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Dusty Deal: 1960 Mercedes-Benz SL

I love classic Mercedes. They ooze class and just look great. It helps they were well made too and many have survived hundreds of thousands of miles. Of late, this is not so much the case, but to be able to drive around in a classic Mercedes is still a dream of mine. The classic 300SL is a dream car, but still a little bit out of reach for me, so its smaller cousin the 190SL would be perfect. Luckily then that we have today’s 190SL on eBay here with just 1 day left and with bidding at $25,000 and with no reserve. The lucky winner can pick up the car from Cleveland, Ohio, but might need a trailer…

This is a rather rusty 190SL which has been standing still for 40 years. It’s the classic story of getting ready for restoration but then running out of money or time. Given that it sat for so long, the engine is seized and covered in dust, decay and rust. The floors are almost completely gone, with many holes throughout, but the frame, although rusty, seems to be straight and probably can be sandblasted back to a repairable state. This will need a lot of fixing as it’s a long way gone, but not a complete loss.

The car comes with most parts – including the doors which are not pictured. It even comes with the original seats, which have been eaten by vermin, given the rat or mouse-sized hole on the side of one of them. All of the chrome work, glass, and lights are included in the car, so it should be that most of the parts are there – not easy to replace on a car which is 60 years old. It does however look like the world’s biggest jigsaw puzzle, and you should know your way around these cars before attempting this.

These are relatively rare and only getting rarer – so does this seems like a good opportunity to get into classic Mercedes metal or do you think that the investment is not worth it and this car is too far gone? Thankfully the sellers include loads and loads of photos so you can make that decision yourself. All I can think about is driving it around Europe in the summer, down the coast with the roof down and thinking – perhaps this isn’t about the money after all?


  1. Terrry

    It may not be about money, but it is about realism. This car would make a fine donor for someone’s project.

    Like 1
    • fcs

      I’d disagree.

      If all the bits are truly all there and at a current price of $25K it looks like a not too crazy of a restoration project. You would have to be willing to do most of the work yourself as hiring out the labor would probably lead to bankruptcy.

      Would I do it? Nope. Did it once and that was enough. My 190sl was probably this bad and it took several years to get it where it is today. Fun adventure, but I don’t need to repeat it. i

      Like 8
      • Jerry

        I agree , it’s can be done. If it was a 1960 corvette—no problem finding reasonably priced used and reproduction parts. Unfortunately this is not the case 0f the Mercedes if you are missing pieces. You will be raked over the coals by people who know you need the parts . Let alone the full interior will be north of 10g when completed Try to do as much as you can and stick with one shop to finish the rest

        Like 0
  2. TheOldRanger

    My idea of a classic Mercedes is the 1930s…

    Like 0
  3. John Gothard

    Current bid is at $25,100 with the reserve not met.

    Like 0
  4. Frank Barrett Member

    Buying this pile will only lead you to financial disaster, mental anguish, years of wasted time, and then, when it’s all done and running, boredom. You’ll be in over your head immediately. These cars may look good but are not much fun to drive: no power, three main-bearing crankshaft, cranky carburetion, rear swing-axle, drum brakes. If you really want a 190SL, buy one that someone else has restored.

    Like 0
  5. jwaltb

    Is this the same secretary’s car that was here a few days ago?

    Like 0
  6. BMC56

    Listed here as no reserve , listed there as reserve not met ?

    Like 1
  7. V12MECH

    Another gem from MB Vintage, been through their lot occasionally, some good, some bad, but all at Gullwing prices. Good market for 190’s today, but. This is a rough customer, check the paperwork on this first. Might be ok for a M/B shop to do and flip, otherwise look for something better.

    Like 1
  8. John Robert Torgesen

    currently doing a 1962 was in worst shape body wise than this car

    Like 0
  9. V12MECH

    Sold for $30k! Impressive, must mean an uptick in 190 market, quite a project at that price.

    Like 1
  10. George Birth

    The advice offered by V12 is sound. Anyone paying $125K for this rusted hulk is crazy.

    Like 0

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