The Mercedes 190SL was labelled as the ‘little sister’ to the 300SL. Despite this, the car still sold strongly and is regarded as great car even to this day. Made between 1955 and 1963, 25,881 190SLs were built during its time, much more than was first anticipated.
It was the first overhead cam four cylinder Mercedes engine, and featured two Solex carburettors. Total power output from the 1.9 litre engine was 120 bhp and 0-60mph came in 12.7 seconds.
The 190SL shared many components with Mercedes saloons of the same time, for which it was criticised for. Many fans of more traditional sports cars described the car as lacklustre due to the non-sporting heritage of some of the parts.
The acronym SL stands for ‘Sport Leicht’ or sport light. The 190SL was neither that sporty, nor that light though! It weighed a lardy 2,800lbs, around 500lbs more than its main rivals.
When first advertised in New York in 1955, the car was $3,998, but this had increased to £5,129 by 1961.
The 190SL was not just successful because of its sales success; it also helped shape a future generation of sales successes for Mercedes, lending its stylish and elegant lines for many SL shapes to come.
Prices for 190SLs are still strong now, with about 50% of all cars made still available now. This incredible figure does show evidence of how highly respected these cars are, with a large fan base making sure these cars don’t just rot away.
Although the 190SL was a luxurious and accomplished car, some companies felt that it could be improved. Judson offered a Supercharger kit for the car, promising to increase power by 40% and stating that “only with a Judson supercharged 190 SL can you accelerate like a rocket.”
Written by Murray Scullion
Owner since 16 year (2 owner) 65000326
Just follow service program, and hav e ever nerver had any esential problems beside i.e. replacement hoses,
and exhaust system. If I compare to my other old cars its a real star of joy-
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