1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E RENNtech

Back in the ’80s the 190E was Mercedes’ answer to BMW’s E30 M3. While it wasn’t as successful and, despite James May’s insistence, the chassis wasn’t quite as good as that of the M3, the basic premise upon which these cars were developed remains a winner even to this day. Mercedes took their entry-level W201 sedan, asked Cosworth to go to work on an engine, improved the suspension and braking, et voilà: a performance version of a small luxury sedan that could provide comfort but also a bit of sportiness. However, with only around 170 hp in US-spec these cars weren’t especially quick. Solution: ship the car to RENNtech for a full makeover including a built 3.4 liter inline-6 producing 262 hp. Power is no longer a problem. Which brings us to the car featured here: a Black Pearl 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E RENNtech located in Florida. In addition to swapping in the 3.4 L engine, RENNtech also upgraded the suspension, brakes, and clutch to produce a complete package. The current owner has changed out the exhaust and added some cosmetic changes, though from all appearances those changes were done quite tastefully. There’s certainly little that detracts from the overall look of the car.

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Year: 1987
Model: 190E RENNtech
Engine: 3.4 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 70,750 mi
Price: Buy It Now $24,950

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E RENNtech on EBay

Selling my 1987 Mercedes Benz 190E RENNTECH. This is a 1 of 1 car built back in the early 90s. It started out as an already rare 1987 190E 2.3 16V. It was shipped off to Renntech for a full conversion including complete engine swap, brake upgrade, clutch upgrade, wheels/tires, suspension, and a few interior goodies. I do have some paper work that verifies this. If you know anything about Renntech, you know Hartmut Feyhl was the head technical director at AMG before AMG was bought by Mercedes. He was the lead man on the world famous “HAMMER” super car. I did the research and looked into his early work. His fingerprint or style on these cars is basically take an engine out of the larger Mercedes, bore/stroke them out and stuff them into a smaller chassis. Then upgrade all the essentials to cope with the new power. Thats exactly what the Hammer was, and that’s exactly what this little 190E is. Its a very cool proper motorcar.

The color is Black Pearl, it has a 5 speed getrag transmission with the dogleg pattern, all hooked up to a limited slip differential. The motor was pulled from a 300CE and was a 3.0 24V. Renntech bored/stroked it to 3.4 and it’s good for 262HP 240lbs torque. I know the Cosworth faithful will say why? Simple answer,MORE POWER! The Cosworth head was finicky to get working right and when you did, they were still underpowered cars at about 160HP. The brakes are from the famous Mercedes/Porsche joint effort 500E and are 4 piston Brembo calipers in the front,2 pistons in the rear. The suspension is AMG shocks/springs. They did leave the SLS (self leveling system) in the rear to counter adjust ride height when the rear end is loaded with people. The clutch is from the 300SL (129 chassis). They also did 17″ Mercedes Evo II wheels. The original wheels would be 15″ wheels/tires. I however upgraded even further to the 18″ monoblock II wheels. Im running Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires sizes 205/40/18. I weighed the evos and the AMG wheels and they are identical at 45lbs with wheel and tire. So I gained no unsprung weight by moving up to the 18s! I do not have the original wheels or the Evo wheels.

Exterior/Interior Condition

The car has 70K on the chassis and less on the engine. Not exactly sure when the motor went in but I’m sure Renntech could help with that. I have been watching 190E 16V cars that come through ebay and other venues and I haven’t seen a single car yet with as low mileage as my car. Most have well over 100K miles. The paint has a few rock chips on the front and hood but nothing major. I would rate it as a 9 out of 10 and I think the pictures give a great representation of the car but it even looks better in real life. The interior shows no ware and the leather is about as mint as it can be for 26 years old. It has no rips tears or ware marks. Its very thick leather and the car smells delicious! The dash is perfect no cracks or stains or damage ( I keep a towel in the car for covering the dash when parking in the sun).The floor mattes are brand new from MB, so they are mint! I keep them covered with rubber mattes also. The leather shift knob is brand new from MB.The headliner is flawIess.I would rate the interior at a strong 9 out of 10.

