This Mercedes-Benz 190 E is a cherished example of the robust W201-series compact saloon, in single ownership for the first 31 years of its life, and presented in astonishing time-warp condition. It is powered by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder M102.962 petrol engine producing around 117bhp, with rear-wheel drive via a four-speed automatic transmission. The odometer shows just 25,403 miles from new.
The log book shows two prior registered keepers, but there is only one previous owner from new - it was first registered under his business’s name, then to him as a personal car. This gentleman ordered the car in 1987, and took delivery in March 1988, and the original dealer correspondence is in the history file. The seller acquired the car last year, and has covered around 200 miles on the road.
Having always been garaged when not in use, and with the seller reporting that neither he nor the long-term owner ever used the car in the rain, the body is in remarkably good condition throughout. The shut lines and panel gaps are impressive, and there are no signs of corrosion. Likewise, its Arctic White paintwork is in great shape, and the seller notes only one minor blemish and touch-up on the offside C-pillar.
All of the light lenses are free of cracks, chips and clouding, and appear to be original. The door jambs, bonnet and boot shuts are in excellent condition, as are the window and door rubbers. Plastic trim pieces around the body have also fared very well over the last 32 years, and the bumpers are both in good order. The car sits on 15-inch steel wheels with the turbine-style hub cap trims, which are pristine, complemented by a set of Mercedes-Benz mud flaps.
The interior is in superb condition throughout, with a very smart combination of chequered cloth with black vinyl panels on the sides and bases of the seats. The fabric itself cannot have looked that much better when it was delivered new, such is the care with which this car has been maintained and preserved over the years. Zebrano wood veneer trims are in place around the gear lever and cassette storage slots.
Its factory-fitted equipment includes the desirable tilt-and-slide sunroof panel, rear headrests, folding armrests, and luggage nets behind the front seats. Underneath the heater and fan controls is a superb and period-correct Blaupunkt radio cassette deck. At the back of the car, the boot lining is in excellent condition.
Under the bonnet, the insulating padding foam has perished slightly with age, but there is a brand-new OEM foam pad that comes with the car. Its last scheduled maintenance was in August 2017 at 25,003 miles, carried out by Mercedes-Benz specialist Keys in Bexleyheath. This consisted of a major service with renewal of the coolant, brake fluid, and spark plugs.
The most recent MOT test was on 6 August 2019 at 25,387 miles, which resulted in a first-time pass with no advisories. There are also annual tests on record for 2018 and 2017, both with the same clean result, though evidently the car was stored off the road for at least 10 years before that. The wheels are fitted with Continental PremiumContact tyres in size 185/65 R15, which were fitted three years ago and remain in great condition.
Accompanying this 190 E is the original owner’s manual and stamped guarantee and maintenance booklet. There are also the original order and invoice papers from the supplying Mercedes-Benz dealer, along with a raft of old MOT certificates. The spare wheel, jack and brace, and tool kit are also present, along with three keys.
This Mercedes-Benz 190 E is a collector-quality example of the model, with remarkably low mileage and just one owner from 1988 through to 2019. The W201 series is renowned for its over-engineered build quality, and this car goes to show how good they can look when well cared-for. It is undoubtedly one of the very best available. A great opportunity for the seasoned Mercedes-Benz collector, this is also an unassuming modern classic that could be put into service as a reliable daily driver.