963, with the introduction of the new 230SL.

One of 25,881 examples, our sensational 190SL Roadster was built in the Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart factory in April 1956 and then exported to the Australian market. It would appear the car remained in Australia and whist there, the registered keeper started a comprehensive strip down and restoration. We understand that due to relocation, the SL was then imported to the UK where Redcastle Classics, Mercedes SL specialist, where appointed to finalise works and prepare the car for use in the UK.

During the restoration it is clear to see that each and every component has been carefully stripped and then either restored / rebuilt or replaced. The body was taken back to bare metal before being repainted to the now lustrous Black (DB-40), with a new, matching black hood. Maintaining this standard of quality restoration, the interior has been professionally re-upholstered in parchment with a complimentary oatmeal Mercedes square weave carpet and for when the hood is folded away, there is a matching leather tonneau cover, which naturally also comes in its own storage bag for safe keeping. It clear to see that a great deal of time and care has been spent to get each detail right.

In May 2017 the car was shipped to Redcastle Classic where it received a thorough inspection, with the following works being carried out:

  • Rear axle rebuild
  • Supply and fit stainless exhaust system including manifold
  • Weber carburettor conversion (importantly the car comes with her original solex too)
  • New starter motor
  • Supply and fit 5x Michelin ZX tyres
  • Strip / rebuild of fuel gauge and sender.
  • Full service
  • MOT

With total works at Redcastle costing in excess of £12k and having covered less than 200 miles since its comprehensive restoration, this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL is an absolute joy. The car comes with her UK registration, history file, owners manual, tonneau cover / bag, jack and toolkit and a set of keys. The level and detail in the restoration and specialist works means that this 190 SL presents itself as virtually new.  A truly sensational 60 year old classic. 

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Quick Contact

"I write these words with a large childish smile still beaming across my face after driving through the Kent countryside, roof down, summers warmth on my face as ‘il Polita’ my beautiful '82 Fiat Spider 2000. This is now June but the story starts in 2018 February at the London Classic Car Show

Glass of fizz in hand with Paul; very good friend of mine. Gazing at auto-erotica, he spots the 82’ Fiat spider 2000 on the stand of ‘Absolute Classic Cars’, with the team greeting us too look closer. A truly stunning example and honestly priced. The conversation flitters between us, the cars of the show, and the possible purhcase of the Spider!

Days later, I call to make a further enquiry to purchase the Fiat Spider. Excitement in my voice is then inadvertently quelled as I find out that the early bird has truly got the worm. Paul has got in before me and struck the deal! All's fair in love afterall. . . 

After carrying out a detailed service and additional works the call comes to collect the Spider and on a damp cold March morning we travel up to Lincoln, where we're kindly picked up at the station. Moments later, after a warming coffee, everybody’s happy! The sale's completed and Paul’s in the 'new owners' hot seat of the Spider raring to go. Myself? Navigators seat, perhaps with the slightest of sighs. 150 miles later, we’re home but the drive South has encouraged me to make the call for Absolute Classic Cars to commence the search for another model. This time, most definitely with my name on it! 

Over the next month myself and the ACC team discuss cars in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, with the Mark and Carl casting their ever professional ‘laser pin point’ eye over several models. Each time highlighting why that may not be the example for me. Rest assured these guys know their onions and you’re in very safe hands; candid and sincere.

Just when I was beginning to feel the summer would pass without a ‘Spider’ for my own Italian passions, I get a phone call from my friend Paul. Whether it was a hint of guilt or just that he had run out of space for his car collection? .....“Would you like to buy the Spider from me”....I think they were his words, as I interrupted with a ‘yes definitely’ before the sentence was cast from his lips!  

I inform ACC to call off the search, the Spider has fund its true home! – ‘Perhaps it was just meant to be‘  he wryly says.

From that champagne fuelled car show, meeting Carl and Mark, the roundabout route of having my perfect car in the garage & now chasing summer horizons. I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure both meeting and finally getting ‘the car’ through the Absolute Classic Cars. 

As they say in Italy – ‘Le Dolce Vita’ "

Steve Calver, Kent

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