Don’t you think that the old slogan launched in the 1910’s by the founder himself, a certain Mr. Daimler, which remains alive and well through the centuries, is spot-on?
Readers of my Blog car stories may recall past years posts about the encounters with the W111 [a ground-up restoration project of lovely 1967 M-B 250 SE Coupé] or the R107 [a low mileage 1987 M-B 560 SL|R107.048 in mint condition].
Well, once a car guy, always a car guy [see here my page: Cars & More], and to paraphrase: once a Star man, always a Star man! Hence when a pre-proposal to look in advance at the possibility of acquiring a 1960 M-B 190 SL| W121.040, came by the end of October 2018 from my good friend Alex Vazeos, I was immediately tempted. Firstly by looking at some pictures from its previous custodian and secondly at the time of actually meeting her while being detailed at Mike’s SWELL shop, not far from my Classic Car Center of Greece [www.3cg.gr] base.
I had arranged with Alex to take delivery of the car from Mike for road testing before my final reply to buy, on Tuesday Nov. 20th, coinciding with my beloved Ivi’s birthday. Needless to say, it was a love at first sight affair which did not require some extra days of consideration. Here she is, already nick-named as Ms. Suzy Love [from the model’s post-amble initials SL] 😉
To boot, on September 12th our grandson arrived; Awaiting in the hospital in the lee hours of 9/12, I toyed with the idea of getting a Porsche 912, as an endowment present for the baby boy, so that when time comes to study in a University [probably abroad] the family to be in a position to sell the car and finance the tuition, say in some 18 years from now i.e. ca. 2036. 🙏
With that notion, I suppose that investment wise the 190 SL would be safer and higher yielding than a P-912 😃✅
The Story of the smaller sister of the legendary 300 SL
The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121) is a two-door luxury roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz between May 1955 and February 1963. Internally referred to as W121 (BII or B2), it was first shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and was available with an optional removable hardtop.
The 190 SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. Both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear. Instead of the 300 SL’s expensive purpose-built W198 tubular space-frame the 190 SL rode on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon.The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly over-square 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) Type M121 BII 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine. Based on the 300 SL’s straight six, it had an unchanged 85 mm bore and 4.3 mm reduced 83.6 mm stroke, was fitted with twin-choke dual Solex carburetors, and produced gross 120 hp (89 kW; 122 PS). In de-tuned form, it was later used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models.
The car was available either as a soft-top convertible (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). A small third-passenger transverse seat was optional. During its first years the 190 SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminum doors. In 1959, the hardtop’s rear window was enlarged.
Both the 190 SL and the 300 SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.
|Engine:||4-cylinder-inline engine (four-stroke), front-mounted|
|Bore x Stroke:||85 mm x 83.6 mm|
|Max. Power @ rpm:||105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) @ 5700|
|Max. Torque @ rpm:||142 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft) @ 3200|
|Compression Ratio:||8.5: 1, from 09/59 8.8:1|
|Fuel feed:||twin two barrel side draft carburetors – Solex 44PHH|
|Fuel tank capacity:||65 L (17.2 US gal; 14.3 imp gal)|
|Valve-train:||SOHC, duplex chain|
|Gearbox:||4-speed manual, lever between seats
rear-wheel drive, standard axle ratio 3.90:1
|Front suspension:||Double wishbones, coil springs, stabilizing bar|
|Rear suspension::||Swing axle, coil springs|
|Brakes:||Drum brakes (Ø 230 mm), power assisted|
|Steering:||Recirculating ball steering|
|Body structure:||Sheet steel, uni-body construction|
|Dry weight:||1,160 kg (2,560 lb) (Hardtop: + 20 kg (44 lb))|
|Loaded weight:||1,400 kg (3,100 lb), from 1961 1,440 kg (3,170lb)|
|1,430 mm (56.3 in) 1,475 mm (58.1 in)|
|Wheelbase:||2,400 mm (94.5 in)|
|Length:||4,290 mm (168.9 in)|
|Width:||1,740 mm (68.5 in)|
|Height:||1,320 mm (52.0 in)|
|Tyre/Tire sizes:||6.40–13 Sport|
|Top speed:||171 km/h (106 mph)|
|Fuel Consumption (estimate):||12.5 liters per 100 kilometers (22.6 mpg‑imp; 18.8 mpg‑US)|
The brief Provenance Story of my Suzy Love
Daimler-Benz Typ. 190SL/R121.040, of 01-07-1960
Fahrzeug/Chassis No 121.040.10.016406,
Body No 121.040.10.00382,
Engine Typ. M121 B. IVb. | Motor No 121.923.10, |Engine No 000657 [1.884 c.c.],
Color ICI: Elfenbein l [DB 623] resprayed on 26-10-2004,
Interior RED Leather,
GR. License plate: IYZ 6776 | 14-11-2018
This fine example is a “Keeper”
My new 190 SL acquisition is considered as a “keeper” and intended to be enjoyed as much as possible. I already plan to her to a trip this coming May of 2019 to Toscana, Italy, together with about 15 other classic that our Classic Car Center of Greece – 3cg.gr is organizing. In between several other sunny opportunities will arise for enjoying the 68-69 year old lady to the fullest.