Regan-Man: 1979 BMW “645 CSi Turbo”

Update 5/28/18 – further price reduction from $23,750 to $19,990.

Update 4/19/18 – I can’t say that I’m very surprised the price hike to nearly $30,000 didn’t work, and this 645i has dropped back down to $23,750 – still $900 strong of the original ask.

Update 1/22/2018 – After not selling last Fall for $22,850, the seller of this unique period 6-series turbo is now asking $29,850.

I really love how these cars sometimes send you down the rabbit hole. What attracted me initially to this E24 was that it was a European-spec car and it had a pretty high asking price at nearly $23,000. Alone that wouldn’t be enough to warrant a post, especially given that from the first photo I glanced at, it doesn’t look spectacular.

But there’s a lot more than meets the eye when considering this car, and it has a lot more to do with the personality behind it than the current condition.

The name Albert Mardikian probably doesn’t mean much to you. Mr. Mardikian is a partner and the Chief Technology Officer behind ReGreen Organics, a company which deals with a lot of shit, for lack of a better term. I’m not being flippant. They’re an organic solid waste management company.

And it is in this capacity that Mr. Mardikian’s philosophy is particularly interesting when considering this car. He proclaims that he has a “passion for bettering our world”, yet his past would seem to have little to do with environmental improvement. That’s because in a past life Mr. Mardikian was also the proprietor of Trend Imports. Ring a bell? If not, perhaps a perusing of the Tom Cruise movie Rain Man would help you out. Mr. Cruise’s character’s subplot – an importer of exotic cars held up by the EPA – is based upon Mr. Mardikian. Because if you were in L.A. in the early 1980s and you wanted a gray market car, Trend Imports was where you went. And just like the main character in the movie, Mardikian got in quite a bit of trouble for the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royce and other models he imported by skirting EPA emissions laws.

Though his troubles with emissions laws dated back to 1981, Mardikian continued to be the turn-to source for ultra-exotics in the early days of importation. He also built custom convertible versions of some of the most famous 80s icons – Mercedes-Benz 500SECs, Lamborghini Countachs, Ferrari 512BBis, Porsche 930s. How about those replica Daytonas for Miami Vice? Mardikian. And he made more more neat creation – he married the turbocharged M102/6 from the European version of the BMW E23 745i with the slinky shape of the E24, creating his own “745CSi Turbo”:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 645CSi Turbo on eBay

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1972 Mercedes-Benz 600

Sometimes cars and people just go together. Cars can mimic someones personality and mannerisms, both good and bad. So when it comes to matching up the legendary Mercedes-Benz 600, a car known as one of the most technologically advanced and complex cars ever, to someone who isn’t an entertainer or a dictator, who wants to own one of these? Enter Dr. Forrest Bird. You’ve probably never heard of that name before, just as I haven’t, but he is responsible for pioneering mechanical ventilators for people with acute and chronic heart and lung afflictions. In layman’s terms, he made the iron lung obsolete and helped millions of people over the years. Not only that, he was a certified pilot by the age of 16, served in WWII and assisted in the Korean and Vietnam wars, took his technology company public on the NASDAQ, opened up a museum, earned a M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., D.S., started a charter school and just to top it all off, was awarded medals by not one, but two acting United States Presidents. Suddenly the problems of owning a 600 don’t seem so large.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

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Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

Boy, do I have a car for you today. If you are in the market for a car and still haven’t found what you’re looking for, maybe it’s time to put your heart and desire into none of than U2 lead signer Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. This magnificent W116 features a cowhide-patterned interior that would feel right at home in Miami or even The Playboy Mansion. If that wasn’t enough it, it also has a stereo system so large that will last you until the end of the world. Also let us rejoice, as if you are at a red light with a few seconds to spare, you can talk on the 1990s car phone but everyone that dials you will be an unknown caller. So are you ready to rise up, maybe even levitate? Or just continue to sleep like a baby tonight and let this 450SEL sit for another day?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

Year: 1980
Model: 450SEL
Engine: 4.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: Unknown
Price: Buy It Now £50,000 ($65,134)

 

To celebrate 30 years Joshua Tree, one of the best albums ever made

“Fitted with a pounds 15,000 sound system and cow-hide interior”

Do you want to buy piece of Rock an roll memorabilia.
Bono’s first car he got when he got few bob 🙂
He first bought just after U2 recorded the break through album Boy,
It’s very unique car Mercedes – 450 SEL in 1980’s

body in good condition engine needs work

 

Here is the thing with celebrity cars, they don’t mean squat for the value unless you are an absolute mega-star. Everyone wants to believe their cars once owned by a famous person 16 years and 4 owners ago suddenly quadruples it’s value. We see it all the time because it’s easy speculation. There is no work to be done, nothing tangible to see, just a story that someone likes to tell to drum up excited. At least with this W116 you can some kind of personal touches, but that doesn’t save it for being ugly and undesirable. It has your typical “engine needs work” line which could mean absolutely anything and most likely something serious.

