Summer Tourer and Solid Investment: 1959 Mercedes Benz 190SL

Summer Tourer and Solid Investment: 1959 Mercedes Benz 190SL

Creemore Valley Classics VIP Stories #54

After seeing one of these 30 years ago in Muskoka – the sheer
elegance of the machine never left my mind. In early 2005, I finally had the means to purchase one and so the process began; it started with research: history of the vehicle, time-line changes, value, scarcity, availability of cars and parts, restoration cost … these were all important factors.

Armed with this information, I then scoured the internet, attended auctions and joined clubs. Disappointed in the availability of a quality car, I quit searching. In 2007, a restorer I had hired to check out some of the vehicle I had come across, called me to let me know he had found one in Toronto – close to home! I bought it the day I checked it out and drove it home a few days later.

I enjoyed the car the entire summer and then put it out for restoration. 100% authenticity/correctness was my goal, so I made myself ‘head of procurement’ in this venture – the Mercedes Benz Classic Center in California as well as eBay became my friends. The amount of time spent just on this task was something I had not expected: researching the correct plating for a particular
spring would take up days as opinions varied amongst the experts.

While the car was out for restoration, we were having our house renovated and a separate garage built: one side with hoist and extra width so I could maintain and tinker. In early 2009, my car came home and I completed the restoration: installation of dashboard, windshield, lights, upholstery and so on. By summer, it was ready!

We discovered Ontario as our weekends were spent driving ever larger distances from home – with nary a problem. In 2014, we bought another Mercedes, a 1961 light blue with Cognac interior. What wonderful cars and very successful from an investment standpoint!

Owner: Roland Wilhelm

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