It’s hard to get more European than a numbers-matching Mercedes 190E in showroom condition, doubly so if it has a Cosworth engine. To take some wrenches and intentionally alter such a perfect sports sedan is nothing short of sacrilegious for purists. But that doesn’t mean tuners in the US have to follow stuffy rules of antiquity. We build whatever suits our fancy around here. That’s why this Mercedes 190E in Central New York is special for a different reason than all the rest.
You won’t find a Cosworth engine or even a Mercedes-Benz engine under the hood of this restomod. Instead, it’s rocking the EcoBoost V6 beating heart of a second-generation Ford F-150 Raptor pickup. How on Earth did this happen? Thank no one else than Dom Tucci of Tucci Hot Rods in Marcy, New York. Just a ten-minute drive from the City of Utica, Tucci’s portfolio sports an impressive list of custom Fords, including but not limited to late-model Mustangs, Broncos, Maverics, and even an off-road conversion of the EcoSport econo-box.
But Tucci will soup up your ride pretty much regardless of what it left the factory as. That’s why it was no bother for them to try something a little different with the EcoBoost formula that served them so phenomenally in the recent past. Gone is whichever M102 straight-four or M103 straight-six was in this car previously. Using custom mounts, the EcoBoost V6 fits snugly under this 190E’s hood. But don’t think even for a second that this motor was staying stock. The aftermarket performance mods applied by Tucci Hot Rods make this an entirely different, more potent animal.
We’re talking about two BorgWarner EFT6758 turbochargers capable of handling in excess of 30psi of boost. That’s more than enough to squeeze out in the neighborhood of 700 horsepower to the tires out of this unique German-American restomod. It makes the old 190 Cosworth look downright slow by comparison. This leviathan of an engine is paired to a Bowler-Tremec TKX Carbon Edition five-speed manual gearbox mated to a twin-plate clutch kit from Advanced Clutch Technology. At the rear end, a Subaru STI differential with custom-fabricated axles takes care of the drive wheels in this radical take on a classic old Merc.
With a front suspension adapted from a kit meant for SN95 Mustangs with Wilwood Wuperlite four-piston calipers and 13-inch rotors all around, this is the kind of car that can carve corners like something decades older than itself. Thanks to its wealth of horsepower under the hood, it could probably drift its socks off until the rear tires are ready to go off like bombs from all the thrashing. Congrats to a plucky little shop like Tucci for building one of the meanest German restomods we’ve seen done stateside in ages.