1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, the beginning era of compact sports cars

Mercedes-Benz 190 SL is the younger brother of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing.” This car became a lifestyle icon for people in the 1950s looking to drive comfort and impressive performance driving on the streets.

It can be said that the era of the 50s is an era of joy. After two decades in which the world is going through a dark age due to WWI and WWII. The global community’s lifestyle has finally moved positively with the emergence of leisure entertainment themes. For example, since the debut of Disneyland and the McDonald’s franchise, the presence of television in middle-class families, the boom in swing and rock and roll, even affected the baby boom trend.

On the other hand, the auto industry has also been fixing itself following the fifties trend. At the time, it was the golden age of sports and roadster model cars. This type of car represents a prestigious character.

Mercedes-Benz reflects this in the duo of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL. Initially, the Daimler-Benz group would only create the 300 SL as its ultimate sports car. Where the coupe version of this model became iconic due to the gullwing doors.

From May 1955 to February 1963, Mercedes-Benz managed to produce 190 SL, with 25,881 units at the Sindelfingen factory. This figure is quite large for the sports car of its time. Which also affected the existence of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL as a flagship car in the 1950s.

The popularity of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL also had an impact on show business. One of the crucial moments in the sports car’s existence was when Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra used this car in the movie High Society, released in 1956.

However, the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL did not undergo a regenerated structure like the 300 SL, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class family’s starting point. In 1996, Mercedes-Benz launched the “Spiritual Successor” of the 190 SL, which later went by Mercedes-Benz SLK and continued by Mercedes-Benz SLC. So, it is true that the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL is the beginning of the era of compact sports cars.

Let’s get to know this compact sports car from Mercedes-Benz in the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL full review.

Toby Archer

With experience as an automotive journalist since 2016 in well-known media, Toby has also tested various types of cars and visited world auto shows. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Hotwheels since early 2020

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