It was that car that started my love for the 190 series; it was so solidly built and felt of the highest quality - just like a Mercedes Benz should do. The doors clunked shut, the ride was whisper quiet and I could even forgive its rather notchy manual gearbox because it was so good at everything else. It was with this car in mind that I bought my very own 190E 2.0 many years later, a car that has now been replaced by a brown Range Rover. It seems I grew to like the colour too.
Throughout my time at the dealership I drove many 190Es from the aforementioned 1.8, through 2.5 diesels right up to the fantastic 2.6. One day, however, my perception of these cars would be raised even higher when I was asked to deliver a 190E 2.3-16 to a customer who lived 20 or so miles from the dealership across deserted fenland roads. I apologise now to the owner of this car, should he be reading this.
I wandered over to the valeting bay to see the blue/black metallic car sitting there with its half leather Recaros front and rear, the additional dials in the centre console, the lowered stance and subtle bodykit. It looked fantastic and I was hugely excited at the chance to drive the car that we simply called 'The Cossie'. The dog-leg gearbox threw me at first but I found 1st in the end and set off on my delivery run. Naturally I was running a little bit late and so I needed to make up the time. Out on the flat and deserted fenland it was obvious that this car handled much better than your common or garden 190; the increased torque was noticeable, the 16-valver loved to be revved and even the usually notchy Merc 'box seemed smoother in this car. By the time I had reached my destination I had to allow the car to cool after the thrashing, top up the fuel and wipe off the flies, I then drove slowly up the road to the new owner and handed over his pride and joy.
Desirable may not be a word that you would choose to use about this week's SOTW. It’s a 1986 190E 2.3-16, an original Cossie with only 146,000 miles on the clock. The trouble is that this one has been sitting in a garage for an undisclosed number of years and has no MOT. However, take a look at the pictures and it looks largely original (steering wheel aside) and would make an ideal project for someone, especially when you consider that average-condition runners are fetching upwards of £2500 and mint examples over £5000. I imagine that we'll take some stick for this car, but I love it and would be tempted if I had a garage and could get it for the right price. The question is, however: am I alone in that view?
Ad says: 1986 MERCEDES-BENZ 190 190E 2.3 16V 4dr Saloon. 4 Door Saloon, Petrol, Manual, no tax or mot been parked in a garrage for a few years 5 speed dog leg gearbox very good condition bargain!. £999 ONO.