There’s something about a boxy car that just pulls me towards them. The Mercedes 190E is one of the handful or European machines that I have loved for a long time. It has definitive 80’s stylings both inside and out, which to me create a timeless look. I had the pleasure of owning one for over a year and when working on it I got the chance to appreciate the technological advances that were available at the time. Even though mine had the sluggish 8 valve engine and auto trans I loved the way it handled in the city streets, highway and even my drives through the canyon in Chino Chills. Sadly I parted with the car but I knew that one day I’d definitely be interested in purchasing another and putting it together as more of a track car.
Around the time of me owning mine there was an article on SpeedHunters about a dude who goes by the name Kei Miura and his then Tra-Kyoto brand of aero. In the photo spread there was a shot of the outside of his shop and there was a 190E parked up and at that point I was excited to see what kit was going to come out and I told myself I’d save up whatever amount it would be and put it on my car, at least that was the dream at the time.
If this is a factory manual gearbox then it only makes the base of this car even cooler because I can tell you from personal experience that its hard to find one, at least in SoCal.
Fast forward 6 years since that article and the kit is finally available to the public. Now under the name Pandem, there is a completed aero kit that Miura-san came up with for this chassis. I had the chance to see it up close and in person at this past Tokyo Auto Salon and it was absolutely worth the wait. This kit flows with the boxy shape of the car and it’s nice to see it with the duckbill rather than a giant GT style wing. It didn’t even need all kinds of canards and huge wheels to give it a more “aggressive” presence, it looks tough as is.
I felt the only way to do this 80’s car justice is to whip out a period correct camera so I trusted that the Fuji DL-400 would produce some cool images, and I couldn’t have imagined that this $2 point and shoot would some of my favorite TAS images, and pretty much my favorite shots from this entire trip to Japan.
Extra Pandem display vehicles
Mazda RX7 (FC)
BMW 3 Series (E30)