The owner asking £50,000 (a little over $65,000) is just ludicrous. Without Bono’s name being attached this is a $5,000 car at best depending on what needs done. But there is one major problem with selling this car, someone actually bought this car at one time for €61,000 ($71,000). Except it wasn’t a person, but Pepsi Cola of all things. In 2000, Bono auctioned this car to raise funds for aid to Ethiopia. Pepsi broke out their checkbook and helped out Ethiopia as well as their bottom line for their taxes. So what is the problem? Everyone who owns this car has it burned in their mind that since Pepsi ponied up over $70,000 that it is worth that. Except Pepsi wasn’t buying this car, they were buying the publicity, the aid work and again, their reduced tax bill. The car will forever carry the honor of once being sold for $71,000 which explains why it has literally been for sale for over seven years. We actually featured this car way back in 2010 and the best part it is that it’s the same damn photos as the ones in this current auction. This car is destined to be driven on a street with no name because it’s never going to be sold unless the seller drops the price by about $55,000. Until then, Achtung Baby!

– Andrew

Feature Listing: 1981 BMW 745i Turbo with 31,700 Miles

To go up against the established Alpha executive from Germany – the S-Class Mercedes-Benz – BMW’s engineers had to think outside of the box. It wasn’t simply good enough to mimic the go-to large luxury sedan. They’d have to outperform it, to be better than Stuttgart’s best. That was a tall order for the Munich firm, since its last truly large sedans were the 501/2 series cars; the Baroque Angels of the early 1950s. Though they launched at roughly the same time as BMW’s microcar craze, they were really holdovers from another era. The same wouldn’t work in the late 1970s, but primed with the success of their 5- and 6-series models, BMW was ready to face the challenge.

Though the E3 had offered a sizeable sedan, the new E23 really stretched BMW’s platforms. The new 7-seres was 6 inches longer overall, most of which fell in a longer wheelbase versus the E3. It was also wider by a few inches and lower, too. Paul Bracq again provided the styling and it was nothing surprising; it carried the torch of many of the design elements of the 3-, 5- and 6-series cars, and that certainly wasn’t a bad thing. But what BMW hoped would help to set it apart from the competition was technology and performance, along with a high-level of material quality in the cabin. Options included Buffalo leather, an on-board computer system, anti-lock brakes, heated and reclining power seats front and rear, and even an airbag late in the run; standard fare today, but way ahead of the curve in the late 1970s and early 1980s. BMW matched this technology with a thoroughly modern driver-oriented cockpit which made the W116 Mercedes-Benz competition feel immediately antiquated.

Where the E23 really established itself, though, was in keeping with the “driving machine” motto of the company. This was a performance sedan, and consequently BMW brought its turbocharger technology over to the E23. Launched in 1980, the new “745i” derived its name from the 1.4 multiplier for turbocharged displacement, and the M102B32 3.2 liter inline-6 cranked out an impressive 252 horsepower with 280 lb.ft of torque channeled through a 3-speed automatic ZF-built 3HP22 gearbox. It provided effortless highway cruising with a broad torque curve. With a full assortment of luxurious options, a driver-oriented design and pioneering turbocharger technology, these really were cutting edge sedans in the early 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW 745i on eBay

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King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

Last week I checked out at a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 that looked to be cared for by a wealthy stable owner in north Alabama. Today, we have another W100 to examine, but this one has quite a bit more history to sort through. This 1970 600 for sale in Portland, Oregon isn’t the normal standard wheelbase sedan you are used to seeing but rather it’s the rare Pullman version, which is one of 423 ever produced. Of course, those who ordered these cars usually weren’t your normal private citizens. So who was the original owner of this rolling symbol of power?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman on Hemmings