The Drive

Starts right up, 1st gear is very short, remember it’s a dogleg configuration, so 1st is down to the left and then the rest of the shift pattern is a simple H pattern. I replaced the shifter (inside the car) and shift linkage (under the car) bushings with new Delrin bushing kit and it has absolutely transformed the shifting on the car. It’s better then new. Anyway 2nd gear is also very quick and you’re now into the power in 3rd 4th and 5th gears. This car is a bit harsh around the city with the low profile 40 series tires but on the interstate is where it shines.Shes a true luxury cruiser with a “sleeper” side to it.I have allot of fun in 3rd gear.4th is very powerful and 5th is a nice cruiser gear. I drove the car from Pa. to Fl. and was amazed at how comfortable it is. IM 6 Ft 1″ tall and I can get full laid out in the seat to where im almost lying down flat. The car was known as the baby Benz but when you’re inside the car it does not feel like a small compact car. From the drivers view point the Mercedes emblem on the front of the car appears to be 5-6 feet away from the driver, then me comfortably stretched out in the heated front seat, I have another row of seating behind me and a large trunk behind that. It almost feels like a larger S class but somehow it’s only the entry level baby Mercedes. It’s very strange but that’s how it feels. Anyway the power is there, the steering is crisp and responsive and the brakes are perfect. All the buttons inside work just as they are supposed to. The A/C blows ice cold, the radio works; it has a CD changer in the trunk. The sun roof slides open or tilts up. All 4 seats are from Recarro. They are beautiful! The 2 front seats are full power including the head rests. Both seats are heated. The driver’s side has memory for 2 drivers. Like I said all items work. Also the LCD lap timer in the center console was replaced/rebuilt and does not have the “bleeding” LCD screen you see on allot of these cars. The gauges have all been switched out to white color and the center gauge has the “Renntech” logo on it.The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and feels great, very good feel to it and it translates what the car is doing very well. I have owned several Porsche 911s’ in the past couple years including a lightweight track car and I have to tell you the grip on this Mercedes is very respectable. It just sticks. It feels planted and firm, for what it is, the car will surprise allot of folks! I invite any potential owners to come and drive the car.

What I have done since I purchased the car

Started with new wheels and tires. 18″ factory MB AMG Monoblock II wheels (from E55 AMG) and Michelin Super Sport tires size 205/40/18.I replaced all 4 rotors and brake pads with factory MB parts. I also flushed the brake fluid and replaced with new MB brake fluid. I had a custom straight through exhaust system fitted with Borla muffler and Renntech tip, no cats. Sounds great! Added a few more ponies also with the new exhaust system. I replaced the headlight bulbs and wiper blade. I added factory MB euro amber corner lenses in the front (original ambers included also). The car already had the factory euro headlight conversion (no cheesy headlight wipers).I do have the original lights if you want to return it to stock along with the small wipers.I also changed all fluids with Mobil 1 including the synthetic oil, Mobil 1 tranny fluid and Mobil 1 differential fluid. On the inside, I added brand new factory MB 190E black floor mattes. I added a new factory MB leather shift knob/boot. I changed all internal shifter and external shift linkage bushings. I also did the German Huper Optic ceramic tint including windshield (ouch $600). I had the grille up front painted to match the car and added a new hood “star” ornament. We also removed the “3.4 24V” badging off the rear trunk and added the new “Renntech” logo badge. I have all the receipts for the parts and labor where applicable.

KNOWN ISSUES

The rear differential does make some noise when under power. It probably could use a rebuild however, its not a big deal. I never planned on tracking the car, so when else do you need the LSD?It doesn’t bother me or trust me I would fix it.The right rear shock needs replacing as do the accumulators for the SLS system. I have bought the parts but have not had time to install them yet. I may have that done by the time the car sells, I may not. Either way the parts will go to the new owner. The shocks were purchased used, the accumulators are brand new. Thats it, no other issues.

