Lot 12: 1959 MERCEDES-BENZ 190SL ROADSTER
Red with tan leather interior and tan top
Engine: in-line 4 cylinder overhead camshaft, 105hp at 5,700rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: independent front with single joint swing axle rear and coil springs; Brakes: finned drums all around. Left hand drive.
The 190SL was born from the rich tradition of excellence and distinction so firmly adhered to by Mercedes-Benz. After experiencing unconditional success with the powerful 300SL series, Mercedes executives and designers decided it would be advantageous to introduce a smaller, lower priced, yet similar example, 'a little brother' if you will. The 300SL's 'little brother' made quite an impact on the motoring world, selling over 25,000 units by the final days of its eight year production run in February of 1963. The 190SL gained quite a following - it is rumored that it was the favorite car of the very alluring Grace Kelly. In effect, the 190SL was far more practical than its more severe alternative, and was better designed to suit the everyday driver and enthusiast.
The 190SL was as impressive to the eye as the 300 series and still offered adequate performance. The car was offered to the public in two versions: the soft top convertible and the removable hardtop version that was fixed to the body. Under the hood was an in-line four cylinder engine with a chain driven overhead camshaft rounded out with two downdraft carburetors. All of this helped deliver a sufficient 105 horsepower to propel the monocoque chassis 190SL to ample driving speeds.
The 190SL on offer today was restored to like new condition in 1994 by Philip Lufty of Phoenix, Arizona. A retired doctor, Dr. Lutfy acquires one Mercedes 190SL per year and completely restores the car as his "therapy." Dr. Lutfy's informs us that his restorations include a total dissembling of the car, replacing all parts that that require it and then slowly and lovingly re-assembling the 190SL. The example here is fitted with the rare and useful rear "transverse seat" which provides an additional, albeit snug, seat. It is also equipped with the fitted luggage which is much more common among this model's "big brother," the 300SL. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest 190SL's in existence.
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