1982 Alpina C1 2.3

It seems we often list multiple cars from the same seller; in some cases, that’s simply because they have the best examples that are available. EAG and Sloan Cars are great examples of this, amongst many. However, there’s a second tier of cars that we feature – eye candy that lies abroad and would be more difficult to procure. Such is the case with dealers like 4Star in England who seemingly has an endless supply of incredible examples of cars we all want. I think, however, that we need to add “ExoticCarsJapan” to the list, since this is now the third successive Alpina and fourth BMW I’ve written up from them. However, unlike the two previous E28 5-series B9s, today’s example is quite a rare example – a 1982 C1 2.3 E21:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina C1 2.3 on eBay

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1974 BMW 3.0CSi

I’ve made several references comparing the BMW 8 series to a few Ferraris, suggesting that it was perhaps a budget alternative to running a 456GT, for example. However, the E31 isn’t the only Ferrari-esque design to come from Munich; in many aspects, the E9 coupe shared some visual DNA with the Ferrari 330 2+2 from the 1960s. Now, for some that may sound like heresy and I can appreciate that; but take off the Rosso-colored glasses for a moment and look at the side profile of a 330 GT versus the E9 coupe; it’s nearly identical. The rear end treatment was quite similar as well, and while the grill on the BMW was obviously quite different the two even shared a quad-headlight setup. Obviously, underneath the Ferrari had that wonderful Colombo V12 versus the rather pedestrian inline-6 in the BMW; but pound for pound the BMW punched hard, especially in CSi trim. With 200 horsepower on tap it was certainly no slouch, especially in the midst of the oil crisis which neutered most V8s in America. It would take another two generations for the Big Three to break back into the 200 horsepower realm with nearly double the displacement of the E9. But the E9 wasn’t about straight line performance; it was a whole package – a speedy grand touring coupe with luxurious appointments and gorgeous looks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 3.0CSi on eBay

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1990 Audi 90 quattro 20V

My first car was an Audi 4000CS quattro. It was a wonderful car; for the most part, outside some serious fanboys no one knew what it was. That was in part because in the early 1990s Audi nearly was removed from the U.S. market thanks to some bad P.R. that has been pretty well documented. However, that wasn’t all – if you looked at the 4000CS quattro or its successors on paper, they weren’t very appealing to sporting drivers or to luxury-oriented buyers. BMW and Mercedes-Benz ruled those small executive markets, and the robust but semi-anemic 2.2 inline-5 coupled with a relatively spartan interior had a hard time competing with the other German marques. On top of that, if you wanted a performance model from the Volkswagen Audi group, The Volkswagen Jetta GLi offered many of the same accoutrements as the 4000 quattro – plus more performance – for much less money, and looked pretty similar in many ways. You had to specifically want the all-wheel drive system to select the 4000 quattro, and that meant slow sales. In the 1980s, a loaded Audi 4000 would cost you nearly $21,000 – the equivalent of around $46,000 today. For reference, that amount very nearly gets you into a brand new S4 today – and I assure you, the S4 is in nearly every way a much more impressive car.

To solve this problem in the 90 range, Audi went even more upscale. Audi offered a more luxurious cabin, full of wood accents, power accessories and even more sound-deadening material. The 90 was more aerodynamic, meaning that the heavy wind noise associated with the brick-on-brick B2 design was lessened. The 90 also introduced innovative safety measures, such as the seatbelt pretension PROCON-10 system and anti-lock brakes which previously had been considered superfluous on all-wheel drive cars by Audi. The all-wheel drive system was changed, as well – now with a Torsen center differential and an electronic locking rear differential instead of the vacuum operated locks on the first generation quattro. But the main upgrades to the 90 came in 1990, when the quattro received its first real engine upgrade in the form of the 7A double overhead cam 20 valve motor. With 164 horsepower on tap and a 7,200 rpm redline, the Audi product finally matched the competition’s power on paper. Unfortunately, the weight of the luxury items meant it still wasn’t a particularly fast car off the line – but on the fly, the 20V was a quite capable car. But, as you’d expect, the price had gone up; walk into a dealership in 1990, and you’d have to fork over around $27,000 to get into one of these 90s. Add some options – such as power seats and Pearlesant White Metallic paint, and you were really breaking the bank. Very, very few of these sedans were sold originally; much less than even its rare Coupe brother – making them a rare sight. However, those that have owned and driven them always speak of what an impressive car Audi made – and this example is one of the most impressive available today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 90 quattro 20V on Craigslist

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1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a trans-formative time for Porsche. After a long string of successes with the Porsche 911 and 917 on the race track, they were moving into new territory with a series of front engined cars. Not only were these cars appearing on the race track, though; Porsche intended the 928 and 924 to be the replacements for its aging 911/912 lineup. The result was a special time for water-cooled fans, as Porsche spent a considerable amount of time and resources in between the end of the 917 project and the beginning of the new 956 project on the front engined 924. In order to tie the model to performance and wins on the track, Porsche undertook an ambitious racing schedule, entering the 924 in everything from showroom production-based “D-Production” in SCCA to the World Rally Championship and Le Mans. The resulting lineup of impressive turbocharged 924s have become legendary, but ultimately they’re much more rare to come across than their 911/934/935 counterparts. Still, in the early 1980s they were cutting edge – 2,000 lbs, 400+ horsepower and massive flares hiding 935-spec BBS center-lock magnesium wheels. Sound awesome? You better believe it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR on eBay

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1983 Volkswagen Rabbit L Diesel

