SOLD 01/16

1959 Mercedes-Benz

Restored California Car From New, Original Window Sticker, Original Tools, Original Colors, Excellent Original Undercarriage

  • VIN121042-10-9501256
  • Exterior ColorWhite
  • Interior ColorRed Leather
  • Mileage66355 Miles
  • Engine1.9 Litre 4-Cylinder
  • Engine no.12192110017791
  • Transmission4-Speed Manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ1850


1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
s/n 121042-10-9501256, engine no. 12192110017791
White with Red Leather Interior

Introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show in prototype form (alongside the 300SL Gullwing), the190SL was a glamorous yet affordable way to enjoy Mercedes quality and robustness in an open air form. Like many other contemporary European sports cars (most notably the Porsche Speedster), the arrival of the 190SL in the United States owed much to Max Hoffman, the contemporary US distributor for many European car companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, MG, and Triumph. Priced at around $4000, the 190SL was slightly more than half the price of the 300SL, and consequently, nearly 26,000 examples were built between 1955 and 1963, compared to about 1800 300SL Roadsters. Therefore, today, the 190SL remains a considerably more affordable and easier to live with (but in many ways, equally striking and pretty) car than the 300SL thanks to superior parts availability and more straightforward mechanicals.

This particular car is a lifelong California example that was sold new in San Francisco and has been with the same owner for 31 years, since 1984. It comes with its original books and original window sticker showing that it was supplied new by Studebaker-Packard Corp located at 701 Bryant Street in San Francisco, finished in the same colors it wears today: DB050 white with 1079 red leather interior. It was factory fitted with leather interior, Becker Europa radio, and bumper over riders and originally cost $5846.70.

The car also comes with approximately 40 years of service records in a thick file, showing that the car has had just two owners during this period, one in San Francisco and the other in Oakland. The records show regular maintenance as well as much restorative work, including repaint, new exterior trim and weather stripping, and new interior in 2008-2015. The car also received a significant service at a cost of more than $4600 in January of 2015, including all new fluids, new spark plugs and spark plug wires, neg ignition points, new fuel filter, new brake shoes, new brake lines, new front wheel cylinders, and new pinion seal. The car has been continuously maintained by the same shop, Mercedes specialist Import Motors, since the mid 1980s, as shown by the extensive records. A compression check performed 3000 miles ago indicated 135-145 psi on all four cylinders.

Today, the car is an attractive driver-level restored example with an exceptional unrestored undercarriage that is extremely solid and has never had any damage or repairs of any kind. The paintwork was done to very good standards and is in excellent shape, with no major blemishes. The body is straight with good panel fit. The chrome is in good shape, with minor swirls and light pitting in some areas, but nice presentation overall. The windscreen has some wiper marks and some wear from road use. The lights and remaining glass are excellent. The car wears yellow and black year of manufacture California license plates. The rocker panel covers are missing. The top was renewed recently and is of high quality and is in excellent shape.

The interior was restored to high standards at considerable expense, with new leather and correct square weave carpets, both of which were installed to high standards and are in as-new condition. The door panels and dashboard upholstery are equally nice. The painted dash is in nice shape, as are the instruments, switches, and controls. There is minor pitting on some of the chrome trim. The Becker radio is still in place and the original unrestored steering wheel shows some hairline cracks.

The engine compartment is unrestored but is quite clean, unmodified, and shows signs of recent maintenance. The trunk was retrimmed to the same high standards as the interior with matching square weave carpets. The original tool roll with tools is also present. The undercarriage of the car is outstanding, being completely original, unrestored, and structurally exemplary. It is truly unusual to find a 190SL that is this original and solid.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an attractive 190SL that is unusually complete and undisturbed. A lifetime California car, this example has had two owners in the last 40 years and is still finished in its original color combination. The undercarriage is in superb original condition and the car is complete with original window sticker, a thick file of service records, the Becker radio (which appears on the window sticker), books set with holder, and tool roll with tools.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

Inquire About This Car

Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608