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Two Legends, But Who’s God? E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Before you roll your eyes and yawn at yet another BMW E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth article, consider the prospect of the latter catching up (and dare I say it, surpassing) the BMW in “want” factor. Thanks to the perpetually changing ‘what’s hot”, “what’s not” nature of the automotive world, factoring in the whole Drift/Hipster/Retro movements, could the old Merc capture a little more cool factor and equal that of the Ultimate Driving Machine?

Again, before you write this obvious contender off, a car well known for its performance and constantly compared to the E30, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth boasts both a great back story and amazing racing heritage – the Merc also features the uber cool dog-leg gearing.

Although both cars are luxury German sedans, both powered by a naturally-aspirated in-line 4 engines, both RWD, both punching out around 190-bhp with 170+ft.lbs of torque, their prices differ rather dramatically.

BMW E30 M3  King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

BMW E30 M3 King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

A decent BMW E30 M3 will start at around £25K, where a mint 190E Cosworth will set you back only £12-15K. I’ve seen mint E30 M3s go for as much as £40K, with track-spec examples hitting £100K.

Another factor to consider in is how good a car looks drifting. Obviously the E30s look incredible, both agile and sinister, and because of its perfect balancing, fantastic impersonating a crab. I think the E30 looks more like a racecar than the Mercedes, the latter thought more as a businessman’s chariot.

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

What some may forget are the glory days when Mercedes and BMW duked it out in European Touring Cars – the 190E Cosworth was a winning car, a force that drove BMW to create the M3 in the first place. In fact, the Merc was so good, Ayrton Senna bought one after winning a 1984 Nurburgring race – check out the 190E in action in the video below.

So with its boxy retro looks, its track abilities, its ability to drift and perform on track, could the 190E see its desirability and value increase?

If you’re still not convinced or sure, Motor Trend did an in depth video on the Germans, so take a look and let me know what car you’d rather see in your garage.

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When Cars Were Built To Last Along With Their Style

Modern Cars

If you were to walk through a crammed car park whilst blurring your eyes, you’d be hard pressed to single out brands and models from a distance. The modern automobile – the majority of – has started to take on generic features and angular lines. Manufacturers like their cars to look mean from the front, which usually entails angry and slanted headlights combined with a sporty bumper. Whilst the average grocery-getter looks far better than the grocery-getter of yesteryear, cars have lost their individuality.

Mercedes-Benz 190e

This post stems from the video below and my love of old school German cars. Although I haven’t owned the gorgeous 280, I’ve owned a few Mercedes W124s and a 190E like the one pictured above.

Not only are they unbreakable and a joy to drive, their aesthetic design is simple yet beautiful – no aggressive lines, no day-running lights and LEDs, not in the least ‘messy’.

German car doors slamming with a solid and reassuring “thunk” may be a cliche, but it is very true. All the older Mercs I’ve owned were pushing 25 years old, but all of the electrics, switches and mechanics worked. Take a look at the 280 in the video below and take in the simple lines and gorgeous interior. It’s no powerhouse or sports car, but to me it represents what the average car should look like.

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Fall From Grace: Mercedes 280ce

The car above is everything I love about cars. Affectionally known as Grace, the beautiful Mercedes has a few tricks under her dress. From the image above you see a wonderfully cared for 1972 Mercedes 280ce, a car anyone would be proud to be seen driving around town. However, approach her and dare to get a little personal and you’ll see there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

As you can see, someone has gifted her some rather nice black shoes and Pirelli rubber. Her stance has been altered to lift her gorgeous rear end, and just look at the results. Like I said, this is what I personally like about cars, and whilst I respect 100% originality in restorations, I also love tasteful customisations – if you were to purchase Grace, all the original parts come with her, like it or not.

Grace has personality and charm. She’s from a time when cars were beautiful and expected to last longer than 10 years. Her drivetrain has been fully rebuilt and virtually all of her working parts have either been reconditioned or replaced. I guess you could call her a resto-mod as some of the parts are new and the overall finish clearly shows off some modern touches.

Grace is pretty yet menacing, beautiful yet dangerous, and I have fallen head over heals for her. I think if I owned her, I’d like to shoehorn the 6.3-L AMG lump and make her a true Sleeper. If you want Grace in your garage, check out the link below. Oh, and just like all beautiful women, she’s not cheap.

Gorgeous Grace

Stephen King’s New Killer Car Is A Mercedes

king

Stephen King is my favourite horror author and such an inspiration I started writing and publishing my own fiction, actually managing to appear alongside some of my other favourite authors in various anthologies. If you’ve delved into the world of Stephen King, you’ll know he likes cars. Everyone knows his novel and movie adaption, Christine – the 1958 Plymouth Fury that could murder and heal itself.

