WORDS: DANIEL ALLARD | PHOTOGRAPHY: JONNY SMITH
VIDEOGRAPHER: SCOTT PATTENDEN | OWNER: James Shelvey
In March we ventured up north to Telford for the "start" and quite possibly end of the show season if Covid-19 has its way. Whilst in that neck of the woods we dropped in to see James and his simplistic yet stunning W201.
The W201 has become somewhat a stable favourite within the modified community and it's pretty easy to see why. They're robust, reliable, cheapish and have that classic boxy late 80's, early 90's look down to a T.
When we normally do these articles we try and go into detail of what's gone into the build but in this case, James has left the exterior completely bone stock, even building the RS's to retain the stock arches and not having to roll them!. With a car as clean as this one we think this is a clever move to retain the car's value and appeal if James was ever to sell. The other point to consider when buying a Mercedes of this era is they're slowly appreciating in value and becoming collectible. The only subtle mod carried out by James was adding a W108 flag pole using some custom brackets, rather than making a statement it was chosen for being shorter and would sit lower than the front wing.
The suspension setup on Mercedes 190e is quite a complicated set up so when our type starts fiddling, it throws out the geometry by some margin. This then leaves you with a big decision to make, alter, or make your own arms or splash out on some spanky new ones made by a reputable company. James got in touch with the guys from Only Charged Dubs and ordered some of their front arms and whilst he was at it he fitted Powerflex poly bushes to the complete suspension set up. With the Only Charged Dubs double bellow airbags and MTS super short shocks fitted it was time to hook them up to the Airlift 3P management system and for James to finally see the car kiss the floor.
Often replicated and very much imitated, the BBS RS is the go-to wheel for most people that are looking to keep it clean and "simple". The word simple is quite often attached to a build when keeping it clean but it's far from simple to achieve a build of this level. To get a car to sit like this whilst maintaining a decent ride and to keep the arches untouched is a difficult balancing act some may say a fine art when achieved. Another fine touch that could be overlooked is even though the setup may look slighting staggard the widths are actually the same keeping the tyre symmetry the same, something James was keen to achieve.
Unlike the exterior, the interior is currently halfway through having a makeover. James doesn't feel at home unless he's firmly nestled in a Recaro so a pair Reyland Motorsports confetti seats were sourced. Not forgetting the rear bench James managed to find one from a 190E Cosworth including headrests, the rear bench is also manufactured by Recaro so once James gets the interior retrimmed in cream tweed it will almost look like the set were made together from factory.
With James having a bit of luck locating the 190E Cosworth rear bench he also managed to find a Mercedes-Benz Zebrano wooden trim steering wheel which matches the dash, The perfect period-correct touch. Lastly to finish off the boot build the seamless air tank will be painted body colour.
The Break Room.
It's not very often we get to visit sites when shooting and when we do we sometimes get a nice surprise, When visiting James we headed to his work and were met with one of the best break rooms we have had the pleasure of witnessing. The biggest Scalextric circuit, a heap of awesome automotive memorabilia and a view of their storage facility which houses some unique motors, to say the least!
Huge thank you to James and CEAutomotive for having us and we look forward to seeing James other projects in the near future.