Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6
Fergus Parnaby - ‘I like a car with character and a powerful engine’
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 (mercedes-benz-club.co.uk), 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 (bicester-tyre-and-exhausts.co.uk) has managed to source them for me.
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.