Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300CE – One cheap, one not so much

Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300CE – One cheap, one not so much

To some, the W124 might look like just another Stuttgart taxicab. But to those in the know, the 80s/90s era E-class stands for all those traits that once made Mercedes-Benzes the best cars in the world: over-engineered, incredibly safe (for the time) and remarkably durable, capable of cracking over half a million miles if properly cared for. While I’ve written up a number of sedans in the past, I haven’t posted many coupes. That’s a regrettable omission; the coupe offers all of the aforementioned characteristics only repackaged into a stylish, pillarless two-door body shape. The 300CE, produced between 1987 and 1995, was built on a slightly shortened version of the sedan chassis. Initially powered by the SOHC 12v, 3.0 liter version of the M103 engine – good for about 180 hp – cars sold from 1990 onwards came with the DOHC 24v M104 motor instead, pushing output to around 217 hp.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on Ft. Myers, FL Craigslist

Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2

Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2

Few Porsches capture the imagination and turn heads like the 911 GT2. And among the various iterations of the GT2, the 993 GT2 is the most coveted. While engineering and technological progress naturally have rendered later models more powerful and sophisticated performers, the raw prowess of the original car remains the benchmark. Serving as both the first 911 GT2 put into production as well as the last and only air-cooled GT2 produced, the 993 brings with it the kind of rarity that rapidly elevates prices. Add in that it represented the highest performance among production 911s of its day and you’ve pretty much checked all of the boxes a collector could desire. The example we see here, a Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 having traveled around 33K kilometers during its life, will be up for auction next Friday at RM Sotheby’s auctions in Phoenix.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 on Classic Driver

Pre-A: 1994 Audi 100CS quattro

Pre-A: 1994 Audi 100CS quattro

Audi’s naming convention between 1985 and 1995 was, to say the least, a bit confusing. Audi had already changed its B2 series to the 4000 designation and C2/3 series to 5000 to help differentiate them from the earlier models. Starting in 1986, Audi introduced the “CS” designation. In the 5000 model, that denoted the turbocharged model, as the “S” was lower spec model. The same carried to the 4000 model. In both cases, the “S” model was no longer available with quattro. This was a bit confusing, as the 4000S quattro had been available in ’84/’85, and the ’86 model was effectively identical to the outgoing ’85. It was more confusing, though, in ’87, when the “S” model was introduced with quattro in the 5000 range but not in the 4000.

In 1988, the trim levels changed again. Now the 4000 designation was gone, replaced with the B3 models that brought the small sedans in line with their European counterparts. Now there was a low spec 80 and a high spec 90, both available with quattro. The 5000 soldiered on for another year with only revised badging script to bring it in line with the change.

In ’89, the 5000 was changed over to match the 80/90 with the 100/200 models. As with 80/90, the 100/200 differentiated trim and engine choice. Quattro was available in both models, but the 200s were higher spec and had turbochargers. It made sense.

Things started to get confusing again in 1992, though. Audi was really struggling to make sales in the U.S., and the introduction of the new “S” performance models further muddied the waters as the new C4 was introduced. Gone was the 200, but S/CS designation was back! However, since turbocharged models were limited to the S4 in the U.S., there was no 100S quattro – only the 100CS quattro.…

1989 BMW 325iX Touring

1989 BMW 325iX Touring

It’s been a balmy couple of days in DC, with temperatures shooting up to around 60 degrees. One could be forgiven for wondering where the winter went. It will soon be here, I’m sure. And with it the snow and ice, the city-wide shutdown, and the terrible drivers causing pile-ups around the beltway. What would be the ideal winter warrior for times like these? The E30 325iX quickly comes to mind. A brief search on Craigslist throws up a number of tidy options (as well as the usual plethora of over-priced rust buckets). But one in particular stands out, a bit of a unicorn. AWD? Check. Manual? Check? Wagon? Check! Eye-watering price? Double check!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325iX Touring on Columbus, OH Craigslist

