Motorsports Monday: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan-Built Racecar – REVISIT

After failing to sell back in June when I originally wrote it up, the semi-mystery “Dinan-built” 318i racer is back up for sale. There is no more information offered this time around and the car is once again a reserve auction; I’d guess that the seller hasn’t changed their $28,000 expectation and this car will continue to be a hard sell – but it’s pretty cool to check out! What would you pay?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan Race Car on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site June 30, 2014:

Obviously we write up a lot of cars at this site, and we see our fair share of cars from dealers with a real gap in information provided that we’d like to see. Often times, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to which cars get no description or why; they can be a 300SL Gullwing for multiple millions of dollars right to a first generation GTi. Despite the range of value, one thing unites these cars; there are enthusiasts who love to see them, and buyers who would really like to know more about the car. Today’s car is no exception; a 1993 BMW 318i, this would generally be a forgotten charm right now. The E36, while a great car in its own right, isn’t in favor the way the E30 is and consequently larger engined variants are plentiful, and more importantly cheap. So what is interesting about this economy car turned racer? Well, it’s a claimed Dinan built car, and for a time in the 1990s BMW handed Dinan the keys to build some pretty wild semi-factory backed racers – so they’re well versed. But the mystery isn’t solved there:…

Dueling Double Dos: 1970 2002 S14 v. 1968 2002 M20 Turbo

One of the great things about personalizing a car is the variety of ways that it can be carried out. Some people choose to return their car to near original showroom shape while others wildly modify the car with a total lack of regard for originality. The 2002 has traditionally been one of the favorite modification platforms as BMWs go; out of the box, it was blessed with good handling and balance, distinctive looks and it’s a car that’s easy to work on. Most that are in a condition that need or warrant modifications can be had fairly inexpensively, and the myriad of directions you can take means that possible permutations and combinations of parts rarely leave two looking identical. Today is such a case – two fairly similar platforms that take two very different directions – which is your favorite and why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 BMW 2002 on eBay

1994 BMW M3 Euro-spec

For some time, there was a giant gulf in between European-spec cars and U.S. spec cars. Granted, part of that divide still exists today if the large assortment of cars that do not make it to these shores, but at least enthusiasts can rejoice that at last – for the most part – performance versions that are available in Germany are very close to the same that we receive here. One of the last notable cars to exhibit the large divide was the E36 M3; while Europeans enjoyed over 280 horsepower from the individual throttle body S50B30 in 1992, the later released U.S. spec M3 carried an entirely different motor with some 40 horsepower less. Though the S50B30US is certainly a great motor by itself, the knowledge that the “better” version existed across the pond somehow took a bit of legitimacy away from it. Also differentiating the European versions were better floating rotor brakes, better glass headlights, better lower and stiffer suspension, and some neat interior options:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW M3 on eBay

1984 Audi 80 quattro Widebody

You’re not going to buy this car. Let’s be honest, even if you wanted to spend a lot on a wildly modified Audi 4000, it’s on the wrong side of the pond. And then there’s the definition of “a lot” – in this case, the best part of $60,000. Crazy, right? Well, not so fast – arguably, this is one of the most famous and best executed modified Audi 80s in the world. But not only does it look racy; the looks are backed up by a 2.5 20 valve inline-5 turbocharged motor running a host of upgrades through a custom application V8 quattro 6-speed. The result? Going on 800 horsepower! Ridiculous for a standard 80 perhaps, but under the grafted Quattro flares and WRC OZ Rally wheels lie a host of RS2 and Group B works suspension upgrades. Compared to what’s under the hood, if anything the exterior suddenly seems quite sedate:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 80 quattro on Finn.no

1987 BMW M6

Black wheels. Do you know what they look good on? Porsche 917s, and a smattering of the 911 and 944 models that came with black and polished Fuchs. And, perhaps the “Bluesmobile”. That, as far as I can figure, is it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand one aspect of the appeal of the black wheel. The last 20 years of my life have been a constant struggle of cleaning brake dust off of brilliant silver wheels. Would it be easier to just paint them matte black and never worry about it again? Sure, it would end my Sisyphusian struggle against pad deposits on my wheels. But then, I’d stand back and look – and I’m quite sure, every time I would shake my head. No, it just doesn’t look right to me – even when they’re very expensive wheels on an otherwise stunning car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay

