Pick of the Day: This 1962 Mercedes sedan has Judson supercharger

Device was popular on 190 SL sports cars, but rarely seen on 4-door sedans

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1962 Mercedes
This 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190C has a Judson supercharger boosting its engine's output

In post-war America, New York car dealer Max Hoffman served as the first importer of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. But in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, the German automaker was selling its products in the United States through Studebaker-Packard dealerships. That was the situation until 1965, when Mercedes-Benz USA was established. 

Among the Mercedes sold during the Studebaker era was the 190 SL roadster, an entry-level sports car that, like the original Chevrolet Corvette, was sportier in looks than in performance, thanks in large part to a 1.9-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at slightly more than 100 horsepower.

Ah, but those innovative Studebaker dealers had a solution, the installation of a Judson supercharger, a power-boosting accessory that increases air pressure within the engine, thus allowing for more fuel to be burned and more power to be made. 

Which brings us to the Pick of the Day, a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190, not an SL but a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190C, a sedan that, like the roadster, had its engine’s output boosted by a Judson supercharger.

“This supercharger is rare in itself,” reports the car’s private seller in Phoenix, Arizona. So rare, the seller wonders if this might be the only sedan from that era equipped with such a power booster?

“The car is in very good shape,” the seller notes, “no rust, very clean body, interior, and exterior.

“The car keeps the original owner touches, with the backseat red separation drape and red flowers, the trunk rack, the black painted top, and the fog lights.”

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The seller explains that the car was acquired after its original owner died and the family put the car into storage. 

“The car has not been driven since the early 2000’s, when the original owner passed,” the seller reports. “The family, and then myself, stored it in very good condition, but some minor imperfections appeared over these years (negligible for a regular person).”

Because Judson superchargers are so rare these days,  the seller notes, that “I bought the car with the intention to put back the factory carburetor setup and sell the supercharger, but I realized that this car, as is, with the supercharger installed and untouched, is a treasure for a 190SL owner, or for a person that wants to keep this extremely rare (possibly unique) 190C setup as is. So, I decided it is more appropriate to sell – would be almost a sacrilege otherwise.”

The seller adds that in addition to the original hubcaps and an extra set of belts, including one for the supercharger, “I have the factory carburetor setup, with the manifolds and air filter,” as well as the supercharger installation manual.

Though not mentioned in the advertisement, 190Cs were equipped with 4-speed manual transmissions.

The car with its supercharger is offered for $11,900. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

6 COMMENTS

    • Good catch. I grabbed both the correct one and the wrong one from our the photo gallery in our ‘dashboard.’ The red interior photo is the correct one. Please ignore the Jaguar interior photo.

  1. Iconic and with a legacy. I would love to cruise the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles where the sidewalk cafes are full of very knowledgable automobile aficionados so I could get the oohs and ahhs I used to get in the seventies with my 220S.

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