Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 930 Coupe

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 930 Coupe

Modified cars from the 1980s enjoy are and interesting exercise in dichotomy. Take AMG, for example – add the flares, wide wheels, hunkered down suspension and turned up engine to a W126 and the asking price increases from a standard model by a factor of ten. What is strange about the AMG model, though, is that enthusiasts of the Affalterbach company accept licensed installers as proper original builds. Such is not the case when it comes to tuners like Alpina, Hartge and Ruf; generally speaking, in those cases the only “true” original examples came from the manufacturer’s facilities in Germany. In these cases, examples that are properly sorted and original can be worth double, triple or even quadruple what an identically modified car from a licensed installer in the U.S. would be worth. On top of that, AMG continues to be a bit of an aberration in the tuner realm since most other period modified examples of Porsches, BMWs, and Audis are worth less than a pristine stock example. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, since generally speaking, companies such as Alpina and Ruf put out equally good looking products when compared to AMG, and properly modified were just as luxurious and just as fast. Nevertheless, a tastefully modified example like this period Ruf-modified 1987 Porsche 930 just doesn’t seem to draw the same attention as a AMG 560SEC Widebody 6.0 would, for example. Let’s take a look at what a reported $75,000 in mods got you in the late 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion

Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion

We’re all pretty familiar with Ruf’s long history of producing automobiles derived from a Porsche chassis. Their ethos falls similarly in line with Porsche itself, though with everything turned up a notch (or in some cases many notches). Whether they are Ruf-modified Porsches or possess an actual Ruf VIN, these cars combine the best of high performance and refinement. One of the cars we see most frequently is the BTR, which used the 3.2 Carrera as the basis for producing a variant of the 911 Turbo. The successor to that model, generally called the BTR2, was produced for the 993 and is the car we see here. They could use most any configuration of the 993, whether the rear-drive Carrera 2 or the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 (though I’ve even come across one based off of a Turbo S) as their base and from there received the typical Ruf treatment that provided a single turbocharger, modified suspension and braking, and a redesigned interior with integrated roll cage. Since either the Carrera 2 or Carrera 4 could provide a base, Ruf was providing either an alternative to the 993 Turbo in its all-wheel drive configuration or a toned down version of the GT2 with rear drive. The example we see here began life as a Carrera 4S prior to being shipped off to Pfaffenhausen for its conversion and features a fairly interesting interior showing off what seems to be a cross between houndstooth and tartan inserts. I’m not sure what we’d call that, but it’s quite eye catching!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo

While I’ve recently covered quite a string of impressive Alpina models, the reality is that all of them leave me a bit wanting. It’s not that they aren’t lovely, or full of incredible and beautiful detail. It’s not that they’re in bad condition, misused or abused. It’s not salvage titles, accident history or even poorly presented advertisement. No, for me, it’s what you get for your money. I understand the nature of exclusivity and certainly the Alpinas offer that. They, for the most part, also back up that exclusivity with well-engineered increased performance, so while the appearance package helps to set them apart, few Alpinas are posers. But when the asking prices for aftermarket E30s are $50,000, $60,000 – even $90,000 dollars, for you not to question the sanity of the market would be seriously worrysome. That’s especially true since you can get Alpina’s arguably most impressive product from the same period for less:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7

$65,000 for an E36?Bullsh*t!“, most of you are probably saying. That money should be reserved for true classics or brand new models. Heck, you can get a perfect condition, lightly used M4 for $65,000 even in a cool color. But anyone can walk down to a dealer and get a brand new car. You’re an enthusiast, which means you enjoy the purgatory of older car ownership. Few of your non-automobile related friends understand why you like old, smelly, slow, uncomfortable, often in need of repair hunks of metal and plastic. “It’s just a car”, they say. But it’s not just a car to you – it’s an identity, a feeling, a Joie de vivre those who don’t know will never have. It doesn’t matter that they don’t understand, because you understand. So you take that $65,000 that you could have spent on a brand new, ultra-flash and ultra-fast M4 but you don’t spend it on an ultra-obscure two decade-old E36, because they’re not worth that much – obviously. No, you instead spend it on a sure thing, a car that isn’t a flash in the pan, a recession-proof investment-grade BMW like….an E30?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG Mosselman Twin Turbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG Mosselman Twin Turbo

There is a fairly substantial problem with pre-merger AMG products: documentation. At this point, the newest of the pre-merger cars are on the verge of being considered antiques in many states, and with Mercedes-Benz takeover of the Affalterbach company, much of the documentation of the early models production numbers is lacking. They’ve often changed hands multiple times as styles and tastes have changed, and the paperwork accompanying their builds isn’t always present. Further complicating this was the model that AMG followed. Unlike, say, a Ruf BTR, there was no specific mold to most of the AMG products. Instead, individual taste and monetary resources determined how many of the à la carte options would be tailored to your individual Mercedes-Benz. Also unusual was the AMG authorized dealer-installed model, which meant that you could get an authentic AMG install in California, for example. You could also apparently claim your AMG heritage with as little as three accessories installed, leaving a broad interpretation of what makes a “true” AMG build. Lastly, the popularity – especially in recent years – of AMG products means that there are a plethora of replica kits and pieces that are available. And, at first glance, this W124 would seem to be the product of just that – replete with “custom” AMG seatbelt covers and an ill-fitting C126 hood conversion, for example. But this W124 is much more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Mosselman Twin-Turbo on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Porsche DP 935-Kremer G5 Street 2