Survivors are a mixed bag; for whatever reason, it seems that most often it’s not the most desirable cars that pop up as survivors but the more odd, off color base models that appear. A few weeks ago I looked at a 1989 Volkswagen Golf GL; clean, original, and rare to see these days, it’s unfortunately not the car most are looking for. Back up a generation to the Rabbits, though, and more people seem interested in them. Perhaps it’s because few remain in clean, original shape – or perhaps it’s because they have more character than the second generation Golf. Either way, there’s no denying the charm of seeing a now 32 year old Rabbit looking like it just rolled out of a dealer service area in 1987:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit L on eBay

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Feature Listing – 1991 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dinan was still on the cutting edge of performance tuning. As with Reeves Callaway, Steve Dinan had started turbocharging BMWs to create supercar-slaying sedans and coupes. At that point, Dinan was a lesser-known tuner than the likes of Alpina and Hartge, but the results of their turbocharging the S38 in the BMW M6 notably gained the car the nickname “The Annihilator”. That should tell you something of the level to which Dinan Cars brings their creations to whilst retaining the original attributes of the base car. It’s a special combination that resulted in Dinan being incorporated into the BMW dealer network; today, cruise down to your dealership and you can buy Dinan products and software upgrades for just about any model and retain your warranty. Because of that connection, an appreciation for early Dinan cars continues to grow though in general they remain more affordable than their German tuner counterparts. They are, however, just as rare to come across – especially when they come in the condition of today’s 1991 535i, one of the last of Dinan’s inline-6 turbo creations:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo on GCFSB

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Tuner Tuesday: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Brabus B63

I know that we don’t spend much time on newer Mercedes-Benz products. Well, truth told we don’t spend much time on any newer cars. There are a few reasons; for one, they’re more readily available. I mean, pop on eBay right now and you can have your choice of color, transmission, year, wheel selection and packages of any newer Porsche, BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. So it takes something special for them to stand out a bit for us to take notice. Unfortunately, in my mind most newer Mercedes-Benz models stick out for all of the wrong reasons. Have you ever seen one of those commercials for a local ‘Octoberfest’ celebration? Predictably, they have some poor interpretation of an Oom-pah band in traditional clothing playing a semi-Germanic tune. It always seems a bit forced, much like humor coming from a native German. To me, the newer Mercedes-Benz products are like those commercials. “Ja, of course vee are German!” they seem to shout – while to me, the still retain vestiges of the merger with Chrysler. They’re a bit ostentatious, and while I know they’re motivated by some serious Nimitz-class firepower it just doesn’t really make them appealing to me.

It wasn’t always this way. Go back a generation or two and the cars were still much more refined. I wouldn’t describe them all as the most attractive cars that were on the market, but they retained the understated approach that made Mercedes-Benz famous. In fact, you had to bring your Merc to a tuner to make it ostentatious back in the 1990s. One of the best at making over-the-top Mercedes back then was Brabus. So what do you get when you take an already over-the-top CLS63 AMG and let bonkers Brabus breath on it today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Brabus B63 on eBay

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1976 BMW 2002

Atlantis Blue. It’s probably a color that at least one person – probably many – at BMW hate. Why? Well, it was the color that was involved with perhaps one of the biggest PR mistakes in the automotive world in 2013. It was in that year that a BMW enthusiast had saved up to finally special order a new M3 from BMW’s Individual program in the shade. However, somewhere along the way the order was translated incorrectly and the M3 was produced in the Individual shade of Atlantic Blue. Predictably, the enthusiast (who, incidentally, had flown to Germany for European delivery of his prized M3) was immediately not pleased that the presented M3 was in the wrong shade. Complicating the matter was that BMW had ended the E92 production line, so no new M3s could be built to replace the incorrectly-colored car. The fora lit up with punters on both sides flinging insults at this enthusiast and each other; perhaps it was a perfect example of a first-world problem as some claimed, but personally I don’t think I would have accepted the car, either.

Regardless of your opinion on the outcome of the situation, the story instantly popped into my head when I saw this 1976 2002 that was repainted in the shade the above described buyer wanted – the beautiful shade of Atlantis Blue, which replaced the car’s original Fjord Blue:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 BMW 2002 on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

Have you ever fallen in love with a car instantly? Is it sometimes completely irrational? I am somewhat ashamed to admit I let out a low sigh accompanied by an “Oh, man!” when I first came across this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE. Perhaps my wife is too accustomed to me doing so, because she didn’t even direct her stare in my direction – instead simply saying “What now?” Expecting to see some exotic Ferrari or Lamborghini, it was instead a rather boring looking Mercedes-Benz. And it was green. Really, really green. She also emitted a low sigh, but coupled it instead with an “Ugh!” That, however, did not dissuade me. I continued to stare at this Euro-spec W126, thinking that all should have come in short wheel base configuration, in Willow Green, and with green cloth interiors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1972 Porsche 911T and 1980 Porsche 911SC

A rather sad thing is happening within the Porsche world; the 911 is increasing in value so rapidly that its original dual purpose nature is being threatened. The 911 was, for some time, one of the few cars that really was effectively track-ready right out of the box. While it’s seldom been the all-out fastest circuit car available the 911 has been the dependable choice; lightweight with enough power to thrill you and enough idiosyncrasies to challenge you as a driver. Today I’ve rounded up two track-ready examples that still can be street driven; both 3.0s but with different yet classic interpretations of the 911 design, which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Porsche 911T on eBay

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