I’ll admit that a fair amount of these 10K face-offs are somewhat limited in their execution. Often, the examples of cars I’m able to track down for the day of the article aren’t the best that are out there or, more often than not, in an effort to fit the cars under the 10K budget they’re just not the prime examples or they’re not good matches. However, there are two performance convertibles on fairly equal footing that really offer a tremendous amount of proverbial bang for your buck these days; come to the table with around $10,000 and you can pick up either a E36/7 BMW M Roadster or 986 Porsche Boxster S. Granted, in some cases the stars have to align just right and there are many weeks where there aren’t two good examples in the price range – but today there just happen to be two very comparable examples to look at. Similar mileage, similar colors and similar power and drive mean that these two are still competing with buyers as they were when new. However, it’s there where the two cars seem to point towards the very different philosophies and character of their respective parent companies. Let’s then in the waning days of a summer gone by at two special and quite reasonably priced convertible sports cars:
You have to ask yourself when pondering the Aztec, “Did Italdesign really think they’d make 1,000 of these in the late 1980s?” Certainly anything seemed possible then – the world was in the midst of a supercar revolution. Porsche introduced the revolutionary Group B based 959, while Ferrari had the twin-turbo brothers GTO and F40. Then there were countless others on the horizon – Jaguar XJ220 and XJR-15, an all-new Lamborghini Diablo, the Bugatti EB110 and Cizeta-Moroder V16 – even some wild U.S. based creations like the Vector and Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette. But perhaps more wild than all of these was the wild “Aztec” from Italdesign. Giugiaro’s company had long been pioneers of advanced and cutting edge designs, but they really outdid themselves with the Aztec. As if taking inspiration from some of the best futuristic designs from the 60s and 70s, the Aztec looked part jet fighter, part rocket ship, and part Star Trek communicator. Indeed, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to have someone like Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford pull up in an Aztec at a movie premier; it was as otherworldly and futuristic as both Hollywood and the sets of Star Wars and Blade Runner. But even if there were more wild designs that you might have seen on the show circuit in 1988, Giugiaro – with the aid of some hefty backing from Japanese capital – was crazy enough to produce road going versions of these cars. What was not surprising, then, was that there was a market for them – though, admittedly, it was as limited as the daily drive-ability of the car.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Italdesign Aztec on eBay
On a recent bike trip, my girlfriend and I had some long climbs up the foothills of the Bay Area on tree-lined, one-lane switchbacks. On one particularly gorgeous but hidden stretch, she yelled “look at the cool Unimog down there!” Thankful as I am that my partner knows what a Mog is, it was actually a fascinating Pinzgauer 4×4 that looked like it was prepared to be an RV for the zombie apocalypse. While that particular model looked prepared to keep people out, today’s 6×6 model looks like it wants to let anyone and anything crawl in while it dominates terrain. With heated seats, a huge truck bed, and one of the most stout external rollcages I’ve seen, I’m not sure what it’s for other than what the dudes are doing in the photo – but just riding in it looks pretty fun.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Pinzgauer 712M on eBay
The 911E is a model that I particularly like. It won’t have the frenzied investment potential of a 911S, but it makes for a good investment while also possessing a few advantages over the 911T. All 911 models from these years are worthwhile in their own right, though there is a shifting balance between driver and investor and finding the right car is not always easy. The example we see here comes in the very period-correct color of Sepia Brown: a one-owner 1971 Porsche 911E, located in California, with a claimed 16,000 miles on it. Sepia Brown would not qualify as my favorite shade on a 911, but brown on brown does tend to fit the period and still serves as a departure from many of the standard colors we see today.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Porsche 911E on eBay
Westies have been showing up with a wide range of prices recently, from “what are they thinking?” $15k examples to “WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!” decked-out $80k specialties. Today’s has had a beautiful restoration and a rebuilt 1.9l diesel swap, resulting in a beautiful and original-looking van. The original vehicle only had 52k miles to begin with, and a more powerful and like-new GoWesty engine means this van is ready for the next few decades. All work and modifications are subtle and well-chosen, with a price that seems surprisingly within reason.