Feature Listing: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

Feature Listing: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

This will be a rare feature for us, but like with most 911s I’m always curious to see colors and color combinations that I don’t come across often. With the 996, because of their generally lower appreciation among 911 fans, coming across those diamonds in the rough proves more rewarding since it provides an opportunity for an interesting 911 – something that will stand apart from the crowd (and there are a lot of 996s out there) – while still paying relatively reasonable prices. The one we have here, a Dark Teal Metallic 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet with just 22,700 miles on it, would rank as the top-of-the-line non-Turbo 911 of its day yet now commands an asking price just under $40K. Even if not the prettiest 911s around that’s still fantastic bang for the buck. Following the trend that began with the M491 package in the mid-80s, the 4S basically is a 996TT in body and suspension, but with the standard naturally-aspirated 3.6 liter flat-six. So you don’t get quite as much power as the Turbo, but the appearance, stopping power and cornering are all on par and with 320 horses on tap the straight-line performance is still plenty attention grabbing.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet at Encore Motors

Fail Friday: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C230

Fail Friday: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C230

I was making my rounds around the internet looking for interesting cars and was taken back when I saw the photo above. Was it some kind of European Touring Car? A 24-hour endurance car? The next thing that caught my eye was the price of a mere $5,000. Now I started getting excited. A cheap, real race car for sale in the U.S. that is ready to go?

Well …

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C230 on Autotrader

2004 Porsche 911 GT3 Roundup

2004 Porsche 911 GT3 Roundup

I’ve been looking at the 996 GT3 a lot lately. Last summer I featured this Speed Yellow GT3, which I loved and which I thought seemed like it might be a reasonable value at the time given that GT3s have appeared to be on the rise. It got me thinking and recently I began looking at them again. Let’s say the GT3 has become my aspiration. Given that I currently own a car I almost never drive, and that I would not park a GT3 on the street, it’s more of a long term aspiration. That said, since I’m not likely the only one with such aspirations, and for those who might have a more current time frame for acquiring one, it seemed worthwhile to look at what I’ve been seeing and what’s currently available on the market.

The GT3 can be very hard to find. There aren’t a lot of them since they were only imported near the end of 996 production. Also, as track-focused machines many have been modified and/or driven hard. So the crop is limited, but here we have three currently available. We’ll begin with this Arctic Silver Metallic GT3, located in New York, with 15,329 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 on Hemmings Motor News

End of the Shark Era: 1988 BMW 635CSi

End of the Shark Era: 1988 BMW 635CSi

We have not written up an E24 in the past few months.

‘For shame!’ you should be shouting at your screen, and you’d be right. Quintessentially an 80s car (though designed in the 1970s), the BMW 6-series offered performance, elegance, presence and practicality to the 2-door luxury market. While the Mercedes-Benz SEC might have enjoyed a better reputation and the Audi Quattro was technically more exciting, the E24’s resilient staying power has meant that some 28 years after production wrapped these lovely coupes are still eye catching.

This particular car caught my eye because of a unique combination of factors; the Cirrus Blue Metallic exterior mated with the later bumpers is a rare sight, but inside was a 5-speed manual. How rare is this combination? Well, prepare yourself for one of the most exhaustive (and entertaining) listings we’ve seen in a while:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 635CSi on eBay

Signal Orange 1970 Porsche 911E Coupe Sportomatic with 12,881 miles

Signal Orange 1970 Porsche 911E Coupe Sportomatic with 12,881 miles

I am very intrigued by this 911. The whole of it: the color is one of my favorites. Why is the mileage so incredibly low? And what will it sell for given that it’s a Sportomatic? There’s just a lot going on here and a lot for us to attend to.

So what do we have? A Signal Orange 1970 Porsche 911E Coupe with the 4-speed Sportomatic transmission and a reported 12,881 original miles. We aren’t told whether the paint and interior are also completely original so that might be question 1. After which documentation of the mileage will be paramount. From there we can begin to think about value. But, first, just look at it. It’s so beautiful!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Signal Orange 1970 Porsche 911E Coupe Sportomatic on eBay

Best in the World? 2008 Audi RS4 with 771 Miles

Best in the World? 2008 Audi RS4 with 771 Miles

You’ve all seen it before – the ‘Lazy Listing’. Often times it’s as if the seller is only partially motivated (or not at all motivated) to sell the car. Information is missing, incorrect or not related to the car at hand. The presentation is sloppy, and so are the photos. Sometimes it’s a ‘feeler’, or an ad with an absurd price no one would contemplate paying.

