Are you aware that this year marks the 35th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz revealing its W201 compact executive? Yep, 35 years, and to these eyes at least it's looking better than ever inside and out - although clearly there may be a hint of bias attached to that statement.

A little recap, if you will. After its reveal late in 1982, Mercedes initially offered the W201 as a 190 or 190E, both with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, but with the 'E' featuring electronically controlled injection rather than a carburettor and hence getting more power. Later, in 1983, a 'whisper diesel' 190D model joined the range, although it probably seemed more of a whisper then than it does now. By 1984, things had got a bit more interesting with the introduction of the 16v four-cylinder 2.3-litre petrol which had a giddy 182bhp and a Cosworth cylinder head. 

Then came a six-cylinder petrol in 1987, a sleepy but refined 2.6-litre, although the famous Cosworth four-cylinder 2.5-litre unit of 1988's facelift demands more attention - it's the engine that was tinkered with further before being fitted to the limited-run Evo DTM homologation models.

But then came the big one; in 1990, just before its second facelift, Mercedes' colossal 108bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine arrived, banishing carburettors from Mercedes' cars forever more and being used in precisely zero sporting capacities. A sad tale. 

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By 1993 and the end of production, nearly 1.9 million cars had left the factory, and to mark that achievement and its anniversary, I thought I'd put a call in to the lovely people at Mercedes-Benz UK, who I happened to know have their very own heritage 190E. And here it is: RIL 7664 (I've no idea), a 2.0-litre model in jaw-dropping white over grey. Okay, okay, I'll stop it now. But in all seriousness, it was a pleasant surprise to see a matching white 190E, if only because it have me a chance to see how my paintwork should look.