Tuner Tuesday: Tuner Accessories Roundup

Time for another parts roundup, and today I’m focusing on some aftermarket and rare parts. There are some really desirable pieces here, and some pretty horrible looks (I’m looking at you, Kamei). What’s your favorite, what would you like on your ride or what would you like to see?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Momo Porsche steering wheel on eBay

10K Friday Performance Edition: M3 v. 944 Turbo v. CLK500 v. S4 v. GTi

Well, I hope this will stir some interest, as I think this is a bit of an interesting comparison. What level of performance can you buy for $10,000 (give or take) these days? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options – and those options vary pretty seriously in their execution and packages; there’s a wagon and a sports car, two sedan-based coupes and a hatchback. Engines range from a 2 liter turbo to a V8, with a bit of everything in between. Yet, what appears to be a very strange comparison linked only by price is revealed to be much closer when you look at performance figures:

E36 M3: 240 hp, 0-60 6.0 seconds, 3,200 lbs
944 Turbo: 220 hp, 0-60 5.9 seconds, 2,900 lbs
CLK500: 302 hp, 0-60 5.7 seconds, 3,800 lbs
S4 Avant: 250 hp, 0-60 5.6 seconds, 3,700 lbs
GTi: 200 hp, 0-60 6.6 seconds, 3,200 lbs

The range is much closer than you’d expect – especially when you consider that these figures could easily be equaled in margin of error, driver skill and reaction time. In the twisties, the lower powered cars like the GTi catch up to the higher power CLK and S4. All are, in one way or another, practical choices. Some are destined (or already) classics, while others will likely fade away. So what would be your choice? Let’s start with an M3 we’ve already seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 on eBay

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

Having just embarked on a summer road trip, my thoughts wandered while driving towards fuel economy. My MINI Cooper S certainly does well enough, but sometimes you want something a bit more suited for cruising. Which is where this Mercedes-Benz 300TD comes in. It’s not the fastest car out there, but once up to cruising speed, it’s a capable motor with the range and reliability of diesel power and a good amount of carrying capacity. This particular 300TD for sale in California has been converted to run on biodiesel and is a two owner car, having lived its live out in the western US.

Click for more details: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

It’s a rainy day here in New England, so I spent some time finding my favorite wheels on Ebay. Most of these are period option or aftermarket wheels, but all of them are pretty cool. I especially love the BMW Ronal wheels, the ATS AMG wheels in nearly new shape and the amazing BBS magnesium Bugatti EB110 wheels. Which are your favorite?

Update: thanks to reader KevinR for correctly spotting the Mercedes-Benz wheels were Centra Type 31s. Thanks!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: ATS AMG 16×8 5×112 Wheels on eBay

1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Sometimes there is that one possession that we wind up hanging on to for years, whether it is for sentimental value, material value or perhaps it is just plain cool. For me, I have a vintage watch that I have prized for years and look after. On a much larger scale, the same thing seems to be true with the former owner of this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, who kept the car for the last 42 years. This was a car that helped propel Mercedes into the spotlight with luxury car buyers stateside, as the Gullwing and later Roadster variant we see here were cars flaunted by the rich and famous. With matching numbers and documentation dating back to when it was purchased, this will surely be a prize in any collection.

Click for more details: 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 260SE 5-speed manual

One of my automotive guilty pleasures is a base spec version of any particular model of vehicle. I find something appealing about a vehicle in its purest form with minimal frills. Such is the case with this Mercedes-Benz 260SE for sale in Germany. The lowest form of W126 S Class the US received at the time was the 300SE, with a larger version of the M103 inline-6 that we see here. But while our cars came with everything from automatic gearboxes and climate control, this S class is equipped with cloth seats, hubcaps and a 5-speed manual gearbox. Seems out of place in a large luxury sedan such as this, but for some who lament the decline of three pedal cars, it makes this über cool.

Click for more details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 260SE at German Car.net

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

It’s hard to believe that the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen has been with us for 35 years. In an era when Mercedes styling has become more daring than ever, this boxy truck has defied trends and continues to offer unmatched levels of off-road prowess with the latest luxuries. Once Mercedes-Benz started officially importing this model to the US, however, the G-wagen became a bit soft around the edges, losing a bit of that simple ruggedness that endeared it to military and rescue services the world over. This earlier, imported 280GE for sale in California, however, is set up for the more hardcore enthusiast, looking quite purposeful in black with large, slatted roof rack. Equipped with a higher horsepower, Euro spec M110 inline-6, it has been certified as 50 state legal.

Click for more details: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on eBay

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

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The venerable Mercedes-Benz W123 has enjoyed success among an extraordinarily diverse set of customers, from dictators and wealthy families to hippies and hipsters. The unsurpassed combination of luxury, comfort, cachet, good looks, diesel availability, and epic longevity begins to explain why so many people see this as truly great transportation. Pile all this into a low-mileage (for a Mercedes diesel) wagon and you have a timeless classic that can do pretty much anything (if not that quickly). This 1982 Turbo wagon is looking immaculate in silver with pinstriping, and I am developing a new area of longroof lust.

Click for details: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Whether your intention is to try to return your car towards a stock form, find some period correct aftermarket wheels or even some optional OEM wheels, there are always some great options out there to check out. Today is no exception; from the rare to see Ronal R9 for classic BMWs to the wicked OZ 3-piece wheels for AMGs, here are a few of the rare wheel sets I found for sale this week. Which are your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Ronal R9 16×8 5×120 Wheels on eBay

1973 Mercedes-Benz 280C

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There’s always talk about classic cars suddenly getting out of reach for us mere mortals, but dig down a bit into a manufacturer’s portfolio and there are still a few cars out there to be had on a shoestring budget without requiring massive amounts of expensive restoration work or mechanical fixes. Case in point the Mercedes-Benz W114 Coupe. There’s been a lot of discussion on the Benz forums as to why these particular Mercedes are cheap, especially since they were the first all-new chassis to appear post World War II. Perhaps the appearance was a bit staid and levels of luxury were down a bit in comparison to the contemporary S class. Maybe it was the carbonation problems that some owners of petrol engined examples experienced. Finding a good classic Mercedes that is in good running shape is not easy when your budget is under $10,000 these days, especially when it comes to a coupe. This 280C for sale in Georgia, though, fits the profile.

Click for more details: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280C on eBay