As much as we love finding the exquisitely rare and expensive examples of Mercedes and AMG cars available for sale on the market, finding rarely optioned and/or uniquely kept examples of otherwise pedestrian MBs is increasingly appealing to our "obsessive enthusiast" streak. So, too, with our followers apparently, as this was sent to us by one of you.
Dubbed the "Baby Benz" colloquially, the 190E is often neglected outside of its Cosworth or Evo iterations for its ubiquitous presence, lack of creature features and typically under powered drivetrain. While we believe the stripped-down and reliable qualities of these little sedans is quite endearing, the market doesn't quite agree (yet). Today's example might help change some minds.
Offered here for sale on Ebay out of St. Louis, this 1993 190E is immaculately kept and sports a number of qualities to make it worth a second look. First, and most apparent, is the beautiful Bornite Metallic (481) paint optioned on this car. Having never seen this color on a 190E in person, we have to assume it was quite a rare order for the time. Bornite is one of our favorite colors and we've featured numerous other models in the same finish previously, but this W201 is a unique sighting for us. The paint condition appears excellent from the photos and we can only hope it's all original without paint meter readings.
Next, as this is a final year (1993) model, there's a bit more value to be had from a collector's standpoint. While the W201 was offered for 11 years beginning in 1982, its most refined (and likely most collectible) base-model iteration would no-doubt be the 1993 in future market settings. The fact that Mercedes never really updated or "facelifted" the W201 properly, also gives it a somewhat unique standing amongst other MBs of the era.
Finally, the 65,000 mile odometer reading is rare for a W201 because these were "entry-level" MBs during their release and often used for commuting or daily driving by their aspirational owners; rarely were they garaged and Sunday driven like the flagship sedans or cabriolets in the 1980s-90s MB lineup.
The seller claims that this is a single-family owned car, and the condition supports that notion, but some more digging into documentation (and hopefully some service records) would be helpful.
Like the "Baby Benz" itself was originally intended, the seller's asking price is also somewhat aspirational at nearly $10,000 in the present market, but we don't think its far off the mark considering many of the pristine examples have all been snatched up. Plus, this color combo and year is only a plus for this particular car. In any case, this listing is certainly worth a second look...a rare phrase for a 190E that you may start hearing more in the coming years as values begin to creep up.