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Reader Find: 1962 Mercedes 190SL

1962 Mercedes 190sl Survivor

Great barn finds are made everyday, but some are more special than others. This recent discovery was just made by reader Mike V while visiting a friend. It is a 1962 Mercedes 190SL and it has only had one owner its whole life. This beauty only covered 42k miles before being put into storage in 1969 so it is completely original. Even the tires are claimed to be original and still holding air. The car is not currently on the market, but Mike thought it was just too good to not share.

1962 Mercedes 190sl Survivor Interior

The 190SL may not be as fast or desirable as the 300SL, but it is still a remarkable car which is only going to go up in value. This particular example has some unique features that set it apart. Read Mike’s own words regarding his find. “This car is a one owner 1962 Mercedes Benz 190SL. It has lived in Carmel Valley and Pebble Beach California its entire life. Upon moving on to a new car, the owner parked it in 1969 where it has sat and rested in beautiful Carmel Valley. It is rare factory black with red interior, please notice the factory head rests on the passenger seat (I have never seen a set).”

1962 Mercedes 190sl Survivor Rear

“During its seven years on the road it lived an amazing life with many sporting drives and some celeb co-pilots. It is thought to have done some light racing and sporting events as well. This car is very complete right down to the factory hard top. As you can guess it is almost totally rust free and in striking condition considering its slumber.” Looks like a great find Mike. We thank you for sharing and have to admit that we wouldn’t mind having this is our garage.


  1. Bob

    After market headrest sold in the 70’s…original owner..he/she must be 90 ?

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  2. Kraig

    Was the car stored indoors or outdoors since 1969?

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  3. Paul R. Roberts

    I have always loved the SL series. They were an “affordable” model of a very expensive marque. I just wish the 190’s had more power…. :-(

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  4. C Doyle in SF

    That’s not a 42K Mile interior.

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  5. Hank

    Mine was just a light gray, convertible, no hard top. It cruised and hummed like a little top. Changed oil, drove it coast to coast, Only thing I did was a break job a tune up and tires. Somebody stole it and sent it back to Europe.

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  6. eldo72000

    all I can say is what a (dream car) that would be for me.

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  7. J. Pickett

    I remember someone at the time referring as a “doctors wife’s car”.

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  8. Bupinder

    Surely you did a “brake” job? Unless of course you broke it up for parts.

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  9. Dolphin Member

    Nice find, but looks like it wasn’t stored very carefully. Paint and upholstery are bad and look like they got a lot of that relentless California sun. On the other hand, it does look complete and even retains its hubcaps, trim and interior, altho the seats and other perishable parts of the interior will need work. I think Bob is right about the slip-on headrests. I doubt they are factory Mercedes, altho someone with a comprehensive 1962 Mercedes accessory brochure could help clarify that question. I remember getting some aftermarket slip-on headrests for my ’60s Volvo 122S years ago that looked like the ones in the picture. These older SLs have shot up in value lately. You are buying the cachet of something elegant and expensive from the wonderful 1960s, which was a terrific decade for cars, especially when compared with the awful automotive decade that followed it—oil crises, emissions standards to meet, poor performance, folded-paper body designs—the list goes on and on. Just about any car from the ’60s costs more than you’d expect now, providing it’s original, complete, and runs, or at least rolls on its own wheels. These SLs are certainly more desirable and expensive than most cars from back then for lots of reasons, altho as Paul RR says, big power wasn’t one of them.

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  10. Wil

    I don’t get it. The 190SL is a stodgy, homely-looking, way underpowered car. The 230/250/280SLs are a far more sophisticated, powerful car and much more refined and ‘tailored’ looking. What’s the attraction of this poor (not so much anymore), uninspired, underpowered relative? Is it mostly riding on the coattails of the 300SL? No flames please, just genuinely curious about it….. I read Dolphin’s post, but just don’t see the cachet when compared to the much more elegant and powerful 230-280SL series. Is it mostly nostalgia? I guess the 70’s aren’t quite so nostalgic yet?

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  11. Rich

    I rebuilt, from the ground up, a “55 model. First year of production. Took ten years to finally get it right. It ran well before the resto started, but was a whiz-bang car at 120-125 after the resto. The Solex carbs were almost brand new and it ran very, very well. The block was out of a sedan, so it was much stronger than the earlier 3main bearing version. I was able to get Connelly hides dyed to the original shade of blue and an aircraft upholsterer did the whole interior. Car would have brought in the upper 90’s on a Concours scale of 100.

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  12. Bryan Cohn

    Back in the late 80’s I was offered a early 60’s 190SL for $800. It ran, was rusty, needed paint and interior work but was all there. Thought it was cool but couldn’t get past the rust and the MB pricing of parts. The idea of driving as is never crossed my mind….too bad, could have been fun for a while!

