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Black Plate Project: 1961 Mercedes 190SL

1961 Mercedes 190SL

From the outside, this Mercedes looks pretty good. The 190SL is definitely a beautifully styled car and they have been appreciating considerably over the past few years, but they can get quite pricey when it comes time to fix them. These cars are known for having rust issues, so I would want to check this one out carefully before bidding on it! You can take a closer look at it here on eBay in West Palm Beach, Florida with bidding over $40k!

1961 Mercedes 190SL Interior

The seller claims that the floors are strong. I assume that means they aren’t falling out of the car yet? The interior is rough, but complete. Having all the bits will help keep costs down some, but this one is looking expensive to me.

1961 Mercedes 190SL Engine

The engine bay also looks complete, but it also looks very rusty. The seller doesn’t state what kind of condition the engine is in, so assume the worse. They do however note that this is the original numbers matching engine.

1959 Mercedes 190SL

As much as I love the looks of the 190SL, I’m not sure I would want to take this one on. Perhaps it will look better in person? Looking at this already restored example that’s going to auction at Greenwich, with its awesome little camper, makes me more interested in restoring this project. The question is, where can I get a camper like that?


  1. Tim Cissell

    On the Shelby GT 350 I didn’t think Shelby used headrest?

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  2. MG'zer

    Am I missing something? 71bids, $41000. With only one picture?

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    • Dave Wright

      I consider these cars overpriced but an MG guy is an entirely different league than a Mercedes, Porsche or any other high end car guy. It is just a different league. Like comparing a beanie baby collector to a Rembrant collector. Both are having fun, just on a different playing field. My buddies 330GT has appreciated over 100,000 in just a few years.

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  3. Bill Bulpitt

    A friend of mine had one of these in college and I was never very impressed with it. Just because 300SLs have gotten so expensive these don’t deserve to be so valuable. Would much rather have a 280SL…

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  4. Peter R

    Restored some of these have sold in the $200K+ range so $40 K could be a bargain – needs a very thorough PPI to really know what the value in as-is condition might be today

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  5. George

    Very pricey to rebuild or restore. The 57 in my barn has been in the family since 1959. Just the brakeshoes are $50 each and the fronts are aluminum with an allfin drum.A ruined front shoe and front drum is toast. Very prone to rust behind the headlights, under the rear stone guards and outer frame rails. On the bright side most all parts are now available. Other than that they are wonderful cars. Easy to drive, comfortable and stylish. Women love ’em. My MGB racecar, gets more of my attention because the 190SL is a bear to work on. Too many redundant systems.

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  6. Dolphin Member

    These haven’t appreciated 10-fold because they are great cars. They are heavy for their size, and not very nimble on the road. They have appreciated because they look like a small 300SL, which look terrific, have a great history, and have become multi-million dollar cars, and I think some of that has rubbed off on the 190SLs.

    The problem with this purchase is that to become a $100K+ car it will need to be perfect or near perfect, which will still require that everything be gone through and made to work well and look really good. That scenario doesn’t appeal to me, but these do appeal to some people, so no doubt it will get bought.

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    • Dave Wright

      I agree, we always thought they were a woman’s car. (Like a 912) . They had typical Mercedes build quality (good) but were pretty plain boring cars. Several decades ago I sold Teto Jackson a little Bertram boat that I had bought from the Park Service in lake Mead. He was a regular guy……had a wear house full of old cars and stuff. One of his prize possessions was a tatty 190 SL. It had been his first car and he just loved it.

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      • Julles

        Excuse me, a “woman’s car”? “were pretty plain boring cars”? If by woman’s car you mean beautiful and well styled you’re excused but you didn’t. You might want to start talking to real car women and check that stereotype at the door.

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  7. Jesper

    Its wery cheap. It cost minimum dobb. In Europe.
    All to expensive. You can have 5 other nice vintage cars, for what that thing cost. But nice it is :-)

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  8. Murray

    A company in Brisbane Australia called Gidget Campers make these. They’re a brilliant piece of kit and ver popular with the classic car & rod guys. They’re selling the US now….

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