Mercedes-Benz 190SL, 1955-63
Convertible Top and Convertible Top Parts
- Quality: Made to original specs, 100% fit guarantee.
- Original Configuration: Top made as original with plastic rear window and-hand rolled binding. A zippered window is an option. Fasteners are included. Cable in rear installed.
- Original Factory Material: German Sonnenland Canvas
- Alternate Materials: Sonnendeck (Twillfast) Canvas; Haartz Stayfast Canvas
- About Fabrics: The Sonnenland is original and is the highest quality/wear rating canvas. Twillfast is close. Haartz Stayfast has a plain inner lining (as opposed to the Sonnenland and Twillfast woven lining) giving it a slightly lower wear rating. All fabrics are quite similar in appearance.
- All seams are doubly electronically welded and sewn for added reinforcement. Convertible top fabrics are mildew & mold resistant, and UV treated for color fastness.
- Installation: Professional installation is suggested.To locate a professional installer please enter "automobile upholstery shops near me" in your browser search bar.
- Wood 'Bows': Top is stapled or tacked to wooden forms. We offer replacement wood.
- Warranty: Tops are made by Robbins and carry 6 year factory warranty with 18 month labor allowance.
Important InformationOriginal Factory Color(s): Black, Blue, Brown and Tan
History : The prototype 190sl was completed in 1954, designed by Karl Wilfert and Walter Hackert. The first production models were sold in 1955. Two versions were made available: the removable hard top and the folding soft top convertible.
The car is now a classic; a nicely restored 190sl roadster should fetch
(this is written in 2007) $50,000.
Wood Top Bows: The 190sl convertible (soft)top restoration requires the careful examination
of the folding top frame. Straightening and rust removal, lubrication, etc. are standard practice in convertible top refurbishing.
Classic Mercedes Roadster tops are upholstered to wooden forms, called "wood top bows." These must be in solid shape: rot should be dealt with and existing bows
if they are to be retained should be treated with preservative and exterior paint. Wood bows must be able to receive upholstery staples across
their entire length and be rendered rot resistant.
It is often the case that one of the four wood pieces on the top frame requires replacing, but that
might not be discernible until the old top is removed. there is a front ("header") wood bow
that seats in a steel tray over the windshield. There is a wood bow over the back window
(the "rear top bow.") and there is a pair of wood pieces on the side pillars (the "quarter side pieces.")
Quality Manufacturer : We are pleased to be a distributor for the germanex convertible tops. This company specializes in Mercedes tops and interiors and their tops are unexcelled.
Canvas Fabrics: There are three canvas choices for a new top. They are the American made
Haartz Stayfast canvas, and Sonnendeck canvas, and also the German Sonnenland canvas. There is little apparent difference in the surface appearance among the three. The sonnenland has the highest wear rating of the three. Sonnenland canvas is the best of all toppings.
Chrysler Sailcloth Vinyl: Modern Chrysler Sebrings, Mustangs and other fine tops are made of chrysler sailcloth vinyl. This topping was designed, in vinyl, to emulate canvas in appearance. in a small top such as this, the wear rating of vinyl, generally less than that of canvas might not be too significant a factor. We offer Chrysler sailcloth
vinyl tops for the cost conscious restorer, as a sensible alternative to expensive canvas tops.
Accuracy Details:Our 190sl tops are made, as original, with one plastic window. our wood top bows are meticulous reproductions: the front bow is milled so that it is ready to attach to the front tray. All bows are usually stocked, as we are specialists in the classic Mercedes convertibles.
Almost all manufacturers use Haartz fabrics. They may specify "heaviest weight" or "original replacement" in ways that seem reassuring. But they do not really tell the whole story. Please bear in mind that two things dominate, by far, the quality issue: (a) the manufacturing quality control in the factory that makes the top and (b) the care and thoroughness of the installation. There is a trade-off in weight: heavier is better for resisting tear through, but lighter is better for flexibility and abrasion from within that may arise from movement. Almost all our tops are a flexible medium density (36 oz.) fabric. Heavier is not better in most cases. Where it is, because of the top design, we will say so and the top will be made of the heavier vinyl.
