Time for another roll call of some neat accessories I spotted for sale this week. The Votex items are extremely rare to find, even if their styling is somewhat polarizing. For a factory look, the W124 AMG rear spoiler needs refinishing but is an original piece. The Nürburgring brake package was a factory option that Dinan used as a “Big Brake” package for many BMWs, but originally came on either the M5, 540i M-Sport or 850CSi. Finally, there’s a set of Ruf pedals for your 911/964/993 just to finish things off. What’s your favorite?
All posts in Tuner Tuesday
I won’t bore you with an attempt to fully recount the storied history of the M1 here. But there are some interesting developments that helped create this halo car, changed its purpose and created the car that you see here. The M1 is a legendary car that, like the 959, 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth, RS200 and some other notable historic cars was born into a world that had already passed it by. It seems that often these ultimate cars have come about when the series rules have changed, and the M1 was part of that. The 959 moved from Group B to Le Mans, running high overall both attempts that it ran. The 190E took to the race track instead of rally, creating a new motorsports legend in the process – who can forget the images of Senna in the 190E? The RS200 moved towards the popular European sport of Rallycross, where it was extremely successful. And the M1? Well, the M1 was a bit lost; BMW had to build 400 of the expensive machines in a bit of a global recession, so they decided to make a one-make race series called the Procar series. Of course, it didn’t hurt that BMW was attempting to get its foot in the door with F1 management as an engine supplier, and the promise of the spectacle of F1 drivers let loose in supercars before the real race sure sounded appealing. What it was, most of the time, was a train wreck of crashes – but it was entertaining for sure, and they ended up building enough M1s to go racing where the car was intended, in Group 5 racing. While BMWs interests and technology passed by the M1 in the early 1980s, there was nevertheless a group of individuals who wanted their M1s turned up in the style of the wild winged, wide fendered and massive wheeled Procars. The result were the 10 AHG Studie cars:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW M1 AHG Studie on Classic Driver
Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!
I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those
crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package. Specify it in Montana Green, and you’ve got the crowds drooling. Then someone goes and does this:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60 on eBay
I was joking around with our editor, Paul, saying that I was pretty sure we could just feature E30s all day long and everyone would be happy. There’s a seemingly endless supply of examples that come to the market every week. There are the normal S50/S52 swaps, some crazy turbo editions, mint condition original examples, tired daily drivers and everything in between. But occasionally something special pops up that really makes you take notice. Much like earlier’s H26 modified 325i, here is a 325i that was apparently originally modified by Hartge in Germany. Sporting some of the really tasty Hartge bits but not a full H26 conversion, the Coup de gras has to be the Weismann hardtop:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325i Euro-Spec Hartge/Weismann on eBay
If the BMW E30 market has been crazy over the past few years in terms of appreciation, it’s really nothing compared to the Porsche 911 market. From cars that were worth between $50,000 to $75,000 not many years ago, suddenly we see early 911s worth triple or four times that amount. Make that car a special model, such as a 73 RS, and you’re looking at a top value around $800,000 and climbing; around $650,000 more than it would set you back only 7 years ago. This has resulted in many other models of the 911 being pulled up, and one of the more recent special models that has continued to have a strong market following is the Speedster model. However, does that increased value get boosted or negated when you look at a modified version of the original – a car like this Strosek wide body version of the 1994 Speedster: