Debuting at the end of the 1990s, the BMW Z8 arrived during a time when carmakers were exploring the retro styling theme, such as Volkswagen with their New Beetle and Ford with their revived Thunderbird. The Z8 was meant to harken back to the 1950s during the heyday of the 507, a limited production V8 roadster that made an impact with its dramatic styling. Fast forward to 1999 and the Z8 arrived with a V8, this time shared with the E39 M5. The engine was placed aft of the front axle for optimum weight distribution. One innovation the car employed was neon lighting for its tail lamps and turn signals. This was perhaps an answer to what modern day LED lighting can offer. Most Z8s you come across are silver, but this Topaz Blue over red leather example is a real eye-catching combination.
Another day, another crisp SC Targa found down in Florida. This one is a real head turner as it is covered in rather rare Schwarz Metallic paint. The ad says it can appear Slate Grey in certain light, black or even brown at other times. I think I saw a 911 with this paint a few years back at a meet but didn’t realize it was so special at the time. Also could have been my eyes playing tricks on me, hard tellin no knowin I suppose.
Anyhow, I thought this ’79 Targa deserved some attention as it features not only a unique exterior but a very clean, very pretty Cork interior. This is certainly among my favorite color combinations for a 911, I think it works particularly well on this era. The leather on the dash and on the front seats is new and the Targa top has been reupholstered with OEM material as well. From a visual stand point this vehicle appears to need nothing and the mechanical side of the equation also seems to be balanced. Brand new tie rods and steering rack boots were recently installed, the seller notes that the A/C squeals at bit at start up but from what I’ve read that’s both rather common on these cars. Whether or not it is an easy fix is beyond me but if it was my car, I would keep the A/C off and the top popped to keep cool.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911 SC Targa On eBay
As much as we discuss 80s M car values getting pulled up by the E30 M3, they aren’t insane yet. There are still some great drivers out there for the same price as a brand-new economy car, which will always be a great argument for getting adventurous and buying a fun classic. This 140k-mile example isn’t the cream puff some middle-mileage examples have been, but it’s pretty well sorted with enough minor blemishes to keep the price in check. Buying an E28 M5 for reasonable money has been one of the most educational and fun experiences in my car-loving life, and this one is a good opportunity to get a decent driver without breaking the bank.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
Here we have a very fine example of a car I still think falls into the drastically underrated category despite its reputation amongst those in the know. The 1 Series is viewed by most as a Bangle era failure to modernize the formula that made BMW famous, a tightly packaged two door with a solid powerplant under the hood. While the 128i is no slouch, the 135i with its 300 hp twin-turbo inline-6 is the only spec I’d consider. Add in the M Sport package which gives the car six piston calipers up front, two piston calipers in the rear, a very nice perforated steering wheel/shift knob and super comfortable sport seats. I’ve sat in one of these cars with and without the M-Sport package and in opinion, the M Sport package is a must. Without it the 1 Series appears rather basic, especially the 2008 to 2010 pre-facelift models. Aside from visual tweaks that really tightened up the overall look of the car, from 2011-on the 135i got the N55 inline-6 which used a single twin-scroll turbocharger to make the same power as the N54 and its two turbochargers. While having a twin-turbo motor sounds cool, it’s really just one extra part to worry about. The N55 has less turbo lag, better low rev torque, lower emissions and is more fuel efficient than its predecessor. I’d call that a no contest victory.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 135i M Sport on AutoTrader
As we begin to close out Convertible Week here at GCFSB, let’s take a look at an example from the very first year of the 911 Cabriolet. Porsche had experimented with an open-top 911 far earlier with the release of the Soft-window Targa. Those models allowed for both an open top and open rear window while integrating a fixed rollhoop. I’ve never thought the design looked right and, I guess unsurprisingly, the Soft-window Targa eventually gave way to the hard-window Targa with which we are all very familiar. For a number of years that was it. Due to their concerns over safety regulations rendering the full convertible obsolete, Porsche never committed to making a true Cabriolet until the 911SC was ending its model run, more than 15 years after they first introduced the Soft-window Targa. That makes those first Cabriolets somewhat special as not only were they the first 911 Cabriolet to be produced, but they also happen to be the only year they were produced as a 911SC. That second point holds less weight with most people, but for someone who might have a preference for the SC over the 3.2 Carrera, options for open-top motoring dwindle quite quickly. The example we see here, an Indischrot 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, located in California, with 45,205 miles on it appears aimed at the collector crowd (at least based on how it’s been priced), though for someone who might want to spend a bit of time driving their Cabriolet there is enough mileage here to retain much of the long-term value even with some additional mileage each year.