A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £120,375
Twenty-five years ago, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II thrilled professionals and the general public alike when it was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. Legend has it that the limited run of 502 cars were all sold pre-launch, possibly squirrelled away by international car collectors. The long-standing rivalry between BMW and Mercedes-Benz was carried over into motor racing and helped to hone some of the greatest Touring Cars of the era. The Evo II was set the unenviable task of beating one of the most successful racing saloons of all time, the BMW E30 M3. A compromise was out of the question and the Mercedes 'Touring Car', developed for Group A racing using this sports saloon as a basis, went on to acquire legendary status in a number of national championships. Mercedes-Benz took the first three places in the DTM championship in the 1992 season with this vehicle, which was referred to succinctly as the "Evo II". The engine's output had been raised once again in comparison to the first Evolution model from the previous year, and was now generating 235 horsepower. Top speed was 250 km/h, and the Evo II accelerated from a standing start to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds. The body had also undergone further refinement on an aesthetic and aerodynamic level and the car's sporting pedigree was emphasised by its muscular stance. The Evo II's bodykit is perhaps the most outrageous ever applied to a production car and the fact it was a product of the ultra-conservative world of early-nineties Mercedes-Benz is even more incredible. Its ostentatious, fully adjustable, rear spoiler was aerodynamically perfect and the front splitter would make a decent job of cutting the grass. However, despite outward appearances, the Evo II is seriously comfortable and totally tractable in daily use. The car we are offering today is number 28 of 500 in 'Blauschwarz', a striking combination of blue-black metallic paint. The interior remains largely identical to a highly specified 190E of the period, however, Black Anthracite leather, wood trim and a couple of discreet touches show how special this car is. All Evo IIs had their production numbers on the dog-leg gear stick and fortunately, considering the proximity of the front spoiler to the tarmac, the full SLS suspension allows the ride height to be adjusted from an interior switch. The options ordered when new included, air conditioning, a fire extinguisher, rear mounted loudspeakers and heated front seats, luxuries of which a Ferrari Scuderia driver could only dream. This German registered car has had five previous owners, with the penultimate owner, who sold the car through us in 2015, purchasing #28 direct from the third owner who was reducing his extensive car collection. The service book has three stamps at the correct intervals, and the original Mercedes-Benz factory stickers are present in the windscreen. The seats have the patina of regular but careful use, with some rubbing to the leather of the seat bolsters, a common issue with all cars of this type featuring supportive seats. Having bought the car from us our vendor undertook a program of light corrective works by race engineers Stancombe Vehicle Engineering and the bodywork was cosmetically enhanced by Harris Coachworks. The car joined our vendor's extensive and varied car collection and he has had his eighteen months of enjoyment with it, adding a mere 2,000 kilometres to the odometer since July 2015. We are happy to note that Silverstone Auctions has had significant success with the Mercedes Evolution II, with £300,000 achieved in February and £180,000 in September of this year. The car is presented to auction with a UK registration, a fresh MOT and an odometer reading of some 41,000 kilometres or a mere 25,500 miles, absolutely ready for its next lucky owner.