It seems as if the R107 SL is fast becoming the next hot classic from Mercedes-Benz, with values increasing steadily, if not quickly, over the last couple of years. The most preferred models in the US tend to be the late production 560SLs, manufactured from 1986 through 1989, bringing to a close one of the longest production runs in Mercedes-Benz history. This Smoke Silver 1989 560SL is one of the nicest I’ve seen in quite some time, complimenting that impressively presented 300TD we featured earlier today for Wagon Week.
We always want what we can’t have and so it goes in the automotive realm. So many great foreign cars have been forbidden to US customers over the years that you could write a book. Last week we featured a tastefully modified 1981 BMW 323i and now hot on its heels comes another 1981 323i, one which was treated to an impressive restoration. For sale in Wisconsin, I could spend all day pouring over the details on this one, from the headlamp wipers to the houndstooth fabric. This is one well executed refurbishment.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW 323i on eBay
You’ve probably noticed, but we have a few favorite specialty dealers here on GCFSB. One of which is 4Star Classics in Hampshire County, England. These folks really take the extra mile to present their vehicles well without making them overly glossy, which is a mistake made by many a forecourt. Good pictures and a comprehensive history go a long way towards moving the metal. So, continuing on with Wagon Week, let’s take a look at this immaculate 300TD for sale by this very dealer with under 40,000 miles. These are cars known for racking up epic mileage, so at this rate, we’re basically dealing with a new car in W123 terms. For fans of rowing their own, this is tasty number, as it comes equipped with a 4-speed manual; something we didn’t see much on these shores. Care to make a statement on the school run? This will have the hipsters drooling with envy.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD at 4Star Classics
About a week ago, Paul sent me a link to Daily Turismo which was reviewing this very Audi Coupe GT. In the comments were the all too predictable Audi stereotypes; nothing electric will work, it’s overpriced, not worth getting unless its a quattro, I didn’t maintain mine well and so it was unreliable, etc.. The truth about the GT could not be farther from those descriptions; those that have driven them almost always report enjoying the experience, and those that have owned them and have moved on still pontificate how great of a car they are. To me, it’s cars like this that exactly underscore what’s wrong with the e30 market – here’s a very nicely styled, classic GT car. It’s well balanced and fun to drive. For the purists, it’s a 5-speed and has a race-bred soundtrack. They’re notoriously long-lived, with many (including this author’s) well in excess of 200,000 miles. There simply isn’t much electronic equipment to break on them. Yet, even a shining example such as this can be had for only $2,500:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Craigslist
We’ve gotten some flak lately whenever we post a non-German car, so I fully expect to be reminded that the brand Bristol does, in fact, not originate from Germany. Okay, now that we’re over that hump, why is this heap of a Bristol here? Well, if you’re in the know, you already are aware why the Bristol 400 and 401 might make an appearance here; if you’re not, prepare for a bit of a history lesson. Post World War II, many British companies moved in to run German businesses or took advantage of some of the very advanced designs. Two in particular, Frazier-Nash and Bristol Aeroplane Company, involved themselves with BMW. Now, pre-World War II, BMW in truth wasn’t much of an automobile producer. However, BMW had great success with motorcycles especially in the early to mid 1930s, and the success of both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz spurred BMW’s efforts in sports cars. They ended up producing some fairly stunning designs right before the outbreak of the war, including the Mille Miglia-winning 328 sports car. Featuring a lightweight body and stout 2 liter inline-6, the 328 was an instant fan favorite. The success of BMW’s sporting car designs didn’t go unnoticed by the British companies; notably, BAC decided to develop its “own” car based upon the BMW designs. They utilized the BMW 326 chassis and 328 engine to create a larger grand touring car than the 328 had been. Outside, park it next to a BMW 327 and the Bristol appeared to be nearly a identical copy. Bristol didn’t even bother to hide the lineage, proudly displaying the distinctive kidney grill BMW fans are so familiar with. While the 401 started to deviate the styling slightly from the 400 it replaced, outwardly early models just appeared to be slightly refined and still showed a very similar design to the BMW 327: