Another 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

Following up on Paul’s recent 190E find here is another one that is less expensive and with less miles that was pointed out by reader John C.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on Craigslist Portland

1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v6

Year: 1986
Model: 190E 2.3-16
Engine: 2.3 liter inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 75,000
Price: $8,500

I won’t go into specifics about the 190E since we have actually discuss these great pocket rockets many times before on this site. As Paul states and I have mentioned before the prices on these are not keeping up with the E30 M3, but you are getting a car of similar craftsmanship, performance and rarity. Also like the M3 it is tough to find one that hasn’t been beaten or customized to within an inch of its life. Good original examples will rise in price.

This U.S. spec model looks to be a good daily driver. The owner says the clear coat is starting to come up in a few places. The car is in Washington state so I’d like to take a peak around the sills and underneath to see what the rust situation might be.

The car has a long list of receipts, the seller mentions a bunch of things that have been done, but isn’t exactly clear how long ago those maintenance items have happened. The list includes things like bushings and engine mounts, which on a car like this that is fun to throw around winding roads is good, you want things nice and tight. It is great that there is a lot of receipts with the car $16,000+, but again $10k in maintenance work done 10 years ago doesn’t mean as much as $5k done last week.

U.S. spec headlights the bane of my Merc enjoyment hurt the look. A set of practically obligatory 17″ AMG rims give a little back. The stock rims are included.

The 75,000 miles and an $8,500 puts this car right in the heart of the hmmm this might be the one price for the enthusiast. If the car checks out and looks as good in person as it does in the photos that is a fair ask. Maybe knock a little off for the paint, keep it waxed and enjoy it as is. A few drives with a tuned up free spirited Cosworth engine mated to a dog leg 5-speed and who cares about the paint.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16




1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

With the rise in E30 BMW M3 prices, it is strangely curious that its contemporary, the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 has not seen similar appreciation. Good examples can still be found at relatively low prices these days. Perhaps this is because the car was slower? Maybe it wasn’t hard edged enough with enthusiasts? Whatever the case, when you come across a good one, it’s worth pausing and taking a look, because these compact saloons have a lot to offer and represent a transitional period in Mercedes-Benz performance history, right before AMG would become integrated into the company as the in-house tuner.

Year: 1986
Model: 190E 2.3-16
Engine: 2.3 liter inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 123,785
Price: $14,900 Buy It Now

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

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In the late 1970s, Mercedes Benz teamed up with British race car engineering company, Cosworth, to develop a car built for high speeds, amazing handling capabilities, and durability for some of Germany’s toughest racing series’. After setting the bar high in the racing world, Mercedes introduced the 190E 2.3 16V to the public in September of 1983. This specific 16V we are representing has had a long history with the Vorderman family. In 1992, a friend of Reg Vorderman purchased this car from him with less than 20,000 miles on the odometer, and has owned it ever since. Oil changes have been performed every 3,000 miles, and we have access to all service records, as well as all the original keys & owners manual. The car is in near-perfect condition and completely up to date with service. No rust, never smoked in, and we just installed four new tires. EMail Alex Vorderman at for any questions or to schedule a test drive. Don’t miss this opportunity to take home a big piece of Mercedes Benz history!

A big piece of Mercedes-Benz history is certainly an understatement, as this car would be the first to win a manufacturer’s championship in the Deutsche Produktionswagen Meisterschaft (DTM) race series in 1991, after they began awarding a trophy to manufacturers. Mercedes-Benz would go on to win it again in 1992. Prices for the 190E 2.3-16 are climbing, albeit slowly. About $14,000 to $15,000 is about the tops you can consider paying, and a car falling into this category would be the best of the best. Rougher examples which are still drivable can be had regularly for less than $10,000. This particular car has been well looked after and looks fresh, even considering the mileage. If a prospective buyer could knock around $1,000 to $2,000 off the asking price, it would be a great opportunity to buy this purpose built, tuned Mercedes-Benz.


