1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

After the successful launch of the new 300-series sedans and the groundbreaking 300SL sports car, Mercedes-Benz set its sights on creating an affordable and stylish sports car for the masses. Enter the 190SL, introduced in 1954. This sleek two-seater was built on a shortened and strengthened version of the Ponton sedan platform, offering a thrilling open-air driving experience.

The 190SL boasted a new 1.9-liter overhead camshaft engine, a development based on the 300SL’s powerplant. This engine, paired with a four-speed manual transmission, delivered a respectable 105 horsepower, perfect for cruising the countryside. This engine would later make its way into the Ponton sedans as well.

The 190SL wasn’t just about performance. It offered a comfortable ride with four-wheel independent suspension and a standard cockpit heater. The convertible top provided open-air thrills, while a removable hardtop offered additional weather protection. For those who wanted a more permanent roof, a fixed-roof model was also available. A unique option: a side-facing jump seat could be added to accommodate a third passenger.

While pricier than some competitors like the MG, the 190SL offered a more refined driving experience. It competed favorably with grand tourers like the Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, providing a luxurious alternative for the discerning driver.

Production of the 190SL continued until 1963, with nearly 26,000 units rolling off the assembly line. It cemented its place as a successful and stylish sports car, offering a taste of Mercedes-Benz luxury at a more accessible price point.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s