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1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

Several Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16s have been featured here on our site before, so the qualities of this pre AMG sport sedan from Stuttgart need not be poured over. Low mileage examples are getting harder to find these days, however, this clean and well documented example grabbed my attention late last week on eBay.

The seller states:

The 2.3-16 was sold in the US market for model years 1985-86 and a total of only 2,229 were produced for this market. The car presented here is the 229th “16 valve” brought into the US and was produced in October of 1985. The car was shipped to the US and on January 2nd, 1986 the car was sold to its first owner, a doctor in Yuma, Arizona. This owner kept the car for 10 years and covered 53,307 miles before selling it. The second owner, a geologist from San Jose, CA, drove the car for an additional 10 years and in July of 2006 I bought the car with 153,660 miles on it. Currently the car shows 171,469 miles. Below is all the factory information on this car including the option codes. This information was taken directly from the data card and all of the equipment, as well as the numbers on the car match.

VIN: WDBDA34D7GF160993
Chassis #: 201.034-1F-160993
Motor #: 102.983-10-008984
Model Year: 1986
Paint: DB 702- Smoke Silver Metallic
Interior: Code 271- Black Leather

222- right front seat, electrically adjustable
240- outside temperature indicator
241- left front seat electrically adjustable with memory feature
410- electric sliding roof
444- tempo-mat cruise control and airbag
467- central locking system and instruments with english lettering
494- California version
506- outside rearview mirror, left and right (electrically adjusted on the right)
519- Becker radio Grand Prix electronic cassette- USA
531- automatic antenna
543- sun visor with vanity mirror, illuminated, left and right
551- anti-theft warning system
586- Behr air conditioning system and electric window lifters (front and rear doors)
593- heat insulating glass all around, heated rear window pane (single sheet safety glass), band filter
639- elimination of first aid kit and warning triangle
876- rear door contacts and lamp above rear

As you can see from this option code list this car was fully loaded directly from the factory. Only two other options were available for the 2.3-16 and that was heated front seats and rear head restraints. A third option of an automatic transmission was available …. but why would you want that! All told this car was approx. $39,000 new in 1986 making it a very expensive model.

Current condition:

This car has been very well maintained over the last 24 years. I am a Mercedes-Benz service technician by day and have done all of the work on this car myself, to factory specifications, using only genuine Mercedes-Benz spare parts. Here is a list of the work that has been done since I purchased the car.

All four wheels and tires (correct size wheels are unique to the 2.3-16) Tires are Bridgestone Potenza’s
Entire grill assembly
New european headlamps
Water pump
Radiator cap
Poly V-belt
Oxygen sensor
Fuel injectors
Both rear nitrogen cells (yes the hydro-pneumatic suspension works)
All four brake rotors and pads
All four brake hoses
Front wheel bearings
Front lower ball joints
Valve cover gasket
Spark plugs
Spark plug wires
Cap and rotor
Clutch slave cylinder and clutch master cylinder
Hood pad/ insulation
LCD lap timer/ stop watch
Power steering filter and fluid
Air filter
Oil changes every 5,000 miles
Wiper blades

Prior to me buying the car the previous owner did the following:

Rear wheel bearings
Motor mounts
Fan switch and relay
Timing chain
Timing chain tensioner
Steering dampner
Both tie rods
Center steering link
Rear muffler
Transmission mount
AC Compressor
AC Expansion valve
AC Switches

Overall the condition of the car is quite good with the interior being a 9 out of 10 while the exterior is an 8 out of 10. This car has been in daily use for the last three years and has some small dings and dents on the exterior as well as some minor paint issues and blemishes. These include a mark on the left and right side doors and fender above the belt moulding where the previous owner put a moulding strip onto the side. When this was removed a indication of paint work to the upper door sections could be seen. In addition to this there is a small crack in the rear wing. Some panels have been repainted over the years prior to me owning it however the color match is very good. As stated above the wheels are brand new correct MB wheels in the extra 1/2 inch wide size that the 2.3-16 used.

The leather is in excellent condition with no rips or tears, rather only some slight loss of color in the high wear areas of the left drivers seat. Carpets are clean, dash isn’t cracked, door panels are excellent. Under the hood is clean with no oil leaks and unmodified. The underside of the car is very nice with no rust issues of any kind and no signs of corrosion or salt. Remember that this car has been in the dry west coast area its entire life.

While 170k miles may seem high for a high performance Benz, I wouldn’t be deterred by that factor. My family has owned a good number of Mercedes and I can say that buying on condition, not mileage, is quite important for most models, including this one. For instance, I have a good friend that just purchased a 1988 560SL with 177,000 miles. The car was a two owner vehicle that was well cared for and it shows. The SL shifts smoothly, runs strong and is cosmetically mint. Like fine watches, if you keep them in tune and adhere to regular maintenance, these older Mercedes models will treat you well.


One Comment

  1. chanifin
    chanifin November 16, 2010

    Sold for close for 10k. Not a bad deal if its this clean, but I disagree about the bullet proof qualities of the 2.3-16V. These engines have a reputation for being difficult and more trouble prone than other Benz engines of the era. Points for style and rarity though.

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