Junkyard Cosworth Updates: Junkyard Parts Score!

I’m sure this comes as no surprise that I’ve continued to acquire parts for my will-it-ever-run Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth project at an alarming rate. Before I burst into internet fame (guffaw), I used to spend every weekend at a junkyard searching for parts to either flip on eBay or use on my own projects, so this is really more of the same for me in terms of obsessive compulsive junkyard parts hoarding. Want to find out what gems I found recently for the junkyard-find Mercedes Cosworth? Read (or watch) on below!

First, I have to give a proper shout-out out to Hall’s Garage in North Scituate, Rhode Island. About three years ago, while paying for parts off of a junked 1986 BMW 535i, the owner (super nice and somewhat legendary Rhode Islander) told me he had socked away some “AMG” wheels from an old Mercedes. Not owning a Mercedes at the time, I didn’t pay this much mind, but like any good junkyard parts hunter, I socked this information away and obviously kept it to myself. Fast forward to the present day and I own a classic 80s Benz that would look right tasty with some period AMG rollers.

I did what any good parts hunter does and called up Hall’s Garage and relayed my conversation from three years prior. “Any chance they’re still there?”, I opined, to which I received a full-fledged yes. Now, I wasn’t sure which wheels they would be: the classic Monoblock or the old-school-cool “Pentas” that were also produced by a German company called Ronal. While I love monoblocks, I was secretly hoping for Pentas – and my wish was granted. These are the Ronal-made examples, but they came with the correct Mercedes centercaps, so they’re about as close to factory as you can get.

Image courtesy of Fab Wheels Digest

This wheel design goes way back, starting with the famous Mercedes 300SEL 6.3, otherwise known as the Red Pig. These wheels were manufactured by AMG in this instance, likely in a staggered setup, and worth a crap-load of money. Mine are obviously far less valuable, but still desirable in their own right. I paid a fair price for them and gave them a test fit in the video below. I knew going into it the offset wasn’t quite right for a 190E, and the caliper is quite snug against the back of the wheel – so I’ll likely run some very mild spacers to make them work.

Check out the latest Barn Finds video where I share some thoughts on using your local salvage yard as a partner for your restoration project – no matter how rusty or daunting it may be. And, be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates on the Cosworth and my other projects, which will someday get their proper introduction on these pages.

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great score Jeff! Those wheels really add to the looks of your MB. In a weird way they remind me of a Euro Cragar. On my Z3 the wheels bolt on like yours, I wonder if if the newer cars use lugnuts? Looking forward to seeing them mounted with rubber on. Take care, Mike.

  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    Hi Jeff I think your MB project is cool simply because it’s differant. I like odd ball cars mostly because there rarer then the Mustangs and Comaros. I know that that means they can hold less value unless of course they happen to fall into the flaver of the day. I look forward to further updates on this project car as you progress. Good score on the wheels.

  3. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Fantastic find and even more fantastic video, Jeff! Keep the updates coming, they give garage hacks like me something to strive for.

  4. brettucks

    Ive had those wheels on an 89 mustang fox body – they were Ronal and were all the same size (16X8) but had no center caps. They were actually a metric size so a little adjustment was needed (Im a machinist so no prob). At the time I thought they were from a Saleen mustang (they had some very similar) but after I realized they were metric I thought they may have come off a 80’s Volkswagon van (They had some similar) – never considered they may have come off a Mercedes. They are still my favorite wheel.

    (got them for $200/set after looking for a couple years for any set – girlfriend destroyed one within 2 years)

    • brettucks

      had to make center caps – found some pics- they are close but I dont think they are Mercedes now after a second look

      • brettucks

        here it is

  5. Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

    Very nice, @brettucks! It’s amazing how many times the design was re-purposed over the years….and how well it works on different makes and models. Nice work with the center caps.

  6. Marc

    Great!
    I have a 500sec euro car with those wheels. Transforms the car. Makes it look faster than it is!
    I’m going through the exact process you are going through with my 1969 6.3 300sel. I expect I’ll be driving it next summer. The parts hunt while being $$ is fun and challenging. Knowing I brought the car back from death is most satisfying!

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Marc, you get it! I know some people hate finding parts but I truly love it. Thanks for the comments!

  7. Carter

    The original “AMG” wheels were made by ATS and usually have writing in the center. They’re also slightly different than the Ronal R9s you grabbed, as they have a triple step on the spoke. Pentas were replicas of the ATS wheels, while the R9 was an aftermarket Ronal design that was very similar obviously and a bit more common to find than Penta replicas or certainly original ATSs. Nice score!

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Carter, I feel like we know each other from…somewhere….out there…maybe Rhode Island? ;-)

      Awesome details I did not know. Thank you.

  8. Todd Zuercher

    Great video! I love following along with this build. Glad to see I’m not the only junkyard scrounger with extremely limited garage space.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Todd, in my next life, I’m coming back as a master craftsman capable of building a barn for car storage.

  9. Bryan W Cohn

    Jeff, a 1/4 inch, even 3/16 inch is plenty of space between the caliper and wheel. The only exception would be if its a sliding caliper single piston unit but I’m pretty sure the 190 2.3 had a two piston solid mounted caliper with internal drum parking brake inside the center hub of the rotor.

    No need for wheel spacers!

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Thanks Bryan – I hope so. We’ll see. A small spacer wouldn’t be the end of the world for peace of mind, but we’ll give it go without spacers first.

  10. John Breslin

    Jeff, Awesome find! I bought a set, mine were 15×7 with a 32ET I think. Made for the 123 series but looked great on my 300CE. I paint matched the center and polished the lip just like you mentioned. I too now have a 190E 16V, working away!

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Hi John! ET32 would have been preferred but it will look good either way. Love the polished lips on yours. Good luck with the 16V, keep us posted!

  11. Gsuffa Member

    One of the reasons I bought my latest 635 is so I can use my R9s. I have had them so long that I can’t remember where I bought them. Can’t wait to hit the road. Speaking of center caps, I like the original ones, but can’t find a set (marked 0375)

    • Marc

      eBay is full of very cheap aftermarket centercaps from China for Benz, bmw and AMG- the quality is as good as original making me think that they are the oem manufacturers.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Love it. Will look amazing with a slight suspension drop!

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