1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3 16V with 58k

As the seller of this Cosworth powered Benz state, if you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas why not spend some of those checks from grandma on this low mileage car.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on eBay

This very clean 190E has low mileage having covered less than 58,000 miles since 1986. We post a fair number of these great pocket sport sedans. They appear on the market fairly regularly despite relatively low production numbers.

There aren’t that many out there with this kind of mileage and this good looking shape. This one isn’t a collector car, but a driver as it has been gone over with some new parts and paint. The car hasn’t been customized into boy racer status though so while the originality police will stay away the average person with a hankering for 190E 16V will find this one attractive.

The seller, in his much hated around here all CAPS description, states the car has a recent service of brakes, A/C, tires, suspension(?), starter, motor mounts, alternator, starter, battery and a few others. A potential new owner should look for receipts on these items to see what exactly was done and how recent. When we see cars that have had the battery, alternator, and starter replaced all at the same time it raises alarm bells of possible parisitic battery drain from an electrical problem and/or a car that has been sitting for awhile not being driven. Not saying that is what is going on here, but it is worth looking into.

A potential owner will want to run through that dog leg 5 speed a few times to see how it shifts, the seller says things are nice and tight.

The ask price is $12,900. That is the high end of most eBay 190Es that aren’t particularly special, but most eBay 190Es look a lot worse for wear and appear to be driven a lot harder and put away wetter. The nice flat face headlights, chrome exhaust tips and uncracked body kit are also a selling point of this one that help it present well.


1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 3.6 AMG

This 190E seller doesn’t provide a lot of information about the car, but the pictures tell a tale of an entertaining ride.

1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 3.6 AMG on eBay


Dropping the 3.6 liter inline six from the C36 AMG into the W201 chassis isn’t done everyday, but it is a trick that has been done by a number of Benz tuners. It is a natural fit and with nearly 300 horsepower in a fairly light weight chassis you can be sure to break the rear end loose with ease.

It is also nice to see that this car has a 5 speed manual, which should provide extra fun.

Nice looking car and a great E30 M3 surprising package. Unfortunately this is another example of how not to sell a car. We have no information about the conversion, we don’t know if the 27,000 miles is on the chassis, engine, or since the conversion, we don’t know whether the 5 speed is an original 190E dog leg unit. The owner doesn’t say this, but the VIN shows the car started life as a 190E 2.3-16V.

With more info the bid price would be far greater, as is I’m sure this won’t meet whatever reserve the seller has.

There is 1 bid at $10,000 currently and the buy-it-now is $28,500.


1985 Euro Spec Mercedes 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth

As with many German cars of this era finding a Euro spec vehicle often gets you a better looking and higher power version of the car. This 190E is no exception with an extra unrestricted 20 horses being pumped out of the Cosworth four. The Euro spec 16 valve engine puts down 190 horsepower.

This car has some miles on it, 165,000, but that should mean a chance to get into the Cosworth market at a more affordable price. The car looks to be well maintained and comes with a nice stack of receipts showing a $4,000 rebuild on the motor within the past two years. A call into the shop that did the build might yield a bit more info about the car’s condition.

This looks like a solid driver. The seller says the dog leg 5 speed still shifts smoothly and that most of the accessories still work as they should. The car has a few quirks, such as the A/C being removed. It has been repainted, but, has a few defects. The owner has added some modifications such as front brakes off of a C55. There are some extra painted bits, the Euro spec glass headlights, and clear corners. The car also has painted eyelids, which I think look good on some cars, on this 190E, I think I’d like it better without. Some aftermarket generic, but decent looking, 5 spokes complete the look.

I like that the seller says that a buyer can confidently drive this car home, even a long distance.

Bidding is up to $4,600 with no reserve.

1985 Euro Spec Mercedes 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth on eBay.


Decent looking Mercedes 190E 2.3 16v

Here is a good driver canidate for those looking to get into the Mercedes Cosworth game.

