Cheap Cossie – 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16

Cosworth-powered cars are fairly rare on North American soil. Compared to what was available in Europe, we only received the Chevrolet Cosworth Vega, which was a great concept that fell down in the execution, and the Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, which was a great car that has lived in the shadow of the contemporary BMW M3. Mercedes had originally asked Cosworth to develop an engine for a rally version of their new 190E, but when Audi came out with the all-conquering Quattro, Mercedes side-stepped and took its car to touring races. This required homologation sales, so the road-going 190E 2.3-16 was developed for sale. Adding a twin cam 16-valve head, lightened pistons and upgraded rings yielded 49hp over the regular 2.3’s 136hp, though the engine was detuned to 167hp for the North American market. You can find your own Anglo-Teutonic screamer in this 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, available for $3500 in Berkeley, CA.

1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 left front

The car is said to have a salvage title from a 2004 accident, although this could hardly account for the significant drop in value. It shows 122,000 miles, and all the panels are said to line up and close solidly. The seller does concede that the car has problems warming up, so needs a new thermostat, and most of the dashboard electrical features need to be hooked up.

1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 left rear

All the essential features are said to work, however, including the lights, horn, and front windows. It’s sporting a set of Lorinser wheels, which look decent on the car, but would be much better dechromed and finished in silver. The paint looks surprisingly decent, though you should expect some oxidation on the horizontal surfaces. The body kit is also intact, while the flat black grill will not be to everyone’s taste.

1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 interior

Based on this and another shot from the listing, the interior is actually in rather decent shape. While the radio is missing, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a new one, or an original Becker from a junkyard car. While we featured a pair of 5-speed 190Es a while back, not expecting to find an affordable Cosworth, this proves you can pick up a half-way decent project Cossie on a small budget.


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One Response to “Cheap Cossie – 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16”

  1. Hakeem Says:

    Hello I am very interested in this car I look forward to your reply for more details thanks.

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