Year: 1970
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
Price: $395,000

1970 Mercedes 600 Pullman

Ordered new by King Idris of Libya the same year he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi
Award winning restoration (fully documented)
All mechanicals are new or rebuilt
35,000 km’s (300 km since restoration)
Factory 040G black with bamboo leather
Complete set of factory spares kits and tool pouch
Price: $395,000 firm

The owner of this awesome 600 was King Idris of Libya who according to the build sheet, didn’t have possession of the car for too long. This Pullman was built in July of 1969 but unfortunately Idris was deposed a few months later in a coup d’etat by army officers led by a guy you might have heard of named Muammar Gaddafi. I’ve tracked down a photo of Idris getting out of the car attached below and even more amazingly, the Associated Press actually has video footage of Idris in Turkey on September 2nd, 1969 with the car that can be viewed here. That same day is when Libyan Army officers took control of the country. Naturally, Idris didn’t return to Libya choosing to head to Greece until ultimately going into exile in Egypt until his death in 1983 at the age of 94.

From there, the story is missing some chapters. From what I understand, this car was probably sold off (along with Idris’ other things) and ended up in Japan where it rested for over 20 years. From there, the car made its way to Los Angeles to a new owner where again, it sat. That’s where the current owner found it and sent it over to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California for extensive restoration in 2011. Now, it resides in Portland along with the owner’s five (that’s not a typo) other short-wheel-base 600s. I do remember seeing this car on display at Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance last year where it took home the Allen C. Stephens Elegance Award — which I have no idea what that means. I don’t run in the same circles as people who have cars nice enough to park on putting greens.

Now that the seller wants to move on from this Pullman, he is asking a whopping $395,000 – firm, no less. I know that the seller of this car wasn’t aware it was Idris’ car until after he purchased it but I’m sure he might have had an idea it had some kind of diplomatic ownership being so well-versed in 600 ownership. Just for comparison sake, there was a 1968 Pullman that was sold at an auction the Netherlands in 2015 that wasn’t a restored example, but still presentable, for just under $200,000. The notion that this car has some sort of increased value because it was owned for a month by a rather unknown King in Libya almost 48 years ago just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t think prior ownership factors into value unless maybe you were taking about one of the 600s owned by Lennon or Elvis and even then I’m weary. So while this 600 Pullman looks outstanding and surely has a cool history, almost $400,000 might just be a pipe dream number.

– Andrew

Slippery When Wet: ex-Jon Bon Jovi 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500

New Jersey: Strip malls, used car lots and Bon Jovi.

Somehow these things lead me down a convoluted path to talk about a 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500. What’s the connection?

From the title, you’ll know of course this is not just any W140. It is a W140 once owned by Jon Bon Jovi, and now it is for sale in New Jersey. At a secondhand used car lot, across from a strip mall. Bingo!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500 on eBay

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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

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Viktor Knavs’ 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Coupe

There is a good chance you have no idea who Viktor Knvas is. Don’t worry – I didn’t either until researching this car. There is probably also a good chance you might be hearing a little more about Mr. Knvas when his son-in-law is inaugurated into the White House in next month. Yes, this car was owned by the father of the future First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. So, if you find obscure political memorabilia appealing (or just like a really nice W111 coupe) let’s check out this 1962 220SE.

 CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Coupe on eBay

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Michael Schumacher’s 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL 6.0 AMG

ms1

I hope your Monday is going well, but if by high chance it’s not, hopefully this car can change that. Today we have a bonkers 1986 560SL 6.0 AMG and just to make it even better, it was owned by none other than Michael Schumacher. This R107 is a creation of ex-AMG engineer and current owner of Mercedes tuner MKB Pano Avramidis who took an already crazy 560SL 6.0 AMG and added a healthy dose of modern Mercedes upgrades. Of course all this comes with a very hefty price. So let’s take a look at this R107 AMG for sale in Monaco.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Michael Schumacher’s 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL 6.0 AMG on Classic Driver

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1972 Mercedes-Benz 250C

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Kick back and relax now that the work week is over because I need some time to unpack everything that this 1972 Mercedes-Benz 250C is bringing today. At first glance I was excited to see a W114 coupe in awesome 860 green and to my surprise it was a four-speed manual as well. Then I started reading the description and looking at the photos to realize this car had much more than what I saw on the surface. So let’s dive into this 1972 250C located in Washington.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 250C on eBay

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