The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is perhaps one of the most sought-after cars ever made, with multi-million dollar asking prices on the most humble of examples. The wake of the car's crazy appreciation also brings up values of sibling cars like this barn find 190SL convertible, which is on its way to possibly be the next million-dollar vintage Merc.
This 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Convertible was the little sister to the awesome, race-prepped 300SL, but it shared many of its telltale body lines with the now million-dollar Merc. These quirky four-cylinder German coupes have gone through somewhat of a renaissance, with prices going from $30,000 a few short years ago to more than $250,000 for the best restored examples, with no signs of stopping. This car is billed as needing a full restoration, but although the rust in the thin steel is a problem, a talented metal worker could fix the car for a reasonable amount of money and time, especially in a project like this, where you're literally paid to wait. At a current bid price of $40,000, I'm not sure you could find a cheaper example of the coveted model anywhere,
Although the car needs extensive metal work, it looks like everything original is accounted for and no parts sourcing, other than perhaps refurbishing the chrome trim, is necessary. Here's an excerpt from the description:
1960 Mercedes Benz 190SL convertible (no Hardtop)
- Desirable factory color combination : black with red leather
- Car will need complete restoration
- Lots of rust. Look closely at pictures (what you see is what you get)
- Damage to front of car
- Left rear suspension control arm is rusted from its mount
- Original engine complete with correct carburetors, plenum, & air filter assembly
- Engine does not turn by hand
- Drivetrain is complete
- Car rolls & steers (no brakes)
- Missing clock, one sun visor, jack, tool kit & hood prop
- Included with car; keys, original Pirelli spare tire & wheel, factory owners manual & clear Pennsylvania title with miles exempt
This is not a first project, unless you want to have an expensive lawn ornament that also doubles as a rusty '60s Mercedes convertible. If I had access to a restoration shop, or just knew how to do high-level metal work, I'd pick it up, restore it little by little, and wait until a high six-figure offer came my way in a decade or so. It would be a lot more fun to work on than a 401k, anyway. Just make sure to get a tetanus shot, because damn.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.