A few weeks ago, I wrote a “Roll the Dice” article about a European specification 380SE with a host of period AMG bits. However, there was no supporting documentation that the car was actually an AMG car and, notably, several items were incorrect. The verdict was that without that documentation, it was probably overpriced for what it was. Today I’m back with another white “AMG” – this time, a pre-merger R129 500SL. Again, we get little documentation on what is reportedly a Japanese-specification 500SL with AMG bits. Is it worth a roll of the dice this time?
All posts in Tuner Tuesday
Early AMG cars are always a bit of a gamble without proper documentation, but today’s example really had me stumped. The listing has a bit of misinformation and answers few questions about the history or build of this particular W126. The look of the car, too, is questionable mostly because of the poor photo quality. So, let’s see if we can take a closer look and figure out any of what’s here – is this car worth the gamble?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SE on eBay
Just last week I was baffled by a C5 chassis swap. The seller took a 2.7T twin-turbo motor, a 6-speed transmission, and an Audi A6 Avant to create a unique package. However, in some ways its mission was lost to me; why not just buy an Allroad manual for half the price, or get the nicer S6 Avant with more and better go-faster bits? To answer my question, our reader Andre posted a response with the link to this car. Again, we have a C5 Avant with a 2.7T 6-speed swap. The price is pretty similar. But the base vehicle this time is the S6, with lightweight aluminum panels, flared fenders and bladed doors, great interior and a host of RS6 bits. Does this one accomplish being desirable and justifying the swap better?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 Avant on Seattle Craigslist
Odds are that there are quite a few people who still don’t know that the narrow-body, non-turbocharged Type 85 Coupe Quattro existed at all. Move outside of the U.S. market, though, and the Coupe GT could be opted with the all-wheel drive underpinnings of the 90 (4000) quattro, resulting in the WRC-winning look without the Porsche 911 price tag. But while generally fans of the B2 chassis can’t be dissuaded that it might just be the best Audi product ever, the reality of owning one of these trustworthy steeds was that they were pretty slow. Dependable, tossable, still fun to drive – but slow. On top of that, the aftermarket industry for the inline-5 was pretty weak. There were some products out there; I had an original Abt header, for example, and you could buy a Schrick cam or briefly a neato Jamex air intake. But the real way to gain power was to swap in a turbocharged inline-5, right? Well, apparently no one told the folks at GTi Engineering in Brackley that:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe Quattro RE2500 on eBay
It’s hard to say which is more popular – S50/52 swaps into E30s or VR6s into everything Volkswagen. But there’s a reason they’re so popular; they’re relatively cheap and they work. Can you achieve VR-power levels in a 9A 16V? Sure. Will it cost you and be a pretty compromised road motor? Yes, so suddenly the appeal of the ubiquitous VR-swap makes a bunch of sense. The results here turn what was a butch looking but relatively slow 8 valve GTI into a performance machine. That’s helped by a dose of performance parts including a trick Schrick intake, but it’s the supercharger that will really motivate you here. With over 100% more power the ride should be exhilarating!