1986 Mercedes 190E W201


∙Low, original mileage
∙Factory fitted AMG bodykit
∙Superb service history

The Background

Mercedes’ W201 model is a legendarily over-engineered car, hailing from what is widely regarded as one of the finest periods in the company’s history. Built from 1982 until 1993, it was offered with a range of engines and was a huge success. It remains a sought-after and popular choice for classic car fans and collectors alike.

The History

Owned by the current keeper for the last two years, the car was originally registered in North Devon in 1986, and stayed in the area until at least 2013. When you look at the service history and receipts, it’s clear the car has been cared for, always having a low annual mileage and being meticulously maintained.

The current keeper tells us that the AMG bodykit and SEC bonnet were, to the best of their knowledge, factory-fitted options.

The Paperwork

A good amount of documentation comes with the vehicle, including the V5, current MOT (which runs until December 2021), previous MOT certificates dating back to 1991, the original handbooks and service record and a stack of service and maintenance receipts.

The history shows the car has been very well maintained, with regular servicing at Mercedes main dealers and specialists at regular intervals. The last stamp in the book was in November 2013 at 67,931 miles. Alongside the paperwork, the car comes with 3 keys, including the original in its leather case, and a Haynes Workshop manual.

The low mileage is confirmed by the service record and the MOTs, meaning this car has covered an average of less than 2,200 miles per year.

The Interior

Internally, the vehicle benefits from the most wonderfully 80s interior - blue dashboard and door cards with blue carpets and blue checkered fabric seats. It’s in very original condition, even having the factory-fitted first aid kit still present in the parcel shelf. The stereo has been upgraded from the factory system with a JVC CD/radio head unit and Pioneer speakers.

The windows in the cabin are all manual-opening and the factory-fitted sunroof is in good working order. Inside the boot, the carpets are all in very good condition, as is the spare wheel underneath the carpet. 

It should be noted that the dashboard top has some sun damage evident and the right-hand bolster on the driver’s seat has a tear in the fabric. Both of the rear doors need to have their stays adjusted too, as currently they do not fully open. The current owner hasn’t had them adjusted as they never use the rear of the vehicle.

Otherwise, the interior is in good condition for the age, the owner assuring us that everything works as it should.

The Exterior

For a 35 year old vehicle, it still looks great from the outside. The AMG bodykit and SEC bonnet are a rare period addition and really help the car stand out, as does the Diamond Blue Metallic paintwork. The W201 has always been a great looking car, and in this specification it really does look very special.

All of the panels are in very good condition, being straight and in excellent condition with no visible damage. The paintwork is also in good condition, with just a few age-related marks and blemishes as would be expected with a vehicle of this age. It sits on 15-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, which are all in very good condition and shod in tyres which have plenty of life left in them. Lights, chrome-work and external plastics and trim are all likewise in good condition, with nothing missing or damaged, and everything presenting in fine original condition. Underneath the vehicle appears to be solid and undamaged, with no unexpected wear that we could see.

The rear spoiler has a blemish in the paintwork on the driver’s side, which appears to be minor and should be easily addressed. With a machine polish and one or two minor paintwork issues addressed, externally the car would be in excellent condition.

The Mechanics

Mercedes’ 190E 1,997cc petrol unit is legendarily reliable and robust. Mated to the four-speed automatic gearbox it offers smooth and effortless driving ability. In this car it starts well and runs very smoothly, with no knocking or unexpected noise. With its Bosch KE Jetronic multipoint fuel injection, the 190E benefits from one of the finest engines of the era. Recent works undertaken to maintain the car mechanically include a new exhaust front section and, in 2006 at 59,000 miles, a new head gasket was fitted and the valves reconditioned.

A number of modern features were fitted to the 190E, including multi-link rear suspension and ABS. The owner assures us that the car drives well, riding and braking smoothly as it should. This is supported by the extensive service history and receipts detailing many years of proactive maintenance.

The Appeal

Not many vehicles are truly timeless, but the Mercedes W201 is definitely one of them. Adored by petrol-heads and classic car collectors alike for its excellent design and faultless build quality, they are still extremely sought-after vehicles, with good ones getting rarer by the day. As a slice of pure 80s automotive excellence, there’s not much that beats them.

This car is a great example – not only is it the more desirable fuel injected model, but the factory-fitted AMG bodykit, SEC bonnet and lovely Diamond Blue Metallic paintwork really do make it stand out from the crowd. You’re certainly not going to see many more of these on the road.

Personally, we love the blue interior. It complements the exterior perfectly, and we think the check cloth seats are preferable to leather. We can already see ourselves cruising down the road, Depeche Mode on the stereo, loafers on, revelling in the 80s atmosphere and dreaming of big hair and leg warmers. It’s possible we’re over-sharing there.

Anyway. Whether you want a reliable classic you can genuinely drive every day, or a stone-cold 80s legend that, with a little work, would be perfect for the show scene, this car really is all you need. Not many cars are over-engineered in the way that 80s Mercs are, and when they’re in such nice condition and have such a great spec, they’re very difficult to pass up. While they were once a common sight on our roads, the W201 is getting rarer and more collectible with each passing year – it’s a car that will surely only increase in value and rarity. It presents an excellent opportunity as they’re only now beginning to get noticed by serious collectors, so are still very affordable. 

You may already have gathered, but we love this car. We think it has real potential. It just needs someone to show it a little love, correct a few minor faults, and then you’ll have a car you can enjoy for many years to come. It’s not just peak 80s, this is peak Mercedes. 

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1986
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 190E W201
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 76,818 Miles
  • Engine size 1997
  • Location Cheshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
7 bids from 5 bidders
  • Mr•••• £4,800 28/09/21
  • bu•••• £4,700 28/09/21
  • ke•••• £4,500 26/09/21
  • bu•••• £4,200 26/09/21
  • ha•••• £4,000 24/09/21
  • bu•••• £2,800 23/09/21
  • fi•••• £2,500 22/09/21

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