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1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121)

At a Glance

2013 Engine Rebuild | ~4 Year Ownership | US Import

  • Mileage~17,645 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.9L
  • LocationSolihull


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ENDS IN: 56 Days 12 Hr 51 Min51 Sec




Glyn Parry
Professional Consigner

A stunning blend of elegance and performance, the 190SL embodies the golden age of motoring.

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was a technical marvel in nearly every aspect, from its groundbreaking fuel injection system to its tubular space frame. However, it wasn't initially available as a convertible, and its advanced engineering came at a high cost. Mercedes needed a more affordable sports model to broaden its market appeal. Enter the 190SL, which borrowed elements from the 300SL, like the independent rear suspension. Unlike the lightweight space frame of the 300SL, the 190SL was built on a shortened saloon platform. Instead of a fuel-injected six-cylinder engine, it featured a four-cylinder with twin Solex carburettors. While its driving characteristics leaned more towards a leisurely cruiser than a true sports car, the 190SL boasted a sporty appearance with several design cues reminiscent of the 300SL.

With under ~26,000 of these cars reportedly ever made, it's not often you'll see one of these on the road today, let alone in this type of condition. This example comes to market after ~4 years of ownership with current owner Mark, it has been imported from the USA in 2020, kept in storage before being registered in September 2022, it has power steering and previously has had the soft top replaced and interior carpet sections, the 190SL also had an engine rebuild in 2013, the roof was replaced in 1995 too. Ready to drive away and enjoy, this model looks stunning, and is well set up for warmer months ahead.

This listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting Mark the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

A real style icon, when I first set eyes on it, I knew it was the car for me.

The current owner, Mark, imported the Mercedes-Benz in 2020 after browsing online for the right car. "I've always had a soft spot for Mercs. I'd been looking online for a classic model to enjoy and spend the weekends driving around in. I found this one after a few months of searching in the UK and decided to widen my search to vehicles abroad". Mark stored the car until September 2022, when the car was registered in the UK.

The 190SL was imported from the USA, but even with the distance, it didn't deter Mark "It was a straightforward process to bring the car overseas. It took a little while to ship across, but once it arrived, I was overjoyed with it". After owning the car for ~4 years, Mark is now spending more time abroad, and so the car isn't get the use it deserves so it comes to sale with us. He will be available to answer any questions about the car in the comments below.

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An iconic grille and chrome accents command attention, classic Mercedes-Benz styling.

Wheels and Tyres

The 190SL is fitted with 13" chrome wheels with Mercedes hub caps which show in good condition. We noted very few concerns, but there were a few signs of surface corrosion to the inside edges of the wheels.

Fitted with Westlake Radial SP06 tyres these appear to have a good amount of tread left and we saw no signs of cracking or concerns with the tyres. The tyres are date coded from 2013 and had a tread spec of 185/70. For a more detailed view of the 190SL's exterior and a closer inspection of the wheels and tyres, please refer to the photos and videos.


Looking over the Mercedes on our visit, the car maintains well-aligned panel gaps and both doors, bonnet and the boot open and close smoothly. We noted no knocks or dings to the bodywork when we looked around the exterior, overall the car was presented very well.

We've highlighted our observations in more detail through our hi-resolution images and videos, so please take the time to look through all the media files for a detailed view of what’s on offer and to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


The white paintwork is even in finish and colour across all the panels, overall showing in great condition and compliments the contrasting red interior. We only noted minor cracking to the paint on the lower door edges, we also noticed a small amount of stone chips on the bonnet and lower rear quarter panel.

The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these high-resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The glass on the 190SL looked in great condition, in line with the age; we didn't notice any cracks, or discolouration to these sections on our visit. The window seals look in great condition too, matching the rest of the car.

The front and rear lights looked well-maintained. Badges all show with a high level of presentation. The chrome bumpers also looked great on the front and rear of the car. Towards the rear, there were minor signs of pitting to the roof bars and trim. The black convertible roof presented in great condition having been replaced in 1995.

Take a look through the exterior gallery and review video. We take you across all areas of the car as if you were standing there yourself. This way, you can see in greater detail how the car is presented.


Crafted leather seats, vintage 60's gauges and classic elegance; every detail is designed to make the journey a stylish adventure.

Seats and Carpets

The Mercedes is finished with a red leather interior, and overall the seats look respectable given its ~63 years on the road. The leather finish could benefit from some restorative work to match the quality of the exterior, or kept as is for the "patina" look. We didn't note any tears to the finish, although there are signs of wear as pictured. Over in the rear, the backs of the front seats show without major concerns.

The main carpet of the interior showed in a good condition, looking underneath the mats showed the car had no concerns as the carpets had been replaced in 1991. In the boot, this section showed in a good condition also. Minimal issues were noted here with the boot holding the spare wheel.

