In 1954, Mercedes presented its prototype of the two-door 190SL at the New York Auto Show. The ‘S‘ stood for 'sport', while the ‘L‘ meant ‘light‘. Fifteen months later, the production version was exhibited at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show. Max Hoffmann, the Austrian-American importer from New York, proposed the sporty two-seater Mercedes-Benz 190SL sports car and also paid part of the development costs.
The Avenue43 model is the racing version that was offered in the first brochures for the 190SL. Total production of this so-called racing version of the 190 SL only reached 17 units, and production was quietly discontinued in March 1956.