1993 Audi S4

Unfortunately I’m going to date myself here, but when I was in high school I had a love affair with Borbet Type C wheels. Sure, I loved BBSs, but the Type C was my then favorite – to the point where I had cut out the advertisement from Car and Driver that said in German “Lust after new wheels?” with an image of the Type C at the bottom and mounted it in my school locker. It was a brilliant ad campaign, and in the early to mid 1990s it was the wheel I wanted. When I got my first Audi – a 4000CS quattro – high on the list of “wants” was a set of 16″ Borbets. I saw them later at my first Audi event in 1997 at Lime Rock park, notably adorning two of my favorite models; a V8 quattro and S6 Avant. It was so memorable, in fact, that I took a photo of these cars in line with my favorite wheels – a photo I still have today. So, you’d think that when a set of my favorite wheels popped up on a period application like this 1993 Audi S4, I’d be super excited. But just to show how priorities change, I now find myself wishing it was wearing the original Fuchs-made 5-spokes. How weird is that?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on eBay

1983 BMW 320i with S50 Swap

I have to hand it to the BMW crowd; no one pulls off as many clean swaps as we see from the them, and no group gets as creative. Sure, there are plenty of VR6 Mk.2s that look slick and the 1.8T is finding its way into plenty of different Volkswagens, but often the VW swaps have a list of needs longer than their builders’ ironic beards. That doesn’t mean we don’t see our fair share of poorly executed BMWs too – but today isn’t one of those days. While the current swapoholic candidate is the E30 chassis, this enterprising individual decided to go all vintage on the bandwagon and chose a clean E21 instead. Kudos, sir – well done right off the bat. Then, with a clean motor swap, a slick interior from a Volkswagen, brakes from a Volvo (no, really!), and some minor plastic surgury, they created one heck of an appealing package – perhaps one of the nicest aftermarket-built E21s I’ve ever seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 320i on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another Wednesday Wheels roundup – but this time, I’m looking at some great steering wheels I found. Check out the rare Volkswagen Petri model – or the equally rare Personal Audi Sport wheel. Then there are a brace of Momo Mercedes-Benz wheels including a neat original AMG wheel, and why not throw in a Ruf wheel for giggles even if it costs more than some cars? What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: AMG/MOMO Mercedes-Benz Steering Wheel on eBay

1985 Audi Quattro

If the GTi from earlier was expensive for an economy car in 1984, the Audi Quattro was near ridiculous in its pricing; at over $35,000 in 1982, it was more expensive than most Porsche models at the time, including the 911. But the Quattro was the R8 of its day, redefining Audi’s place in the market and introducing exotic performance to a more mainstream crowd. It wasn’t revolutionary in any one particular way; turbocharging and 4 driven wheels has previously hit the market in other applications. But the Quattro combined World Rally Championship performance in an everyday package that could comfortably carry 4 adults with luggage in style. They’ve been legendary since new, but not always appreciated as such – though Audi’s recent acceptance and acknowledgement that it did indeed build cars before the A4 has helped the rising market value of these models. Arguably the most valuable in general are the last model year; updates to the weak point computer and fuse box, coupled with the perfect stance 8″ Ronals and updated interior, along with slightly revised headlights and trunklid meant these were special cars amongst an already rare bunch. Less than 100 made it to these shores, so coming across them today is something of a treat:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on eBay

1984 Volkswagen GTi

Isn’t it amazing how far cars have come? Just yesterday, I was walking with my wife and we were talking about the cost of living today versus when our parents were our age. Certain things are significantly more expensive proportionate to what income was then; housing, for example, and utilities are – at least where we live – much more expensive than when our parents were young. In the early 1980s, the housing market was such that an average amount of money today would have bought you a real mansion – or in some cases, you could have easily owned two or three houses for the same amount as a not particularly extravagant home today. But then you turn to computers, phones, and music technology – remember the CD collection that you used to have? Or perhaps it’s taking up shelf space or boxes in the attic while you walk around with all of the music you can ever listen to on a device that’s smaller than your hand and cost only about a fifth of what a CD player cost new. But technology hasn’t just improved our musical library – technology has made cars safer, faster, and more luxurious – but amazingly, not more expensive. Sure, the dollar figures are higher and it’s worth a laugh looking at the original sticker price of this GTi; a paltry $10,300 in 1984. You can’t even buy a new car for that amount today! Of course, factor in inflation, though, and that $10,300 roughly equates to the best part of $24,000. Guess how much a base GTi costs today? I’ll save you some time….$24,395 gets you a base GTi. But base doesn’t mean what it used to – the “base” model comes with a 210 horsepower turbocharged inline-4, LED foglights, 18″ wheels, iPod connectivity, a touch screen radio, trip computer, and heated front seats – not to mention that things like power windows, air condition and power steering are all standard items now.…