We cover the full cabin area of the 190SL with further detail in our interior review video.


The dash area looked great with its vintage styling and instruments, it appears to be free from any splits or cracks. The Mercedes instrument cluster is clean and smart, with all the numbers appearing clear and legible. We noted a few marks to the underside of the dash but nothing overly concerning. The odometer displayed ~17,645 miles at the time of our visit.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The original steering wheel is in good condition with no excessive wear. The chrome centre, is in good order with just a small amount of tarnishing.

The gear stick shows in good condition also. We've detailed some more images of the cabin area including the steering wheel in our Interior Gallery section - head over to see more shots of what's on offer with the Mercedes-Benz.


Under the bonnet is a 1.9L four-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburettors producing ~104BHP from new, giving a top speed of ~107MPH.

Engine and Gearbox

Starting up the car, we noted no concerns with the engine, and the car idled smoothly, the engine was rebuilt in 2013. As you can see from the cold start video, the 190SL fires up at the first turn of the key and sounds fantastic.

Take a look at the mechanical video also, for a closer look underneath the Mercedes-Benz and an overview of the engine bay, and see the car in action going through the gears.

Suspension and Brakes

We noted no knocks, bangs, or issues from the suspension when we were on the road, and it gave us no concerns in its performance or handling. The brakes felt great and were easily able to bring the Mercedes to a stop.

We cover the underside of the car in our 'Mechanical Gallery' section. Head over to our video section, where we've summarised our visit in more detail for you to view for yourself. We take you around the mechanical elements of the car and give you an overview of what's on offer here.

The Drive

Sophisticated, stylish, and refined, the 190SL is a really beautiful car to drive. The ride is nice and smooth, with minimal effort to manoeuvre thanks to its power steering.

We took the car out on some local roads with Mark, to get a better feel for what this vehicle is all about. During the drive, we shifted through the gears, seeing how the car performs. Mark reports that the car handles as it should and we had no concerns with the performance on our drive out.

Electrics and Other

The electrics are minimal on the SL, but has a period correct radio which looks well suited and was working. The only note with the radio was that the reception was slightly crackly.

All switches, dials, and gauges appear undamaged and in great condition. Mark mentioned that the voltage meter didn't work on the dashboard as it wasn't wired in, but believes that everything else should be working correctly to the best of his knowledge.

History and Paperwork

Coming to market after ~4 years, imported in 2020, Mark stored the car until registering it in the UK in 2022, this 190SL is well worth a closer look as a beautiful classic or future showpiece, the engine was rebuilt in 2013 too.

The 190SL comes to market after ~4 years ownership with Mark, who imported it from the USA in 2020 with the previous owner keeping the car for ~34 years. The car was kept in storage until 01.09.2022 when it was first registered in the UK. The car is supplied with its historic paperwork from works carried out by the previous owners in the USA which is detailed in the paperwork gallery.

Previous works from the US have included; an engine rebuild 2013, brake repairs and maintenance in December 1995, renewed brake hoses and fluid in October 1995, replacement roof in January 1995, carburettor adjustment and exhaust system check in March 1994, oil servicing in August 1992 and carpet sections replacement in October 1991.

For a comprehensive look at the car's history and maintenance, please refer to the history and paperwork media, which includes previous MOT reports and service receipts.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
16.11.2023 MOT 17,636
08.06.2022 MOT 17,593
24.05.2021 Oil Service -
25.03.2021 MOT 17,591
20.10.2017 Starter & Thermostat 17,543
20.06.2017 Fuel Tank 17,511
26.09.2014 Exhaust Hanger 17,086
22.05.2014 Shifter Bush 16,967
26.03.2014 Battery 16,925
27.12.2013 Engine Rebuild -
05.09.2013 Oil Service 16,911
21.09.2005 Spark Plugs 16,618
16.05.2000 Oil Service 16,007
23.04.1999 Annual Check 115,722
25.04.1996 Tune Up 115,090
20.10.1995 Oil & Filters 114,967
17.01.1995 Roof Replacement -
15.09.1994 Oil & Filters 14,468
07.08.1992 Oil Service -
15.06.1989 Oil Service -
Key Details
  • Model190 SL (W121)
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date (US)01.01.1961
  • Reg Date (UK)01.09.2022
  • CC1,900
  • Mileage~17,645 on clock
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourWhite
  • Interior ColourRed
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #12104210023304
  • Engine #121013820
  • MOTYes. Exp 15.11.2024
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers0 Previous UK Keepers
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandWestlake
  • Tyre Age2013
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~4 years
  • Key FeatureCondition
  • Auction ID1930