After needing to sell the E34 BMW 5 Series to help fund my wedding earlier this year, the old-car itch became too much no sooner had the invoices for flowers and bunting stopped coming.
Much like before, I wasn't really after anything in particular, although 1990s Alfa Romeo Spiders and Audi Cabriolets were certainly a saved search. In fact, I've ended up with something completely different, and I couldn't be happier with it.
I didn't hang around with this one, though. I was next to the pool in Bali on my honeymoon, sifting through cheap cars online, when it popped up, and upon landing in the UK a couple of days later, I viewed it that same day and bought it the next.
It's a 1992 car, with 122,000 miles, although I'm told that's barely run in for one of these. Decent six-cylinder examples seemed few and far between, and the ones available were out of my price range. So, four cylinders it was, and in this case, a 1.8-litre petrol with automatic gearbox.
Even better, the previous owner had just spent a tidy sum giving it some TLC. New discs, new rear shocks, a new exhaust and a couple of new tyres had all been fitted within the past four months. It also has an MOT ticket until next June - not bad for a final haggled figure of £1300. That's a little more than I've spent in the past, but then I'm starting with a much more solid car.
Indeed, the interior is all original, in a very good state and extremely blue. The body, meanwhile, is just as solid, save for the nearside front wing, which has suffered minor rust and been repaired. In fact, all the paint needs a damned good buffing to bring it back to its best, but it's pretty good considering its 24 years of age.
I'm actually really impressed with just how together it feels to drive. It has a service book full of stamps and few MOT advisories, and it feels like a thoroughly well looked after car on the road. The engine is smooth, the gearbox the same once properly warm and its ride is sublime, thanks in part to those recent shocks and a full wheel balance.
But of course, the 190E isn't perfect. The first jobs are a new set of number plates, because the current ones are damaged, and a replacement windscreen, given that the current one is sporting a worryingly long crack and hefty chip. Before long, a couple more tyres will be needed, the radio aerial needs attention and I may even investigate sourcing and spraying a new front wing. The engine also takes a while to fire from cold, so we may have a temperature sensor fault or cold start injector issue. Time will tell, and I'll be back soon with an update.