Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

Fergus Parnaby - ‘I like a car with character and a powerful engine’

  • Year: 1992

  • Mileage: 167,047

  • Acquired: 2013

  • Dream car: Ferrari BB 512

Why the 190E?

I’ve always had a yearning for these early 1990s brutalist cars. I like the idea of a car with loads of character and a powerful, torquey engine.

What’s your favourite bit?

The feeling of solidity and finish (last of the over-engineered Benzes).

And the least favourite bit? 

Fuel can, naturally, be costly on short runs round town.

What’s it like to run? 

I’m a member of the Mercedes-Benz Club (, which has a good forum, and can sort discounts on replacement parts as well as good deals on classic insurance. I try to get proper branded parts. The 15in tyres can be tricky to find, but Bicester Tyre and Exhaust ( has managed to source them for me.

Any modifications?

None. I’ve kept it stock deliberately; the only thing I’ve done is cosmetic – refurbishing the original wheels.

Any advice for buyers?

A common-sense check for rust and corrosion is a good idea, due to age, but the bodies are strong and should be fine, provided they’ve been well looked-after. Check for dings or scrapes. The springs can corrode over time and will need replacing at some point. Check oil has been changed every 5000 miles if it’s a high-mileage model; the six-cylinder engines will go on almost forever if well-serviced.

What do you fancy next?

Short of moving to the States or Canada and buying a Trans Am or Mustang, I’m tempted by the Alfa 147 GTA or Maserati 3200GT. More sensible would be a Nissan 350Z.

Lewis PlumbBMW, Z3, M Sport