This 86 has 153,000 miles and isn’t really pure investment grade car, but a nice classic you can feel good about driving.

The super, high revving, 16 valve, Cosworth four pot, in this case is mated to an automatic, which will keep the price even more affordable than those running the dog leg 5 speed. The earlier 2.3 liters with high mileage also seem to not bring as much as the later 2.5 so perhaps a deal is to be had here. Timing chain issues were addressed in the 2.5.

The 185 horsepower on tap is more fun and better utilized with a manual, but this will still make a nice cruiser.

This car has a more aggressive stance thanks to H&R lowering springs and some staggered 18 AMG rims.It also has a blacked out grille.

I’d recommend an inspection on this since there is minimal description and photos from the seller.

Currently the bidding is up to $6,000 with the reserve not met.

Decent looking Mercedes 190E 2.3 16von eBay.


1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

The original E30 BMW M3 has taken off in terms of value and prominence amongst performance car enthusiasts. Even examples with over 100,000 miles are commanding values upwards of $15,000 to $20,000 these days. This begs the question, how are its contemporaries fairing? Designed with the World Rally Championship in mind, Mercedes-Benz set out to pick up where the 450SLC 5.0 left off in competition. At the same time Mercedes was undergoing development on this model with Cosworth, Audi introduced the Ur Quattro with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine. Sensing their car would be outpaced, Mercedes turned to the German Touring Car Championship instead, racking up a series of championships with the model and a few endurance test world records at the Nardo testing facility in Italy. These days, the 2.3-16 isn’t as appreciated as the E30 M3, but it has a loyal following. While it isn’t the fastest performance sedan, it is noted for its well-balanced chassis, dog leg gear shift pattern suited to racing and other touches such as a 7,000 RPM redline and standard limited slip differential. This example for sale in New York has relatively low mileage and shows a little bit of wear around the edges, but nothing inconsistent with the age of the vehicle.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on eBay

Black Metallic on Black Leather, Clean, Stock, 190E 2.3-16V

Vehicle Specs: 2.3L 16V Cosworth Engine (184 hp + 174 ft./lbs. torque), 5-Speed Manual Dog-Leg Close Ratio Gearbox, Limited Slip Differential, Engine Oil Cooler, Recaro Sport Seats, Center Gauge Pod with Oil Temperature, Stopwatch and Voltmeter. Factory Radio Delete with Rear Deck Speaker Delete, Factory Lowered Suspension with quicker dampers, larger sway bars, harder bushings and self-leveling rear suspension. This rare car has resided in Albany NY since new! Never seen inclement weather; no snow or salt, therefore, no rust of corrosion on or under this vehicle. Very clean, stock car with no modifications, changes or additions. This 190E 2.3-16V is truly a time capsule! All Original, 1-Owner Car! This car has all keys, serviced at local Mercedes dealership. Clean Vehicle History Report with No Accidents + No Issues. New Water pump just installed. Paint on side panels and doors professionally redone to perfection. Wheels powder coated too! Does have some wear on driver seat bolster. Adult Owner, Non-Smoker.

Much like the Model T, the color choices for this particular Mercedes were quite limited. Customers could either choose Pearl Black, such as this car, or Smoke Silver. Later on, Astral Silver and Almandine Red were added on the later 2.5-16, which was never sold in the US market. At almost $15,000, this is strong money for a 190E 2.3-16. They are great cars, but less appreciated than the E30 M3. I could see spending up to $13,000 for a car like this, but that would be stretching it. Realistically, anywhere between $10,000 to $12,000 seems about right given the current market.


High mile 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3 16v

Up for sale, with no reserve and low open price, this 170,145 mile Cosworth engined Benz looks like a nice deal.

The car comes with all the great features of the original high strung sport compact, dog leg shifter, LSD, and mild aero package. This car also has some upgrades like genuine MB Evo II rims, smoked taillights, Euro headlights, brakes from a 500E and an aftermarket exhaust.

