The 1962 Sales Brochure for the Mercedes Benz 190 SL promoted the vehicle as “Sporty and comfortable: the car for two.”
The brochure went on to describe the 190 SL as “An exceptionally happy combination of experienced craftsmanship and undating beauty and driving comfort !
In addition…” continues the blurb, “it is one of the few cars which even the most critical test drivers parts with reluctantly and with profound admiration.”
In the second paragraph owners of 190 SL’s are described as having “… a mutual love of spirited driving, an ear for a powerful engine with a “masculine” tone, an appreciation of mechanical perfection –
and last but not least, the wish for maximum joy without sacrificing the joy of zestful driving.”
Thanks for joining me on this “Maltese Heart Breaker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a French homologation special. Don’t forget to come back now !
In November 1955 Hong Kong Army Seargent Douglas Stearn drove a Mercedes 190 SL to second place in the Macau Grand Prix for the Zung Fu Company, finishing behind the Austin Healey 100 driven by Robert Ritchie.
For 1956 Mercedes Benz built two light weight competition 190 SLR’s, featuring window less aluminium doors.
Additional weight was saved by replacing the windscreens with perspex racing aero screens and deleting the soft top, front and rear bumpers.
Power was also increased from 104 hp to 115hp which gave the car a top speed of 121 mph, though these speeds are unlikely to have been reached around the tight Macau street circuit.
Douglas duly won the race at his second attempt beating the Ferrari 500 Monidal driven by Mário Lopez da Costa and the MG A driven by Fernando de Macedo Pinto.
The 190SL seen in these photographs taken at Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands, was imported to the UK and first registered for the on March 5th 1957, it appears to have been converted to an approximation of the SLR spec by Redcastle Classics in 2008.
The whereabouts of the two original 190 SLR’s are unknown to me at this time if you know please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Thanks for joining me on this “Windowless Aluminium Door Roadster” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
When Mercedes Benz US importer Max Hoffman suggested that Mercedes Benz build the 300 SL Gullwing Coupé for an exclusive US clientele in 1953 he also suggested they build a more affordable Roadster which became the 190 SL Roadster like the one seen here at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham a few years ago.
The 190 SL was built on a modified W121 Saloon platform unlike the 300 SL which had a space frame chassis, but used similar double wishbone front and swing axle rear independent suspension.
Power came from a short stroke 1897 cc / 115.7 cui 4 cylinder variant of the 300 SL’s 3 litre / 183 cui over head cam six cylinder engine that produced 120 hp.
Production of the 190 SL commenced in 1955 and continued until 1963 by which time 25,881 examples had been built.
Renowned for melting the hearts of the proudest women the 190 SL included amongst it’s star studded clientele Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobrigida and Bibi Johns.
Thanks for joining me on this “Heart Breaker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
As one of many birthday treats a couple of weeks ago I re visited Brooklands and before I got there I found time to pop into Mercedes Benz World which came highly recommended by an old school buddy Dave whom I met there for a cuppa and a catch up in the Mercedes Benz World Café.
I got there a little earlier than Dave and my curiosity got the better of me the moment I walked through the door. Above a Mercedes Benz Patent Motor Car of the type that Bertha Benz took for a 110 mile spin with her sons without her husband Karl, who invented the machine even knowing about it !
Among the more unusual exhibits was this Mercedes Benz 220a which is one of 17 that has been restored and transformed into an unuseable work of art by the painter Hiro Yamagata.
Mercedes Benz officially withdrew from racing at the end of 1955 though it has since emerged that Mercedes Benz were involved in supporting the efforts of GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s uncle George Tilp and on my visit to Mercedes Benz World I was surprised to learn that Mercedes Benz also supported Hong Kong’s Mercedes Benz agent efforts to win the 1956 Macau GP. (British) Army Sergeant Doug Steane winning the race in the works prepared 121 mph 190 SLR of which just two are known to have been built in 1956.
Back in December I related in a Ferrari Friday blog the story of the Sultan of Brunei and his six Ferrari 456 GT Venice cars purchased for a cool $7 million seems that around the same time the good Sultan purchased two Mercedes Benz CLK GTR’s one of the 20 Coupés in Silver the other one of six Roadster’s in blue both easily identified because they are the only two CLK GTR cars fitted with Right Hand Drive, making the car in the foyer unique of it’s type. The Sultan will have paid a minimum of $3 million in 1999 for the two CLK GTR’s when he sold them at auction ten years later he only got just short of $1.8 back for the pair.
Mercedes Benz World has a surprising amount of art on display qualifying as the wildest in my humble opinion is View Suspended II by Dutch artist Paul Veroude which features 3200 components which nominally go to making a Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team car suspended from the ceiling, although the parts do swing in the wind they are held reasonably securely in place by steel wires which took ten people a week to hang.
It would be difficult to end this little over view of Mercedes Benz World with anything other than a range topper, unfortunately the Maybach’s in the service center were all privately owned so I hope you enjoy dribbling with me onto your keyboard while taking in the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG which went on in the United States last year for ‘less than $200,000’, so it should be well within the reach of your average jackpot winning lottery winner.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Oh Lord !’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !