Originally delivered to the USA in 1962, the 190SL was imported to the UK in 1990 and registered as VSU 696, over the years the car has been well maintained and has a detailed history file, prior to being imported to Jersey in 2011, it underwent an independent evaluation by a qualified engineer which is included in the history file. We have maintained the car over the last few years, with all service and maintenance records on file.
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. Both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear. Instead of the 300 SL's expensive purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe the 190 SL rode on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon.
The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) 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 carburettors, and produced gross 120 hp (89 kW; 122 PS). 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 (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). A small 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 aluminium 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