Some other stories featuring cars include From a Buick 8, a strange car whose trunk is a portal to an H.P. Lovecraft world of weird leathery bat like creatures. Uncle Otto’s Truck is a superb short story in which a static truck manages to kill one last time. Maximum Overdrive tells the tale of what it would be like if all the big trucks in the world came alive and started rounding up and hunting humans – the movie adaption didn’t receive the best reviews, but I loved it and it’ll remain a guilty pleasure.

There are more, including Dolan’s Cadillac and Riding The Bullet (pic above), both adapted to film and both brilliant. I highly recommend watching them, or better still, reading them.

His latest novel hitting the shelves in early June is entitled Mr Mercedes. When I received news of this I could barely contain my excitement as I searched for more information on the plot – I wasn’t disappointed:

Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

I’m a fan of Mercedes and have owned an SLK 350, two W124s and one 190e sport. The old school Mercs were the best and I really hope the killer car is one of the older models – black, of course, with tinted windows.

This will no doubt make it to film, and I for one, can’t wait to see it repeatably run people down…

 

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A Fish Out Of Water At The Nurburgring

I only needed to see the video preview picture to gasp and frantically click the link and wait an unbearable 30 seconds of advert before it would begin.

This video features David Coulthard teaming up with Chris Harris to race a classic Mercedes 220 Fintail around the Nurburgring.

The car is pretty standard apart from upgraded suspension, and with 140-bhp to shift its 1400KG mass, I was a little surprised to see Chris Harris’ disappointment when Coulthard said it was useless going up the hill – what the hell were they expecting?

I think it looks amazing, and with those black wheels it conveys a look of menace, something very street car. I’d love to cruise around town in one – I adore old school Mercs, having owned an E220, a 260E and a 190E.

Perhaps they should fix a light to the Fintail’s roof and use it as recovery car. If I crashed out, I’d like nothing better than to cruise back in such an old luxurious classic.

This glorious car also ticks all the boxs in the modern era for modification. Because of its classic looks and fintails, it works very well as a lowrider.

I can also see a beaten up example partly restored and turned into a rat. The old girl would also make a great sleeper. There is room for a big engine up front, and with a few modern tweaks, it could handle pretty well. After all, 1400KG is pretty light in comparison to the Mercedes sedans we see today. In fact, the latest E220 weighs 378KG more – that’s a lot. With coil over suspension and an engine/drivetrain capable of 230+ BHP, it would wipe the smile off many a face. To keep it all Merc, perhaps shoehorn the 190E Cosworth unit into it? Now that would be fun lining up against a boy racer at the lights 🙂

Wagons Are Cool

I’ve recently decided wagons are cool, and despite owning a WRX wagon, I’ve never really thought about them before. I have fond memories of lifting the rear door so my dogs could easily just hop in and have loads of room to fight whilst I tried to drive. The fact it was a WRX meant it didn’t even feel big; it effectively matches the saloon WRX in performance.

This all came about after I caught up with season 4 of Fast N’ Loud and watched an episode featuring a wagon made especially for NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although fairly rare now, Richard Rawlings found a decent 56 Chevy Nomad for Earnhardt Jr and let his bearded genius, Aaron Kaufman go to town it.

The colours were specifically chosen as a kind of homage to his sponsor Mountain Dew (energy drink). I think it looks fantastic, almost as good as their Sleeper wagon below.

Now this is undoubtedly cool. Gas Monkey Garage did an amazing job of keeping the car’s battle-scarred and weather-worn looks by treating the metal and simply clear-coating it. Stick on some wheels, slam it and insert a big engine and voilà!

Over in Europe, we have our own cool wagons (estates). Take this BMW 325i Touring above, for example. It’s a pretty sought after vehicle now, and back in the day was considered a different breed. Now you could fit a large family and the kitchen sink in the back of your car and still have plenty of performance at your disposal.

This concept obviously worked and other manufacturers caught on. Its success was down to practicality and the ability to maintain a “cool” status like the W124 above.

One of my favourite modern estates would have to be the Audi RS4. Around the turn of the century, this model gave the estate/performance concept a further kick in the pants with a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds!

Not only that, but it’s a real looker too. If I should happen to have kids (God forbid) and the wife demands a spacious means of transport, it’s this beast above I’ll come home with – I’ll look like the practical husband out shopping for the family, and at the same time I’ll be happy in the knowledge I could out drag a Porsche.

Fangio’s Mercedes Sells For A Record Price

Fangio's 1954 Mercedes

Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes

Considered by many as the greatest F1 driver ever, Juan Manuel Fangio’s legacy lives on as the W196 Mercedes he raced in 1954, the year he won his second World Championship, sold for a record price of £19.6 ($29.6M) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s auction.

This amazing piece of racing history was one of two produced at Fangio’s request without covered wheels so he could position the car more accurately on the track while driving.

This is the most valuable car ever sold at auction, beating the 2011 sale price of a Ferrari by £9.6M. It is the highest price ever fetched by an F1 car or a Mercedes of any kind.