1990 Mercedes-benz 190E 2.5-16 £15,500

The Mercedes that thinks it’s an M3 but for half the cost. And this one has a man­ual box, re­ports Paul Hardiman

Classic Cars (UK) - - Ads On Test -

This Mercedes was ex­ten­sively re­stored around 2008 with new metal in the rear whee­larches, new front wings and fresh paint. Struc­turally it re­mains solid be­neath and has no bub­bles in the body pan­els. The Al­man­dine re­spray is hold­ing up well, with no sig­nif­i­cant chips or scratches to fuss over and the plas­tics are all in good shape.

The wheels have been up­graded to Amg-type 16in al­loys in place of the stan­dard 15in Fuchs Gul­ly­deck­els and the tyres – 205/50 R16s all round – com­prise 2014-dated Falkens at the front and older Events at the rear. All have de­cent tread. The un­match­ing 16in spare wheel wears a Yoko­hama tyre.

Some of the sus­pen­sion bushes have re­cently been changed; a lit­tle dig­ging in the his­tory file shows that the en­gine mounts have also been re­newed and the steer­ing box re­built.

In­side, the leather is lightly creased but nowhere near worn and the rear seat looks un­used. The car­pets and dash­board are in good shape, with both the trip com­puter and tem­per­a­ture read-out still work­ing. All four elec­tric win­dows work but the near­side rear switch has been wired back to front – pos­si­bly when it was re­placed – so up is down and vice versa. The trim is also slightly loose on this door. The heated seats and elec­tric driver’s seat ad­just­ment work per­fectly and the orig­i­nal first-aid kit re­mains un­opened in its com­part­ment in the rear par­cel shelf. The only area that lets the side down is the cen­tre con­sole ve­neer, which is start­ing to crack.

The mo­tor is tidy, with its coolant pink and to the cor­rect level in the header tank. It was treated to a top-end re­build with new valves and guides not many miles ago and as a re­sult is less rat­tly than many of th­ese cars. It starts eas­ily and shows the cor­rect Mercedes full-scale three-bar de­flec­tion on the oil pres­sure gauge when warm. The tem­per­a­ture gauge holds steady at 80ºc. The mo­tor pulls well to­wards the 7000rpm red­line but there is a hint of blue smoke when ac­cel­er­at­ing from rest. There’s only a tiny – and nor­mal – amount of play in the steer­ing and the dog­leg gearchange shifts eas­ily with good syn­chro­mesh. The brakes are strong and pull up straight. How­ever, there’s a hint of dif­fer­en­tial whine that con­curs with an ad­vi­sory on the last MOT cer­tifi­cate sug­gest­ing an oil leak.

The ser­vice book was stamped up to 85,060 miles in 1999 and there are bills to sub­stan­ti­ate fur­ther ser­vic­ing and care since. It’s only done 5000 miles in the past two years, with a to­tal now read­ing 147,517. It comes with the orig­i­nal own­ers’ man­ual and will have a new MOT at sale.

Th­ese Mercedes are good value com­pared with E30 BMW M3s, which would fetch twice as much in sim­i­lar con­di­tion. COM­PRE­HEN­SIVE,COM­PRE­HEN­SIVE 3000 MILES PER YEAR, GARAGED CALL: 03333231138

Leather seats in the front look used but not worn. The rear seats look un­touched Mo­tor had a top-end re­build re­cently and is rat­tle-free. It starts eas­ily and revs sweetly

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.