GCFSB Alumnus: 1982 BMW 745i

In a star-studded lineup from the 1980s, the BMW E23 certainly seems to be always the bridesmaid. I’d wager that even the E21 is more popular than the first 7-series, and that’s saying something. It doesn’t help that the 7, while bearing a resemblance to the other great Paul Bracq designs from the period, never quite seems to be in the right proportions – especially in U.S. form. But today’s example isn’t a U.S. spec model, it’s the more desirable and much more pleasant to look at European model. On top of that, it’s the turbocharged M102 under the hood, cranking out 252 ///Mvious horsepower and 280 lb.ft of torque to match. That was enough to propel the heavy, automatic 745i to 60 mph in the mid-7 second range and 137 mph flat out – numbers that made its competition envious. It’s got lower mileage, condition is great, and overall it appears to be a very nice example. The rarity and obscurity of the model in some part outweighs the less desirable nature of the large chassis among collectors. Yet this car has failed to sell for not one, not two, but now going on five years.

So what gives? Well, there’s only one reason that a car doesn’t sell, and it’s price. The seller of this car has had it for sale on and off again since 2013. We last looked at it almost exactly one year ago:

1982 BMW 745i Euro-spec

Perpetually, bidding runs out of steam between $5,000 and $6,000. That number seems far short of what the seller is hoping for, but we never learn much about what that amount is. A few weeks ago, the seller tried Bring A Trailer. The result? $5,000 in bids. So here we are again, a bit like Groundhog Day, with a new auction for this very nice example of an early 7:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 745i on eBay

Mint Green 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Porsche has a few divisive colors; colors that almost everyone will have an opinion about and you either love it or hate it. Some of those colors we don’t see often enough to bother ourselves with, but there are two in particular I can think of that we see relatively frequently. Both were available on the 964 and seemed to hit their stride at that time and both tend to come up as PTS options on modern Porsches. One of those is Rubystone Red (Sternrubin), now almost a classic 964 Carrera RS color, and the other is the color we see here: Mint Green.

We’ve seen it too adorning the 964 Carrera RS and it looks stunning. Here it has been revived as a paint-to-sample option on this 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, located in Virgina. I won’t say that it comes across as quite as stunning as it did on the Carrera RS, though the pictures themselves may be to blame here. Regardless, we have ourselves a very unique modern 911 with this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Mint Green 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS on eBay

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Not only is that a great quote from The Godfather: Part III and even better quote from The Sopranos, it is what I said when I saw another version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. I’ve covered the GT S, the GT C Roadster, not one, but two GT Rs and I figured that would be it for a while. Then this came along. The GT C Roadster Edition 50. The Edition 50 is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AMG which was founded in 1967. As you might have guessed it, AMG made 100 of these Edition 50 cars split evenly between roadsters and coupes, with a handful coming to the United States. Painted in either ‘Designo Graphite Grey Magno’ or ‘Designo Cashmere White Magno’, these special editions received black chrome highlights as well as some different colored wheels. No increase to performance or suspension, just some cool paint and some different badging. So I have to ask, is it worth the premium over a regular GT C Roadster?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 on eBay

2004 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe X50

There are times when I am specifically in search of an auction for a particular car rather than a standard listing with asking price. In some cases, I even want that to be a reserve auction rather than one with no reserve. This is one of those cases.

I like to do this when I feel I don’t have a great handle on the market for a particular model and an auction provides a nice gauge of that. Why search specifically for a reserve auction? Because I’m confident it will run to completion since the reserve almost certainly will be too high!

The market for a 996TT with the X50 package or a 996TTS has seemed strange to me of late with asking prices all seeming much too high. Most of those listings simply are overly ambitious sellers and the cars don’t sell. Occasionally, however, they do sell. So I’m curious where asking prices should be and where they might be headed. That lead me to this: a Speed Yellow 2004 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, located in Miami, with the X50 package and just 17,500 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe X50 on eBay

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

It is amazing what a color can do to a car. You could have identical cars, one with a really desirable color and another with a not-so popular color, and have their values be dramatically different. Today’s car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD for sale in California, is a perfect example of that. Regardless of color, the W123 300TD is no slouch in terms of desirability and people willing to do anything to keep them on the road. But paint it in a color that everyone loves and suddenly you’ll be a little shocked to see what kind of money these can bring on the open market. This 1983 painted in Labrador Blue isn’t a perfect example by any means but that is the appeal of an example like this. You can enjoy it without obsessing over every single thing that might happen to it. But seeing as this is a 300TD and it is in Labrador Blue, how high could the price be?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Fahrvergnüzilla: 1992 Volkswagen Golf

Update 12/29/2017: After reportedly selling for $2,650 in October and after originally having a $6,500 ask, this Golf has been relisted with a $4,999 Buy It Now option.

Infrequently do we look at a standard Volkswagen Golf. To be fair to us, they’re not the most impressive vehicles ever designed, especially when you go back a few generations. They were oft the most expensive in category, but seldom the quickest, most tech-laden, most efficient, best handling, neatest or most reliable. Those items are the domain of vehicles like Hondas and Toyotas, who mimicked and improved upon the ideas of others many times over. Their sales reflected that.

But there’s still something nostalgic and lovely about the simplicity of the first two generations of the Golf. It grew up considerably between the A1 and A2 chassis, in weight, size, power and refinement, but the recipe remained the same. Recently I’ve looked at two of the best performers in the chassis overall (and the fastest offered to U.S. customers) with the 1991 GTI 16V and 1987 GTI 16V. Deep seat bolsters, special trim, dual overhead cam high compression inline-4s, close ratio 5-speed manuals, alloy wheels; these represented the pinnacle of performance in the hot hatch segment. Today’s car has none of those things.

