Mercedes 190 SL – Oldtimer of the “Sport Light”- class

Mercedes 190 SL

As a little brother to the legendary 300 SL, Daimler-Benz introduced the first prototype of the Mercedes 190 SL (W 121) in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York. One year later the production version went on display at the Geneva Motor Show. By 1963, a total of 25,881 units of the “Tourensportwagen” (engl.: “touring sports car”) had been built, of which almost half were exported to the United States.


Many stylistic elements such as front mask, bumpers and headlights have been adopted from the 300 SL. The 190 SL was available either as a convertible or as a coupe with removable roof. Today one would probably call it a convertible with hardtop, but back then it was advertised by the manufacturer like that. The concept of the open two-seater 190 SL with an easy-to-use weatherproof soft top was so successful that in the following, the 300 SL was modified accordingly. The legendary gullwing was replaced in the spring of 1957 by a roadster variant.

Mercedes 190 SL


The classic has a 1.9-liter gasoline engine with 1.9 litres capacity is equipped with a 4-speed gearbox. While originally aiming for a maximum speed of 190 km/h with a power of 105 hp (77 kW) and a maximum torque of 142 Newton meters at 3200 rpm, only 170 km/h can be reached in practice.

Mercedes 190 SL

Price of the 190 SL

While today you have to expect a well-preserved 190 SL to be priced over a quarter million euros, the price trend in the market for vintage tends to upward. If one considers that the basic price for the 190 SL was around 17,500 DM in the 60s, this initially seems like a considerable sum. But beyond what the currency conversion says in this sense, I can not think of anything timeless, which one can enjoy independently of any trend development.


While many modern cars look outdated after just a few years, and loose to the the passage of time, a few classics of the last century are untouched by the flow of time. The Mercedes 190 SL is among those models that have beaten solid pillars into the hearts of lovers over the last 60 years.

Dursun Karadag Venarca Mercedes 190 SL

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