1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

W121 Convertible 1.9 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL W121 Convertible 1897
valued at £85,600
£401.22 / year*

History of the 1955 - 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

1955 - 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
1955 - 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

Mercedes-Benz W120/W121 (Saloon), 1953-1962

The Mercedes-Benz W120 was in production from 1953 to 1962, and was joined by the W121 from 1956-1962. Styled in house, it is a front-engine, rear wheel drive saloon car range seating up to five adults.

The range was launched as the Mercedes-Benz 180 in 1953 - under the W120 development code. It replaced the pre-war 170V model as Mercedes-Benz's entry level saloon, with new "Ponton" styling incorporating integrated wings. From 1954 there was a diesel engined 180D model, while from 1956 the new M121 engine was fitted to create the more powerful 190. Again, a diesel variant of this car was added for 1958; the 190D using the new OM621 diesel engine. Changes for 1957 to create the 180a included fitment of the M121 engine as seen in the 190, while both models were updated for 1959 into the 180b and 190b. 190 production would cease in 1961 with the introduction of the 190 Fintail, but the 180 would continue as the 180c until 1962.

Floorpans, rear spring mounts and jacking points can all corrode, while battery acid leaks can lead to corrosion around the battery tray. The wheel wells and wheelarches are also prone to corrosion, as is the floor under the rear seat - so check carefully. It goes without saying that valances, sills and door bottoms are also worth checking thoroughly. Steering wheels can crack, so check thoroughly for hairline fractures. Seats shouldn't be foam filled, it should be a rubberised horsehair filling - and this is often changed during restoration. Upholstery and chromework should be in good overall condition.

In period even a 180 was more expensive in Britain that a Rover P4 105S, while the Jaguar MkVIII competed on price but was several classes above. An Armstrong Siddeley 346 would have been seen as similarly eccentric, while the Alfa Giulietta was a nearer rival but rare in Britain. Today the larger Mercedes-Benz 220, six cylinder 219 or even the later Mercedes-Benz 190 Fintail would make admirable alternatives. If you want something with flair, a Citroen ID19 might be an interesting option.

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