Detailed differences of 190SL Fog Lights

(click on the picture to enlarge)
By Ed Bertrand (With technical assistance from Ron Rapp of SL Auto Haus Ltd)

The 190SL "Hella" Fog Light has always been an elusive mystery! A Factory Option from the start of production, the basic style went through three minor changes over the years. Although "Bosch" supplied Fog Lights to Mercedes Benz as well, they were used on other models such as the 200 and 300 series Sedans. As far as we can tell, the 190SL never had "Bosch" Fog Lights mounted from the factory. Only the rectangular "Hella" Lights. To add to the confusion, "Hella" supplied similar Fog Lights to Porsche, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and other German car manufacturers as well. So similar are these Lights, that most people have no idea what to look for when shopping for 190SL Lights. Therefore, the reason for this page...

The 190SL Fog Light will have three distinguishing features:

1. Two Rivets on each side of the Housing.
2. Three Rivets to attach the "Ball Stud".
3. "Feed Wire" exits through the rear of the Housing.

Although most "Hella" Fog Lights are similar, versions from other Makes will have minor differences from the 190SL Fog Lights. Study the pictures below for these differences...

190SL Factory Photographs showing Fog Lights:

190SL Factory "Prototype" Photo. Note that these "Round" Fog Lights never made it into production. Driving the number two Prototype is Kurt Oblšnder, Chief Mechanical Engineer for the 190SL. Photo taken late 1954.
190SL Factory Photo 82558 from Mid 1958. Note the "Acorn Nuts" holding the Fog Lights to the Brackets in this Hi-Res shot, and in this Close-up shot. These were used in the early cars only and are listed in the March, 1959 Dealer Spare Parts Manual (Edition "C") as "Hutmutter, Verchromt" (Chrome Castle Nut), P/N "M 10 DIN 1587". The Edition "D" Dealer Spare Parts Manual of January, 1963, shows a regular Hex Nut for this application, so the Chrome Acorn Nut was discontinued at some point between March, 1959 and January, 1963. Also note that these Acorn Nuts were used on the early 300SL's (Number 135 in this picture) as well.
Factory Photo 82560. Same car as before... Although this car has two Fog Lights, it wasn't unusual to have only one mounted on the Passengers side of the car.
The Mercedes magazine, "Mercedes Benz from Around the World" (1956). Note that this car has two round "Driving Lights" mounted to the top of the bumper and the two Fog Lights mounted BELOW the bumper!

Additional Factory Photographs of 190SL's with Fog Lights:

Factory Publicity Photo of a Right Hand Drive car from early 1958. Note the color (yellow) of the Lenses. Clear Lenses were also available. Also note the passengers side Fog Light in this Hi-Res shot! Not very useful pointing up like that!!
Another Factory Publicity Photo from mid 1957. This time with Clear Lenses...
This Factory Photo is from 1955 and shows not only the Fog Lights (Clear Lenses), but the Outside Rear View Mirror mounted on the Fender! (Sorry about the small size folks...)
Early Build Sheet showing the Optional Fog Lights ("2 Nebellampen") on the bottom of the list. Note that TWO Fog Lights were not always installed as in this case. One was usually sufficient and a second just added additional cost.

190SL's with Fog Lights

Restored 190SL with the correct (3rd Version) Fog Lights and Mounting Bracket.
Another restored 190SL with the correct (3rd Version) Fog Lights and Mounting Bracket.
Closer view of the 3rd Version Fog Light and Bracket mounting location.
1955 190SL with Round "Hella" Fog Lights. Although technically incorrect, this style of Fog Light was very popular in Europe during the 50's and 60's.

190SL Fog Light Versions.

First Version 190SL Fog Light (front view). Note that the lines inside the "V" are spaced closer together than the surrounding area in the 1st and 2nd versions. Compare with the 3rd version below. Also note the lengths of the "Ball Studs". The 1st version has a length of 40mm.
First Version 190SL Fog Light (side view). Note that the Lens "bows out" farther at the top than the bottom.
Second Version 190SL Fog Light (front view). Note that the basic design of the "Diffuser Lines" in the Lens is the same as the 1st Version to the left. Also note that the "Ball Stud" is now 25mm in length; the same as the 3rd Version below.
Second Version 190SL Fog Light (side view). Note that the lens now "bows out" symetrically, top to bottom. (Also note that the "Bullet" shaped "Housing" is the same for all three versions.)

190SL Fog Light Versions and Distinguishing Features:

Third Version 190SL Fog Light (front view). Note that the spacing of the lines inside the "V" are now WIDER than the surrounding area. Just the opposite of the 1st and 2nd Versions above. Also note the "Ball Stud" length is 25mm; the same as the 2nd Version above.
Third Version 190SL Fog Light (side view). The lens shape is the same as the second version however, the "Retaining Ring" is now "Hooded".
Two Rivets on each side. (Used on all three versions.)
Three Rivets to attach the (unchromed) "Ball Stud". (Used on all three versions.)

190SL Fog Light Distinguishing Features continued:

Feed Wires exit from Rubber Grommet in rear of Housing. (Used on all three versions.)
Clear 190SL (3rd Version) Fog Light Lenses. Note that the lines in the "V" are spaced farther apart than the surrounding area. Compare this to the 1st and 2nd Versions above...
Close-up of the 3rd version "Hella" Logo
190SL Fog Light Mounting Bracket. (Used on all three Versions.)

Porsche Fog Lights:

Second Version 190SL lens (above) -vs- the Porsche Lens (below).
Porsche Fog Light. Note the "roundness" of the Lens and Housing -vs- the "squareness" of the 190SL.
NO Rivets on the sides. Also note the "Hooded" Retainer Ring, similar to the 3rd Version 190SL Fog Light!
SIX Rivets to hold the "Ball Stud" on. Four and five Rivet Versions have also been seen.

Porsche Fog Lights continued:

"Normal" mounting position for the Porsche Fog Light (UNDER the Bumper).
This verion is very similar to the 190SL however, the Power Feed Wirs exits through the "Ball Stud" and not the rear of the Housing as with the 190SL.
Again, SIX Rivets to attach the "Ball Stud".
View from the top. Note how "Squared off" the Housing is.

Porsche and VW Fog Lights:

Porsche Fog Light disassembled. Parts from some Porsche Fog Lights are interchangable with the 190SL!
Another Porsche Fog Light. This time with a more "Bullet" Housing and an embossed "Hella Shield".
VW Fog Lights. Very similar to the 190SL from the front and sides!
However, from the bottom the difference is quite obvious! 4 Rivets to attach the "Ball Stud" and the "Feed Wire" exits through the "Ball Stud" instead of the rear of the Housing.