1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL


  • Location: Georgia (Dick Barbour Performance)
  • Year: 1959
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: 190 SL convertible
  • Mileage: 98k
  • Engine: 1.9L 4-cyl
  • Transmission: 4-sp Manual
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Ext. Color: Light Blue (Hellblau DB334)
  • Int. Color: Grey Leather
  • Key Features: long-term owner, always garaged, two-tops included

First appearing in 1954 at the New York Auto Show, the 190 SL Mercedes-Benz was produced from 1955 – 1963 and internally referred to as the W121 platform.  Offered as a more affordable option compared to the then current 300SL, the 190 utilized some of the features like independent rear suspension but was built on a shortened sedan platform rather than light W198 space frame. Power came from a twin carbureted 1.9L 4-cyl rather than the fuel injected 6 from the 300.   It was to be more of a cruiser than a sports car, and they got it spot on.

Prices have fallen a little recently for the 190’s, which is what caught our eye on this one being offered in Georgia by Dick Barbour Performance…owned by Mr. Barbour himself, the legendary racer with 70+ victories to his name and a career spanning over 30 years in Posche’s, Lamborghini’s, and Ford GT’s.

This 190 is reported to run and drive superbly.  It was repainted and the interior was refurbished about 10 years ago. The top is said to be in great shape, and the car also comes with a hard top.  This roadster was in the care of the same local owner for about 30 years, who only drove the car during warm months. It was always garaged and serviced.

A total of 25,881 “Baby Merc” 190’s were made during the 9 year run, with 3,949 made in 1959.  There were a few production changes around the 1959 MY of note:

  • New indicator and park lights for U.S. versions
  • Lockable fuel tank cap shares key with door locks
  • Coupe hard-top gets larger rear window
  • Roadster hard-top gets larger rear window
  • Paint number plate moved from engine compartment and combined with body number plate on left front door pillar; body number continues to be stamped into engine firewall

Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were later replaced by the 230SL in 1963. Prices for these range from about $90k – $150k for good to excellent per Hagerty values.  We found 190SL’s for sale ranging from $57k in need of some rather significant TLC up to $225k for a “mint” condition fully restored example.

*All photo credits to Dick Barbour Performance.  For more information, find the car here for sale. Second Daily is not affiliated nor sponsored by Dick Barbour Performance.

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