The history of Mercedes-Benz in the 50s is marked with bittersweet memories. At the time of recovery in Europe after World War II, and more specifically in that decade, Mercedes suffered a terrible sporting event on the motoring track, known as the Le Mans disaster of 1955. However, on the other side of the coin, came to light two vehicles that are already part of the golden era in the history of Mercedes.
The first, the Mercedes 300 SL -the famous ‘wings gaviota’, a hard-nosed supercar born in 1954. Only a year later came a more affordable and modest version , the also legendary Mercedes 190 SL , which celebrates its 60th year birthday in 2015. It was presented as a prototype in the Hall of New York in 1954, as final cabriolet on the Geneva Motor Show 1955 and began production in May of that year.
This roadster with soft top, sold a total of 25,881 units in its eight years of commercial life, of which 80 percent were to reside just across the German border and half of that figure ( 40 percent of the total), sold in the United States. The Mercedes 190 SL sporting a petrol engine four-cylinder, 1.9-litre, 105 hp , far more modest than the 300 SL, was born as a coupe and Roadster.
The Mercedes 190 SL also had a racing version: had a smaller windshield, aluminum doors without windows, special bumpers, without bonnet and a set-up for circuits. In the hands of the pilot Douglas Steane (Hong Kong), he took victory in the Macau Grand Prix 1956 .