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1960 Mercedes 190SL: Rusty Roadster

Rusty 1960 Mercedes 190SL

I love the looks of the Mercedes-Benz 190SL and its big brother the 300SL, but I can’t believe how expensive these cars have become. Even rust buckets go for big money, but at least they are being saved! This 190SL doesn’t look to bad from certain angles, but the more you look at it the more rust holes you begin to notice. Given that the interior and engine are still in the car, I typically would say that the car is complete, but given the massive holes in the front end, floors, and just about every other structural component, I feel like that isn’t a very accurate statement. I will admit there is something strangely fascinating about looking at it. If you’d like to study it in more detail, find it here on eBay in East Earl, Pennsylvania. This tip comes to you from Jim S.


  1. turretman1st

    i also just love the looks. I had a chance last year in Colorado springs, a friend let me know about one for sale at a Mercedes repair shop here he was only asking 5000.00 for it.
    it was red with black interior no dents no rust seats a little worn (leather) and it ran excellent 4cyl 4speed.
    I just wish I had the money, he was looking for some one that would take care of it.

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    • Dan h

      $5k?? Not rub salt in the wound but you will probably never see a clean 190SL for that amount of $ again…..

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    • Horse Radish

      Sure, and maybe he would throw in 2 years worth of free gas, too ???

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  2. Dirty Dingus McGee

    No link?

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  3. Richard S

    Am I missing something? There is no hyperlink to thesite

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  4. Kevin
  5. Dolphin Member

    Makes sense:
    – “Needs complete restoration (=reconstruction)”

    Makes no sense:
    – Bought by a farmer
    – Parked right next to but outside a barn for 35 years
    – Someone bought it and thinks it “will make a worthy restoration project”

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  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Great cars but you better be planning on a whole lot of metalworking as the floor pan is toast. Notice the rear attachment point no longer attached?
    There’s a good source for replacement panels but there is still a lot of fabrication that will be needed.
    The big issue I have with ads that say “ready for restoration” is it’s sort of a force field for the buyer when you ask about say the condition of a component you get a useless answer.
    Question: How’s the engine? Answer: Needs complete restoration.
    End result….no answer on the engine’s condition and no acknowledgement of it’s ability to lower the price. To me, it’s like hearing the word “mint”, or “engine’s been rebuilt” which translates into……”we did a couple of valves because we had to change the head gasket as it leaked and we were there”.
    These were like MG’s but slower as they weighed more, but did ride and handle better. Had a couple of these, put a 220SE six-cylinder with the fuel injection into one. The engine went in with minimal metal work the fuel injection and requisite plumbing was more work.
    The $35K price must have come to him in REM/ a dream.

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    • Horse Radish

      floor pan is toast ? ,
      Try again, I would call it fine Swiss cheese..
      With the trailing arm on the ground, you know this thing needs the lower 3 inches of all metal replaced, which pretty much means find yourself another body ….
      and the the fun is only beginning !

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  7. Jason

    “Google is your friend. Use it.”

    Geez, what is with the bad attitude?

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  8. DT

    ” like MG’s, but slower”…..sure!

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    • sp8z

      a lot slower

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  9. Ken Nelson Member

    Good old Pennsylvania – wet fog lots of the time – this car is far worse than my ’67 Citroen DS21 convertible that I saved out of Illinois – and that monocoque was simple box sheetmetal construction compared to this mess – the sight of that trunk floor said it all – crumbly as cornflakes. Thankfully Citroen’s chassis’ design virtually never changed over the 20 yr production run, so I chose the sensible solution and put a later D chassis platform under the body and joined the two following Chapron’s build process illustrated well in an old French magazine. Been back on the road for 25 yrs to date.

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    • Horse Radish

      I wouldn’t mind if you showed and told Jesse some more about THAT car !

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  10. bcavileer

    Looks like a 35k$ + steering wheel…. oops, thats cracked too.
    Just a flesh wound. lol

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  11. RIC Parrish

    I reworked a rust bucket 190 in 1974. The problem is with the sub floor. Once the first layer rusts through and the salt and water gets in… the entire unibody is a rusty mess internally. Mine was actually breaking in half just ahead of the rear fenders. It came out of a field in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh used a lot of salt in those days anyway.

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  12. John

    As the lower 3 inches of the car will need extensive metal work and no one else seems to have mentioned this, this car becomes ideal for the V8 treatment. One from a 3.5 Mercedes perhaps, saw a converted one with that combo a while ago, it went like stink apparently. Possibly a 500 S class might give up its motor at reasonable cost too.You might also find a 3.2 litre V6 from a C class would fit too, and that will give you dollops of power without too much weight in the nose…In Standard form MB never gave the car enough power, it was slow, and yes even an MGB was quicker. But there is something about how delightful the lines of a 190SL work though. So with more power it would be one heck of a ride and if the lines are kept with no obvious power bulges it could become a real traffic light sleeper.

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  13. Brad

    Would’ve been an awesome car about 15 years ago, with 30% less patina, 60% more steel underneath, and for 4 or 5 grand. The price and photos in this auction do not compute.

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  14. Rancho Bella

    I reckon I’m simply as dumb as shrub…………..wasn’t it just three to four years ago a good rust free 190 driver was 25 to 30K………………

    What’s next?………..four years ago when selling my ’84 and ’86 911 coupes (in darn near perfect condition)………I couldn’t get anyone to come and look at them for 16K………now look.
    These 190’s are so slow……..they can’t get out of their own way………don’t get me wrong, they are a good looking car…………..it mystifies ones brain.

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  15. Mr. Ed

    Really? Can some one really restore this car????

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  16. Slickimp

    In high school auto class there was one these sitting on the alignment rack. Looked like it had been there for years I think it was a project that the teacher was going to get to some year lol that was back in 1979

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