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Old 07-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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OT - Richard Lentinello vs 190SL

On page 45 of the July 2013 Hemmings, Richard Lenitnello says of a 190SL that sold at the Amelia Island auction for $220K, "Make no bones about it, these cars are slugs, and don't have any sports-car DNA in their bodies. [fair enough; he's entitled to an opinion of the car] They're simply nice touring cars for retirees who aren't in a rush to get to their proctologist." [but what qualifies him to pass judgment on 190SL owners and his readership?] I see a parallel - Richard Lentinello is a slug, and doesn't have any car enthusiast DNA in his body. He's simply a journalist for car enthusiast wannabes with nothing else to read in the waiting room of their proctologist.

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:53 PM
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I think Moses is on the editorial board at Hemmings.

I'll stick my head out and say it: The 190SL is woefully underpowered and handles about as well as a Triumph Spitfire, just more ponderous. Gorgeous cars, but what a let-down to drive. Talk about a car that has the looks, the "SL pedigree", convertible, stick shift, etc., but really doesn't deliver on the promise. The 190SL: good looking when parked.

When I think of taut and lively sportscars, the 190SLs really don't come to mind.

Anyone have their socks knocked off by a 190SLs "performance"? I just expected more based on their looks alone.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:26 PM
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I would agree , underpowered, but for some reason fetch a good $
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:26 AM
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I owned a 190sl for about 8 years(at one time it was my daily) in the mid '80 to early '90. I got lots of looks and attention but the car was NOT a sports car.

I hate to say it was just a washing machine, a Very well made and good looking washing machine but a washing machine none the less.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bt1211 View Post
I owned a 190sl for about 8 years(at one time it was my daily) in the mid '80 to early '90. I got lots of looks and attention but the car was NOT a sports car.

I hate to say it was just a washing machine, a Very well made and good looking washing machine but a washing machine none the less.
I drove one from 73 to 83. It was my first Mercedes, as well.

Sports car? Depends what you compare it to... and keep in mind it was first sold in 1955, so use contemporary cars, not 30 year newer cars.

Yes, if you put it up against any contemporay American product (Corvette possibly excepted, later in life).

No, if you compare it to high priced sports cars (Jag, Aston, 300SL, BMW 507).

More comparable to a 2 seater Thunderbird. Not as fast, but chassis dynamics were way ahead of the T-bird. It was and is a "sporty car". It also had all the MB traits we love about our cars, good brakes, steering, suspension, fantastic material and build quality, etc.
If you had a 190SL, you had a very well trimmed, high quality, relatively watertight car that you could comfortably use everyday and drive across the country (I did both for years).

They were slow, but then so were most inexpensive contemporary sports cars. Friends of mine in the sports car club at the time had Triumph TR3s and MGAs and I never had any problem hanging with them while driving the 190SL. Compared to the 190SL, the British low priced sports cars were pretty crude... think sidecurtains and erector set tops. Not that I don't enjoy British cars, my wife has had a 68 MGB for 15 years.

Another thing; chicks loved my 190SL, but I looked a lot better then as well..... My wife was sad when I finally sold the 190SL, still wishes we had kept it. Not me, I had to maintain it, and it wasn't a valuable car at the time, and I could not justify spending some large sums to bring it back to good condition after years of use (abuse). Besides, the 6.3 was eating all my car money (and then some) at the time.

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Old 07-16-2013, 02:25 PM
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The key to a good 190SL driving experience is driving one where the brakes and engine are set up and tuned properly. I've been in and around gorgeous 190s that were set up wrong and weren't any good to drive. There are few experts left anymore and a lot them just aren't right. Edit: I'm not the expert, a friend of mine has been driving them since the 60s he is who helped me get my car right. Jim, I think you know I'm talking about Joe.

Even set up right, yeah they are slow... But its a 58 year old car. Taking it in context is pretty critical. If you're really willing to romp on it they can get be fun, but a lot of people get into them and because of their value granny shift them at 2500rpms and say they are slow. The m121 isn't a torque monster, they like to rev, and they'll sing pretty good up near the redline.

Also, if in 2013 you bought a 190SL because you were looking to be wowed by its on track performance... Your priorities are little misguided.

I currently own a '59 and absolutely love it. Its not for everyone, but I like mine. I've done about 5 spirited but limited laps on mid ohio in it, and my 300D with sportline suspension corners flatter, but the 190 is still boatloads of fun.

The car literally stops traffic anywhere it goes, any restuarant you park in front of dozens of people stop and take pictures. Take it to concours and the car is still a hit.

I'm the youngest 190 driver I've ever met and I manage to find joy in the car. Anyone who lives near ohio is welcome to drop by for a ride and pass judgement in it.

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Last edited by DieselPaul; 07-16-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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