Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Brabus 190E 3.6S

Legendary Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus has put out a lot of great cars over the years. The majority of the time, they build cars that are like throwing a safe off a skyscraper. Big, powerful cars with giant V8s and V12s that do everything really well, but no one would really call them nimble or lightweight. Today’s car, a 1991 190E 3.8S ”Lightweight” for sale in England gives you a bunch of power with a manual transmission which maintaining a lighter feeling car.

Based off a 190E 2.6, the PR man for Brabus commissioned the company to build a lightweight example with minimal creature comforts for street and track use. What they ended up with was a 3.6 liter M103 with all upgraded internals, stiff suspension, sticky tires, a half roll cage and seats that hurt your hips just by looking at them. (More on that later.) Although built in 2008, this W201 kept its 80s styling and design themes while toeing the line between street car and track car. For as complete and nearly flawless as it is, the price is even more amazing.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Brabus 190E 3.6S at Fast Classics

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

The majority if the time I check out a Mercedes-Benz W126 it is either a 560SEL or a 300SD. For good reason though as if you wanted the ultimate luxury car short of Rolls-Royce/Bentley, you went with the 560SEL. If you wanted a car to literally last you a generation, you bought the OM617-powered 300SD. But if you wanted a compromise of both models, Mercedes gave you that option towards the end of the W126 life-span from 1988 to 1991 with the 300SE. It was the tried-and-true M103 3.0 inline-6 paired to a standard wheelbase sedan that saved you over $20,000 if you selected the 300SE for $53,000 versus the $74,000 you would have paid for the 560SEL. Now that the majority of these cars are sneaking up on 30 years-old, you don’t often see them in really nice condition. Fortunately, this example painted in the rare Willow Green up for bid in Connecticut is in really nice condition and probably won’t cost you a ton of money either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E

A few weeks ago I checked a wonderful Signal Red Mercedes-Benz 560SEC. I explained that on some Mercedes, red looks pretty good and suits the car well. Other cars, like sedans, red is a pretty tough sell for me. Encase you haven’t noticed by now, this 1991 300E that I am looking at today is painted in that same Signal Red. It is a very clean W124 that has under 100,000 miles and I really dislike it. Let me tell you why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E on eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300GE Cabriolet

It has been awhile since I’ve featured a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Cabriolet because frankly, they don’t come up for sale all that often. People that know what they are usually want them pretty badly and when they get their hands on one, they keep it for a while. The last one I checked out was a 1999 G500 Cabriolet that was nearly perfect and came with a price tag to match at $150,000. Today’s G, a 1990 300GE for sale in Las Vegas,  is still a W463 but obviously a little older. This one however is a little cheaper and thanks to a bunch of custom touches, even a little bit cooler in my eyes. Although I want to be clear here. The word ”cheaper” is a relative term when talking about these trucks. They are still really expensive in the grand scheme of things. How expensive?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300GE Cabriolet on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

I’ve been living with my W126 300SE for several months now. In that time I’ve clocked up about 1,500 miles and taken the car on a few road trips in the mid-Atlantic region. Apart from a couple of initial hiccups (which I wrote about here), it has been a pleasure to own and a real joy to drive. Comfortable, stately and classically good looking, my friends joke that all it needs is a set of ambassadorial flags on the front bumper. It’s true that the 3.0 liter motor lacks the low-end torque made by the larger V8 models – I have to use the kick-down switch at the bottom of the throttle pedal more often than I did in my smaller W201. But once up to cruising speeds on the highway, the 300 behaves much like the 420 and 560. The six cylinder M103 motor is robust and relatively easy to fix (except for the fuel injection system, which can be a bloody nightmare when it goes wrong). And the proportions of the short-wheelbase exterior are, to my eye at least, just right.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

