At $10,900, Could This Leather-Upholstered 1985 Mercedes 190E Get You to Have a Cow?
The interior on today’s Nice Price or No Dice Mercedes 190E is claimed by the seller to be “10/10.” The rest of the car looks up to the task too, but will its price prove to be off the charts?
Have you noticed that it’s been decades since we’ve heard about a mail carrier running amok, or otherwise “going postal?” Yep, our dedicated Postal workers seem to be happy as clams these days. Maybe that’s because they might have the opportunity to own a piece of post office history in the form of the 1964 Rand Mailster we looked at yesterday. There are quite a few of the little tuk-tuk-like trucklets around, but not many are as well-presented as ours seemingly was. Unfortunately for its seller, the Mailster’s attractions stopped well short of its $4,500 asking price. At least, that was the implication given by the 57 percent No Dice loss you all gave the trike.
Thankfully, today’s 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E has four wheels and a vastly better-appointed interior than yesterday’s olde-timey mail carrier. That’s good since it’s also a good deal more expensive.
The 1984 — 1993 W201 190 series was Mercedes’ first smallish sedan, (affectionately coined the “Baby Benz”) in almost two decades, and it was a range that the company itself now readily admits was wildly over-engineered.
That engineering included the company’s first complex five-link rear suspension, a design so inscrutable that it became a source of fascination for the legendary automotive writer L.J.K. Setright who waxed rapturously over its design. That suspension was just part of why Setright deemed the 190 to be one of the best cars in the world at the time.
Power for this burgundy over brown 190 comes from an M102 SOHC four, which, as the “E” in the model name implies, is fuel injected. In the U.S. cars that made 120 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. Backing that up here is a Mercedes-manufactured four-speed automatic.
Those are pretty mundane specs which may be why the seller touts the car’s “REAL Leather” upholstery as the car’s big draw. Most of these came with Mercedes’ amazing MB-Tex leatherette which, laughably, is generally considered to be far more durable than real leather.
To be fair, the car’s cabin does look fabulous, not just because of the leather, but also for the warm woodgrain accents on the dash and console. There’s plenty of posh here too as the car features automatic climate control, power locks and windows, plus cruise control. The only real downside is the modern stereo head unit that, while probably offering better functionality, does look out of place. Someone needs to Becker this Benz up ASAP.
A similar issue is present on the exterior where a black-painted grille, aftermarket wheels, and lowering springs give the car a boy racer look that’s not quite befitting. All of those are changes that can be easily reversed so we should perhaps let them slide.
According to the ad, the car “Runs strong” and has a smooth transmission and cold A/C. The title is clean and the mileage is a laudably low 119,000. All in all it’s a quirky and remarkably clean little car that should still have plenty of life and comfort left. Could that be worth $10,900?
Admittedly, that’s a lot for a 190 that doesn’t have “16V” appended to its badge. The thing is, these are getting scarce, and finding nice ones like this just doesn’t happen all that often anymore. Could that make this one’s price more palatable?
What do you say, is this bite-size Benz worth that $10,900 asking as it sits? Or, is that just too much to get in a lather over leather?
San Fernando Valley, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Jack Jordan for the hookup!
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