For car aficionados, while the E30 BMW M3 is in a category of its own, it’s hard to ignore the impact and cult status Mercedes-Benz brought with its 3-Series contender: the 190E. Here, in a stunning example supplied by Petrolicious and owner Del Necessary, the boxy 4-door relic from the ’80s sports car world proves to be the definition of a sleeper. Yes, the car has a minuscule-for-modern-times 167 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 7.8 seconds, but the true charm lies in the engine, as developed by British racing company Cosworth with loosely-based F1 technology. Thus, its high-revving motor, flared wheel arches, dog-leg gearbox (where 1st gear is positioned to the bottom left and therefore 2nd and 3rd are straight up and down for optimal shifting) and early adoptions of ABS and air bags propelled the 190E to legendary automotive status.
Check out the video above and for more Petrolicious, be sure to watch last week’s episode on the Nissan Skyline DR30.