Ex-Patriot: 1983 Audi Quattro

The Quattro is finally getting some market recognition, as automotive collector trends are celebrating both landmark vehicles and rally stars of the 1980s. Of course, Audi’s halo vehicle combined and defined both of these attributes into one package capable of capturing imagination and launching a brand. But with only 664 originally imported to the United States and a fair bit less than that still here today, coming across examples for sale is very much harder than what you see in the Porsche, Mercedes-Benz or BMW market. As a result, it’s cause for celebration every time one pops up, and wallets full of internet cash emerge at the ready to click “Buy It Now”.

In this case, though, not so fast….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1991 BMW M5

While I love my W126, I miss the E34 that I sold back in May. Mine was only a lowly 525i, but with its tight suspension and fun-to-use 5-speed manual gearbox, it drove more like a go-kart than I was expecting, when I picked it up on a whim. I hope to own another E34 someday, perhaps one with a bit more grunt than my old car had. So I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the M5 market for a while now. Values on these cars have risen steadily over the last few years, as buyers looking for a bit of old-school, hand-built M GmbH magic have woken up to the charms of this generation 5-series, with its 3.6 liter inline six powerplant. Of course, this means that an E34 M5 will most likely be out of reach before I can afford one. But for those with cash on hand right now, the last year or so has seen a steady supply of neat examples coming to market. Right now, buyers looking for a tidy, daily-driver quality example can expect to pay between $15,000 and $20,000. Grab one while you can.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

Litmus Test Double Take: 1988 BMW M5 and M6

Neither the E24 M6 nor the E28 M5 need an introduction on these pages. Legendary even when new, they both captured the imagination of generations of German car enthusiasts and established the benchmarks for sedan and GT performance in period. Both went through a relatively long downturn in value, as well. And today, as each has moved firmly into classic status and the market ///Madness continues, each has increased in value considerably over where they stood a few years ago.

But with so many shared components, which is the one to get? While a lot of that boils down to personal preference, more so than ever it’s also dependent on your budget. We’ve seen asking prices for nice examples of each chassis hovering between $50,000 and $80,000 depending on mileage and condition, and with a hot market there’s no letup of good ones to choose from.

But what I have today is not the best examples of each. Both are higher mileage and neither is pristine. However, the real draw here in both cases is a no reserve auction format, giving us the opportunity to really see what’s what in the M market today.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

I’m going to move on from the 964 soon, but before I did I wanted to post one more. The Japanese Carrera 2 from earlier this week reminded me that the Carrera RS can now be legally imported so I couldn’t pass up the chance to feature one of those. Despite its rarity there are usually a few of these available at any given time. That does, of course, mean expanding your search quite far and even though they are available a few is just that, a few. So it still isn’t easy, but they are out there.

I wanted to find one that wasn’t too crazy expensive (though finding one below $200K seems very difficult so “expensive” is a bit relative here). There are some of those available if you want one as a collector, but I wanted to find one with some miles and that hopefully someone could drive. This also meant looking at something in a more standard color. And that’s what we see here with this Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, located in Italy, with 81K kilometers on it.

If you do happen to desire one that’s a little more rare and more interesting, this one or this one could suit your needs. Both of those have similar miles to this one, but come in more daring colors. All of these should be great!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS on Classic Driver

Year: 1992
Model: 911 Carrera RS
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 81,000 km (~ 50,332 mi)
Price: €190,000 (~ $217,000)

February 1992
Car in perfect condition.
The current owner (collector Porsche and Ferrari) possesses since 2000, and is the third owner.
The car has covered 81.000 kilometers.
Original engine and transmission.

1988 BMW 735i

You don’t see many E32s on the road anymore. Most have been consigned to the junk yard by now. That’s a shame. With this generation 7-series, BMW hewed close to the guiding principles that served it well back in the day, when it offered cars with simple, unfussy styling and a brawny but somewhat subdued road presence. The V12-powered 750iL was marvelous when running right but monstrously expensive to fix when it broke. The “entry level” 735i, on the other hand, was powered by the notoriously robust, inline six M30 engine. Displacing 3.4 liters, it’s the same motor that found its way into the 535i and 635CSi of the same period. With about 208 hp on tap to move around a car weighing about 3,500 lbs, it was no performance behemoth. But it certainly cost less to run than its larger-engined siblings. That makes this nicely kept 735i the perfect candidate for use as an interesting daily driver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i on eBay

Double Take: Porsche 964 3.3-liter Turbo

As promised, more 964s. Yesterday I featured the extra spicy Turbo 3.6 and today we’ll step back just a little to the original 964 Turbo. So I guess it’s 3 chilies on your Porsche menu rather than four. I’ll start by saying that I don’t feature these turbos perhaps as much as I’d like, but that is mostly because so many of those I come across are more or less the same. So many of them are Black or the occasional Guards Red with a Black or Tan interior and the mileage will be typical. There is nothing wrong with those cars per se, it’s just that once we’ve looked at one there isn’t as much to excite me for the next one.