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  13. foxxy

    this might have only had one owner,, but they were sure hard on it. I put headrests similar to those on a 59 ford , my first car. they were the shit in the 60’s. the ones I had were round. Does that top come off. it looks like it was off the whole time it was stored. the leather is burnt up. jmo

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  14. Hank

    all I can say is smooth ride, its not fast but just a constant buzz

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  15. Dolphin Member

    Wil, Lots of cars I don’t get, too, and I wouldn’t spend the $$$ it takes to buy a 190SL for one of the same reasons you wouldn’t—underpowered. But these ’60s German cars were beautifully engineered (for the time) and built and that’s part of the attraction. One man’s homely is another man’s elegant, and for a lot of people the roundness and jewel-like fit and finish of the 190SL says ‘elegance’. And for me part of the cachet is this car being the 300SL’s little brother and having a lot of the same styling cues, both outside and inside.I don’t think the 190SL sold well, which likely led M-B to rethink the SL line and upgrade to 6-cylinders for the 230/250/280 Pagoda SLs that came next.

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  16. Paddan


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  17. J. Pickett

    Knew a guy in college in mid 60’s repairing rust on one of these, friends MGB was sportier to drive and If I’m going to have a 50’s Mercedes that I can afford, give me a 220s, ponton, like the one earlier, I had one, it was nearly as fast as the 190 sl, sounded better and way cooler. Actually better chick magnet.

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  18. Rich

    At one time, I actually considered putting a 450SL V-8 engine in it. The engine bay was fairly large, and I think it would’ve actually fit. With modification, of course. I wasn’t too crazy about the swing axle set up, and would’ve preferred a different rear end set up. Full independent similar to an XKE’s would have been great. Thanks.

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  19. TacSea73

    I think the 190SL is a gorgeous car. I experienced a ’59, in cream with a white hardtop and red MB Tex interior, back in the mid-sixties. Certainly not a high-performance car as you would think of most typical Mercedes, but an elegant, comfortable cruiser with a pleasant hum of an exhaust note. It would be a favorite addition to my “dream” collection (if it existed….).

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  20. Bob

    There are many cars that I didn’t care for in the 50s and 60s, but now I love them. the 190SL is NOT one of them. they didn’t do it for me then, they don’t do it for me now.

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  21. C Doyle in SF

    Seeing as no one else thought to add ithttp://www.topspeed.com/cars/mercedes/2010-mercedes-bent-190sl-ar99779.html

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  22. Jeff V.

    @ C Doyle, that is a link to an ultimate sleeper. Old looking wheels with 600+ HP.

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  23. Hank

    I didn’t want to go that fass…. jusss stylin’ and for so little bread.

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  24. C Doyle in SF

    @Jeff, the wheels and the stance are the only thing I dislike about it. I’d ask for a slightly different variation of both.

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  25. Rich

    What a beautiful upgrade on the original car! I can see why Mr. Mott was so long in the mods. I could see several of the old parts and and identify them as well as the additions and deletions that were made. An outstanding job! AND I bet that the taillights don’t have 5 bulbs in the left one and 4 in the right one like the early ones did! Great kudos and props to his body and upholstery guys too! Thanks, Rich Nunn

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  26. J. Pickett

    That’s about as subtle as an old police car donk, the interior is too flashy, and those wheels are just atrocious, Why didn’t the tasteless boob raise it up about 2 feet and put 48″ s with spinners on it. Trying to mirror the original wheel design with those ghetto dubs is just plain laughable.

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  27. Rich

    I didn’t like the wheels either. Perhaps they should have put the older M-B cast alloy wheels on it. That would have looked much better. Maybe it’s just me, but the interior is a nice upgrade, since they have to cover up the new tranny and all. Lends itself to a newer type of sports car. Jaguar style perhaps. Thanks.

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  28. C Doyle in SF

    I did some investigationApparently they were the smallest wheels they could get on due to the size of the brakes. Not sure I buy it, but…

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  29. Hank

    Looks good wonder if it runs? First speed bump takes out the Oil sump.

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  30. J. Pickett

    Maybe you’re right about the interior, it’s just the shifter that looks glaringly out of place, and the white leather should be like an ivory.

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  31. C Doyle in SF

    @J. Pickett I can forgive him for not staying too close to original in his modifications (even if I agree with you). I think he wanted to stay close enough, the wheels are custom and are a nod to a Mercedes design, even if the scale ruins the overall effe

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  32. J. Pickett

    The inspriation for the wheels was obvious, just dumb looking in scale and with nearly invisible tires.

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  33. Hank

    Scale of wheels can be fixed, too ghetto… I agree Low Riders IN Germany, I doubt it?

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  34. Ralph J

    Get that thing to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center!

    They’ll restore this to factory-original condition and raise its value up to a quarter mill!


    They had a 190SL at Pebble Beach last year and one of their guys told me it was worth 250K.

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  35. Savvygaby

    I want one how do I speak to the owner of the cars ?

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      We will be posting more information as we received it, so stay tuned.

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