SINGLE FAMILY OWNERSHIP AND CARE FROM NEW!
COMPREHENSIVE RECONDITIONING INCLUDING PAINT AND MECHANICALS
METICULOUS RED EXTERIOR WITH NEW BLACK LEATHER SEATS
EQUIPPED WITH NEW BLACK CANVAS SOFT TOP AND BLACK HARDTOP
105 BHP 1.9L SOHC 4-CYLINDER ENGINE/4-SPEED MANUAL GEARBOX
UPGRADED WITH TWIN WEBER CARBURETORS
ACCOMPANIED BY FACTORY-ISSUED BOOKS/MANUALS
EQUIPPED WITH BECKER EUROPA RADIO W/MANUAL
Introduced at the 1954 New York International Motor Sport Show alongside the 300SL Gullwing, the 190SL was the brainchild of famed U.S. Mercedes-Benz importer Max Hoffman. Similar in appearance to the 300SL yet less complex and costly, the 190SLs Sport Leichtbau label denoted a sporting character including use of lightweight aluminum for the hood, doors, and rear decklid. Walter Hacker and his design team styled the 190SL body under the direction of Mercedes-Benz design head Karl Wilfert. Among the designers was a young Paul Bracq, soon to become Mercedes' head of design responsible for the 230/250/280 SL and 600 models. Rigid monocoque construction, roll-up windows, and an available aluminum hardtop were other 190SL highlights. Fritz Nallinger led 190SL engineering. Using proven mechanical components from the Ponton line, the 190SL was powered by a SOHC 1.9-liter four with twin Solex carburetors producing 105 hp. Other components included a four-speed manual gearbox, fully independent suspension and four-wheel, power-assisted Alfin drum brakes.
Internally designated W121, the production 190SL debuted at the 1955 Geneva show and customer deliveries soon followed. An immediate success, the 190 SL earned design awards in Holland, Switzerland and at Frances Grand Prix d'Elegance. While intended as a stylish grand tourer without racing pretensions, the 190SL was effective in competition, including overall victory ahead of a Ferrari Mondial at the 1956 Macao Grand Prix and the under 2.0-liter class win at Casablanca that year. Confirming Max Hoffmans keen sense of buyers, the 190SL outsold the 300SL eight to one and encouraged Mercedes longstanding single-platform policy for its sports cars. Virtually all the eras top personalities favored the 190SL; among them were screen icons Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobrigida, Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner. More recent celebrity owners include former Beatle Ringo Starr and Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow.
This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL is a truly rare find with single-family ownership and attentive care from new. According to a letter on file dated September 24, 1958, this 190SL was released for shipment by Studebaker-Packard Corporation, the official U.S. Mercedes-Benz importer, to Auburn Washington. The original owners were Dr. Henry Barner and his wife, residents of the Naval shipyard city of Bremerton, Washington, who purchased the car the next day. Mr. and Mrs. Barner would retain and enjoy the 190SL until 1983 when it was retitled to their son, Dr. Hendrick Barner and driven by him and his son Bela during June/July 1983 home to St. Louis, Missouri. The glamorous Mercedes was a prized possession of Dr. Barner, who would drive the car only sparingly, yet provide exemplary care and maintenance throughout his ownership.
In addition to the meticulous red exterior refinish, the SL also benefits from a comprehensive mechanical overhaul. Other works include replacement of the original Solex carburetors with more desirable Webers, re-plating of the front bumper, reupholstery of the seats in Black leather with correct carpeting and installation of new whitewall tires. Complemented by a new Black canvas top, this 190SL also includes a Black auxiliary hardtop and desirable Becker Europa radio. Books and manuals include the original Owners Manual, Service Book, Mercedes-Benz Dealer Directory, Instruction Manual, 1957-dated Parts Catalogue, Warranty, Owners Policy and Becker Europa Radio Manual. Very well-maintained and cherished by three generations of one family from new, this 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL is a high-quality example, ready to enjoy and appreciate for years to come.