It is the little brother of the 300 SL and is required mainly in the United States. The economy there is much more developed than in the post-war Europe. There are many people who can afford a comparatively impractical and expensive vehicle. The car is still more an expression of status and lifestyle. A highly competitive sports car market develops.
On the reinforced framework of the 180 is created, much cheaper than the 300 SL, first a particularly sporty and eye-catching body, which in spring 1954 will be presented at the Motor Show in New York. Is added a completely new OHV engine with two double carburetors. The 190 SL has no doubt sportsdriving performances, without to suit as a real sports car. For this purpose it is probably too heavy, despite engine and trunk lid made of aluminum. The production starts not until 1955 with the convertible (roadster). Until then, the character of the car has completely changed in direction comfortable touring car. The few people who drive it in Germany, use it either as a second car or probably belong to the shady company, as the noble prostitute Rosemarie Nitribit.
Because of its importance for the development at Daimler-Benz rewarding is a look at the engine. Around the bottom seems to have not done much with its three multi-layer crankshaft bearings. The head, however, has changed radically, as can be guessed because of the high performance output for the time. According to the modular principle, he is not alone in the world, butis very similar to the about the same time evolving six-cylinder brothers. It is to recognize at the front bulge in the valve cap, which covers the chain drive for the camshaft. Cam follower drive the partly sodium-cooled valves. That the two double carburetors later disappear on the takeover of the engine in the 190 series, is only too understandable, because they are still sensitive and heavy to adjust. Thus, the engine of the 190 SL is a tough test for the later, more extensive use.
The entrance leads to a rather low seat, next to it bulges a huge transmission tunnel. To switch he hand grips upwards rather than downwards. The relatively wide path between the shift lanes also attract attention. Gears have to be changed with care. Contrary to this gearshift is the at the steering wheel (with the limousines) nearly sporty. A fairly quiet engine obeys without grumbling. Only the relatively high weight prevent it from more spontaneous performance development. Its consumption habits are strongly dependent on the required performance. All in all, one has a sense of protection all around, as is usually the case more to limousine.
The steering wheel is steep, despite its size still relatively hard-steering and therefore to operate not very elegant. This applies equally to the coupling, but not for the brakes, which sometimes can be even a little unpleasant. However, one should not rely on their symmetry right and left. Like a relic from the past to one appears the floor handbrake,of course to reach in a flat sports car a little more complicated under the dashboard (fig. 2 lower left). The instruments (fig. 2) are just now again an eye candy, to which some manufacturers remember back in modernized form. The convertible top is simple, but also easily foldable. Then you can enjoy a for today's standards rarely draft-free travel in higher speed regions. For luggage is sufficient place, even a third, sitting across, not too large passenger is possible.