The 1980s and early 1990s rare DTM inspired car market is hot right now. The Audi Ur-Quattro now costs more than a loaded up Honda Accord and a BMW E30 M3 in nice shape is about as much as a starter home. The next car that’s on the rise is the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16. For years this was a $5,000-8,500 car. Not anymore. Prices have more than doubled. But this post isn’t about that the lowly 2.3-16. This is about the 2.5-16 Evolution II. The king W201. About a month ago Paul featured a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II that was listed for $279,000. If you missed out on that one, don’t worry, this 2.5-16 Evolution II for sale outside of London is your second chance at DTM glory — if you have $333,352.
A few months ago, I happened to stop by Keenan Mercedes in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. For those not aware, the owner of the dealership has acquired a car similar to the one we see here for sale in California, a 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Those not familiar with this winged beast might mistake it for a gussied up 190E 2.3-16, but it was so much more. While 235 horsepower might not seem like much in this day and age, getting that much grunt from a four-cylinder engine 25 years ago was no mean feat. Add into this mix self-leveling suspension, adjustable rear wing and those tasty Evo alloy wheels and you had a limited production car which would sell out before it went on sale. Expensive when new, prices for these rare Evo IIs are heading through the roof. This one for sale in California has just 10,000 mies on the clock and is surely amongst a handful that have found their way to these shores.
Is there a better known name across multiple marques than Cosworth? From the DFV formula one engine to Can-Am, Touring Cars to Rally, I can’t think of a more versatile or storied engine supplier. Just the other day, Paul took a look at an expensive and questions asked 1986 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth, and that got me thinking about some listings I’ve run across. Today, then, I have an interesting question and two very different cars that share one word – Cosworth. Both are legends in their own right and both are rare to see in the U.S.; and each for each model I have a valuable original and a replica. Which would you choose?
While as of late I have not been a huge fan of the early M3 market or the resulting insanity involving all-things E30, I have to admit a very soft spot for the box-flared high-revving wonder. I’ve loved the E30 M3 since I first learned of their existence; trips to the track in the early 1990s with my father only heightened my respect for what was really one of the few track-ready cars out of the box. Back then, it wouldn’t be uncommon for half or more of the instructor group to be zipping around the track in one of the many M3s that would turn up to hot lap. I even remember one of the first times I got to lap around Lime Rock was in a M3. On the back straight (No Name, which ironically is named and isn’t a straight) I looked over at the first kink in horror as the driver, a soft spoken friend of my father’s, whipped the M3’s engine into a frenzy above the indicated redline. Surely, pistons would emerge from the hood in just a moment – but they didn’t, and with reckless abandon he flung the car into the uphill, barely lifting off the throttle for turn-in, then cresting the hill with a touch of opposite lock and the wheels spinning. That’s what the M3 did – it turned otherwise normal, law abiding individuals into hooligans. But it was because of the natural balance, the race-bred motor and the success on the track that this car encouraged you to drive it at 10/10ths. Or even, occasionally, 11/10ths – plenty have encountered hard objects in their lifetime. But now, these cars are no longer the go-to track rat they once were; they’ve become collector royalty – and few are as collectable as the special editions like this Evolution II:
Well it is only fitting that just as Mercedes and BMW were competing with each other on the track that we have a BMW M3 Evo II follow our Mercedes Evo II on the blog.
This BMW has significantly more miles on it than the Benz did, with 84,000. The bidding is up over $20,000 with plenty of time left.
Like the Benz you have a high reving 4 cylinder mated to a dog legged shifter all wrapped up in a flared and winged body package.
Unlike the unused Benz this car has been enjoyed and despite its equal rarity, # 488 of 500, you wouldn’t have to be quite as nervous driving this one. It shows some of its use and has had some work and paint done to it, but that is no problem.
Being a Euro delivery car it has some nuances and may cause a new owner trouble getting it registered depending on their state.
The seller says the car comes with all its service history since new, which is really nice.
Great car, it will be interesting to see where it ends up pricewise. You have to love the “M3RCY” license plate.
You know I’m not a fan of the low mile garage queens that don’t ever get used for fear of wrecking their investment value. That is what we have here though.
How you could possibly have a genuine Mercedes Evo II parked in your garage and not ever drive it is just beyond me.
I’m a bit skeptical of this add, the pictures aren’t great and neither is the info in the advertisement. With a weak ad like this the seller is likely to attract tire kickers. What we can gather from the ad is that apparently this seller has this #422 of 502 ever built Benz tucked away in Swansea UK, where it has been parked since it was new. It has never been registered for road use. The seller mentions that as the second owner he only recently had the pre-delivery inspection completed when he had some of the belts and fluids replaced.
The Evo-II is one of the gems of the Mercedes fan. That incredibly rare, unobtainable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that everyone dreamed about. At a cost new in 1990 of $80,000 I guess the $150,000 current ask price shows the car has appreciated. The AMG and Cosworth worked over 2.5 liter 4 cylinder 16 valve engine is good for 232 horsepower. The car came with an amazing body kit with air dams, fender flares, and an outrageous rear wing that most will never believe is factory and that boy racer types probably think is great. The car also comes with the now iconic and oft reproduced 17″ Evo-II rims.
