Back in “the day” if you knew about what AMG was and the cool things they produced, you could have a little taste. If you purchased a Mercedes-Benz product and took your new car to AMG West in Beverly Hills, California or AMG of Missouri, you had your choice of the catalogue. Truth be told, most of the products were bolt-ons, although there were some power upgrades in terms camshafts and exhaust systems. Today’s car, a 1986 190E 2.3 up for sale in California, is one of those bolt-on cars.
Oh boy. Everyone loves a good project, right?
This poor 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 needs some help. Well, a lot help. Looking at the photos, I don’t know if it is worth saving. To make it short, the paint is totally gone, the suspension is sagging, there is rust in the trunk, and the interior is one step short of fire damage. But hey, at least it runs. Right? (Checks notes to see if it does actually run)
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Project on eBay
As cool as the Mercedes-Benz 190E 16v is, the colors Mercedes offered for US market cars were not extensive. You had two choices, Blue-Black Metallic or Smoke Silver. Blue-Black is just a plain black, and Smoke Silver is dangerously close to tan or beige. The situation is not ideal for those of us who like colors. In Europe? There was another color, Almandine Red Metallic. It’s a beautiful shade of dark red or burgundy that isn’t so red like “Rosso” from Ferraris, but a subdued shade. Today, I came across a 1989 16v-2.5 that looks great, but one big problem. The steering wheel is on the wrong side. That surely throws a spanner in the works.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16v at UK Sports Cars
I always felt the Mercedes-Benz W201 190E didn’t and still doesn’t get the respect or fanfare they deserve. Outside of the 16v models, there aren’t hoards of people out there clamoring for them like we have now with the E30 BMW. I know this is a little bit of tough comparison, as the E30 was offered in both coupe and manual transmission form, but the 190E is still a relatively nice car for what it is. It certainly isn’t ugly, and the fit and finish was above average compared to the majority of cars from this era. Still, these cars were used and abused for going on three decades now so finding a non-16v model in exception shape isn’t an easy task. However, this 1991 190E 2.0 up for sale the UK seems to have survived all these abuse a cheap Mercedes usually is subject to.