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Mercedes 190 SL restoration: first rust arbor, then dream car

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Mercedes-Benz 190 SL restoration
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N ow or never: Hans Kindermann bought the store 5 years ago a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL and thus fulfilled a dream. At that time, he had the chance to get one of these chic convertibles cheaply, and the master vehicle painter and body builder who was born in Sandersdorf near Halle did not want to miss it.

The Berlin-based owner of a Mercedes had it before 190 SL asked if he would like to restore his car. But there was no cost estimate at all. 'The man was a pensioner, well over 70 and very often traveled for a long time,' recalls Kindermann. And after one of these trips, the gentleman decided to sell the car better.

Little is known about the history of this 1962 Mercedes 190 SL. The pensioner had owned it for a good 30 years and had used it to visit relatives in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is why he was also familiar with Kindermann's workshop. Apparently he had always invested in maintenance repairs, in other words, a number of sheets had been welded in to remove rust spots, but that had nothing to do with restoration.

Only repaired instead of restored

The Mercedes 190 SL bodies were unfortunately very susceptible to rust, not least due to the inadequate corrosion protection measures during this time. No wonder that Kindermann came across many traces of past repairs. But first he dismantled the vehicle completely until only the body was left. This was then stripped of paint, revealing various old layers of paint, and derusted.

Kindermann was very lucky that the previous owner had already collected a number of sheet metal parts for the restoration of his car in recent years, which he had with the Mercedes 190 SL delivered together. These were original parts, so there was no trouble with poorly fitting reproductions.

Extensive sheet metal work on the SL body

The sheet metal work took up a lot of time because it had to the front, the rear, the four fenders, which, by the way, are all welded on, the floor and some reinforcement beams of the floor area and the trunk floor are being replaced. Kindermann fixed it on a frame so that the body of the Mercedes 190 SL would not warp and the gaps would not be correct afterwards. 'We don't have all of them eitherAiling parts were separated out at once, but proceeded step by step, so if possible we inserted a new part before we cut out another. '

By we, Kindermann means his son Stefan and himself is a trained coachbuilder and painter, and when both of them worked on the Mercedes 190 SL at the same time after work, one or the other discussion would arise.

A lot of experience

A lot of experience flows into such restorations, things that are not in textbooks.' It can be decisive in which direction you weld because it leads to warpage, and every bodywork behaves differently, 'explains Kindermann. But he is also open to his son's suggestions for improvement:' Because not every move that has been done in the same way for 30 years has to end with wisdom. '

Could benefit both also from the experience they have gained in the previous restorations of some Mercedes 190 SLs for customers. The doors and hoods with aluminum skins did not have to be replaced. However, they flared the folds on the edge and removed the rust underneath.

The end result should be 1a, so nothing was left to chance. Since the doors or the add-on parts on all Mercedes 190 SLs are not easily interchangeable, it was a matter of course for Kindermann that he initially acquired parts that could no longer be saved, such as the front grille and the bumpers, as raw parts, in order to use them on the completed, but still to be able to adapt the unpainted body.

190 SL paintwork in DB172 anthracite

Only then did he chrome the add-on parts and start painting the body. For his Mercedes 190 SL, however, he did not choose the original color, but rather the anthracite DB172 available on special request, which he particularly likes in combination with a red interior.

The inside of the Mercedes 190 SL has been completely renovated . Only the seat frames were preserved, rusted and painted. A saddler took over the upholstery, the upholstery of the seats and the paneling as well as the renewal of the roof. explains Kindermann, because the Mercedes 190 SL should run smoothly after the work is complete.

Sensitive carburettors have been overhauled at Carburetor Bob

He went to work just as uncompromisingly when restoring the technology of his Mercedes 190 SL. The four-cylinder engine was completely dismantled and rebuilt with many new parts. He gave the sensitive Solex carburetors to the trained hands of Bob carburetor repair in Kassel. 'YetIt took a lot of time and instinct later on until the installed carburettors were correctly adjusted and synchronized, 'says Kindermann.

He took care of the transmission of the Mercedes 190 SL, whose fourth gear always jumped out, he took care of himself. He dismantled it and looked for the new parts he needed from various suppliers. The fact that someone delivered him a rusty, unusable synchronizer body and didn't want to take it back was an expensive experience.

Overhaul of the Mercedes 190 SL- Chassis requires skill

There were no disasters when working on the chassis of the Mercedes 190 SL. All wear parts were replaced, with the front axle in particular requiring a certain amount of manual skill because, for example, steering knuckle bushes were pressed in and reamed with a reamer It goes without saying that all the worn components of the brake system have also been replaced with new parts e will be overtaken.

'We had every screw in our hands at least once, and that creates a close relationship with a car,' admits Kindermann, who, after a good two years of work, every kilometer with the completed Mercedes 190 SL enjoys. He rarely has to consult with his son on trips, because he prefers to work on classic cars than to drive them. But neither of them regretted the spontaneous purchase.

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