Junkyard Find: 2003 Mercedes C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
European luxury cars depreciate quickly once they leave the hands of careful first and second owners and start being treated like throwaway rusty Chevy Malibus or Daewoo Leganzas. For this reason, I see more S-Classes than C-Classes in big self-service wrecking yards, and the coupe version of the W203 is an especially unusual Junkyard Find.Here’s one that crashed hard and now ends its days in a Denver-area junkyard.
For 2003, this car had a supercharged, all-aluminum four-cylinder engine that displaced 1.8 liters and made 189 horsepower. Some junkyard shopper has grabbed the blower, a move I understand very well.
If I ever see one of these C230 Kompressors in such a place, with the engine in good shape and the six-speed manual transmission behind it, I will be tempted to buy parts for a stupid engine swap. I think a ratty late-1970s Fiat 124 Sport Spider would be fun with this powertrain.
The interior still has some good stuff, and I don’t see the BIOHAZARD stickers slapped on by tow-truck crews who find icky bodily fluids after a bad wreck. Some of these bits will live on in other C-Classes.
These cars were cheap by Mercedes-Benz standards, with C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe MSRPs starting at $25,670 (just a bit under $35,000 in 2017 inflato-bucks). American-market sales suffered the same fate as those of the affordable BMW 318ti hatchback of previous decade, as U.S. shoppers who can tolerate coupes and want high-end European iron tend to want something both faster and more flashy.
Ouch! A sad end to a rare-but-not-valuable Mercedes-Benz coupe in Cubanite Silver paint.
Now on sale!
Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Feb 12, 2018

    These $26,000 cars were pieces of crap. What was Mercedes doing at the shallow end of the pool? Reminds me of "Mondeo" Jaguars, which, frankly, I'd take over this. I've been in these and they were the epitome of cost cutting.

  • Lon888 Lon888 on Feb 15, 2018

    A female co-worker bought one of these new. Once the warranty ran out and it started costing her a gazillion dollars a month to keep it pristine looking, she eventually let go to hell. That cheap German plastic interior looked like crap after 5 years...

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