Archive for August, 2008

3 BMW e21 323i For Sale Listings: When Did These Become Valuable?

These little 6 cylinder, gray market import BMW’s are coming out of the woodwork all of the sudden. Of course at these prices I’d sell too!

First up is this 79 in Southern California on eBay. It is no reserve with 5 days to go, and only at $500 so far. 5 days is a while, but I think the result will give us an actual idea of what kind of premium the 6 cylinder car worth. This particular example looks good from most angles, but the paint and bodywork that is mentioned needs to be investigated. It has some older looking cloth Recaro’s that look like they’re worth saving, and the Panasport look-a-likes (are they real?) are a nice touch. The faux Alpina badging is not.

Next up is this 83 I spotted about a week ago on the San Francisco Craigslist (which by the way, is a gold mine for rare and affordable, cars and motorcycles). This car looks like it had a fanatical owner who loved the car for quite a while. It includes all the right performance upgrades that make the car better without loosing balance or class. This is a great looking prospect, but the asking price is $11k. Considering decent e36 M3′s trade hands for a bit more than this, I think the seller is a bit optimistic. But I’d have a hard time taking less if I were the owner considering the work in.

Finally this 82 323i came up on Roadfly this morning. It has 90k miles, looks fully federalized with the U.S. Bumpers, and the ad states that everything works. The current owner serviced the car since new as a BMW certified tech and has owned the car personally since 89. Talk about known history! His asking is $14.5k. It’s a nice car, but I guess I am still stubborn that this was e30 M3 money as little as 5 years ago. Again though, if I were the owner, I don’t know that I could let it go for less. Might as well keep it!

So do we have a surge or correction in the 323i market or just some proud owners? While significantly nicer than garden variety 320′s, are they that much nicer? Weigh in with your experience and leave a comment below.

dc

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1989 Mercedes 560SEC Gemballa: The Definition of Gaudy!

There was a time when I thought Don Johnson, dayglo, and hair gel were all good ideas. And this Gemballa would’ve for sure been welcomed in my dream garage. Of course I was 14 at the time. Twenty years later, hmmmm, not so much. Gemballa modified cars are always over the top, but this one is so in your face!

1989 Mercedes 560SEC Gemballa on eBay

quote from eBay listing:

Introducing the legend of the eighties The Gemballa 560SEC, Where performance elegance and superiority all meet in this Fabulous and rare SEC, this Gemballa is one of 4 Gemballa,s Around the world known of existent and the only one that comes With black exterior and black / red interior all leather including Headliner which make it one of its kind, a rare digital cluster as
Well as many rare parts way ahead of its time. For so many years You can only see this rare car in a magazine or on a poster, but now it is available for those who love rare and special things in life.

From a collector’s view, it’s rare, hand built, and very unique. I’ll be curious to see if any real bids are made as it’s currently at ~$20k reserve not met.

dc

Very Low Miles 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

What a great looking, totally original, and super low miles car! This example has only 27k miles and did not sell at $17k:

1986 Porsche 944 Turbo For Sale by owner on eBay

Quote from sellers auction:

The color of this Porsche is a Titamium Metallic with black leather interior. The photos show it to have a bronze tint to it, but it doesn’t. As you can see it is in Excellent condition. I just had all the services done to it and completely gone through. Everything works. The AC blows hard and cold. The paint Excellent with just a few stone chips in the front. No accidents not even a door ding. I have the books and keys. Please give me a call if you have any questions.

I love the color combo of dark gray on black leather. And that leather looks brand new, even on the steering wheel. But if it didn’t sell for $17k, how much more is it worth? Leave a comment with your opinion.

dc

Porsche 944 Turbo Resources: Your Guide to 951 Information on the Web

The Porsche 944 Turbo, known internally at Porsche and amongst enthusiasts as the 951, is a performance bargain. Stunning examples can be had for the same kind of money as a well looked after BMW e36 M3′s. But suddenly I’m seeing prices lower than I’ve seen the past few years. Naturally it’s re-sparked my interest.

I have been a fan of the design and potential of the 944 series since high school. Stunning looks and genuinely German details combine with a perfectly balanced platform, 200+ hp, and final performance numbers that nearly rivaled even the mighty 911 Turbo of it’s day. Someone remind me again why I haven’t owned one of these?

For starters, they’re not exactly plentiful with only about 15,000 examples sold in the U.S. (though this could be good for U.S. investors willing to export as only 10,000 more were sold worldwide.) Couple that with the generous aftermarket offerings and the amazing potential for these cars to easily exceed 300whp with bolt on upgrades, and you may be hard pressed to find a well cared for example in the neighborhood. The easy numbers and low entry price have resulted in many cars falling into the hands of owners who weren’t prepared for the total price of ownership. And the market reflects it with a range of asking prices going as low as $6000ish for well used examples with high miles, to beyond $15k for low mileage and even more rare ‘S’ models with 247hp, upgraded suspension and other rarities standard. But somewhere in between lies a serious performance, racing pedigree’d, prestige bargain.

For what it’s worth, Excellence has updated values for the 944 Turbo in their April 2008 issue: 1986 models range from $7892 for a so-so car, to $12k for an excellent car. The last model year, 1989, as $11k – $16.9k.

Online Resources for Researching the 944 Turbo

Enthusiast Sites:

  • The 944 FAQ – A current and very comprehensive FAQ for the Porsche 924/944/968 series.
  • The Water Cooler – An enthusiast created one-stop-shop for everything 924/944/968.
  • Bill Underwood’s 944 World – A great enthusiast site with personal ownership experiences, buying guides, 944 FAQ, and even more links.

Other sites:

Porsche 944 Turbo Aftermarket Vendors

  • Lindsey Racing – Manufacturing proven and surprisingly affordable aftermarket products for the 944 Turbo and other Porsche models. They have a 270whp kit for under $1500!

Online Communities Supporting 944 Turbo Enthusiasts

  • Pelican Parts – This link should be listed in all the link categories shown here really. But I’m listing them here because not just because Pelican considered the best, but because of the community that has grown up with them as a result of their long standing online presence.
  • 944online.com Forums
  • Roadfly’s 944 Forum

Porsche 944 Turbo’s For Sale Right Now

In the cheap but has potential category, this 944 Turbo out of San Diego for $7200:

Porsche 944 Turbo White For Sale CaliforniaPorsche 944 Turbo Interior with Momo Steering WheelPorsche 944 Turbo Interior with BBS Rims

This car deserves a look due to it’s recent maintenance and spendy upgraded rim combination. If most everything else checks out with a few thousand required to make it right, could be a very good buy.

The next car has more reasonable mileage for an enthusiast who is looking for what appears to be a well looked after example:

Black 1986 944 Turbo on Autotrader for $13.5k:

If you’re new to the 944 Turbo, I hope this post was helpful. If you’re 951 experienced, please leave your comments below on how I could improve this post and your story with the car. And if you have a 944 Turbo for sale within a half day of zip code 97330, I’d love to examine your car in person for feature in it’s own post with a DSLR photos, interview and short video. Email me for details.

dc

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