Triple Blue Project: 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

This pretty 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL just popped up for sale this week in Phoenix, Arizona, and looks exactly as you’d expect a desert region find to look. It’s also clearly not alone in the open-air garage/carport it’s parked in, and the car under the cover sure looks like it has the profile of an air-cooled Porsche 911. The color scheme on this 190SL is quite pretty, and a departure from the white and black hues many of them seem to wear. The car’s bodywork looks incredibly solid, as does the convertible top, with the biggest obvious flaw being a heavily worn driver’s seat. The seller confirms it is a numbers matching car and it is listed here on craigslist for $59,000.

The triple blue combination is unusual, and the seller goes so far as to say it’s quite rare. I don’t have the production figures in front of me, but I have little reason to doubt him considering I can’t recall off the top of my head ever seeing a 190SL exactly like this. It has all the hallmarks of a survivor, with just some minor flaws that come from use but no egregious strikes against it that are more often associated with cars that have been sorely neglected. The plastic rear window in the top is quite cloudy and the three-pointed star is missing from the grill; the former is just a result of being parked outside for an extended period (and the relentless sun the Phoenix region gets) and the latter is likely a case of bored neighborhood kids. The driver’s seat, as you’ll see next, is the ugliest feature.

Yes, that left bucket seat is cooked. No word on what happened here other than the 190SL was simply used by its owner and the seat wore out over time; combine regular use with the intense sunlight of the southwest and a roof that goes down and you have the perfect storm for ruining factory upholstery. The passenger seat isn’t far behind it, although it hasn’t reached the duct tape stage yet. The door panels look surprisingly nice in comparison, and it makes you wonder if the owners of this 190SL simply got a lot of open-air seat time in their triple blue Benz, which certainly makes the trashed seats worth it in the end. Plus, upholstery kits are available all day long for the 190SL.

The car obviously does not run at the moment, but that’s actually a minor issue compared to all that is right with this car. The body panels are said to be all original and the drivetrain numbers-matching; with those concerns off your mind, the restoration process suddenly becomes much more straightforward, especially given it is highly likely this 190SL has no rust underneath (not guaranteed, but likely). The 190SL has always been somewhat unloved compared to other vintage Mercedes convertibles, but rare colors combined with highly original and restorable condition likely means this example is worth every penny of the seller’s asking price. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rex M. for the find.


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  1. flmikey

    They make blue duct tape…they should have used that for the seat…all kidding aside, this find is absolutely beautiful…

    Like 7
  2. Terrry

    It might be a beautiful and rare car, but it’s still a project. A non-running one at that. $59k is a little steep as it is.

    Like 9
  3. Rodney - GSM

    Someone throughly enjoyed this car and drove the seats right off of it. Time for the next person to wear out new seats. A great car and a great project.

    Like 5
  4. ttroke Member

    Gone, wow that didn’t last long. Beautiful car

    Like 4
  5. Robert

    I had this Model, with the 4 cyl, It had no power at all. Got rid of it and bought a Austin Healey 6cyl with Tricarbs. It was Stolen and still looking for it. Last know to be on Eastern part of USA. Vin was swapped but Colors are not a Match.

  6. Robert

    I had this Model, with the 4 cyl, It had no power at all. Got rid of it and bought a Austin Healey 6cyl with Tricarbs. It was Stolen and still looking for it. Last know to be on Eastern part of USA. Vin was swapped but Colors are not a Match.

  7. Lowell Peterson

    The only thing too high on this one was the guy that thought it was the price!

    Like 2
  8. rextreme Member

    Finder’s Fee? :)

  9. Bill McCoskey

    Many years ago I bought all the obsolete Studebaker and Packard parts from a Mercedes dealership, and a Bendix Hydrovac power brake assembly, never used, was part of the deal. It’s not for Packards, not for Studebakers, or Stude trucks. It looks exactly like the one on this car. Anyone need a power brake booster for a 190sl?

  10. Mark S Smith

    For $59,000 why wouldn’t you spend $250, in the seat?

    Like 1

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