Here we will look at two that do not come in one of those very standard colors. Ok, so the first one is still red, but Coral Red Metallic is much more rare, in fact I don’t know if I’ve come across any 964 in this color let alone a Turbo. So it’s different and different is good in this case. Let’s look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Coral Red Metallic 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

1963 Mercedes-Benz 190Dc Kombiwagen

Continuing on my run of custom coachwork-built cars, this one might be one of the most practical and something that is actually has a mass appeal, as opposed to something like a hearse. Today’s vehicle is a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190Dc Kombiwagen, a custom conversion by Binz Karosserie off of the W110 Fintail chassis. Surprisingly, this unique wagon resides in California where it awaits a restoration and a chance at many more miles of utility. Of course, I have to ask, is the time and effort worth it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190Dc Kombiwagen on eBay

Year: 1963
Model: 190Dc Kombiwagen
Engine: 2.0 inline-4 cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 226,000
Price: Buy It Now $10,000

1963 Mercedes-Benz 190Dc Binz Coachbuilt Fintail Station Wagon

Kombiwagen

VIN# 11010110071379

Binz Karosserie Nr. 2096

And now for something completely different….

Up for offer is a running, driving and solid example of an extremely rare Mercedes-Benz 190Dc Kombiwagen built by German coachbuilder Binz & Co Karosseriefabrik. There are less than 15 surviving examples of the Binz kombiwagen (non-ambulance) version w110 fintail ”heckflosse” known to exist in the world today.

Binz Karosserie in Lorch/Wurttemberg Germany has been working with Mercedes-Benz building custom variants of different models over the past 80 years. These models include ambulances, hearses, taxis, and the rarest of the rare, special ordered kombiwagens (station wagon) models built for private use as seen here. Other coachbuilders of the period included Miesen of Germany and IMA of Belgium, whose “universal” wagons are well known as over two thousand examples were built using several variations of the w110 chassis. Binz Karosserie was known for their quality build and high top roof design. The kombiwagen version seen here is actually the lowest of the different roof configurations offered by Binz for this series.

Image result for small mercedes logo

This Mercedes 190Dc Binz Kombiwagen has spent most of it’s life in California, so the rust issues are less than normal in the scope of fintails.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

The more I stare at the 2.3-16, the more I realize just how right Mercedes-Benz got it with the design of this car. The starting point was already a good one. The stock 190E, with its restrained, angular good looks and taut lines, brought Mercedes’s design language out of the 70s and firmly into the 80s. But the flared wheel arches, revised valences and rear deck spoiler found on the 2.3-16 turn the staid W201 into a car that looks ready to go racing. Which it did, first as a rally car and, when that didn’t work out, at the DTM. Power came from a version of the M102 2.3 liter four pot engine – later enlarged to 2.5 liters in the European market – breathed on by British tuning company Cosworth. But despite the looks and pedigree, the 2.3-16 has never attracted the same kind of attention or following as its obvious competitor, the E30 M3. The market for these is pretty spotty. They don’t appear very frequently and when they do, many of them have been battered and broken by neglectful owners. Still, every now and again a really nice one pops up.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on eBay

1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6

I think I feel like posting a bunch of 964s this week. We’ll see how that goes. Apparently, yesterday’s Japanese market Slate Grey Carrera 2 recently sold and given the relatively high asking price it certainly seems the 964 is garnering some attention these days. This one here, a Guards Red 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6, takes us nearly to the top of the mountain. It’s not quite all the way to the top since that position belongs to the Turbo S, but given how rare those cars are – and how insanely expensive – I think we can all make do with the regular Turbo.

The Turbo 3.6 is one of the last 911 Turbos Porsche released prior to switching to twin-turbocharging and all-wheel drive for the 993. This ended a long line that Porsche began with the 930 and as a sendoff of sorts these Turbos certainly do the model proud. With a single turbo and all of the power directed to the rear wheels that makes them plenty attention grabbing for any driver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 on eBay

Year: 1994
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.6 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 40,956 mi
Price: $218,895 Buy It Now

The Porsche 964 was a beloved model for Porsche enthusiasts being the first 911 to modernize with features that had otherwise become commonplace, like power steering, air bags, and anti-lock brakes. Yet it still maintained its raw mechanics, and omitted the electric gadgetry and fluff that many sports cars of the time had adopted. But it was the end of the 964 era that boasted its greatest accomplishment, with the introduction of the 3.6 litre Turbo –the last of the single, large turbocharger engines and the Crème de la Crème.

Eye Candy: 1997 Volkswagen GTI VR6

Do you want to maximize your budget and fun? Need an affordable ride that will reward you nearly every time you turn the key, but is also practical enough to daily drive?

Look no further. We may all want a car collection of virtually new, unused and perfect condition examples of our favorite car designs, but frankly that’s just not a reality most who’s names don’t start with “Sultan” and end with a small southeast Asian country’s name can contemplate. And even he needs to liquidate his massive Ferrari collection from time to time when small rebellions pop up.

Jumping in to a third generation Volkswagen Golf won’t get you much respect outside of dedicated brand enthusiasts. But what it will do is reward your decision. Like the E36 M3, adding two cylinders to the model may not have sounded as sexy on paper as the high-revving double cam inline-4, but the result was better performance, better reliability, and cheaper prices for that speed. With 172 horsepower and 173 lb.ft of torque on tap, the VR6 took the Mk.3 into a new performance territory. It brought with it a more grown up feel, too – leather, a quiet(er) cabin, power windows and sunroof – these were unthinkable a decade earlier in the budget hatch. In fact there was only one option – a trunk mounted CD changer. Everything else? Standard. The increase in performance dictated upgrades throughout; sport suspension with sway bars, larger brakes with 5×100 mm hubs and accompanying 15″ wheels. 0-60 was firmly sub-7 second range, and the boxy hatch could brush 130 mph flat out. In a flat-out drag race, this economy car was on par with the Audi S6.

At nearly $20,000, the price tag didn’t seem cheap at first. Indeed, in a little over a decade the base price of the GTI had increased 100%.…