Mercedes-Benz Whensday: The Mercedes-Benz 190SL

Mercedes-Benz Whensday: The Mercedes-Benz 190SL

1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is one of the most iconic Mercedes-Benz vehicles in history. The gullwing helped shape the Mercedes-AMG GT that we know and love today, but it also had a little brother, the Mercedes-Benz 190SL.

The Revenge Of The SLC Coupe1971-1981 R107 Mercedes-Benz SLC Coupe History

300SL VS 190SL

The 190SL and the 300SL were introduced at the same time in 1954 at the Geneva Auto Show. On the outside, they look very similar. They have the aggressive Mercedes-Benz grille that is still recognizable on the Mercedes-AMG GT S and the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class today. From the front, you might not even be able to tell the difference.


The 190SL was not designed to be a racecar like the 300SL. It was designed to be an economical way to feel the wind in your hair, so it was made with lighter materials than the ones used on the 300SL.

1.6L Engine

With just 1.6 liters of displacement under the hood, the 190SL only produced 105 horsepower, which is about half the power of the 300SL. Even without the extra power, though, the 190SL could break 100 miles per hour, which was unheard of in the 1950s. The SL was also available with a 2.2L engine later on, bridging the gap between the 190 and the 300.

Mercedes-Benz 190SL Race car

Racing Version

In the first few years of production, you could purchase the 190SL with a racing package. With this model, the roof was completely removable and the windshield was replaced with a small plexiglass windscreen.

Today, when we look at the SLC, we can still see the spirit of the 190SL. If you have any questions about the little brother of the 300SL, leave a comment below.