Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Porsche 930 Andial/Ruf

For all of the crazy tuner modified cars of the 1980s, there were very few that came out the other side looking better than what the factory produced. However, I think two tuners consistently managed to outperform what came directly from the manufacturer. Alpina is one; the subtle spoilers, large but somehow fitting stripes and perfect wheels always make those models modified by the exclusive tuner really stand out. The second for me is Ruf; it’s simply amazing what just a set of Ruf Speedline wheels can do. It is literally as if the 930 shape was made specifically to match those wheels – not the other way around. You can add in the other Ruf bits, ducts and pieces and really make a masterpiece; but the wheels almost make the car special all by themselves. Of course, if you happen to have a bunch of other period-awesome modifications from top companies, that doesn’t hurt either:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 930 Andial/Ruf on eBay

Sacrilegious or Spectacular? 1999 BMW 540i 6-speed LS1

Another week, and another opportunity to highlight a car that will tick off the purists; but this one is pretty unique! While most LSx swaps start with a car that didn’t originally come with a V8, today’s BMW 540i originally had just that; the M62 4.4 liter V8 with 280 horsepower is gone, replaced by a modified LS1/LS6 hybrid with a T56 transmission. Of course, you’d never know that unless you looked under the hood – or provoked the driver to hit the loud pedal:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW 540i LS1 on eBay

Odd36s – 1996 328is S54 and 1997 M3 Euro 3.2 SMG Convertible

The E30 before it, the E36 chassis BMW quickly became a fan-favorite for affordable, practical, and sporting German motoring. From nearly its inception I can recall tuned and tweaked models showing up at the track. Relatively easy engine swaps, a plethora of aftermarket tuner and support and with a ton of them produced, it’s easy to see why the E36 is a popular choice for enthusiasts. That said, we’ve seen just about every conceivable swap completed and nearly every permutation of E36 cross these pages; but once in a while, one really stands out. Or, in this case, two:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW 328is S54 on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC – REVISIT

The 1992 Volkswagen Corrado track/race car that I wrote up back in September is back up on eBay, this time with a lowered “Buy It Now” by a thousand dollars to just below $6,000. This really strikes me as a fantastic bargain for the track; less money than some people put into modifying their daily drivers for track duty by a long shot!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC Race Car on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 22, 2014:

1988 BMW M3 Europameister with 17,000 Miles

Ah, the E30 M3. Already the stuff of legends before the recent price surge, the original small M that was a revolution on the race track has similarly revolutionized values of mid-1980s German cars. Not only has the E30 M3 increased monumentally in value, but in fact it has pulled up nearly the entire BMW lineup along with it. It’s not alone, though – other rare performance German cars have been ascending alongside it. From the Quattro to the 500E, once cheaply attainable and fun cars are suddenly the stuff of speculation. Is the trend sustainable? The early 911 would seem to indicate it is; after all, there are only so many E30 M3s left today and there are many more people that want them than good examples. Just the other day, I finally stopped with my wife at an example I had eyed for many years – 7, to be exact. In that entire time, it had never moved – it’s just sitting under some pine trees off the beaten path in the woods of Rhode Island. Why did I finally stop? Well, there’s a part of me that would love to have an E30 M3 – but there’s more of me that hoped I could flip it and get enough money to buy some cars that I could drive and enjoy off the proceeds. Needless to say, I didn’t walk away with it; as with many, the owner “knows what it’s worth” and is hoping to restore it to former glory once again.

When he does, there’s a fair chance it may hit the market just like this 1988 Europameister example. Originally a limited-production model of 148 examples built from October to December 1988 to celebrate the European Touring Car Championship of Roberto Ravaglia. Ironically, despite being named to commemorate a racing car, the Europameisters were mostly fully loaded luxury variants of the E30.…

How rare? 2003 and 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed

We talk at length about the rarity of various cars, and when it comes to the W8 Passat 6-speeds, that’s more than just lip service. Only a bit over 450 6-speeds were imported to North America in sedan and Variant form, making them quite rare amongst any measure of car. But when you break down the color combinations that were available and especially factor in the wagon, you can get production numbers down to single digits in some configurations. Considering the sedan outnumbered the wagon over three to one, you’re more likely to find a 6-speed sedan than wagon, but today we’ve got one of each to look at. Which is the rarest of the rare?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed on eBay

1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Euro-Spec

If the 911 and M3 are the recent market darlings, the dark horse in the European market has continued to be the W113 Mercedes-Benz SL. Dubbed the “Pagoda” in reference to its recessed roof, the 230, 250 and 280 aren’t great sports cars and aren’t even particularly light; however, they do perfectly represent the ethos of the “SL”. A personal luxury roadster, they’ve got muscular yet sensuous looks with flowing fenders and a subtle bulge in the hood. The wide and low stance with simple single bar grill and elongated headlights echoed the 300SL in all the right ways. With just the right amount of chrome, color-keyed (or alternating) wheel covers and beautiful fit and finish, these middle generation SLs have steadily increased in value over the past few decades.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

1989 Volkswagen Golf GL

Boy, this is a trip down memory lane for me. My second car was very similar to this 1989 Volkswagen Golf in many ways; mine was also a base model with air conditioning, cloth interior with manual windows and Titian red. There were some important differences; I had a 1986 Westmoreland Golf which had CIS injection rather than the later Digifant electronic injection this car has, mine was a 4-door instead of two and when I bought it, it had somewhere around 190,000 miles on the clock. On paper, this is pretty much the car I would have liked to have; a lower mile, clean example of a basic transportation with flare – the Volkswagen Golf is a great hatchback that looked and functioned miles better than most of the competition at the time.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Golf GL on eBay

1994 Audi S4

It’s funny that as enthusiasts we desire what we can’t have; there are a plethora of Audis that aren’t import friendly currently that I long after and plenty of rare BMWs and Mercedes-Benz models that make the collective jaws of the automotive community hang low. Yesterday’s European-spec 1994 M5 3.8 is a great example. It’s a very rare car that in pristine shape draws some serious dollars out of the woodwork and enthusiasts pine over. But in terms of all-out speed and value for your money, the Audi S4 packs much more punch than than the boys from Munich or Unterturkheim. Available generally for a quarter to at most half the price of most of the E34 M5/500Es on offer that are in reasonable shape, they can easily be customized and upgraded – and the results can be fantastic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on eBay

1994 BMW M5 Euro-Spec

It’s a bit of a Euro-spec day here at GCFSB, and both of the featured cars are rare to see on this side of the pond. In the case of the earlier 420SEC, it’s rare to see them because there weren’t many produced and stateside we have the 560SEC that ran at the same time; in many respects, the smaller motor is a curiosity and a neat side note, but offers no real advantage to U.S. buyers. However, this example is very different; a Euro-spec 1994 M5. While the M5 left U.S. shores in 1993, it soldiered on for a few years in Europe with a revised and enlarged motor. Dubbed the S38B38, the new motor gained 25 horsepower but importantly 30 lb.ft of torque – it was now only 17 horsepower shy of 100 more than the U.S. spec E28 M5’s S38B35. That made up for some extra pounds that adorned the E34 chassis versus the earlier M cars and the M5 was even more of a flyer once again. A few of these 3.8 cars and motors have made their way stateside but they’re still quite rare to find. Usually, they have some neat oddities that we didn’t get here, such as this example’s Hurricane cloth interior. All in all, it makes for one tidy performance package that’s still quite discrete:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW M5 Euro-spec on eBay