Signal Red Sedan: 1992 Mercedes Benz 190E – SOLD!

Nov 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

December 9, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

These days, entry-level Mercedes-Benz models tend to plummet in value as soon as they leave the lot, especially if it’s the bottom-of-the-barrel model with no options. That’s not the case for the accessible Mercedes models of yesteryear, which were overbuilt just like any other S-Class. This 1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 was originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Alpharetta, Georgia with well over 200,000 miles on the clock but still presenting well. The seller is asking $3,800, and comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 190E priced just above the “Fair” estimate of $2,800, but well below the “Good” estimate of $6,200.

When the 190E rolled out, Mercedes was still in its sweet spot of building stately sedans that could gobble up hours of highway cruising with ease. The 300E, otherwise known as the W124, became a benchmark against which all other luxury sedans of the smaller- and mid-sized classes were judged. The 190E, despite being the entry-level model, incorporated many W124 qualities into its humble W201 chassis. This included the bank vault-like constitution in its construction and exceptional road manners for long-haul drives. The 190E came in a few different flavors, with the entry-level 2.3 four-cylinder kicking out a respectable 130 horsepower, and then followed by the 2.6 inline-six engine, and the limited production 16-valve models with the Cosworth-designed head.

The Library of Old Car Ads YouTube Channel features this ad from 1992 covering how affordable Mercedes’s entry-level car was, especially if a buyer chose to lease one:

The seller’s car is the fuel-sipping 2.3, and he notes that the only previous owner was his grandmother, who bequeathed him the car when she was no longer able to drive. As such, it’s in overall very good condition with a backseat that’s never been sat in but the seller notes the clearcoat may need some attention in the coming years. Speaking of paint, I love the color of this car, as Mercedes didn’t let too many non-SL models leave the factory with a Signal Red finish. This 190E would look amazing with a set of period-correct wheels with slightly lower offsets than stock, and a subtle lowering kit to give it the aggressive looks Mercedes reserved for the hot-rod Cosworth. The seller notes that he doesn’t drive the car much anymore so it may soon need a battery, but this could also be a veiled reference to a charging problem. Regardless, with a transmission that’s said to shift well and no apparent electrical issues with the windows or central locking, this looks like the kind of project you can use either as a hobby car or a daily, and not likely lose any money in the process. Good luck with the purchase if you take home this rare-in-red 190E.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Hi I’m selling my grandmothers Mercedes 190E, car runs and drives great, will need the new battery soon, I started driving when I needed a car, she no longer drives it, had it since the year 2000 so it was purchased from the original owner, the car is just sitting and you know with these cars they need to be driven, well it’s the 2.3-liter engine, it’s gonna need also clear coated, it has a new set of tires, the dash has no warping and the seats are perfect, the windows work great, the sunroof works great, shifts great, heat and ac works great, the back was never sat in, the car is clean just the few flaws, it has always been fueled with super unleaded and the miles are right 243000 miles, looking for cash $3800 these cars are going up in value and hard to come by.

Do you have a Mercedes-Benz 190E story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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