Cosworth Package Deal: Two Mercedes 190E 2.3-16s


This auction is for a pair of 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 models, an interesting approach to selling a car people generally only need one of. Regardless, the pair is clad in the rarer shade of blue-black metallic, and one of them is a Canadian-market model that apparently makes more power than its U.S. counterpart. The listing for the Cosworth-tuned examples can be found here on eBay where bidding is at $8,000 with the reserve unmet.

Can you tell which one is from Canada? It does look lie they are both 5-speeds so that’s great news! These were very special cars when they were new, competing with the likes of the mighty BMW M3. The 16 valve engine is a marvel and the only real downside is that Mercedes used a lot of vacuum hoses to control everything (including the door locks).

This is the Canadian-market car, I believe, fitted with wheels from a later E-Class and the European-style headlights. I’ve been lax in posting updated on the junkyard find 190E 2.3-16 that I own, but the sad truth is we’ve not made much headway on it. This is not for lack of parts or any other roadblock, other than my shop simply hasn’t had time to get it into the rotation.

Even with the modest boost in output, I’d take the U.S. car all day long. It’s closer to factory condition than the other one, which has tacky carbon fiber trim stuck to the dash and a cheap aftermarket shift knob. Easily reversible, but still gives off a vibe as being a teenager’s car. This one appears almost completely stock, right down to the factory floormats in good condition.

Fortunately, both 190E’s run and come with clean U.S. titles. The seller notes that both cars have been dealer-maintained and that he’s owned the pair for 13 years. It could be he’s seen the rising price of good examples moving past the mid-teens into the low 20s, but I’m not sure if these cars are exceptional enough to demand that price – yet. Still, I’d sell them solo if it were me.


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  1. Howard A. Member

    Looks like the downturn in trucking is forcing this fellow to unload some toys. I know nothing about the cars, the trucks are Freightliners, and with over-regulation, it’s a crummy time to be a truck owner. Many will not survive. I bet they wouldn’t turn down an offer on either truck, as well.

    Like 4
    • On and On On and On Member

      Hey Howard, interesting point about truck drivers. What constitutes over-regulation? Also recently I heard 2 drivers talking about what they were getting paid per mile and I was surprised how low it seemed. When I was traveling for my job I was getting more per mile and actually made enough money to pay for insurance and extras. I felt sorry for those guys, the long hours, the responsibility, the weather, not an easy job.

      Like 2
      • Classic Steel

        I an curious on your take also.
        I read an article speaking of all clock times from loading to driving .

        The next future phase will be driverless trucks running at 55-65 mph 24/7 which doesn’t need sleep which will impact many folks.

        Maybe they will require an observation rider which helps on loading at distribution centers …

        Radical times are coming 👀

        Like 5
      • Howard A. Member

        Hi Gregg, well, without derailing the post entirely, I’ll be brief. Trucking is not a “one size fits all” job. The HOS ( hours of service) is constantly being challenged. The rules are made by people who know little about the job. What works for one, may ruin another. Medical requirements, drug testing, insurance requiring spotless records, retiring drivers, like me, with no one to replace them, has all reduced the available people willing to do that job. So to fill the seats, employers have no choice but to hire unskilled drivers, that can meet those rules, but are unfamiliar with driving a semi, and that’s where the trouble starts.
        Self driving trucks? Not in our lifetime. Again, in certain applications, like out in the desert, it could work, but there’s too many variables, and someone is still going to have to physically deliver the freight to some back alley and modern traffic today won’t allow it. Truck drivers today make more than I ever did, and while .25-.30 cpm in my day (25 years ago) was average, today a driver can easily do .40-.50cpm, which might be $50-$60g’s/year, but people are making that running car websites,,oops, I mean, working at home on computers, so it really hasn’t kept pace with other jobs. I recently turned down a local semi job, hauling mail, 1 trip a night to Denver, new Mack with automatic,8 hours/night, 5 nights a week, $30/hour WITH BENE’S, the owner literally can’t find anyone to do it. Years ago, there would have been a waiting list for that job. Sorry to babble, but obviously, it’s a topic I feel very strongly about, even being retired. For a lot more info, I suggest looking up the site “The Truckers Report”. It’s the best site out there for truckers and all the info, some stuff that will surprise you and a special thanks to BF’s for letting me mention that.

        Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        Thank you Howard, you always have great practical and honest answers and information. The 2 dudes I overheard while relieving myself in a Kwik-Trip truck-stop talked about a new job for 48cpm. They thought is was a viable gig and took it. I though sheesh, My job paid me 55cpm to drive all over Wisconsin and formally Arizona and Illinois to fill in for sick, vacationing, or whatever. The 55cpm was in addition to my salary and hotel plus a daily allowance for meals. Didn’t seem fair for all that time away from family and relationships. It’s not surprising these folks are getting harder to find and hold……….I hold OTR drivers in high regard, because I too have had many miles on my butt. The big difference? I was able to afford great comfortable safe cars to drive, not 53feet ahead of my tailights

        Like 3
  2. davew833

    Mercedes vacuum lock systems are actually very reliable. I’ve had half a dozen different Benzes over the years and never had a major problem with the vacuum locking. I don’t know why Mercedes stuck with that system for so long, but I get kind of a kick out of hearing the sucking sound when I lock or unlock my car.

    Like 2

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