With the high mileage the car has seen its share of duty and it wears a number of battle scars. The seller is honest enough to disclose a number of minor issues with the vehicle. It has some paint issues, several blemishes from break in attempts, a few interior components that aren’t functioning.

Despite the extensive list of cosmetic and interior problems, nothing is mentioned about the engine, clutch, transmission. Perhaps that means they are all fine or maybe this is a purposeful oversight. There also is no mention of service records.

This car is not a good candidate to try to make perfect. It can be an entry point for someone who is dead set on enjoying the Cossie power of these special cars. A new owner could fix a few things that bugged them most and then just enjoy the car.

Bidding is up to almost $4,000. While there is a premium on this with the 5 speed, if the engine needs a rebuild in a few thousand miles it could cost about several thousand. I wouldn’t expect this to bring much over $4,000. If it has good service records that’s a decent amount of engineering for the dollar.

High mile 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v on eBay


1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v Cosworth daily driver

We recently showed a very expensive Mercedes Cosworth and have seen a fair number of these cars float through the site. This particular specimen looks to fall into the daily driver category.

This is a U.S. spec car that is pretty original. It has had shorter springs added and AMG rims. The seller provides a number of photos and the car looks clean. It doesn’t look quite as nice as those without the ugly sunken U.S. lights. Besides cosmetics,with the such a rev happy engine and several spirited drives most certainly under this car’s belt I’d want to take it around the block a few times to listen for valve noise and feel out the five speed.

This car has 133,000 miles. Not too much in Benz terms, We have seen higher mileage models sell in the $10k range when presented well. I don’t think this one will bring much if any more than that since the seller has only included history cribbed from Wikipedia instead of specific to his vehicle.

The car is at $3,500 with the reserve not met.

1986 Mercedes 190E Cosworth on eBay


Expensive, restored 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v

The baby Benz with the rev happy four showed its ability on the track with the DTM series as well as blowing away other four door sedans in the small car market. This E30 M3 fighter tuned with the 16 valve engine built by Cosworth didn’t skimp on the sport with an aerodynamic body kit and famous dog legged 5 speed.

Expensive, restored 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v on eBay

This particular 16v appears to have been extensively redone with $35,000 in receipts. It has a new bare metal respray, rebuilt engine and transmission, as well as redone suspension and brakes. The bumpers and head lights are also new. The large amount of work done to this car shows as it looks great. The Euro lenses, smoked taillights, and painted grille along with the more modern AMG rims complete the stealthy performance look. You would never suspect that it has covered 182,000 miles. The restoration shows that an owner enjoyed this car. It isn’t clear if the current owner put all the miles on, but he does state it took him two years to complete all the restoration. It seems a bit of a shame to go to all that work to restore the car and then not enjoy it, particularly knowing going in that, at least right now, you aren’t going to get all the money back out on the sale. Of course there is also the feeling that once you get a car perfect you hate to drive it for fear of seeing your work start to come undone. I wish there was a bit more description in the auction. I’m sure that you could get more details on what exactly was rebuilt in the engine from the seller, but I would’ve liked to see that up front.

With an ask price of $27,200 this 190E is no where near cheap. There is another one, minus the restoration work, on eBay up for sale with no reserve and 217k on the clock for under $3,000. Though the limited production models of the 190E have been singled out as future classics, the ask price on this one is steep. With all the work the purist collectors looking for an original condition car will skip this one. The car isn’t quite scarce enough yet to have a major restoration on a high mileage chassis pull in close to the $30,000 wanted here. If this was a scarcer 2.5-16 the price would be higher. Of course neither of those can come close to the prices realized for the Evo 190E models, but they can come close on performance.

Great looking car and I understand that on paper it should be worth the ask, but I’m afraid painful as it may be for the seller, they will need to lower the ask or put the car away for a few more years.