Cashing In: Mercedes 190SL Collection


Over the last few years, the once disposable Mercedes 190SL roadster has begun to appreciate, likely riding the coat tails of the wildly valuable 300SL Gullwing and roadster cars. While the driving experience isn’t the same, enthusiasts will tell you the legendary Mercedes build quality is what makes them special, and I’m sure the seller of this collection here on craigslist is hoping buyers agree: they are asking $125,000 each for a three-car collection of largely complete and seemingly rust-free 190SL’s.


The seller doesn’t provide much detail, other than that the cars have been in their possession for twenty years. Some references to restoration work is made, including new gas tanks, windshields and some chrome, which is perhaps the most random assortment of maintenance items I’ve seen mentioned. While all big-ticket items, it begs the question if the more standard engine servicing and suspension rebuilds have already happened. This blue example is quite attractive with its matching hubcaps, but it does need a front bumper.


The white on black car looks even more complete, but is also the one we can see the least of. The top car with its red hardtop and red interior is the one we have the clearest picture of and it looks quite complete. I can’t tell if any of these have been previously restored or if they are somehow, incredibly, all survivor-grade vehicles. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the seller purchased three solid cars when they were affordable under the premise that he or she saw the potential for profit down the road.


Each photo of the interiors shows generally good condition, though the white on black car clearly has some aftermarket piping on the front seats. I’m sure the seller is anticipating the individual sale of the cars, so it’s worth inquiring for more photos if one catches your eye. $125,000 is all the money but I suppose the odds are good someone will want to become part of the feeding frenzy for the 190SLs and save on extensive restoration costs; however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the market for these begins to drop back down to normal levels in the months to come.


  1. John H. in CT

    The peak has already happened on these as more have emerged to sate demand. Not a great car to drive with its anemic performance. IMO $125K is above “all in” based on what we see here.

  2. scott

    It’s always better to get the best you can find as restoration costs are incredible. That said, 125K each is too much.

  3. Adam Wright

    One of my first finds was a 190SL, a family friend had it, we got it running and man was I disappointed, it drove like a pregnant Yak, slow, unresponsive, and actually a pretty large car. It was as big as my brother’s Passat wagon. The 190SL is like some women I’ve dated, pretty from afar but boring to be with.

  4. Adam Wright

    Another shot, my grandfather loved the car, but he was a classy guy.

  5. Peter R

    I drove one back in the day – very slow – not even a little sporty – but they do have the Mercedes quality. Given when the seller bought them, they probably cost less than $10K each – also given that all three seem to have needs to an unknown degree the asking price is much too high.

  6. Bruce Best

    As for the Mercedes quality that is something that is much better now. Seriously check the eyebrows over each wheel. Those are terrible rust spots that can start the destruction of a whole body.

    I helped restore a match pair of 300SL and 190SL’s for the same owner and both has the same problem. There is no rust protection behind this eye brows and if any moisture get in you have serious trouble very quickly. That being said over time moisture always gets in.

    The biggest problem of the 190 is that it is so heavy and under powered. Even for the day it was not fast but it was never intended to be a true sports car but a tourer for the very rich poser.

  7. Chebby

    Because people are always cruising Craigslist looking to spend $375,000.

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