Well, hello there. I’m going to tell you a story of true love. I think by now that we all know how painful love is. You can’t have love without hate. Sometimes a deep, deep hatred to the point of wanting to lobotomize yourself just to make you forget how painful love is. That’s not just me, right? Well the only thing that makes me feel the rollercoaster of love more than anything, is my baby, my 1987 Mercedes 190e 2.3 16v Cosworth. Let me tell you about this car. This car is the best. This car is the worst. This car is the only reason that the winner of last year’s eEuroparts Love Stories had his car. If this beautiful piece of machinery was never produced, BMW would have never been scared enough to make the comparatively unreasonably famous M3.
My cossie is 1 of 751 that were imported to America in 1987, with only 1,202 imported the year before. So just under 2,000 were ever imported to the U.S, besides all they grey market cars from years prior. This is one of the reason I’m in love. Not because it’s rarer than any of your generic mass produced cars that you’re driving in, rather that it has so much character. Character is what makes your car awesome. The character gives it a soul, and a car’s soul is the true value.
I don’t care how fast your car is, how much you paid for it, whatever build you’re doing, I care about its soul. I care about your relationship with what should be, the other half of yourself. Although the Merc will leave me stranded sometimes, I will never abandon her. I will put weeks and weeks into her, trying to get her just right, and then after a few days of driving, will be right back where I started. Guess what? Those few days make it so worth it.
Figure out she’s a she yet? Well, she is. Let’s talk about the beginning of my relationship with her. It all started back when my 1990 190e 2.6 was tragically killed right in front of my poor, now feeble eyes. Some very old lady pulled right in front of me when I was going +60mph. Totaled. Just like that, my high school sweet heart was gone. However, luckily, life moves on and I found my life long soul mate, my cossie.
Months after the wreck, I had my insurance money, and some income tax money and was able to buy not only my new girl, but have enough left over to ship her from California all the way to Florida. At the ripe old age of 19, I found the car that I’m going to have for the rest of my life, my wife. The sad thing is I was pretty hard on her at first, she was who taught me how to drive stick, right off the shipping truck.
Interestingly enough, the 190e Cosworth has a Getrag dogleg transmission. Most people find it very strange. For me though, anything else is strange. It’s what I learned how to drive stick on, so it just feels natural. The Cossie was designed for DTM, so the most functional shift pattern would be to have 2nd and 3rd able to bang from one to the other in the quickest succession. Even if you’re not racing, just city driving, I still find it more beneficial because 2nd and 3rd are used so much. I love it.
(editors note: A dogleg transmission shift pattern is where 1st is directly under reverse, and the 1st to 2nd shift is up and over. This moves the 2nd and 3rd gear to be right above and below each other, which is much more useful in sporty driving since you go between 2nd and 3rd far more often then 1st to 2nd)
Unfortunately my shifter is older than myself, and its appearance makes it evident. Another cool thing that Mercedes did for the Cosworth is include an oil temp gauge, a lap timer, and a voltage meter which can be seen in the picture.
Here we are four years into our existence together, and we both have learned a lot. I may have been an abusive partner at the beginning, but she taught me to be gentle, hell, she taught me how to love. Aggression gets you nowhere, it will actually put you behind. That’s the main thing she taught me so far, the turtle always wins the race. I’m pretty sure I taught her determination and to not care about what people think of her.
She isn’t as pretty as the first day we laid eyes on each other, she might have a few more dents, maybe missing a few panels, and her parts might be hurting due to her mature age. This means nothing to her anymore, she just cares about the one person who loves her most and that’s why she continually gets stronger, faster, and better.