1960 Mercedes-Benz 190B Sedan (Type W121)
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Europe’s car industry was decimated. In Germany both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars post-war, however, times were tough. A merger between Daimler and Benz would ensure that both companies survived and following a technical co-operation agreement in 1924, the companies formally merged on the 1st July 1926. Mercedes-Benz was born!
Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz went on to build some of the greatest cars of all time. The cars from Stuttgart bearing the three-pointed star all had one thing in common . . . they were renowned for their technical innovation, build quality, luxury and performance.
In 1951 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W187 220 Series cars, which was the first model to be powered by a six-cylinder engine post World War II. This model was a great success and built in relatively big numbers. It was succeeded by the Type W180 series car in 1954, which like its predecessor was available as a sedan, coupe and convertible.
In the 1950’s Mercedes-Benz produced one of the greatest cars of all time – the iconic 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster. Whilst fabulous sporting cars, they were very expensive and generally sold to the rich and famous. The Type W186 and Type W189 300 series four door luxury tourers were built alongside the Type W198 300SL Gullwing and Roadster and they were indeed fabulous cars in their own right, though still very expensive. Mercedes-Benz wanted to build full sized luxury cars that were ‘more affordable’ than the Type W186 and Type W189 300 series cars; the Ponton range of cars (Type W120/W121/W105/W180/W128) filled that void nicely. The Type W121 was first introduced in 1956 and remained in production until 1961. Not including the Mercedes Benz 190 SL, which also had the model designation Type W121, a total of 171,746 examples were produced over this period and almost half of these were fitted with a diesel engine.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a rare 1960 Australian assembled Mercedes Benz 190B (Type W121) sedan.
In 1926 JF Crosby decided to invest in Eclipse Motors Pty Ltd in Melbourne. The company grew steadily and by 1929 it secured the Victorian agency for Standard Motor Company cars. In 1952 the Crosby family formed a holding company, Standard Motor Products Ltd, in co-operation with the Standard Motor Company of England. The sole purpose of this company was to assemble cars imported from the UK in Complete Knock Down (CKD) form. In the late 1950’s the company name was changed to Australian Motor Industries Limited (AMI). In 1958 AMI negotiated a deal with Daimler-Benz to assemble and distribute Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Australia. The first Australian produced Mercedes-Benz was a Type W180 series 220S which rolled of the production line on the 12th of February 1959. The assembly of Mercedes-Benz CKD cars ended in 1965. During that time circa 6,400 Mercedes-Benz were assembled in Melbourne, of which only circa 216 were the Type W121 190B.
There is a delivery note on file from Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft dated 12th October 1959 confirming the shipment of 12 cars, chassis numbers 12101060-004127 through to 004138, from Rotterdam to MB Pty Ltd in Melbourne as per the order dated 9th September 1959. The delivery note confirms the shipment of 12 chassis, unpainted, complete with engines, Hella headlights, Avog windscreen wipers, Hella indicators and fastening materials.
After assembly in Melbourne, it is understood that this particular example was then sold to a doctor in Sydney. In 1969 the doctor sold the car to one of his patients, Mr Nesterick, through Provincial Motors. There is a warranty card on file confirming the sale dated 22nd May 1969. The warranty card also notes the odometer reading at time of sale being 62,070km. Mr Nesterick passed away in circa 1974 and he left the car to his son, Mr Wolfgang Nesterick. Some years later he decided to restore the car. The 190B was stripped but unfortunately that was as far as the restoration progressed. The car was parked in a garage where it sat for many years. It was in the early 2000’s when by chance Nesterick ran into the prior to current owner of the car, who was the owner of Blue Print Smash Repairs Pty Ltd. He had recently restored a Mercedes-Benz Type 220 SE Type W128 sedan and Nesterick was inspired by the quality of the restoration of that car and decided it was time for him to finish the project he started all those years ago. The car was given to Blue Print Smash Repairs Pty Ltd who undertook the necessary body repairs and repainted the car. Nesterick was a Mercedes-Benz trained motor mechanic and he did all the mechanical work himself. At the same time the interior was retrimmed. The car was restored in its original colour scheme of grey with a red interior and the restoration was finally completed in 2005.