This is an amazing car with world beater race heritage, taking it to BMW in the DTM series. You rarely see a genuine one of these on the market. It is the type of historic car you would expect someone like Jay Leno to purchase for their collection. It is an awful lot of money to spend on a car that you won’t drive because of the low mileage. Maybe we’ll see it for sale in a few years with several thousand miles on the clock.
This is a really clean looking custom M3. The work looks well done. The tri-color stitched interior shows hardly any wear in the pictures. The bright red paint is gleaming off the widened fenders.
The owner who commissioned the custom work clearly had a good vision. The conversion and modifications appear well done and not hap-hazard at all.
125k on the chassis, 8k on the rebuilt engine, and 1k since completion, it would seem that the owner didn’t get a real chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor or their cash.
One thing I don’t particularly think was necessary, even though it is clear they were going for an Evo, DTM look, is the big Evo II Motorsport deck spoiler. I also could’ve done without the carbon hood, but the stock hood is included. I’m not saying it looks bad, but it kind of puts the car in that half street look half track look and I’d rather see full fledged one or the other. Another example is it has a full roll cage (track look), but also has a lighted gear knob (street look).
As long as I am being picky, and I am, really I think the car looks pretty sweet, but I have a pet peeve about the folks who go to so much trouble to make a great looking car and then hang their custom exhaust crooked. I’ve seen far worse, but this one is off a touch. Not a big deal, but this is something I’ve always been particular about on my rides.
Buy-It Now at $30,000.
The long list of specs from the listing:
– Power train:
– 1995 E36 M3 S50 Motor
– 1995 E36 M3 5-Speed Transmission
– Polished & Ported Head
– Value Cover Painted White With ///M Strips
– EDVA Motorsports Harness
– DME – Turner Motorsports
– Euro HFM
– 24 lbs. Injectors
– Schrick Intake & Exhaust Camshafts
– JR Racing Light Aluminum Flywheel (Brand new)
– Clutch (Brand new)
– Group A Replica Exhaust and Connecting Pipes (Brand new)
– 3.46:1 Differential
– Carbon Fiber Hood (Factory hood comes with the car) (Brand new)
– EVO II Front Spoiler (Brand new)
– EVO Sport Carbon Fiber Front Splitter (Brand new)
– EVO II Rear Wing
– DTM Carbon Fiber Gurnie [sic] Flap (Brand new)
– Front S50-EVOM3 German License Plate (Brand new)
– Dunlop 225/35ZR18 & 245/30ZR18 Tires (Brand new)
– Gunmetal BMW M3 CSL Style (Velocity Motoring) Rims F: 18×8.5 & R: 18×9.5 (Brand new)
– H&R Front 15MM Wheel Spacers
– Front Brembo BBK Cross Drilled Rotors/Red Calipers (Brand new)
– Rear TMS Cross Drilled Rotors/Red Calipers (Brand new)
– Front & Rear Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Brand new)
– Ground Control Adjustable Suspension
– Suspension Techniques Front & Rear Sway Bars
– Euro Tow Hooks (Brand new)
– Blackout Kidney Grills (Brand new)
– Smoked Front Indicators (Brand new)
– Complete EVO interior including:
– Recaro SRD Front Seats – Black Leather/EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Rear Seats Leather/EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Doors EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Red EVO Seat Belts Front/Rear (Brand new)
– EVO II Leather Steering Wheel (Small) (Brand new)
– ///M3 Door Sills
– Lighted ///M Shift Knob
– UUC Short Shift Kit
– Suede Shift Boot & Hand Brake Boot With ///M Strips
– Carbon Fiber Instrument Cluster Bazal (Brand new)
I so wish the U.S. used the 15 year exemption rule like Canada so we could get our hands on cars like these legally! Here is number #488 of 500 total built worldwide on eBayMotors with a buy-it-now of $35k:
My brother bought this car in England in February 2006. This is Evo II No. 488. Current mileage is 133,300 kms or 82,800 miles. Options from the factory are sunroof, heated seats, headlight wiper system, cruise control (currently inoperative – never saw the point in fixing it) and cassette holder. All standard equipment is intact including books, mats, first- aid kit and warning triangle. Only thing missing is the original sound system – this was replaced at some point with a AM/FM/CD system of decent but not outstanding quality.
The car is bone stock with the exception of Bilstein Sports, front strut brace, E36 timing chain tensioner and an oil pan baffle from Turner Motorsports.
There is currently only one issue with the car. There is a surface rust bubble on the sunroof panel about the size of a quarter. It has not grown in the last three years but nonetheless it exists as he was concerned about the ability to match the original paint. No other rust of any kind. The car has just had a valve adjustment and runs flawlessly.
Questions about the Buy It Now Price? We’ve searched all the popular European sites such as mobile.de, autoscout24 and Pistonheads and it appears that there are currently eight Evo IIs for sale in the world right now. Using current exchange rates, prices range from a low of US$33,000 to a high of US$46,000. That price is before you start the painful process of getting the car across the ocean to North America.
While the EVO II sports many improvements over the plain Jane e30 M3, my favorite on this particular car has to be that bad ass plaid interior! Love it!!
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