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Mercedes-Benz 190SL Cabriolet 1955


Mercedes-Benz 190SL Cabriolet 1955

Chassis no. W121042 5500065

Engine no. 121921 5500075

•Very early chassis number '65' of 1,727 built in the first year of production

•Matching chassis and engine

•Present ownership since 2006

•Extensively restored and very well maintained

•Early and desirable bucket style seats


Only the 65th of its type built, this early Mercedes-Benz 190 SL left the factory on 1st August 1955 and one week later was delivered new to Los Angeles, USA. It is one of 830 US-market models out of the 1,727 produced in 1955. Data-card details on file reveal that the car was originally finished in 'Weissgrau' (white-grey) with black leather interior and matching fabric hood. Its first owner is not known, but from 1996 to 2006 the Mercedes belonged to a Mr M Steinbeck of Los Angeles. In 2006 the car was shipped to Belgium where it was purchased by the current vendor. 

As well as being serviced regularly since its acquisition, this 190 SL has benefited from extensive restoration with no expense spared, as detailed in the accompanying list of works carried out and components purchased totalling in excess of €80,000. Undertaken between 2008 and 2015, these works included a complete engine rebuild in 2015 (new cylinder head, pistons, valves, seals, timing belt, etc) together with overhauls of the gearbox (2008) and Solex carburettors (2014). In addition, the Silentbloc engine mounts have been replaced, the cooling fan renewed, and a stainless steel exhaust system fitted. 

Turning to the running gear: the brake drums were reconditioned and new brake linings installed (2011), a new brake servo fitted (2012), and the rear shock absorbers replaced, while a new EZ Electric power assisted steering mechanism makes the car that much easier to handle. The original steering wheel and column are included in the sale together with a windbreaker net and a leather trunk (by Maison Laurent Nay) that can be mounted on the boot. 

In 2008 the body was repainted, a new fuel tank being installed at the same time. The paintwork was refreshed in 2014 and a new hood and cover fitted in 2016, while various items of chromed external trim have been re-plated over the years. Identical to those of the 300 SL, the bucket seats were refreshed with new stuffing in 2014. Other items replaced/renewed include the headlights, radiator, heater unit, floor mats, water temperature gauge, and spare wheel cover. 

Since its acquisition by the current vendor in 2006, this much-loved 190 SL has covered some 26,500 miles (approximately 42,600 kilometres), attending rallies in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy. The car is offered with sundry bills, a FIVA Identity Card, instruction books, a workshop manual (on CD), two spare parts manuals, five collectors' books about the model, a quantity of archive photographs, and a Belgian Carte Grise.


Mercedes-Benz 190SL Cabriolet 1955


Sold for € 95,450


  • Model: Mercedes-Benz 190SL Cabriolet
  • Year: 1955
  • Coachbuilder: Mercedes-Benz
  • Designer: Karl Wilfert and Walter Häcker
  • Production nr.: 25,881
  • Seller: Bonhams
  • Country: France
  • Contact: www.bonhams.com
  • Auction: Bonhams The Chantilly Sale 2019
  • Auction date: 30 June 2019
  • Tags: 1955, Bonhams, cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz

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