Gooding’s $200k 190SL
Back from the dead
Way back in ’97 I found a 190SL in New York’s Ulster County that had been parked in its owner’s backyard for 13 years. Its tires had slowly sunk into the ground allowing its floor pan to rest on bare earth. It had become a playhouse for its owner’s children and as we first winched it onto a trailer, we found it had also become a home to countless mice.
The bottom of the car so completely rusted that the only practical restoration solution was to completely dismantle the car and replace the entire floor/frame assembly. Brian Parker, then owner of Star Quality, had a complete frame assembly in stock and that became the basis of the Strawberry 190SL that recently brought $200,000 at the Gooding and Co. Auction at Pebble Beach 2012.
Beyond ‘ground up’ restored
Imagine a restoration with more than 450 pounds of metal replacement. All other aspects of the restoration process were the same as we all go through and the car re-appeared in public for the first time at the Rhinebeck, NY show in May of ’02. The fully restored 190SL was then shown at the 190SL International Group convention at West Point, NY in July, winning its first national award. Then it was on to the 2002 Hershey October show where it won its first AACA award.
In 2003 the car was sold to a dealer in Rochester, NY and in 2004 it was purchased by its last owner, prior to the auction, who resided in California. The last owner contacted me shortly after his purchase and we kept in touch over his years of ownership as he continued to detail and upgrade the car and exhibit it in the California shows. The car has certainly had its share of acclaim which it could not have received sinking into the ground in upstate New York.
Text and Photography from Slim Wheatley
Edited by MercedesHeritage.com
Please comment on this article below.