As we move further into the 21st century and 2022 itself, the concept of classic motoring is becoming more of a distant memory; with younger generations becoming further distanced from golden eras of motoring. But one only need look at the success of events like Goodwood Revival and Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb, to realise that the appeal of classic motorsport and motoring in general, is only getting bigger. Running parallel to this, is the surge in individuals seeking out restoration projects for investment and enjoyment opportunities.
SLSHOP has recently acquired and made available a Mercedes 190 SL restoration project for sale. What makes this project special, is the minimal work required to bring this vehicle from good to stunning. Usually, Mercedes 190 SL restoration projects that are for sale are in dire condition, with unsettling levels of structural and fabrication work required. Before we delve further into this Mercedes 190 SL restoration project, let’s take a quick glance at the 190 SL.
ABOUT THE 190 SL:
Launched as a prototype in 1954 alongside the 300 SL (194) Gullwing, the 190 SL would move the Mercedes-Benz SL away from just the top echelons of society and into the reach and affordability of everyday people. The 190 SL would be the first mass-produced SL manufactured by Mercedes-Benz but would still retain some of the quirky discrepancies associated with handcraftsmanship. This included chrome tailored to body panels and different dashboard and topper fitment. The 190 SL would be innovative in many ways, featuring a newly engineered rear swing-axle setup and a monocoque sports chassis. You can read more about the 190 SL’s engineering firsts here.
WHY THIS 190 SL RESTORATION PROJECT FOR SALE IS A REAL OPPORTUNITY
Any classic car restoration project is a challenge, particularly when buying online without complete insight into the vehicle’s state. There is an array of Mercedes 190 SL restoration projects out there, many of which display the common issues reported in our buying guide. These include, a severely corroded rocker panel, chassis frame rails and mounting points, the boot and floor panels, to name a few. You can read more about these Mercedes 190 SL restoration project issues here.
Fortunately, SLSHOP has had the luxury of a long-term relationship with this 190 SL, having carried out major and minor works over the past three years. This 190 SL first arrived at SLSHOP in 2019 for a Vehicle Health Check – our industry leading inspection of the mechanical, structural, and cosmetic state of a classic Mercedes-Benz SL. The report shows all green across the major areas outlined in our Buying guide, with no evidence of corrosion to structural elements, leaks from power steering or brake lines. The full details of the report are available upon request.
The same year, the gearbox was removed and resealed to tend to an oil leak. Engine mountings were replaced, as was the differential pinion seal and all brakes cleaned and adjusted. The extent of works carried out by SLSHOP to this 190 SL covers four pages, evidencing that this is a restoration project that will allow a new owner to potentially focus solely on cosmetic improvements as the bulk of mechanical work has been carried out.
THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE SOMETHING UNIQUE TO YOU:
This 190 SL restoration project for sale is an opportunity for you to create a car bespoke to you. The combination of a white exterior with a blue leather interior could appeal to an owner looking to retain the fifties styling, but we feel this 190 SL project would benefit from a more modern twist. As with our recent W113 Pagoda restorations, an Arabian Grey or Silver Grey colour palette could give this 190 SL a more contemporary feel. Our expert trim shop could also give the interior a new lease of life, offering a new leather interior and dashboard finish.
With a manual gearbox and in Left-Hand Drive form, this is an unusual setup for a 190 SL, offering a more engaging drive with a free-revving 4-cylinder engine, giving the driver access to the true sporting credentials of Mercedes-Benz’s formative road-going production sports cars.
BESPOKE MECHANICAL UPGRADES & RALLY PREPARATION:
Enthusiasts will be aware that the 190 SL suffered from issues with their stock PHH44 Solex Carburettors, which were intrinsically flawed due to rapid development for the launch of the 190 SL. SLSHOP’s Heritage craftsmen regularly replace these with Webber carburettors to improve engine performance. Replacing these will overcome the common experience of a ‘flat spot’ between 1500 – 1900 rpm, ensuring you consistently experience the true roadster lifestyle.
Unbeknownst to many enthusiasts, Mercedes-Benz actually gave 190 SL owners the option of customising their 190 SL for race purposes, offering an optional ‘Rennsport’ kit to convert the car into a semi-competitive club racer. This included lightened doors, the removal of the hood and its frame, as well as the removal of chrome bumpers and trim. In addition, the windscreen could be cutdown and replaced with a low-drag plexiglass aero alternative.
As race and rally specialists, SLSHOP has years of experiencing building bespoke rally and race-ready SLs for customers around the world. This Mercedes 190 SL restoration project is for sale and could be altered into a competition-focused roadster, configured to your individual desires. Below are a suite of photos showcasing the vehicle – as you can see, this vehicle is in a great starting point to create something exceptional and unique to you.