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Porsche DP 935-Kremer G5 Street 2

When considering 1980s modified Porsches, there’s visually fine line between a poorly executed garage swap and a full-blood, racing heritage model. Many will be familiar with the name DP Motorsports, and though rare we have featured quite a few of the DP935 model. In fact, Rob looked at a pretty blue one earlier this year. However, while some love the racing-inspired lines and livery, many more detest the somewhat poser status. I say “somewhat”, because more often than not we’ve seen these DP 935s feature upgraded powertrains. But if you really want the chops to back up the Le Mans-ready looks of the DP 935, there was really only one place to turn – the Kremer G5 Street 2:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche DP935 Kremer G5 Street 2 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute

Tuner Tuesday: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute

If the B10 3.5/1 from earlier was overshadowed by the more powerful headline-grabbing BiTurbo, the Roadster S barely emerged from under the positively giant amount of shade cast by the Roadster V8. So outraged was the enthusiast world that Alpina would yank the S62 V8 and 6-speed out to be replaced by a 540 motor and automatic that you could easily have missed the lesser Roadster on offer from Buchloe. Indeed, far fewer of the Roadster S were produced than the Roadster V8; a scant 370 are reported to have been made. In typical Alpina fashion, the S model featured engine, suspension, interior and exterior upgrades. The N52 magnesium block engine was dropped in favor of the M52 punched out to 3.4 liters, with a resulting 300 horsepower and 5 second 0-60 times. 19″ Alpina Dynamic wheels – the same ones fit to its more famous brother – filled out the wheel wells, while Alpina’s unique front and rear spoilers helped to individualize the hunkered down attitude of the E85. Replete with unique interiors and the all-important enthusiast’s requisite manual, it was surprising that more attention wasn’t levied upon them, but such was the effect of the Roadster V8. Someone was paying attention, though, because they went to great lengths to copy the S design. This is not one of the 370 original cars, but it’d be hard for most to tell:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW Z4 Alpina Roadster S Tribute on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Double Take: Rauh-Welt Begriff Porsche 911s

Tuner Tuesday Double Take: Rauh-Welt Begriff Porsche 911s

Among tuners Rauh-Welt Begriff occupies a somewhat unique space. The works of Akira Nakai are polarizing due to their very unique looks, but what sets them apart from most tuners is that they largely consist of cosmetic modifications. Not all fall into that category – as evidenced by one of the cars we see here – but by and large when we come across a RWB modified 911 the suspension and engine work is minor relative to the complete change these cars undergo in their appearance. Not everyone loves them; in fact I’d say the vast majority find them distasteful. Yet, there is serious attention to detail in these builds and for those that are fans they make for some of the most jaw-dropping 911s you’re ever likely to come across. The work is done by hand and Nakai-san is known to work tirelessly from arrival until the work is completed. While the appearance may be polarizing, we do have to admit that they mimic the wild creations of Porsche itself. And I think that is where much of their appeal lies: they are very unique yet maintain their connection with the marque from which they came.

The two we have here display those polarizing looks quite well along with showcasing the sort of design RWB has applied to the respective models upon which the builds were based – in this case the 964 and the 993. The first began as a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and unlike many RWB builds has plenty of power to go along with its aggressive looks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 RWB Turbo on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Alpina B10 3.5/1

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Alpina B10 3.5/1

It’s hard to imagine being the bottom of the totem pole at Alpina, but the 3.5/1 might just be that car. In part that’s because the E34 lineup was so robust, featuring the cool 3.0 Allrad and the Learjet-channeling BiTurbo. When BMW ceased the production of the M30, V8 powered 310 and 340 horsepower 4.0 and 4.6 models replaced the inline-6. In comparison to those headliners, the 254 horsepower B10 3.5/1 seemed like an article more suited for the corner of page 2. However, consider for a moment that the B10 3.5/1’s power numbers were nearly identical to the contemporary super-saloon S38-powered M5 and it helps to restore some clarity to the impressiveness of the products rolling out of Buchloe. Today one of the 572 3.5/1s produced is up for sale in Illinois:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport 2.5

