A1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL restoration project is coming up for auction with H&H Classics at its Duxford sale on July 26. The car is being offered with no reserve, although the auction house estimates that it is likely to sell for £50,000.
The 57-year-old classic convertible was discovered in an old garage in Solihull by Mark Bryan of H&H Classics’ motorcycle department while he was valuing bikes for sale.
He said: “What a great find. Never in a million years did I expect to see this, an original UK-registered, right-hand-drive 190SL in dire need of restoration.
“It just goes to show that you never know what is lurking in that old lock-up.”
If the car was in good condition it would fetch about £150,000 – the record price for a 190SL sold at auction is $209,000 (£164,000), a price achieved in 2015.
Designed as a more affordable version of the famed Mercedes-Benz 300SL supercar, dubbed the Gullwing due to its upward-opening doors, the 190SL was produced from 1955 to 1963 and was only available as an open roadster. Unlike its more illustrious sibling, it had a conventional monocoque chassis, although it had the same suspension.
The 190SL’s 1.9-litre, four-cylinder engine (essentially two-thirds of the 300SL’s bellowing straight-six) developed 120bhp, giving a top speed of 109mph and 0-62mph acceleration in 11sec. As examples of the 300SL now fetch in excess of £1 million, the 190SL is considered an affordable way to experience open-top Mercedes motoring at its finest.