Usually, as is the case here, it’s multiples of these items combined into one. And while generally speaking it’s easy to dismiss and look away from these auctions, today’s car is a special case that makes you sit up and take notice. That’s because in the past ten years this RS4 hasn’t traveled out of the break-in period, or likely its third tank of gas.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi RS4 on eBay

2003 Porsche 911 Turbo X50

2003 Porsche 911 Turbo X50

I’ve featured a decent number of 996TTs lately, but they’ve all been of a different sort than what is typical for us. They’ve all been shifted toward the pricier end of the spectrum and more collector quality for those who want to speculate on the possibility of that market moving upward. In most cases these have been the one-year-only Turbo S. Here I’m going to hope to move back toward the performance value side of the equation. This is the reason we’re typically here in the first place after all. But that movement toward value doesn’t mean we have to make sacrifices in performance. While the Turbo S may wear a different moniker and command more attention and value it’s not really fundamentally different from a standard Turbo equipped with the X50 performance package. And what do you know, look what we have here: a Midnight Blue Metallic 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Knoxville, with Cinnamon leather interior, 79,700 miles on it, and that highly desirable X50 package. It is the higher mileage that will keep this Turbo’s price in reasonable territory, but the condition shows us a very nice 911 that could compete with those lower-mileage examples and their higher prices.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo X50 on eBay

Double Take: 1991 Audi V8 quattro

Double Take: 1991 Audi V8 quattro

You know when you watch a horror film and the protagonist sees a door ajar with a strange light, noise or smell emanating from behind it? Despite the obvious warning signs and 100% metaphysical certitude of impending doom, they creep towards their demise as if unable to escape fate. As a viewer, I’m often baffled by their behavior.

But then I think about the V8 quattro.

There is nothing – and I mean nothing – that makes the V8 quattro a sensible choice for a car. Parts are hard to find, they seem needlessly complicated, and the reality is that now some 26 years old and vintage, the cutting edge of technology for 1991 is pretty easily outpaced by a Honda Civic. There are prettier, more significant, faster and more economical Audis, if you have the itch.

But like the open door, I’m always drawn to looking at them. So, cue the scary music and dim the lights, because we’ve got a twofer of 3.6 quattro action coming at you!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 quattro on Central New Jersey Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Koenig Specials Supercharged

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Koenig Specials Supercharged

The ’70s and ’80s certainly possessed their own sense of style and few things make that more clear than when we look at tuners who were popular during those eras. Not all were so crazy. Looking at a few RUF models we can see that they were content to retain the general style of Porsche themselves, though in fairness a 930 isn’t exactly a shrinking violet. But here our attention will be on the other tuners; the tuners who delighted in bringing their own sense of audacity to the automobile market. Koenig Specials is one such tuner and though they’ve been around for four decades now I think most of us would be familiar with them from their earlier years when they produced complete packages to transform both the appearance and the performance of many cars. On these pages we’re most familiar with them for their work with Mercedes-Benz, but there are a few rare Porsches floating around as well. One of those is the one we see here: a Koenig Specials modified 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe with a mere 19K kilometers on it. It is said that only eight such examples were built, making this a very rare commodity on the 911 market.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Koenig Specials Supercharged on eBay

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

You might of heard the story of the Colorado man who had a little affinity for Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3s. (You can read the story here if not.) I understand where this man was coming from because if you really like something, go get four more of them. In his case, the M100 powered W109 just happened to do it for him and I don’t blame him one bit. Now that all five of these 6.3s have been saved and rejuvenated, one of them is up for adoption. Unfortunately, though, the adoption fee is quite steep.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on Hemmings

Motorsports Monday: Mecum Racing Porsches Roundup

Motorsports Monday: Mecum Racing Porsches Roundup

As Rob mentioned in his Jade Green Targa piece the other day, we’re entering in quickly to auction season. Mecum, typically the purveyors of more muscle cars than European rides, nonetheless had quite an impressive lineup of signification Porsche race models that cover a few decades and many changes in the company’s history, so I thought it would be pretty neat to take a look at them. It’s very interesting to see over a relatively short period of time the many changes that Porsche’s motorsports programs have gone through.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 934.5/935 at Mecum Auctions