It’s not every day that you find a Mercedes 190 SL for sale on cragslist, so when you do, it’s important to do some real due diligence before getting too excited.
Is it Legit or a Scam?
We found this particular Mercedes 190 SL for sale on Craigslist in Medina, OH… just south-west of Cleveland. We found it just 23 hours after it was posted, and it’s still there, so apparently it hasn’t been flagged for removal so maybe it is a real car for sale by a real owner.
An asking price of $94,000 is also a good sign it’s a real car from a real owner and not a scam, as that price is pretty strong for a 190 SL with just four lines of description (WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS BTW) on Craigslist.
The caps for the jack holes seem to be missing on both sides of the car, something that leads me to believe it is a repaint, but not necessarily a color change (more about that possibility below). Those caps are easily misplaced and not re-installed after body work. The blue soft top appears to be in decent condition, but it’s clearly not brand new.
The hub caps may be newer replacements, as they’re plain chrome and not painted body color.
The rear bumper end caps appear to be a different finish than the center section and over-riders. It may be that this car received some body work and a repaint and the bumpers have just recently been reinstalled for the sale. It does appear that they need to be refinished.
We can see in the interior photos that the dash is silver, just like the outside of the car, so if it is a color change, at least it was done well. Many color changed 190 SLs, and even Pagoda SLs, retain the original exterior color on the dash because color changing the dash is a fairly labor intensive undertaking.
We can also see that this 1956 model has the correct ‘bucket style’ seats, a unique feature of early 190 SLs. They appear to be nicely recovered in blue leather.
The ad claims ‘original trunk and floor.’ The underside photo provided is fairly blurry, so it’s hard to tell. The bolts sticking through the floor 1″+ are definitely not correct.
The single engine bay photo shows us a grubby engine that, luckily, retains its original Solex carburetors.
Always Be Skeptical
With any 60+ year old car one must try to imagine how the car was treated, what it has been through over its many years. Always approach owner claims, like the ones found in this ad, like ‘44,000 original miles’ and ‘two owners’ suspiciously and don’t assume anything without documentation to back it up if those claims are important to you.