A little anecdote for the the A-class Fans out there.... Most of us know the difficult birth the A-class had, and it's reputation reminded me of the 'rusting Fiat' one. I have had 4 so far, the first being a '99 A190 Avantgarde with the ACS. Everyone hated it but I loved it, it never gave problems. There after it was 3 A210 Evolutions, an ex demo A210 back 2004, with every option box ticked, the 2 current 2002 ones I have now. These cars are now some of the rarest Mercedes cars around today. That makes them worthy of a future classic status in my mind. Sadly most of them now have been driven into the ground by (and I choose my words carefully, mostly but not limited to) the housewife while the husband drive the C, E, S-classes. As a result, most of the remaining examples are in a poor state. When I started the hunt for the 2 we now own, I saw a number of them and the wheels were all ruined, the bodywork was dented and scratched, the grey leather and white Alcantara wasn't white anymore and all of them had signs of kids trashing the back seat area! I was tempted to go over to Germany where they seemed to ha e cherished their A210s far more than us Brits have but their cars still command really high prices. I found our 2 down south (we're in the Highlands) where they won't have been exposed to the kind of winters we have. I have steadily restored them into the condition they now find themselves in now. Wheel refurbishment etc. I favour the 'factory look' myself therfore the mods I have done to mine are subtle but have transformed the car into something so much better - Mainly in the chassis department. Their ride was always terribly harsh therefore I've fitted a set of 30mm lowered H&R progressive springs, coupled with Bilstein B6 sport shocks has transformed the quality of the ride. Still firm but not crashy. This isn't a full blown sports car but it now handles like a quality sporty Mercedes should. I've also increased the negative camber slighlty to which has helped with its torque steer and has the added bonus of giving it quite and agressive stance. 10mm wheel spacers front and rear add to that look and lastly I've uprated the brakes with a good set of pads on new Pagid discs (EBC Greenstuff). Very little brake dust, which MB are renound for, and being such a light car, powerful stopping power now. I haven't done any motor mods just yet, they're not very tuneable sadly, maybe 20hp without a massive dent in the wallet, but a second motor in the back a la A38 AMG? It's in my head, whether it makes in from there into the car is uncertain at this point! It's lightweight so the, what these days seems a bit meager, 140hp from its 2.1l engine makes it relatively lively enough for our busy speed camera ridden roads! I'm glad to say that both mine have not suffered from the kind of reliability problems I've read about. Is that because I am mechanically minded and sympathetic? Don't know but aside from normal wear and tear they are as reliable as any Merc. Certainly having spent time as a mechanic at a Mercedes-Benz, BMW dealer, the amount of warranty work I saw being carried out on newer MBs my 2002 models are no less susceptible to breakages. There are some great sources of information available for these cars, one I really like is Albert Rowes website. My A210 project continues, I'll keep you posted.