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport 2.5

Though ultimately not as well known as Alpina, AC Schnitzer replaced the more famous brand a the defacto factory race team in the late 1970s and 1980s. To capitalize on their success at the race track (including the successful campaigns in the DTM), in 1987 AC Schnitzer launched their first brand-specific model based upon the new E32. That was followed by a more sporty E30-based model, dubbed the ACS3 Sport in 1989. It was available based upon either a normal 3-series, or those with a bunch of dough could opt to allow Schnitzer to modify their prized M3. And modify it did; subtle changes outside included revised mirrors, a light change to the rear end and a single-wiper conversion to really channel the DTM spirit. Wheels were either 17″ multi-piece Schnitzer design, or the ever-popular BBS RS model in 16″x8 or 9. As Alpina did, Schnitzer included their own steering wheel (4 options available), a numbered plaque, bespoke suspension 20mm lower than the standard ride height, and a unique rectangular-tipped exhaust. However, the real treat was the full 2.5 conversion, which really packed some extra power in the S14. Schnitzer brought the total displacement to 2,431 cc – just shy of the 2,467 BMW themselves would produce in the 1990 Sport Evolution. Coupled with a revised DME, the S3 Sport 2.5 produced an impressive 245 horsepower. They are exceedingly rare to come across, but our reader Daniel spotted this fully converted 1988 example for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 2.5 at Garage Current

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Alpina C2 2.5

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Alpina C2 2.5

It’s a strange world we live in when I first looked at the $39,500 asking price of this 1985 Alpina C2 2.5 and thought, “Well, that’s pretty reasonable”. But at what may be the height of the Zeitgeist of E30, when asks on 318is models are in the 20s, 320is are in the 30s and you’ve heard enough about the M3’s race winning streak to nauseate Jochen Neerpasch (no, no, I’m sure you know who he is without looking it up, “lifetime” M3 fan!), is it really all that outrageous to ask $40,000 for an excellent condition, ultra limited Alpina model? This particular one was a stranger even in Europe; the C2 2.5 was a Japan-only model with 74 reported produced. It was also the second least powerful on offer from Alpina, with only the C1 2.3/1 below. Although that meant it was more a sheep in wolf’s clothes than the typical other way around, the C2 2.5 still packed 185 horsepower and matched it with upgraded suspension, wheels, brakes, exhaust, and of course the typical Alpina décor. This particular example, looking splendid in Lapis Blue, comes to the market with only 46,000 miles:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Alpina C2 2.5 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo Andial 3.8

Tuner Tuesday: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo Andial 3.8

Outside of our usual perusing of eBay we all have a variety of other sites we frequent when looking for interesting cars to feature. Some of the sites are sellers whose inventory is a constant array of amazing options and truthfully we could probably just run down the entire inventory and feature everything. But that’s not really what we try to do. That said, at times certain cars stand out so much that we can’t just pass by them. As I hope anyone reading this will agree, this is one of those cars: a paint-to-sample Blood Orange 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo that early in its life was shipped off to Andial for their 3.8 liter twin-plug conversion. On the engine side, the Andial conversion raises horsepower to 575 on 93 octane gas and 625 on race fuel. But it isn’t just an engine. Upgraded suspension and braking helps control the extra power and a sport clutch and single-mass flywheel help deliver that power to all four wheels. While perhaps not as all out and well known as a RUF conversion, the Andial conversions are special in their own right and on the 993 Turbo a rare treat to see.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo Andial 3.8 on RPM Sports Cars

Tuner Tuesday: 1992 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16V

Tuner Tuesday: 1992 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16V

On a recent visit to Coventry Motorcar I was shown the “Tuning Drawer”: one pull-out drawer in an admittedly large and cool rolling tool chest full of cords, plugs, and modules. Today, that’s what it takes to tune a car; not cams, throttle bodies, head work or a high pressure fuel pump. Designing those parts to fit into modern motors and still have them leap through the hoops of getting certified by the EPA means that only the richest and most respected tuning firms can produce parts to fit into these complicated motors, and even then they’re more often than not highly reliant upon computer reprograming rather than internal rebuilds. Today’s GTi may not look particularly outrageous from the outside, but it brings us back to a more simple time in tuning, an analogue age where jumps in horsepower were measured in single digits, not in groups of 100 or more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Twofer: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG v. 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody

Tuner Tuesday Twofer: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG v. 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody

Coupe versions of the Mercedes-Benz W126 chassis are popular fodder for these pages, and in particular we love to look at some period modified versions. Just last week Craig looked at a 1989 560SEC with period AMG bits, though that car was not an originally modified car. Today I have a comparison of two different directions modifications took in the 1980s on the C126, and in many ways it is a commentary on both how to properly present a car and…well, how not to. Whether these cars are to your taste is another matter, but we can certainly see the divergence in style pretty quickly. Which one is the winner? Let’s take a look at the European specification AMG model first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E Tommykaira M19

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E Tommykaira M19

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The last time you probably heard the term ‘Tommykaira’, it was ripping around a digital racetrack on Gran Turismo in the late 90s. The name Tommy Kaira was legendary in the JDM car scene in the 2000s with heavy hitter Nissan Skylines and even their own car that got them a place in the Gran Turismo video game series. But before becoming all that, they started off by dabbling in the world of Mercedes-Benz. They took the regular W201 190E and W124 300E and added their own speical touches to the engine, suspension, body work and wheels before reselling them to the Japanese market as the Tommykaira M19 and M30E . Very rarely do I see them for sale because of their relatively low production numbers but recently this M19 has come up for sale a few times on eBay in Yokohama, Japan. So let’s take a closer look at this JDM Baby Benz.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E Tommykaira M19 on eBay