This car is just stunning and the photos basically tell the story. You can tell this was a no expense spared restoration. Everything was done with a very high attention to detail. By way of example, you will note the original windscreen washer reservoir bag with the correct German writing. Nesterick passed away in 2016 and just before that he sold the car to the prior to current owner. They were good friends and Nesterick wanted him to be the next custodian of his cherished car. This 190B joined the equally stunning 220SE in his garage.
Since then, the car has been regularly seen at various display days and concours events. In 2019 the car won two awards at the Mercedes-Benz Club of ACT Concours d’Elegance. It was the overall Class B winner and it also won Best Simple Engine Bay. In 2019 it also won two awards at the Mercedes-Benz Club of NSW Concours d’Elegance. It was the overall Class 1 winner and it also won Best Engine Bay.
Today this Mercedes-Benz 190B presents beautifully. The odometer reads 2,611 km, which is understood to represent the mileage the car has travelled since its restoration. When you walk up to the car the first impression is ‘wow, this is an absolutely stunning car’. The grey paint forms a perfect contrast with the chrome work, the white wall tyres and the red leather interior. The more you look the more you see on this beautiful old Benz. The devil is in the detail and there are some really interesting features like the positioning of the indicators on the front guards and the red tip on the antenna. Everything about its appearance just oozes quality.
The paintwork on this car is still in excellent condition and it retains a strong depth of colour with a deep gloss finish. The chrome work is vibrant and all in excellent condition. The same can be said for all the glass and lenses. The presentation of everything on the car is consistent with its mileage and the way it’s been kept by its previous owners.
Open the door and you can’t help but to take a moment to admire the interior. The red leather upholstery, the grey floor mats, the brown timber trim on the dash and the doors, the white steering wheel, it all makes absolute sense and suits the car perfectly. The instruments all present beautifully and appear to be in good working order. A nice touch is that the car is equipped with a period correct and quite possibly original radio. The engine bay and boot are also beautifully presented.
After having spent a good ten minutes admiring this car it’s time to take it out for a test drive to see if it drives as good as it looks. You insert the key into the ignition and turn it counter clockwise to turn the ignition on, then press the starter button to start the car. The 1.9 litre four cylinder engine almost immediately burst to life and quickly settles into a smooth idle. First impressions are good, really good. The engine sounds strong and revs freely. After a few short miles our question is quickly answered. Yes, this car most certainly drives every bit as good as it looks! Out on the open road this car easily keeps up with modern day traffic. The engine pulls strongly and the four speed manual gearbox is easy to operate. The drive is also really smooth and there are no rattles or squeals as the suspension easily absorbs all bumps in the road. This car just feels incredibly solid, which is no surprise given the quality of the restoration. The doors shut easily with minimal effort and that typical Germanic thud. Mercedes-Benz is known for its build quality and this car is a great testament to that.
This car is well known to Oldtimer Australia having been sold by us to the current owner about a year ago. He loves the car but is hardly using it and just feels like he’s not doing the car justice by keeping it in his garage. This presents a great opportunity for the next owner to show, use and enjoy this gorgeous and rather rare Australian built Mercedes-Benz 190B.
It would be hard to find a better example!
- Rare Australian built Mercedes-Benz 190B (1 of approximately 216 examples).
- Beautifully restored in a STUNNING colour combination.
- Won four awards in 2019 at the NSW and ACT Mercedes-Benz Clubs Concours d’Elegance.
- Original set of keys and books, tool kit, set of spare wheels with period correct tyres.
- Just a fabulous car.
- Mercedes-Benz 190B Sedan (Type W121)
- 2,605 km