- Highly authentic with countless correct details and numbers-matching engine
- Recently restored by marque experts at an expense of more than $249,000
- Impeccably finished in factory color combination featuring uncommon, two-tone interior and gray soft-top
- Well documented with copies of original data card, previous registration documents, and service invoices
- Notably includes fitted luggage, factory-style tool roll, and factory hardtop remarkably still housed in extremely rare, original crate
This spectacular 190 SL left the factory on 5 June 1958 destined for noted importer Max Hoffman’s distribution center in New York and was sold new at a Mercedes-Benz dealer in California. Interestingly, the car was optioned with the very rare two-tone interior, the upper dashboard in black and the rest of the interior in red leather—a striking combination that has the added benefit of reducing glare reflected onto the windshield. A copy of its original data card also indicates that a light gray soft-top was installed from the factory, along with sealed beam headlights, instruments with English labeling, an outside, driver-side, rearview mirror, sun visors, a windshield washer system, bumper horns, and a license plate holder.
The first recorded owner, Saverio Joseph Cina of Reseda, California, owned the 190 SL until 1965, when he sold it to Clare J. Simpson. Two years later Simpson sold the car to Eric. J. Metcalfe, with just 13,191 miles on the odometer. The history trail goes cold for a few years and picks up again on 13 February 1979 with an application for insurance in British Columbia, Canada. Walter B. Clur, a German mechanic who lived in North Vancouver, had imported the 190 SL for his own use.
In 1986 Clur sold his 190 SL to Frank and Vivia Nemeth, who were in the process of moving from North Vancouver to their dream home in Surrey, British Columbia, and commissioned the former owner to perform a considerable amount of work to make the car roadworthy. They then maintained the car until Mr. Nemeth’s passing in 2016, storing it for the last decade on blocks in their garage.
The car was then acquired from Vivia Nemeth by noted marque specialist Rudi Konicek of Rudi and Company, who spared no expense in restoring it to the level of his world famous 300 SL restorations. Work included a bare metal refinish by Coachwerks, while all ancillaries were removed from the engine, cleaned, serviced, and re-plated, the brightwork was refinished, as well as new glass and a new interior and soft-top installed. After the restoration was complete, Konicek retired, making this one of the final cars to leave his private shop, now under new management.
The current owner acquired the car in August 2018 with just under 21,700 miles showing on the odometer—mileage which is believed to be original. To further elevate this remarkable 190 SL to top show-car quality, capable of winning a national meet, the owner commissioned Sports Leicht Restorations of West End, North Carolina to once again restore the car to as close to factory-original specification as humanly possible. The painstaking process, completed in 2020 at an expense of more than $249,000, involved fully stripping, refinishing, and repainting the body, rebuilding the engine and all mechanical systems with new, original-style parts, re-chroming components where necessary, and fully detailing the engine bay to factory specification. In place of the previously installed black canvas top, a new, gray soft-top was fitted, bringing the car back to its full factory-original specification. Not surprisingly, this well-cared-for and expertly restored 190 SL won best in class at the 14th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance in February 2020. In addition, this word-class convertible won best in show at the annual International 190 SL Group meeting in 2022.
Beautifully presented and highly authentic with numbers-matching engine, correct, two-tone interior, and countless other factory features, this gorgeous 190 SL is accompanied by a copy of its original German data card, copies of previous owners’ registration documents and service invoices, as well as photos and invoices detailing its painstaking restoration. Further adding to the car’s impressive authenticity is the included original black hardtop, amazingly still in its extremely rare, Mercedes-Benz factory crate. Also included are a factory tool roll, color-matched top boot and fitted luggage, spare, jack, and manuals.
Lovingly cherished its whole life, wonderfully restored by skilled marque experts, and retaining a staggering level of authenticity, this beautiful 190 SL is undoubtedly one of the best to come to market and is sure to dazzle onlookers at any event.