Best of the Best / excellent in any detail
This gorgeous 1957 190SL roadster is a fully restored and beautifully-presented example fitted with numerous extra-cost factory options. Finished in a striking period correct shade of DB534 feuerwehrrot (fire-engine red) over a gray leather interior, this 190SL is an exquisite example ready for concours or the road. Recently out of a collection that included numerous important sports cars and three generations of Mercedes SLs, it has seen limited use since the exquisite restoration was completed and it remains in remarkably fresh condition. The body exhibits excellent quality paintwork and detailing, with straight, properly aligned panels. Even the body-color wheel wells and correct satin black undercarriage are exceptionally clean, revealing the level of detail that went into this restoration. Factory options include front and rear bumper guards, fog lights, and a locking fuel cap. Correct 13” steel wheels are dressed with fresh Firestone whitewall tires, and the original color-keyed hubcaps to complete the simple yet elegant look.
Similar attention to detail was paid to the interior, which has been fully restored using correct-type gray leather and square weave carpeting. The seats are excellent, showing little in the way of use and remaining taut, with supple leather and excellent quality stitching and fit. Factory correct fluted rubber mats and textured transmission covering are fitted, important details that are often overlooked on lesser restorations. Other important fittings include the correct Plexiglas sun visors (leather trimmed visors were fitted just a few cars later), glovebox-mounted clock, an optional side-facing jump seat, original Becker Europa Hi-Fi radio and a very rare set of matching fitted luggage in the boot. Inspired by the 300 SL, the 190 SL fascia contains intricate chrome switchgear and trim, all of which has been restored to the same high level as the rest of the cabin.
The 1.9 liter overhead cam four-cylinder engine has been highly detailed with correct labels and decals used throughout the engine bay. The presentation is excellent, and importantly, the engine retains the original twin Solex 44 PHH carburetors, which are too often sacrificed for Webers. In addition, the original airbox and air filter housing remain in place. The engine runs well and road manners are very good, with the car feeling ready for enjoyment on the road.
While the big-brother 300SL may have stolen the headlines in the day, it was the stylish little 190 SL that truly established the template for all futures SL-series cars with its exceptional build quality, relaxed performance and timeless good looks. This car’s high quality restoration has been very well preserved, and it presents in excellent order throughout. Highly optioned, beautifully presented and ready to enjoy to the fullest, this 190SL is an exquisite example of Mercedes’ landmark junior sports car.