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For Sale: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190
in Burbank, California

Classic cars for sale coast to coast This vehicle is listed by
Auctions America by RM
Auctions America by RM
Marriott Burbank Airport 2500 Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
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To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America's California event, July 31-2, 2014.Estimate:$100,000 - $140,000 The 190SL was the vision of Max Hoffman, Mercedes' U.S. importer in the 1950s. Hoffman wanted to capitalize on the excitement created when a Mercedes 300SL won La Carrera Panamericana in 1952. A production version of this racecar was introduced in August 1954, which Hoffman was anxious to get on the market, but a need still existed for a second, lower-priced version to complement the coupe. Hoffman knew that America was a convertible-oriented country and kept pressuring the manufacturers he represented in the United States, including Porsche and Alfa Romeo, to build simple, relatively inexpensive open models for the American market. His vision was impeccable and resulted in development of some of the most successful and still desirable automobiles ever sold in the U.S., including the Porsche Speedster, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider and the Mercedes-Benz 190SL. It was at the 1954 New York Auto Show that the 190SL prototype made its debut. This version had early dash instrumentation, eyebrows over the front fenders and an air scoop on the hood. Production cars took more than a year to appear, with the first version arriving at the 1955 Geneva Auto Show. Though the car carried the SL nomenclature denoting sports' and light,' it was actually a touring vehicle, and had a curb weight of 2,558 pounds. Considered a junior version of the 300SL, the car was initially described as good-looking and as the car the entire world has waited for. Add to this a significantly lower price tag than the 300SL, it began to outsell its big brother' by about eight to one. As it turned out, the 190SL came with many engineering features that were well ahead of its time. The engine, a single overhead camshaft four-cylinder unit displacing 1,897-cc, was substantially above anything else under two-liters, while the four-wheel drum brakes, conventional doors and a simple swing axle rear suspension complemented its conception for cruising rather than for competing. Though overshadowed by the 300SL, the 190SL was very well received. Delightful as the car is at low speeds, wrote John Christy in Sports Car Illustrated, the upper reaches of the speed range become sheer sensual pleasure. As he so many times demonstrated, Max Hoffman possessed an almost intuitive understanding of the American market as the 190SL, having conformed to his suggestions, was right on target. Approximately 26,000 190SLs were produced between 1955 and 1963. The 190SL confirmed that a profitable niche existed for Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. and elsewhere by providing comfortable, modestly powered, luxurious cruisers with excellent road manners and stylish good looks. As much as Mercedes might like to claim the 300SL as the forebear of the 230SL and its progeny through even the brutishly powerful 560SL, it was the 190SL that set the tone for many Mercedes-Benz models that have graced these shores since its introduction. The fine black with tan interior 190SL presented here is a one-owner car from new and has just 12,000 original miles. The one family German sports roadster was bought new by the mother of the consignor in September 1957. The keys are presented in their original leather case stating Joy Bros. Packard, St. Paul, Minn.' This identifies the original purchase location for the 190SL. The car is reported to have never been in an accident, but received a single repaint in 1990. The front seats were redone in 1997 by Mercedes-Benz, and the convertible top is several years old. Along with the standard four-speed manual transmission, the 190SL has a Becker radio, factory wheelcovers and whitewall tires. This very special car has never been shown and it is accompanied by its original manuals, jack and toolkit; a tribute to the astute and thoughtful ownership of the 190SL through nearly six decades of ownership. This increasingly desirable and very driveable roadster from Mercedes-Benz is seeing a considerable amount of renewed interest from collectors, and a one family owned example in very attractive colors, such as the car offered here, is an opportunity not to be missed. Now is an ideal time to acquire such a stylish and prestigious, yet affordable, Mercedes-Benz roadster.

LOT NUMBER: CA14_r0069
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United States
City, State
Burbank, CA
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