Many people in the collector car hobby dream of owning a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, one of the finest and most usable post-war European sports cars you can buy. The downside is that the average 300 SL costs about a million bucks.
There is a less-expensive alternative, the 190 SL, which offers similar build quality, reliability, comfort and many of the styling cues of the 300 SL.
No, the 190 SL is not nearly as quick as the 300 SL, with a 4-cylinder engine under its hood rather than the 300’s powerful, race-bred inline-6. Nor is the chassis as capable. But the 190 SL is still a great touring car in its own right, perfect for weekend drives and rallies, and welcome at any car show you wish to attend.
The Pick of the Day is one of these wonderful cars, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL finished in factory White Gray with a tan leather interior. The Mercedes is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a St. Louis, Missouri, dealer, which describes it as having had a well-detailed restoration and subsequently maintained in fine condition.
In the photos, the car looks well-restored and correct in every way. The interior looks great, with correct German square-weave carpets in the accurate color and texture, and a Becker Europa radio in the dash. The inline-4 engine is correctly equipped with twin Solex carburetors and linked with a four-speed manual gearbox.
The condition of the Mercedes looks practically show ready; these are expensive cars to restore, and getting a 190 SL to this level of quality would likely cost in excess of $200,000.
This stunning 190 SL is being offered for $125,000. Yes, there are less-expensive driver-level 190 SLs out there, but to bring one up to this condition, you would end up spending more than this asking price on the restoration alone.
You won’t get the 140-mph performance of a 300 SL, and it doesn’t have the same panache, but this 190 SL would get respect wherever you went for about a tenth of the price of its more-famous sibling.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.