How many investments do you have that increased in value by 78% in the past year? It is safe to say, that sort of return is few and far between in today’s recovering market. Although, if you were a proud owner that bought a number 1 condition 190SL in early 2012, you will notice that […]
How many investments do you have that increased in value by 78% in the past year? It is safe to say, that sort of return is few and far between in today’s recovering market. Although, if you were a proud owner that bought a number 1 condition 190SL in early 2012, you will notice that the average selling prices have soared from about $90,000 to $160,000 in a little over a year according to the Hagerty Price Guide Report. We can attest to this sky rocketing value increase while witnessing the RM Auctions Monterey sale where a restored 1961 190SL sold for $269,500!
Mercedes built the 190SL from 1955 to 1963 with 25,881 units produced. It was fitted with what many critics dubbed as an underpowered 1.9 Liter four cylinder engine which in our opinion; the critics were correct. However, built as a grand touring car, it is quite pleasant to drive long distances and does perform much better when fitted with a set of Webber Carburetors. Despite the lack of power, the 190SL is a gorgeous and advanced piece of machinery which is why many collectors search high and low for these cars. The classic car market is interesting in that, as prices for more desirable models go through the roof, less expensive, alternative models from the same lineage creep up in value as people recognize resemblance. The 190SL is a perfect example of this valuation trend. As the prices for the Mercedes 300SL roadster and gullwing surpassed the million dollar mark, collectors with less disposable funds for a fun, classic car investment looked to the next best thing: the 190SL. Often considered a baby 300SL, the 190SL offers many of the same design lines as the 300SL minus the strong power plant and was built as a cheaper alternative to its 300SL big brother. High production numbers mixed with a lack of engine power have stalled value increases in the past. It was only a matter of time until buyers realized the close resemblance therefore driving the prices upward as demand increased.
We will say this, based on our knowledge of owning a few 190SL’s; they suffer from a familiar case of “great-to-look-at, boring-to-drive” syndrome. For LBI co-owner Adolfo, the beautiful design lines outweigh the less than stellar performance and LBI is proudly offering 3 of these special cars all in interesting color combinations. Two will be sold at auction and one 1963 in the handsome colors of Grey over Red will be sold via our website. If you are searching for your next possible classic auto investment, the 190SL may be the car for you!