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*Please note this vehicle is titled by the last seven digits of the chassis number.
Roberts Family, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (acquired new in 1956)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Mercedes-Benz debuted the 190 SL prototype in 1954 at the New York Auto Show, and the model went into production May of the following year. Offered alongside the exclusive 300 SL, the 190 SL was designed to provide a svelte sporting model at a more affordable price point. Between 1955 and 1963, Mercedes-Benz built 25,881 examples of the 190 SL (just 4,032 in 1956), its longevity a testament to the model’s popularity and timeless styling.
The 190 SL presented here is an exceptional early-production example that boasts the most desirable factory specifications, a sensational period-evoking color scheme, and a tremendous degree of originality. During this 190 SL’s short time at the original selling dealership, the paintwork was damaged by falling glass within the showroom window and was therefore refinished in the original shade of Erdbeerrot or “Strawberry” (DB 543). Purchased new by Robert Roberts of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, this 190 SL was delivered with a removable hardtop only, as evidenced by the “040” sequence in the chassis number.
When the 190 SL was purchased by its current owner in December 2012, the odometer displayed just over 31,000 original miles.
In reverence to its largely untouched condition, the new owner refreshed the 190 SL yet preserved original features wherever possible. The repaint performed by the dealer in 1956 was deemed below factory standards by the consignor, who had the bodywork stripped to bare metal and refinished, using the factory-applied dashboard paint as the standard for matching. The original Light Grey (1058) Roser leather interior, while in good condition, was treated using the Leatherique process to maintain its supple feel. Most other features and finishes are original, evidence of the owners’ attentive care and maintenance of the 58-year-old automobile.
Mechanically, the consignor states that this lovely 190 SL runs “magnificently” – testimony to Mercedes-Benz craftsmanship, considering the drivetrain and suspension are fundamentally original, complete with factory-inspection marks.
Siegfried Linke, a respected marque expert and Pebble Beach Concours judge, completed an inspection for the consignor and this detailed document is provided with the sale. Despite the 190 SL’s impressive pedigree, it has not yet been exhibited at concours events, allowing its new owner the opportunity to be the frst to do so.
This 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL is an eye-catching example in its factory correct Strawberry paint with contrasting silver top and original gray upholstery. It is accompanied by important accessories, including owner’s manuals, tools, a rare 4-bar tire gauge, and an extremely rare three-piece set of Karl Baisch fitted luggage with the original key.
With its impressive originality, 56 years of single family ownership and the impeccable style and quality synonymous with Mercedes-Benz, this 190 SL is a true prize for the discerning collector.