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1993 Mercedes 190E LE

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1993 Mercedes 190E LE


From January 1974 to January 1982, Mercedes spent in excess of £600 million researching and developing the 190 range (internally designated W201), which was manufactured in various guises from 1982 to 1993 – the year of our vehicle’s registration. As the company’s first ‘compact’ car, it clearly mattered to them that they got it right and protected the brand’s values.

Mercedes later said that it was “massively over-engineered”. That’s Mercedes saying that. German Mercedes. A company where the teaspoons in the staff canteen were probably built to withstand earthquakes.

The W201 range introduced a number of features, notably the 5-link rear suspension subsequently used in E and C class models, front and rear anti-roll bars, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry, airbags, ABS brakes and seatbelt pretensioners.

The ‘E’ after 190 stands for Einspritzung, or fuel injection for non-Teutonic readers. This Bosch KE-Jetronic system delivered more power and fuel efficiency than its carburettor-equipped predecessor.

The ‘LE’ designation on our car stands for ‘Limited Edition’ and, in this instance, limited really is the right word. This is now a very rare vehicle.

The 190E LE run consisted of just 1,000 numbered cars, each supplied with a certificate of validation. Built as part of the runout of the model.

The 190 LE was available in three colours only; Azzuro Blue (blue/purple), Brilliant Silver and Rosso Red (Burgundy). The Azzuro blue coloured cars came with a grey checked cloth interior, the silver coloured cars with a black checked cloth interior and the Rosso Red coloured cars with a biscuit/cream checked cloth interior.

The LE was equipped with extra features selected from the options list of other models. These options applied only to 1.8 and 2.0 litre models and could not be added to or altered, although some were equipped with other dealer-installed items.

LE models were equipped with a standard electric tilt and slide steel sunroof, four electric windows, electric aerial, 8-hole alloy wheels, Blaupunkt Verona CR43 Radio/cassette player and walnut wood trim. The 2.0 litre version also came with rear headrests and a front armrest.

Bizarrely, the 2.0 litre LE was nearly £2,000 cheaper than a 2.0-litre model with much the same specifications chosen from the wider options list.

The Vehicle

This Rosso Red (burgundy) 2.0 litre auto 190E LE has covered 116,000 miles and comes with a walnut dash, headrests and all the other features specified for the 2.0 litre LE model.

As stated, this car is rare. As rare as a German stand-up comedian. We’re aware of just one other for sale in the UK.

As far as we can tell, the car is mechanically sound (‘massively over engineered’) and it drives very well.

The last 5 years of its life have been spent off the road and in the company of a few other Mercedes and BMWs in a private collection of German cars.

On the Outside

The paint and bodywork are broadly in good condition although there are a few minor scuffs and scratches here and there. The windscreen has a crack on the passenger side which, although insufficient to prevent the car passing its MOT for now, will need attention in the not too distant future.

On the Inside

The interior appears to be in pretty good condition overall and the biscuit/cream checked cloth interior has held up well over the years. The carpets and headlining are also good but the mats have seen better days and you might want to replace these. The centre console could do with a bit of a clean and scrub, too, as could the front door card panels

An aftermarket stereo with Bluetooth functionality has been fitted. The car is wearing two new tyres and has another on the spare.


The engine bay seems relatively tidy and does the underside of the vehicle. You should note that the MOT has an advisory relating to ‘corrosion to sills - jacking points/ water drainage’ and that’s clearly something to bear in mind.

The car has recently benefitted from a new battery, HT leads and spark plugs.

History Highlights

We have very little paperwork to go on. We know it’s been in a private collection for 5 years. We know it seems to be in good working order and that it’s no worse than it should be cosmetically. We know that it has had a service within the last year. We’ve been told that it drives well and we know that it has an MOT until April 2021.

And that’s all we know. Please buy on condition as usual in these circumstances.

What We Think

We think this is a rare car and one that appears to be in decent condition. The vendor tells us that it drives well, that the auto gearbox is smooth and sure, and that the interior is good for its age and mileage.

There’s no history to speak of, which is far from ideal, but we do know that a collector ‘collected’ it (and must presumably have had a good reason for doing so) and that this Mercedes hails from an era when they were built robustly. That said – what you see is what you get.

It’s the automotive equivalent of Clint Eastwood, smoking a cheroot and wearing a poncho, riding into town on a horse with no name. Its history may be a mystery, but it’s nonetheless enigmatic for that.

Hence, this car is being offered for auction with no reserve. Our estimate is £2 – 4,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with the seller in Bournemouth; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

This vehicle is not with us at The Market’s HQ near Abingdon, which means we have had to rely on the owner’s description of it, in conjunction with the photographs you see here, to compile the listing.

With this in mind, we would encourage potential bidders to contact the owner themselves and arrange to view the car in person, or to arrange a dedicated video call in which they can view the car virtually and ask questions.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Bournemouth
  • Odometer Reading: 116085
  • Engine: 2000
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Colour: Red
  • Interior: Beige

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