- A 1:18 1955 Mercedes 190 SL by Maisto.

The celebrities' car of choice

From Ringo Starr over Alfred Hitchcock to Rosemarie Nitribitt, a lot of famous celebrities owned this car.

When Mercedes presented the 190 SL, which was based on the W121 190 sedan, in 1955 it was good news to the celebrities in the world. They didn't need to buy a 300 SL anymore with which they'd humiliate themselves every single time they'd try to get in or out of the car through the narrow gullwing doors.

With the 190 SL they got normal doors as well as an open top which made getting out of the car much easier and with that literally saved their big careers.

It is therefore no surprise that a lot of celebrities immediately purchased the beautiful roadster from Untertürkheim, among others it was owned by Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr, Alfred Hitchcock, Romy Schneider, Grace Kelly and the famous German prostitute Rosemarie Nitribitt whose trademark was her 190 SL, which became legendary after she was murdered and a movie about her was produced in 1958. There are people though who say that this movie caused the low sales numbers of the 190 SL in 1958, as the car's clean image had been damaged.

Unfortunately the traces of Rosemarie Nitribitt's black Mercedes have disappeared and it's unknown where the car is today or if it still exists, but luckily there are enough 190 SLs around for Maisto to base a nice 1:18 model on it.

The model can open its doors, hood and trunk and has a working suspension. As you can clearly see in the picture above, mine is red with beige seats but it's also available in white with red seats, in pale green with dark green seats and in black with red seats, just like Nitribitt's 190 SL. Or rather it was available in those colors, I'm not sure if Maisto actually still makes the model.

Under the hood of the model, the 105 horsepower four cylinder engine is in existance although not much more, calling it detailed would be quite an exaggeration.

When you take a look into the trunk you will be more pleased as you can find a rubber spare wheel there and next to it enough space for a couple of rather compact suitcases.

Inbetween the engine and the trunk, the 190 SL has a practical feature called an interior. Theoretically it offers room for up to three people, but the third seat which would be pointing sideways hasn't been installed in the Maisto model.

Summing up the model is rather easy, it's a very good looking diecast which apart from being too low has realistic proportions, and the rather soft suspension springs are a feature I always like to celebrate on older Maisto models.

Thanks for reading, and if you'd like to see how the 190 SL looks in actual colors you can take a 360° look at it here.

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Comments (28)

  • Beautiful car 👍

      2 months ago
  • Would’ve been much more stylish in the white and red combination

      2 months ago
    • But I already have a 280 SE in that color combination and this was the only 190 SL available in the store where I bought it

        2 months ago
    • All I’m hearing is that you’re not stylish enough to buy one in the white and red combination

        2 months ago
  • Nice model, nice photos and nice article.

      2 months ago
  • Why all the bold?

      2 months ago
  • I have one the same, pretty cool model

      2 months ago