So that’s it.This is my dream car from when I was a teenager in the late 80s. Its been a thrill to own. I treated her very nice and she hasn’t disappointed me one time. The 190E 16V is truly a rare car and with the Renntech conversion, this car is very unique and special. She starts right up, drives very nice, and will scare you when you decide to put your right foot down. She stops very fast when the brakes are applied. The old girl demands EVERYBODYS attention when she pulls in to the local cars and coffee!

I would love to sell her to the 6th owner and prefer not to sell to anybody who just wants to flip the car. This car is incredible and I invite any interested parties to contact me. PPI is encouraged and welcomed. I have nothing to hide, nor does my car. A test ride is welcomed! Clean car fax/no accidents.

The car must be paid in full within 5 days. Call me to discuss shipping/payment info. The title is in my hand. I recently sold my 930 Turbo Slant nose via ebay and will make it as easy as possible for any potential buyers! Silly offers will not be responded to, no trades either. I reserve the right to end the auction at any time. Thanks for looking!

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The seller has provided quite a bit of detail and that is a definite positive for a car like this. The key will be in verifying the RENNtech work and having the car fully checked out. If everything passes muster in those regards then this car presents an interesting opportunity. It looks very good in Black, and frankly seems like the sort of car that should be painted Black. The interior also presents quite well. At 18″ the wheels seem too large, but the Monoblock design does fit the personality of the car fairly well. Determining a good price on a car such as this one always is a bit difficult, though we do see similar variants of the 190E come along from time to time. I feel $24,950 is a bit on the high side, but if everything checks out and the price can come down just a little, this would be a good value overall and should provide for a pretty entertaining car to drive.

-Rob

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5 Comments on "1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E RENNtech"

  1. audemars says:

    Very nice find Rob. If I didn’t have a low mile 500E in the garage, I would be driving over to look at it in person, and would end up buying it today. Very nice – I like it a lot.
    Tomorrow I would be ordering the original MB Evolution II wheels and the original Becker stereo.

  2. KevinR says:

    It’s a great looking car and one that is very unique. Unfortunately that uniqueness also makes it difficult to pin a price on it and effectively limits the potential market. While $25k doesn’t seem outlandish for this car, I can’t help wondering what else can be bought for that kind of money. E39 M5; slightly miley E30 M3; nice E36 M3 all come to mind.

    But what immediately jumped into my mind was that for just $5k more, my friend Allen will sell his 2003 E55 Renntech with one third the age, half the miles and twice the horsepower. It’s newer, bigger, stronger and faster. Which brings us back to my point: people wanting a slice of the ’80s are probably not going to be interested in an E55 from the ’00s and people who simply want the most bang for their buck are probably not going to be the market for this 190E.

    I will be curiously watching this auction to see how it goes.

  3. Allenman says:

    Great looking 190. Having owned three 2.3/16′s, I do remember the good fun with them. But $25k?Wow. Makes me feel better about how much my Renntech e55 is worth.
    Flip it? At 25k? Oh yeah!
    Gonna take a special guy for this one.

  4. Raymond says:

    Interesting car but at this price premium everything should be 100%. I am also curious to see the final price.

  5. Chuck says:

    I followed this car for over a year, as I was contemplating buying it.

    The car sat for a year at a dealership in PA from winter of 2011 to spring of 2013. The price was $19,995. After about 14 months the dealer dropped it to $16,750 and it sold a few weeks later. All that has been done to it is a custom exhaust, 18″ monoblock wheels (with narrower tires than the 17″ Sportlines it had on it), some floor mats, window tint, a couple RENNtech badges, and fluid changes, and he added 5000 miles on the odometer. Does that equal an $8000 price increase? I don’t know. It’s a very cool car. I would love to own it. But I don’t think it’s going to sell for that price, as realistically it only has 260+ HP, and it’s a one-off. MB 190e 2.3 16-valves just don’t have the pizzaz that the original M3s have right now. I love, love, love the looks and the inline-6. I just think he’s going to have a hard time with a differential issue and rear springs needing replaced.

    My two cents.