Date registered: Mar 2012
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Should I indulge the time machine 190e?
Hey there folks,
I've been looking for a W201 for a bit, and have one under consideration right now- 1984 190e 2.3 5spd with 115k on the clock, meticulously maintained since new. Everything works except the cruise and the A/C- other than that it is a time machine- mint interior, not even a band-aid missing from the first-aid kit.
My mechanic friend bought it for $1200 from the original owner- thought he would give it to his daughter for college, but realized she needs something newer and less maintenance prone. He gave it some attention and has $2000 invested in it now. He's asking around $4000 but would sell it to me for $3000. I don't mind so much giving him an extra grand for the finder's and maintenance feee, but it seems like a bit much overall, esp. since 120k service is right around the corner and I'm guessing I should replace the single row timing chain as preventative maintenance- as well as suspension bushings, shocks, and the regular stuff. So probably at least another $1000 will go into this car to get it ready for another it's next life. I'm probably better off waiting for a later model to come around. I thought, however, that this one might be worth getting so I could get to know the model better, then I'll know what to look for when one comes around.
That said, I've got it for the weekend and been driving around, falling in love with it every mile. It's not a rocket, but it's got plenty of pep, shifts smooth, and runs dreamy. And I like being in the cockpit even more than the MINI. I don't need the car- it's totally an emotional reaction. I compare the old Benz to a classy fedora, and the MINI to a baseball cap. I prefer the fedora (though you don't have to maintain a fedora quite as much).
I don't drive a lot- I've got an '84 Toyota truck for a 2-mile commute to work, and the E91 for long trips with the wife. If I get the Benz, I would keep it serviced as per spec, all preventative maintenance, well aware that things will fail.
Thoughts? Should I play it cool, and if it doesn't sell, offer him $2500? Or hold off and look for a nice later model 6-cyl?
Any thoughts from those with a similar 190?
Thanks in advance for any input.