- Sonnenland® is a German-made 3-ply topping made up of an acrylic twill-weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a polyester "dobby backing." The dobby backing is a knit-like weave original to many high-end foreign cars. Customers who value originality over cost often pay top dollar for Sonnenland, just to have that authentic "dobby backing," seen only when you look up at the roof of your convertible top from inside your car. Sonnenland canvas is a top-of-the-line material original to various Audi, BMW, and Jaguar convertibles, among others. Sonnenland Canvas can vary in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance, but all Sonnenland Canvas promises elegance and long-lasting durability.
- Twillfast®, also called Sonnendeck Canvas, is an American-made canvas - a cost-effective substitute for Sonnenland. Twillfast is usually a 3-ply topping (though some versions are 5-ply) with Polyester and/or Polyester/cotton backings. This material, original to certain Camaro, BMW, Mustang, and VW Beetle convertibles, among others, varies in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance. Twillfast Canvas is identical to Sonnenland Canvas - elegant and durable - only it's less expensive. This is a top-notch convertible top material, one we often recommend to savvy customers who like a good buy and a quality product.
- Stayfast Canvas is an elegant, durable canvas original to cars like the Mazda Miata and the Nissan 370Z. Stayfast is commonly used in replacement convertible tops. Stayfast canvas has an acrylic square weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a cotton backing. As with other canvases, the rubber core gives the fabric long-lasting durability. Stayfast canvas is a sleek, beautiful canvas, usually less expensive than Twillfast, but it does not have the dobby backing offered in Sonnenland and Twillfast (Sonnendeck). Stayfast is a popular upgrade to vinyl convertible tops, and as with any canvas, is richer looking and has a higher wear rating than convertible tops made of vinyl.
- Haartz Pinpoint Vinyl is the most popular fabric. This vinyl design is original to most American cars from the fifties to the nineties. Pinpoint refers to the little dots or pips that you see if you look closely at the vinyl surface. European cars, such as the old Beetles and others also used pinpoint vinyl as the topping fabric.
- Chrysler Sailcloth is featured on many late LeBarons, Sebrings, certain Mustangs and other cars. It is structurally (wear quality) equivalent to the Haartz Pinpoint but has a different surface grain. The grain was designed to imitate the look of canvas. As you can see from the scan of this fabric, it is an exceptionally rich looking material. It is sometimes chosen for replacing convertible tops that originally featured pinpoint vinyl.
- Cabrio Grain is also structurally equivalent to the pinpoint. It has a pigskin outer grain vinyl as original to Volkswagen Cabriolets from 1984 onward and to Mazda Miatas and Mercury Capris.
- A5S German Canvas (Robbins) The 100% Acrylic Twill Weave Surface Cloth receives a special flame singing treatment to remove the fabric knap; and is laminated to Black 100% Polyester Dobby backing.
This is the original topping for Porsche Boxster and Cabrio convertible tops. 59 inches (150 cm) wide, made in Germany.
- British Bison Vinyl is the most popular British roadster convertible top material. It is American made Haartz leather grain vinyl and is an imitation of the British Everflex vinyl top fabric. The British Bison Vinyl convertible top fabric is often referred to as 'crush grain.'
- British Everflex Vinyl We are now pleased to offer British Everflex Vinyl for classic English tops. This is the original material used on British convertibles including Jaguar, Rolls Royce and many others. Imported from England, British Everflex vinyl is a supple vinyl with a rich appearance and is more durable than other vinyls. A good, less expensive alternative is Colonial grain vinyl. Colonial has the same texture but is less durable.
- HV Denim (also called Twill Weave Vinyl) is heavy duty sport material composed of a distinctive twill grain PVC outer layer and a polyester/cotton blend inside lining fabric.
- Trilogy Acoustic Vinyl A heavyweight vinyl that is often used on SUVs like Jeep, because the two-ply composite has the capacity to reduce noise by about 20 percent compared to standard vinyls like Sailcloth. The vinyl material is durable, promises long-lasting wear-and-tear, and resembles the sleek twill cloth commonly found on luxury convertible cars.
- Haartz Twillfast RPC This American-made canvas has a twill weave pattern and resembles German-made Sonnenland canvas. It is a great all-purpose canvas and, according to Haartz, is used on 99 percent of convertibles. It is stronger and more durable than Stayfast Canvas and offers more sound protection. Haartz rates Twillfast RPC as a mid-level acoustic product, compared to the low-level sound reduction offered on other top materials like Stayfast
Parts in this category (Mercedes-Benz 190SL) fit cars for years: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963.