5 Aug 2013

Spotted - Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 - Bargain future classic

This Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 is for sale on eBay for £3,995.  If you want to buy it you'd better be quick. The seller reckons someone has made an offer and the deal will be done on Tuesday.

In the late 80s my dad had two Mercedes 190Es - both with the 2 litre 4-cylinder engine.  I went to the dealer with him to choose the first one (he bought the second on personal import - remember that?).  It was the first time I'd set foot inside a Mercedes dealer and I was taken aback at how posh it was.  But, despite all the smart Mercedes on display I was glad he bought a 190E - because of the 190E 2.3-16.

It was a great looking car back then, and it still is.  The 190E has a reputation as one of the last Mercedes to be built when the balance between engineering and accountancy was tipped firmly in the engineers favour.

The expression bomb-proof could have been invented for it.

This particular 190E 2.3-16 looks a little haggard but it's described as being unmolested and has a full service history and only three owners.  And it's only got 86,000 miles on the clock, which is pretty amazing for a car from 1987.

The 2.3 litre engine was developed by Cosworth from a standard Mercedes unit and power increased from 149bhp to 186 bhp, and then down to 170bhp in 1986 when catalytic converters were introduced.    0-60mph took 7 seconds and top speed was 142mph.

The Getrag 5-speed gearbox had a dog-leg configuration, for faster 2nd to 3rd changes.

There are only 193 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16s still registered in the UK today.  This one is up for just under £4k and needs some work doing.  It will be a worthwhile investment.  One day its value will start to rise.

Here's a link to the advert.

Below the photos is a Top Gear clip from 2008 where Richard Hammond chooses his tips for future classic cars.  Fast forward to 2 minutes 30 to find the 190E 2.3-16's sibling the 2.5-16.