Villa Erba

23 May 2015

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Lot 125

1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

  • Chassis no. 121.040.10.015333
  • Engine no. 121.921.10.015449
  • Body no. 121.040.01699

Sold for €201.600


105 bhp, 1,897 cc SOHC inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, swing axle rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm

  • Original Ivory over red leather colour combination
  • Includes the desirable and optional factory hardtop
  • Highly original; only 12,200 kilometres since new


The 190 SL was first displayed as a show car in New York in 1954. A production version followed and was launched at Geneva in 1955. At the time, it retailed for $3,998 with a soft-top or $4,295 with the optional removable hardtop. Ultimately, 25,881 Mercedes-Benz 190 SLs were produced. That works out to 270 cars every month, with 70 percent being delivered to the U.S., which was close to the goal that New York importer Max Hoffman had promised Daimler-Benz executives.

The remarkable example offered here, chassis number 015333, was first delivered to Dr Kurt Viebeg, of Laudenbach, Germany, in November 1959. The car was finished in Ivory (608/40) over a red leather (1079) interior, as it still is today, and it was fitted with the optional factory hardtop, which it also continues to sport. Dr Viebeg would care for the Mercedes-Benz until 1980, at which point it was acquired by its second owner, Gerhard Bauer. Mr Bauer was a very particular and careful collector, storing his newly acquired 190 SL in a dehumidified garage for the following 26 years!

The 190 SL was then acquired by the current owners in 2012, and the highly original roadster was promptly sent to a marque specialist in the UK upon the recommendation of the Mercedes-Benz Owners Club. With an eye for maintaining its originality, only the most crucial issues were carefully tended to in order to ensure that the car was road worthy. Such work included replacing the original cross-ply tyres and hardened water hoses, repairing the water pump, and otherwise giving the car a thorough service. Even the original soft-top, which shows some signs of wear, was left as-is, for the sake of authenticity.

This highly original 190 SL, currently displaying only 12,203 kilometres, has been treasured by caring owners since it first left the factory. Fifty-five years later, it will surely continue to be a prized part of any notable collection.



105 cv, motore quattro cilindri in linea con singolo albero a camme in testa, trasmissione manuale a quattro velocità, sospensioni anteriori indipendenti con molle elicoidali, ponte posteriore a semiassi oscillanti con barra antirollio e molle elicoidali e freni a tamburo su tutte e quattro le ruote. Passo: 2.400 mm

• Combinazione di colori originale avorio e pelle rossa
• Fornita del desiderabile tetto rigido opzionale della fabbrica
• Incredibilmente originale: solo 12,200 kilometri da nuova

La 190 SL fu presentata per la prima volta come show car a New York nel 1954. La versione definitiva della macchina fu introdotta al Salone di Ginevra del 1955. In quegli anni, il suo prezzo di listino era di 3,998$ con la cappotta in tela o 4,295$ con il tetto rigido removibile opzionale. In tutto furono prodotte 25,881 Mercedes Benz 190 SL. Questo corrisponde a circa 270 auto in un mese, di cui il 70% fu consegnata negli Stati uniti, il che rappresentava il mantenimento della promessa che Max Hoffman, l'importatore Mercedes di New York, fece alla dirigenza della Daimler-Benz.

Questo straordinario esemplare qui offerto, con numero di telaio 015333, fu consegnato dal Dott. Kurt Viebeg di Laudenbach in Germania, nel novembre 1959. L'auto era rifinita in avorio (608/40) con un interno in pelle rossa (1079) combinazione che mantiene tutt'ora e fu dotata dell'opzionale tetto rigido. Questa Mercedes-Benz fu tenuta dal Dott. Viberg fino al 1980, quando la vendette al suo secondo proprietario, Gerhard Bauer. Il Sig.Bauer era un collezionista particolarmente attento e mise la sua 190 SL appena acquistata in un garage deumidificato per i successivi 26 anni!

Questa 190 SL passò nelle mani del presente proprietario nel 2012 e, perfettamente conservata, fu prontamente mandata da uno specialista della marca nel Regno Unito, previa raccomandazione del Mercedes-Benz Owners’ Club. Con un occhio di riguardo a preservare l'originalità della macchina, furono trattate delicatamente solo le problematiche più cruciali per poter assicurare che l'auto potesse circolare in strada. Questi lavori riguardarono la sostituzione degli originali pneumatici a tele incrociate e delle condutture dell'acqua indurite, le riparazioni alla pompa dell'acqua e il tagliando generale della macchina. La cappotta in tela originale non è stata sostituita nonostante dimostrasse i segni del tempo, apposta per rimarcare l'originalità della macchina.

Una 190 SL incredibilmente originale che al momento segna sull'odometro solo 12,203 kilometri, è stata amorevolmente conservata dai suoi proprietari sin da quando ha lasciato la fabbrica. Cinquantacinque anni più tardi, continuerà ad essere un pezzo di rilievo per ogni importante collezione.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more