Brabus 190E 3.6S | Tuning Legend

‘Never meet your heroes’ is an overused term, yet almost everybody seems to believe in it. For petrol heads (or gear heads in the US) that would lead to never driving the cars you dreamt about as a kid to avoid bitter disappointment. So, when the manufacturer of one of my childhood dream cars invited me to come over to the factory for a guided tour, to have lunch and then finally drive a hero from days gone by, I should have declined right? Yea right!

To the untrained eye this little red sedan might look like a regular Mercedes 190 that was modified over the weekend by an overly enthusiastic amateur mechanic. Only very few know that this is actually one of the most important cars in the of history of one of the most important Mercedes-Benz tuning companies. Brabus was established in 1977 by Klaus Brackman and Bodo Buschmann and they both took the first three letters of their last name to form the company name. They started to make a reputation very rapidly and customers from all over the world became interested in their engine swaps and lavishly equipped interiors. After stuffing a 276 bhp V8 from an S-class into a 190 ‘baby Benz’ in 1984 the company tried a different approach in 1988. Instead of using an almost standard engine from a larger model series they chose to go lightweight this time and used a three litre straight six as a base engine, although this still came from the S-Class. That sounds like going backwards, but it was only the first step in a process, that would eventually make Brabus the leading force in Mercedes-Benz tuning.


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