Heap of the Week: Miss Scarlette’s 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16


It’s not often that a heap is associated with what was once a very rare, very special car. But as many of us know all too well, the slope from treasured project car to next month’s classified ad is wet and slippery indeed. The Mercedes W201 2.3-16V is celebrated on these pages as a worthy and overlooked competitor to the E30 M3, and is especially rare when clad in black paint. When some of that desirability wears off, however, is when the rear suspension is kaput, it won’t stay running, and the odometer departed long ago, leaving you wondering just how many miles it has covered beneath those gently flared arches. The seller is right to say that these cars don’t come up for sale very often, but I find his price for a project a bit ambitious considering running driver-quality cars don’t command much more at the moment. Give Miss Scarlette a call – I’m sure a nice lady like her will entertain offers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on Houston’s Craigslist


Year: 1987
Model: 190E 2.3-16
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission:5-speed manual
Mileage:150,000+ miles
Price: $6,900


87 black pearl, black leather interior, 5 speed manual shift. I have owned this car on and off almost 15 years … completely stock car, no modifications. The upper half of engine was rebuild about 15 years ago at the local Mercedes dealer … but the car has been driven very little in the last 10 years or so .. the odometer or mileage counter has not operated for year’s, but im sure it has north of 150K miles, but it has been garaged kept most of its life. I just spend over 1,000 dollar’s replacing the dual fuel pumps, but it still has a running problem. It runs and drives, cuts out from electrical problem, it may be the crankshaft position sensor … not sure. But I just need to let her go now ….i have young children, and lack the time and money to go further. they seldom go for sale, and never at this price. It has two dents, one in the left fender, and one in the left rear door. The interior is just worn age appropriate for it’s age of 26 year’s. Also the rear hydraulic suspension needs to be upgraded. Call to Miss Scarlette if interested, she will forward you my cell phone. Thanks Jimmy 504-715-1156


This car does look fairly clean, and I’d love to find out it was a success story for someone who invested minimal time, some money, and then had a running, driving 16V on their hands in short order. The body looks presentable, and it’s a short order form away from a set of Bosch European headlights and a conventional Bilstein/H&R suspension swap.


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7 Comments on "Heap of the Week: Miss Scarlette’s 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16"

  1. KevinR says:

    The link points to the blue Opel Manta from Florida.

  2. John says:

    For $5k I would say it is a worthwhile gamble.

  3. Cool hulk says:

    Missed a clean 2.3 16v about 2 months ago..
    typical Craig ad horrible pic & description ….email him within the hour of the ad..check all day no reply following day is Saturday, I check all morning, nothing…about afternoon a pipe bursts in my garage from cold weather..takes me about 2 hours to remedy …I check email after I catch my breath, finally a reply ..its the diamond in rough you spend all week on Craig’s looking for ..he asking 3GS he’s owned it the past 15 yrs needs very little 95k miles, plus he’s the 2 owner..tells me I’m his 1st reply ..let him know when i can come by as others are interetesd ..of course i want it ..its a top bucket list car for me, its underpriced & all the new details make it a hella good bet.?…I call him that minute with excited butterflies in my stomach….yep you guessed it ..no massage parlor happy ending here…
    its gone 1st guy who saw it, bought it …Fing plumbing ..my wife’s happy I’m not….file it under good ones missed…the hunt continues…

  4. Carter says:

    Sorry for the broken link folks, I updated it. FYI, the pictures also link to the cars in our posts, so if the actual link is broken and you’re in a hurry, check those picture links too.


  5. Chuck says:

    Had a chance to buy one in the summer of 2012 for $3200 at a Ford dealership. Ran like a top but the SLS pumps were busted so the rear end was sagging like this one. Simple fix with an H&R kit. The trim was starting to fall off and there were two rust bubbles on the right quarter panels. Another easy fix. Everything worked, and the AC was ice cold. Interior was immaculate. Still kicking myself for not buying it. Wife poo-poo’ed the idea. Argh!

  6. Alan says:

    Looks like a flood victim to me.