Turbo Car Concept: 1984 Mercedes 190E Callaway

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Over the years, we have seen any number of hotted-up models released with the distinct touches of a company called Callaway. This connection seemingly always has a positive impact on value, as just the parts alone can command a good price these days. This 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190E here on eBay is a former magazine feature car and the only one made with Callaway’s distinct blend of increased performance and style. It’s a non-runner and located in Florida. 

The stock Mercedes 190E was a fairly humble car. When Callaway got their hands on this example, they quickly concocted an almost OEM-like turbo kit, added gold-painted BBS wheels, a BBS front air dam and side skirts, and also fitted gorgeous Recaro seats in the correct MB Tex pattern. Other upgrades include a Bilstein suspension. The seller claims he’s known of this car for years and finally had the chance to buy it, with a connection going back to the first owner who bought it from the well-known Brumos chain of dealerships in South Florida.

In addition, this is a rare manual transmission model. You might expect a Callaway car to be equipped like this, but they weren’t exactly common when the 190E was introduced. Check out the gorgeous three-spoke wheel, complete with a boost gauge in the middle where the horn pad used to be! The interior appears to be in fine shape despite some blemishes to the Recaros. Since it is not running, my guess is it was laid up for several years but thankfully, stored carefully.

Here’s the big problem: that boosted engine doesn’t run, and Callaway never moved forward with a kit for the 190E’s four cylinder. While Callaway is quite supportive of its customers, I’m not sure what this means for parts availability and making repairs if needed to bring this rare 190E back to life. Still, it’s a significant car in the eyes of some collectors and looks like bags of fun, complete with Miami Vice styling. The Buy-It-Now of $7,500 seems reasonable – does anyone want to take this project on?

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Comments

  1. Enzo

    Nice find.

    It’s a shame the price and condition don’t really line up.

    Seems from the eBay description it’s been left neglected for at least 4 years. Possibly more.

    A 2.3-16 would be more enjoyable at this point, it would also be running.

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  2. Don

    Had a red 1984 Chevy cavalier ! Looksabought the same.lol.

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  3. tje

    I recall something about never look at cars in the rain as it makes them look better. I’d think the same goes for just washed wet.

    Interesting car – but I’ve had enough of dealing with Mercs…

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  4. Rustytech

    This price seems high for a non runner. It would be nice to know if the engine is locked up or not. I always thought the 190 was an uninspiring car, the BMW 3 series was a much better car and similarly priced. The upgrades here may have helped, this maybe an interesting ride if it were in the $3500 to $4500 range.

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  5. Brakeservo

    While the Mercedes 190 was not a bad car, if I squinted when looking at mine, I thought I was seeing a Chrylser K car from the 1980s.

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  6. sparecr

    Good friend has a 1984 190E one of three wide-bodies by Lorinser. His runs, has recent repaint and is in overall decent (not great shape) I think he would be happy to take $7500 for his. (not meant as a For Sale post, but a comparison)

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