When I got my first job out of grad school, I needed a cheap daily driver to commute to work. Everyone told me to just buy a Honda and be done with it. But I knew that wasn’t going to work. I wanted something unusual, safe, classy and preferably German. And that’s how I came to buy a W201. I didn’t really know much about them at the time. But a nice looking example popped up for sale near me, and as soon as I drove it I was hooked. The 190E rides like a shrunken S-class: luxurious, sturdy and solid. The straight six motor is creamy and robust. And the design of the car is really quite handsome, under-appreciated even, especially when seen from the rear three-quarter angle. True, the 190E is not fast, the KE-Jetronic fuel injection system is a real pain when it goes wrong and, owing to the gearing on the old school four-speed automatic, the 2.6 is not as fuel efficient as it should be (the 2.3 isn’t much better either). Still, a nicely kept W201 can be a neat and satisfying entry point into budget-friendly German motoring. Provided you pick a good one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on Central NJ Craigslist

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic

A little over a month ago Craig looked at a nice 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic. Today’s vehicle is another 1991 300TE 4Matic, although this one has a little different backstory. This Ice Blue Metallic W124 estate for sale in Central Pennsylvania is actually a Japanese market car that made its way to Canada before heading to Pennsylvania. This means it has some cool options and a slightly different look than what you are used to seeing. Now before you get too excited, there are some things about this specific 300TE that I’m not too crazy about. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic on eBay

Model: 300TE 4Matic
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: (186,000 km) 117,000 mi
Price: $4,299 Buy It Now

This beautiful Mercedes 300TE 4Matic has been a daily driver in Nova Scotia and Pennsylvania since 2014. It is a super rare Mercedes. They are just a great car and is still the car I drive to and from work. I have also driven it long distances without issue. This car’s import VIN is WDB1242901F202795.

It is in very good condition on both the inside and outside and has never been in a wreck of any sort. There are 3 noticeable spots from rusting and they are ALL shown in the pictures: Under front driver’s side headlight and again behind the taillight on same side, and a small rust spot on back door. Overall, the body shows little wear for a 1991. The paint is in very good condition. A new clear coat was done in 2013. There are no dents in the car and there are few, if any, noticeable dings. The interior needs a good, professional cleaning and we will do that before delivery. This interior is so far superior to the leather they used to put into these cars.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The R107 arrived in 1971 and remained in production for an extraordinary 18 years, enough time to establish itself as a well-loved symbol of motoring decadence. Today, these roadsters remain usable and admired classics. The 300SL, available in Europe between 1985 and 1989, was never sold in the US. American buyers were therefore deprived of the six cylinder R107 experience, having to choose from a range of V8s instead. A shame, really. In many respects, the bulletproof 3.0 liter engine was a nice match for the chassis. The R107 was always more of a boulevard cruiser rather than a sports car anyway, so the 190 hp offered up by the creamy six cylinder unit is sufficient. With a little less weight up front, these tend to feel a little more agile than the V8-powered models. And aside from some well documented weaknesses (head gaskets, valve guides and stem seals) the M103 is a notoriously reliable motor.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL

Buying a high mileage car can be a bit scary, even if it’s a Mercedes with a reputation for longevity. Odometer readings can have a profound psychological effect on our perception of a car’s health (and worth), making people leery of high mileage cars. But in truth, at a certain stage in a car’s life, maintenance history and upkeep become far more important than any number on the dash. This is particularly true of the W126. A low mileage car that has been sitting is liable to cause you more problems than a high mileage one that has been driven and cared for by a meticulous owner. The upshot is that if you shop around and choose wisely, you can score a bargain on a high mileage car. This 300SEL, for example, has 286k miles on the odometer and a cheap price tag attached. Offered for sale by a knowledgeable and friendly Benzworld contributor, it offers a budget friendly entry point into W126 ownership backed up by plenty of maintenance history.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL on Benzworld

1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 manual

I’m a purist at heart. I like older cars that have survived into the present while remaining practically bone stock and unmodified. But I also realize that there are many different ways to love and appreciate cars, and the stance scene – with its lowered ride heights, deep dish rims and negative camber –  is just another of them. So even though I don’t quite understand it, or find it all that appealing, I respect the craft, and the obsession that goes into creating these cars. This modified 190E caught my eye on the Benzworld classified forum. It’s riding low, but not too low, and while the wheels really don’t quite fit, they are at least very handsome. And with an “Avantgarde” interior taken from a European spec car, the inside on this one’s a bit of a treat too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on Benzworld