No Box Flares – 1987 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16

There aren’t many ways into a limited production car, built for homologation purposes, with a genuine motorsports connection, within our self-imposed budget cap. The Cosworth-head version of the W201 190E is a pretty rare car, and it takes quite a bit of luck to find one with a manual transmission that hasn’t been neglected or subjected to questionable modifications. With a couple of thousand made – a quick search shows production of somewhere in the 2-3000 range – and some of those equipped with 4-speed automatic transmissions, and plenty with over 200,000 miles on them, it’s worth a closer look at this Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 for sale for $4500 in Vancouver, WA.

1987 Mercedes 190E right rear

So what’s the catch? Well, it’s got a salvage title, so you’ll want to be very diligent in your pre-purchase inspection. On the bright side, the car is said to have a full service history, and a recent set of H&R Cup springs and shock absorbers up front paired with a fully functional, leak-free self-leveling rear suspension. In addition, the car has received 16″ Evo 1 wheels and home-market headlamps. The seller does not mention any upgrade to a later double-row timing chain and tensioner, nor what led to the salvage title, so the service records should help there.

1987 Mercedes 190E left front

Shown in Pearl Black, the paint is said to be worn through in a couple of spots, and at 167,000 miles you should watch for smoke from general engine wear. Other possible weak points include rust in the lower body areas, lower steering and suspension ball joints, and valve tapped adjustment. On the bright side, the seller uses this car as his daily driver, so he’s hopefully debugged it as needed.

1987 Mercedes 190E interior

As you can see, the interior is in decent shape for a used car of its age, but there’s a split on the driver’s seat base, wear on the driver’s seat bolster, and splits in the dashboard. The leather looks a little dry, so the whole interior would probably be well-served by a good cleaning and leather treatment. At this point, it might be more fun to source the correct home market fabric (or entire seats) and redo the interior as it would have been elsewhere. It’s hard to understand why sellers of enthusiast cars in which the engine is a key selling point do not show a picture of the engine, but the condition of the rest of the car is compelling enough to make it worth a closer look. How many chances does your average person get to drive a car with a dogleg manual transmission?

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2 Responses to “No Box Flares – 1987 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16”

  1. M W Says:

    Vehicle Information:
    1987 MERCEDES-BENZ 190E 2.3-16
    VIN: WDBDA34D1HF357045
    SEDAN 4 DR
    2.3L I4 FI
    REAR WHEEL DRIVE

    Detailed History

    Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
    03/30/1990 21,105 Washington
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Vancouver, WA
    Title #9509012702 Title or registration issued

    04/04/1995 Washington
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Vancouver, WA
    Title #900890980195094 Title or registration issued

    05/02/1997 83,000 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Passed emissions inspection

    01/22/2001 Utah
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Riverton, UT
    Title #9929537 Title or registration issued

    11/21/2001 113,773 Service Facility Vehicle serviced

    12/24/2001 Utah
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Riverton, UT
    Title #9929537 NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED
    CARFAX Advisor™
    A NAM title is issued when the owner discloses to a DMV mileage fraud, a broken odometer or that the actual mileage of this vehicle is unknown. Mileage reported after this reading is potentially unreliable.

    12/26/2002 Utah
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Riverton, UT
    Title #9929537 NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED
    Passed safety inspection

    12/31/2003 Utah
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Riverton, UT
    Title #9929537 NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED

    02/12/2004 Utah
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Riverton, UT
    Title #9929537 NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED

    08/05/2005 150,551 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    08/10/2005 150,670 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    08/12/2005 150,727 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    08/15/2005 150,864 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    10/01/2005 150,894 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    10/03/2005 Washington
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Vancouver, WA
    Title #0527402804 Title issued or updated
    New owner reported
    Exempt from odometer reporting

    05/03/2008 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Failed emissions inspection

    06/09/2008 Washington
    Inspection Station
    Vancouver, WA Passed emissions inspection

    11/05/2009 169,501 Idaho
    Inspection Station
    Ada County, ID Passed emissions inspection

    11/13/2009 Idaho
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Boise, ID
    Title #093067673 Title issued or updated
    Registration issued or renewed
    Exempt from odometer reporting
    Vehicle color noted as Black

    12/29/2009 Idaho
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Boise, ID
    Title #093067673 Registration issued or renewed
    Correction to record
    Vehicle color noted as Black

    12/15/2011 Idaho
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Middleton, ID
    Title #093067673 Registration issued or renewed
    Vehicle color noted as Black

    01/23/2012 Idaho
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Boise, ID
    Title #093067673 Registration issued or renewed
    Vehicle color noted as Black

    09/06/2013 Washington
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Vancouver, WA
    Title #1324917810 New owner reported
    NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED
    Exempt from odometer reporting

    07/31/2014 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Vehicle serviced

    09/29/2014 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Thermostat replaced
    Oil and filter changed

    10/29/2014 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Auxiliary fan switch replaced
    Battery charged

    11/05/2014 Washington
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Vancouver, WA
    Title #1324917810 NOT ACTUAL MILEAGE TITLE ISSUED
    Exempt from odometer reporting
    Registration updated when owner moved
    the vehicle to a new location
    Vehicle color noted as Black

    11/25/2014 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Vehicle serviced

    01/29/2015 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Oil and filter changed
    Wiper(s) replaced

    02/25/2015 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416

    gaynors.com Wheel bearing(s)/hub(s) replaced
    Steering/suspension checked
    Front strut(s) replaced
    Wiper(s) replaced
    Brakes checked

    05/12/2015 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com Oil and filter changed

    12/02/2015 172,001 Gaynor’s Automotive Inc
    Vancouver, WA
    360-574-4416
    gaynors.com

    • Chris Keen Says:

      What a long strange trip it’s been? Thanks for sharing, too bad this doesn’t give any insight on the salvage situation… it’s surprising how far back the records go.

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