MERCEDES-BENZ: The Fifties, Volume 1

© 2016 Bernd S. Koehling
All Rights Reserved

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Mercedes 190 SL
Mercedes 190 SL, dashboard
Mercedes 190 SL R
Excerpts from the book:

Mercedes 190 SL
Life for the "little SL" did not start easy. Not that it was the black sheep in the family, but it was not the white swan either. It was the smaller brother of a show star that had been sent to a gifted cosmetic surgeon to make it look similar. That beauty was just skin deep, because underneath it did not offer the talent of a thoroughbred, it carried the genes of a reliable, hard working farm horse>>>

<<<Daimler-Benz, which did not have a presence of any significance in the US, of course listened to what Mr. Hoffman had to tell them, but the answer of head of development Dr. Fritz Nallinger did not really please Hoffman at all. Because in a meeting between Hoffman and Daimler-Benz board members in Stuttgart on Sept. 2nd 1953, it was suggested to use the platform of the Mercedes 180 ponton sedan. Of course he was familiar with that car and that is why he did not like the idea at all to share those genes with his suggested design of a more affordable sports car. And when Nallinger later showed Max Hoffman the Daimler-Benz’ concept of a lower priced convertible based on the 180 sedan body, Hoffman in his famous direct approach to things he did not like, just replied: “Das wird nichts” or “Nothing will come of that”. And of course he would have been right, had the project pushed through>>>

A bigger engine

It was already mentioned earlier that board member Dr. Nallinger and some of his engineers were never really happy with the M121’s performance of the Mercedes 190SL. Part of the reason could have been that the “sports” part in the sports tourer aspect had not really been forgotten by them>>>

<<<It produced 117 DIN hp between 5,900 and 6,100 rpm on the test stand. That was just 12 DIN hp more than the original Mercedes 190SL engine. And that was one of the reasons, why it was cancelled. The other reason was that it would have been far too costly to produce. Uhlenhaut, famous for his love of fast cars, suggested something that could have come straight out of American hot rod shops>>>

If you want to read in much more detail about the 190SL Mercedes and experience a test drive with a turbo 190SL Mercedes, then please go either here or here for the printed book and here for the e-book. The printed version covers next to the 190SL Mercedes also its bigger brother the 300SL plus it deals with the four- and six-cylinder ponton cars. It also talks about the men, who made all these superb cars possible, such as Uhlenhaut, Nallinger, Wilfert and Hoffman. The e-book covers the 190SL Mercedes and Max Hoffman, who imported these cars back in the 1950s into the US. Both books have plenty of new color pictures, most of them never published in a book before. I am sure you will enjoy.

Mercedes 190 SL Drive Video 1 Mercedes 190 SL Drive Video 2 Mercedes 190 SL Sound Video
The following videos are copied from youtube for your viewing pleasure. Some of them contain cars filmed by commercial vendors. I am not associated with them


Mercedes 190 SL W121 (1955 - 1963)

Superb books and e-books about Mercedes cars of the 1950s