Out of the 2,200+ condemned vehicles I photographed in demolition sites over the years the one with the most reliable mileage I have found has been a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E gasoline engine with over 600,000 miles on the clock (the highest UNtrustworthy odometer i saw living in a 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Cabrio with 930,000 miles). Today’s Junkyard Gem – also found in the San Francisco Bay Area – is the same year, make and model of W201 Class Ceven down to the same white refrigerator paint… but it’s a clean, low-mileage machine that has never even budged the 100,000 number on the odometer in its 34-year life.
That’s right, barely 83,890 miles! Maybe the speedometer or its cable broke early in its career, but VDO makes great gauges and Mercedes-Benz never cut back on components such as speedometer cables.
The interior is just gorgeous too, and it’s after endure all the harsh treatment that dump cars receive before they even reach the yard.
Sure, the MB-Tex leatherette is absolutely indestructible, but these seats don’t even get scuffed.
The 600,000-mile 190E had the 2.3-liter gasoline engine and manual transmission, while the latter has the 2.3 and most common (in North America) four-speed automatic. Maybe the drivetrain is the component that ended this car’s driving career.
This engine produced 130 horsepower in 1987, while you could get 158 or 190 horsepower in the 2.6-liter six-cylinder model and the 2.3-16 four-cylinder Cosworth car (respectively).
Why did he end up here? We’ll never know. All the grime outside and in the engine bay suggests long-term exterior storage before you get here.
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