What we have instead is a bit of a curiosity. As you can no doubt see, it’s a pretty standard 4-door Volkswagen Golf. It appears to be Ascot Gray Metallic (LA7U) with cloth interior. There’s nothing special under the hood; it’s a standard RV 1.8 inline-4 counterflow engine, running Digifant II injection and good for 100 horsepower. No, what’s unique about this car is where it’s come from…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

1939 Horch 930V Phaeton

Okay, I’ll admit that we don’t spend a lot of time on pre-War German cars. The why is quite simple; outside of an occasional Mercedes-Benz model, there just weren’t a lot of pre-War German cars exported to the United States. Heck, there just weren’t a lot of pre-War German cars, period.

Contrary to popular belief, German wasn’t a nation of drivers until well after World War II. It was something that Mercedes-Benz and upstart conglomerate Auto Union lamented to a certain then-new German Chancellor by the name of Adolf Hitler. Hitler agreed; he wanted and needed the automobile industry in Germany to prosper to help resurrect the economy. But he also needed German car firms to take to new markets. The results you likely know; Hitler spurred the industry through lowering of automobile taxes, and more notable, the encouragement and funding of international-level automobile racing. It’s one of the few times in history that a government has undertaken full sponsorship of a race effort, and without a doubt it was the most successful and evocative. Should you care to on this blustery and very cold late December evening (at least here in New England, where temperatures are struggling to reach double digits), you can read all about it in my dissertation:

Motorsports Monday Special: Racing to Sell – The ‘Silberpfeil’: Part 6

The result of all of that racing and support of the automobile industry was that both Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union prospered – for a while. The unfortunate side-effect of the buildup for the Spanish Civil War and World War II, along with re-arming several areas of taken from Germany through the Versailles Treaty was that by the late 1930s, automobile production had ceased to accelerate because of artificial shortages of items like metal and rubber. Couple that with the fact that most Germans, though much better off in aggregate following the NSDAP takeover in 1933 than they had been during the Great Depression from 1929-1932, still weren’t very rich.…

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

I’ve been looking for one of these to feature for a little while. Not the GT3 RS 4.0 itself; I’ve featured a few of those. Rather a paint-to-sample GT3 RS 4.0. When Porsche announced it would release the 4.0 as its ultimate send-off for the 997 they also announced the standard colors: Carrara White or Black. This being a special edition Porsche that didn’t stop some buyers from opting for a different color palette, thus making an already rare car – only 600 total were produced – even more rare.

If I’m honest this isn’t the best of the PTS 4.0 I’ve seen, at least with regard to color. There are a few running around with better and more historic Porsche colors. This owner opted for Orange. As Orange goes it is a nice color though and it certainly shows more flash than the standard black or white. Also, this one is for sale and those others are not.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 on eBay

1966 Porsche 912

When I read about entry-level 911s these days they never really seem all that entry level. Even the most basic model will run you pretty close to six figures and selecting a few options can quickly move that price well above six figures. There’s always the Cayman and with a starting price below $60K we probably shouldn’t expect any Porsche to go much cheaper than that. As a luxury brand they have certain standards to uphold. But a Cayman isn’t a 911.

I don’t expect it to ever happen again, but I would love another 912. I know technically it’s not a 911 either, but it’s a heck of a lot closer to a 911 than a Cayman so for entry-level purposes it would do nicely. It’s been more than 40 years since the last 912 was produced and even that final one-year run in 1976 wasn’t really intended. For all intents and purposes 1969 marked the end for the 911’s little brother.

Its brief existence was a good one though. With its smaller 1.6 liter flat-4 many thought it a better handling car than the 911 due to its better balance. Sure, the 912 wasn’t as quick, but it could be just as fun. In the present market, relative to the typical high prices we see for a long-hood 911, the 912 still represents a nice value as well. Like many early Porsches that value isn’t quite as good as it once was, but outside of a few very high priced examples most 912s can still be had fairly reasonably.

This one, a Light Ivory 1966 Porsche 912 with Red interior, makes for an interesting example as it looks quite good, but isn’t entirely original. So we’ll have to be careful in fully understanding the details, but I think it makes for a worthwhile investigation.…

1995 BMW 325iS

The takeaway from my recent E36 M3 Double Take was that many sellers were looking for strong money, but if you looked you could still find some deals on the third generation 3-series M. Some searching yielded a 70,000 mile Boston Green ’97 M3/4/5 Sedan. Clean and a desirable model on its own, it still sold for only $10,800. With asks for normal E30 325iS generally higher than that, where does the follow-up model lay?

That model is this E36 325. Launched in 1992 for U.S. shores, the third generation 3-series instantly cemented itself as the new benchmark. In fact, for all of the attention fawned on ‘God’s Chariot’, the reality is that the 3-series didn’t appear on notoriously BMW-leaning Car and Driver until the 1992 model year. Equipped with the M50 DOHC 189 horsepower inline-6, the modern yet still driver-oriented design would go on to become a regular thereafter. They were a sales success too, and like the E30 was for some time, they’re currently being largely ignored in the used market. After all, if you can get a clean M3 for $11,000, why would you buy a 325iS?

Because they’re a damn good car in their own right, and they’re also damn cheap – if you can find a clean one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 325iS on eBay