Project Description

Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

A charming Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121) Super Leicht






33.256* miles

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History File

Our Mercedes-Benz 190SL example was built on the 12th July 1957 and, like so many others (almost 40%), hails from the United States. The US Title shows ownership to a Mr James J. Little Snr, from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, who purchased the car on April 07 1965 from Central Connecticut Car Sales, ironically, in the town of BERLIN in Connecticut. He would retain the car until February 28 1976, but not without keeping the cars German vibes alive, subsequently selling to a Mr Karl S.M. Arnolt, from Durham in New Hampshire. It’s not exactly clear when the car returned to Germany, but the single German owner purchased it in 2011 from a classic car trader who is sadly no longer with us. In December of that same year, it was valued as a Condition 1- (Gutachten) vehicle with a market value of €98.500. However, the proud new owner decided to invest further and subsequently entrusted the car to several marque specialists, which culminated in a further Valuation Report (Gutachten) in August 2016 with the car now valued at €148.000. The car has been sparingly driven since with just 2000 miles since its completion. Now considered as an older restoration, the car still holds its own and is still in stunning condition. * The indicated mileage is most likely to be 135.256 miles. Overall, these cars offer a level of assembly quality quite alien to most of its period contemporaries and Cathedral Classics are absolutely delighted to bring this fine example to the market place.


The car originally left the factory in 1957 in Graphite Grey which is confirmed on the cars original Delivery Receipt (Lieferschein) and also on the US Title. Now finished in the ubiquitous MB 744- Brilliant Silver, it’s a cracking, blemish free finish. A keen eye will spot a tiny imperfection at the bottom of the passenger A Post but will not offend. With the well-insulated Mohair hood up, it’s a really nice tight fit and is almost like new with the cross-bar chrome strip in perfect condition. On the subject of bright-work, there are more than enough external shiny bits to keep any keen enthusiast busy including the two correct wing mirrors. All 4 splash-shields or eyebrows, in parallel styling to its bigger 300SL counterpart, are in perfect condition, as are both front and rear impressive chrome bumpers. Perhaps a couple of the cars hub caps are not quite perfect but, overall it is a superb example.


The car is now finished in high quality fire red leather throughout with contrasting dark red carpets and red piping. There is an abundance of chrome trim to keep a smile on any enthusiasts face, including the central rear view mirror and the beautifully crafted sun-visors, both of which are listed in the cars original Delivery Specification Sheet (Lieferschein). The silver body coloured dashboard is un-marked, holding the cars Becker-Mexico radio that was replaced in 2012 and the superbly crafted chrome switch-gear are all functioning, as they should. But there are a couple of tiny issues that should be pointed out: a small 2cm dis-colouration spot on the driver’s seat, and a few cracks on the Bakelite steering wheel, both nothing too concerning. With the Mohair hood up, it’s all nice and tight and snug against a nice condition roof frame.


There is a Hardtop available which does not fit the car. The rear of the car is not compatible for a Hardtop but, it can be offered as separate item. The inside material (depicted) has two small tares due to incorrect storage. Price on application.

Engine & Transmission

This is a Matching Numbers car with a 1897 cc (M121 SOHC 14) Engine offering 105 ps (77kW; 104 hp) with engine number: 121 921-7501272. The majority of the work was been carried out during the initial stages of the restoration back in 2012, to which there are numerous invoices from the period confirming: fuel pump; cooling system overhauled; water pump; stainless steel exhaust all changed, to mention but a few. But the vast majority of funds were directed towards a complete carburetor overhaul with detailed pictures (also digital) in the file and invoices amounting to over €8000.

Wheels, Tyres & Brakes

All 5 Uniroyal 185/70 R 13T tyres were replaced in 2012 which is a mere 2000 miles ago with the spare still brand new. At the same time, the power assisted drum brakes were completely overhauled.

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