Feature Listing: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

I write a lot about Mercedes-Benz and their monetary values. The overwhelming majority of the time their values are depreciating or, at best, holding steady. Every once in a blue moon I come across a car which is actually appreciating in value. Today’s featured car is not only appreciating, but is one of the hottest models in the substantial Mercedes-Benz catalog you can buy at the moment. That car is the 190SL. Produced from 1955 to 1963, the 190SL was the baby bother of the now seven-figure 300SL. Although similarly styled, the 190SL was much different mechanically than the 300SL with a carbureted four-cylinder and built on a shorted saloon chassis as opposed to a tubular space-frame like the 300SL. Because of this, 190SL values stayed relatively flat and didn’t have great demand outside of a few particularly outstanding examples. However, now that the 300SL have reached a point where they are so valuable that even putting miles on them is frowned upon by collectors, the baby brother 190SL isn’t so “baby” anymore in terms of value and collectibility. Today’s 190SL for sale in Ohio is right in that sweet spot for a classic car that can be enjoyed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on Hemmings

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

On Monday, I looked at a W124 cabriolet – a model I believe won’t witness a huge spike in value over the short term. While I do think the values will hold strong where they are and, at the very least, keep up with inflation, if you are hoping to make tens of thousands of dollars in a quick flip, there are probably better options.  Today’s car, the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, is one of those options.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on eBay

Meissen Blue 1957 Porsche 356A Coupe

A little while back I featured a 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo with a paint-to-sample exterior in Meissen Blue. It’s a color I was unfamiliar with and had never seen but which has early roots in Porsche’s history with the 356. It’s a color that really grows on you, and which we might think as beginning a line that would run through Gulf Blue and Glacier Blue as some of the lighter blues in the Porsche catalog. They’re really great colors and I think they work especially well on vintage Porsches. The car we see here takes us back to that original use of the color: a Meissen Blue 1957 Porsche 356A Coupe, located California, with a few modifications that have garnered it the ‘outlaw’ moniker. As outlaws go it’s a more subdued version of the species and retains much of the vintage charm of the 356 itself.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Meissen Blue 1957 Porsche 356A Coupe on eBay

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

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Not much needs to be said when we feature a 300SL, whether it be Gullwing or Roadster. Both extremely stunning in their own right, these are cars that don’t require any explaining or justifying now that examples are regularly selling for over $1,000,000. But today’s car actually comes in just slightly under the seven-figure mark. This W198 isn’t a barn find or a basket case either. So let’s check out this beautiful 1957 roadster for sale in California and find out why it’s so “cheap”.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on Hemmings

Feature Listing: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupe

Following World War II and the near complete destruction of the Mercedes-Benz production capacity, the company nursed itself back to life with the pre-War 170 model. Production of that model would pave the rebuilding of the Sindelfingen plant that would launch the company’s resurgence to the top of the market. The new ‘Ponton’ model would be introduced to the public in the fall of 1953 and would remain the bulk of production for the remainder of the decade. It would be available in an amazing sixteen different model configurations, ranging from 4-cylinder sedans to 6-cylinder cabriolets. The Ponton represented a technical leap forward from the company who had invented the automobile, with independent suspension and an available automatic clutch dubbed “Hydrak” being the big headlines. Mercedes-Benz also steadily improved the performance over the model run, and when it came to the 2.2 inline-6 in the 220S, dual Solex downdraft carburetors helped to develop over 100 horsepower. But it was style, not performance, that helped to set the Ponton models apart and especially in Coupe and Cabriolet form, they were special cars indeed:

EMAIL FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupe

1957 Porsche 356 Speedster

Let’s turn back the clock a bit to one of Porsche’s earliest attempts to meld track duty with everyday usability, matters that over time became hallmarks of the brand. The Speedster was developed during a time when two-seat open-top machines began to proliferate and became common occurrences on trackdays. These were cars that, in their own unique way, provided owners the ability to take their car to the track on Saturday and then to work on Monday. Creature comforts were limited, as with most track cars, but it was their mechanical simplicity – and relatively low cost – that made them worthwhile considerations for dual-purpose duty. As such, Porsche tried to emulate that model and the 356 Speedster featured side curtains rather than windows, a removable windscreen, a very basic manually-folding soft-top, and bucket seats fitted to an austere interior. While initially very popular interest in the Speedster waned and it was replaced by the Convertible D (later 356 Roadster) after only four years of production. With such low numbers extant the Speedster has become an icon of the brand and highly-prized among collectors. The example we see here comes from the earlier T1 design, a Ruby Red 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster, located in California.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster on eBay

Convertible Week: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Following on to the 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 we featured yesterday to kick off convertible week, here’s that car’s grandfather: the 300SL Roadster. Painted in a similar hue of black, this example for sale in Los Angeles has lived there most of its life, originally being sold in Europe. This is an early build 300SL roadster on its fourth owner, having undergone a repaint in 1981 along with a few other items being refreshed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on eBay

1957 Porsche 356A Speedster

While an excellent Porsche, of any era, tends to marry a combination of blistering performance with a high degree of refinement, it is many of the no-frills examples that command the greatest attention. One of the earliest of those was the 356 Speedster. As Porsche’s first production vehicle the 356 was around for nearly twenty years before being replaced by the 911 and the Speedster remains one of the most iconic variants produced. Only available for a short 4 years the Speedster served the American market as a lower-cost spartan alternative to the standard 356, while also providing weekend racers a model they could use at the track. Belying its short production run, the Speedster was quite successful in its early years and Porsche has revived the iconic moniker a few times for the 911, but it’s always tough to top the original. The example we see here is a Black on Black 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, located in Houston, with 95,898 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster on eBay

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL v. “1956” HMDE 300SL Replica

There are a lot of famous cars that I dream about owning but just aren’t realistic. I’d love a Lancia Stratos, for example. And a Porsche 917K. But since my bank account doesn’t currently contain quite enough commas in the balance statement to make that occur, they’re going to remain dreams. Of course, for reasonable amounts you can buy quite convincing replicas of these cars; Hawk makes a very good Stratos copy, and RCR makes one killer-looking 917K knockoff. While purists decry these fakes as degradation of the brand, when well executed I find these replicas really intriguing. They offer an opportunity for not only mere mortals to own them, but more importantly they offer people who would never get to see them driven a chance to experience the shape in the wild. Another such car that gets traded for the same amount as the GDP of some small African nations is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing”. Considered by many to be the first “supercar”, the 300SL’s performance and design was otherworldly in the 1950s and though it’s not the most expensive Mercedes-Benz model they remain firmly out of the grasp of any but the most well-heeled enthusiasts. Like many Ferrari models, Mercedes-Benz has carefully sought out and squashed any attempts at building replicas, and few that remain floating around look close to the original. But today I have both a stunning original example and a reasonably accurate replica that you could actually buy and drive. Is the replica worth spending money on, though?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on Hemmings

1957 Porsche 356A Speedster

While many of us deride the American car market for what it deems verboten to us, we have to remember that years ago, it was this very same market that helped shape some of the model lineups of post-war German automotive manufacturers. Such was the case with this car, the Porsche Speedster. Egged on by importer Max Hoffman, Porsche decided that a more basic, lower cost model would appeal to this market. The Speedster was quite successful by Porsche sales standards. Curiously, this more basic model has become one of the most prized models of the entire 356 range. This 1957 example for sale in California has been fully restored was formerly owned by actor Michael Parks.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster on eBay