Thanks for the info, what a relief ! BTW, the car is a 96 C200, 134 hp, 5 speed manual with 55,000 miles. I doubt that this engine exists in the US, but is very common in Europe due to the high cost of gasoline. I live in Rome and a liter cost over $4 (over $4.5 per imperial gallon). Ever heard of C180 ? lots of them as well.
When I hit the rev limiter, I was doing 150 km/hr (94 mph) on 3rd gear. The power of the engine is acceptable in low gears, but is quite good on high gears. On a trip to Germany, at 210 km/hr (131 mph) on 5th with the A/C on and 4 people, the car felt it still has some more to give, but I chickened out.