The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121) is a two-door luxury roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz between May 1955 and February 1963. Internally referred to as W121 (BII or B2), it was first shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and was available with an optional removable hardtop.
The 190 SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. While both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear, the 190 SL did not use the 300 SL's purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe. Instead, it was built on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon.
The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare Type M121 BII 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine. Based on the 300 SL's straight six, it had an unchanged 85 mm bore and 4.3 mm reduced 83.6 mm stroke, was fitted with twin-choke dual Solex carburetors, and produced 120 gross hp. In detuned form, it was later used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models.
The car was available either as a soft-top convertible $ 3,998 or with removable hardtop ($ 4,295). A small a third-passenger transverse seat was optional. During its first years the 190 SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminum doors. In 1959, the hardtop's rear window was enlarged.
Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.
This Very solid example was purchased by the seller’s father in 1966, with over 100,000 miles at the time. The car was used on sunny summer days only and always kept garaged. Since he inherited the car, the seller has had various mechanical things done to the car to keep it running, but over the last few years the car has been sitting awaiting a full restoration. The decision has been made to sell the car versus restore it, so it is now available for someone else to restore as he sees fit. The car was running when parked, and would most likely start and run with a new battery and some fuel, but realistically the fuel tank should be refurbished prior to that. The brake system will need completely overhauled but many parts are included. The car is quite complete and has many of the Hard to find trim pieces that often get removed from these cars over time. This is a rare opportunity to get a very solid and largely rust free example of the increasingly desirable 190SL. With top examples trading well into the quarter million dollar range this car has lots of upside for the next owner.
Please note this car is titled as a 1957, while it was produced in 1956. It was not at all uncommon for US dealers to title cars when they were sold versus when they were produced during this period.