In the UK, where I grew up, the E46 3-series was available with a Sport package from 2001 onwards. This added M-Tech suspension, an M-Tech II bodykit, sport seats, steering wheel and “M V-Spoke” Style 72 alloys (later replaced by style 135s). The revised bumpers and spoilers definitely lent the car a more aggressive, sporting edge and considerably enhanced the overall look of the car. The package, officially renamed from “Sport” to “M Sport” in 2005, proved immensely popular throughout the E46 production run. As a result, the UK used market is filled with relatively cheap examples. Not so in the US. When I moved here, I soon discovered that the American E46 did not receive the same package until 2003, and only then on the 330i/330ci models. Known here as the ZHP or “Performance Package,” this added all of the aforementioned upgrades plus redesigned camshafts and a remapped engine computer, supposedly bringing power to 235 hp (10 hp more than standard models). Ticking this option box added nearly $4,000 to the cost of the car, making ZHP-equipped models relatively uncommon. As a result, when used examples do crop up they seem to command a considerable price premium.
The Golf Harlequin is one of those strange creatures that ostensibly would look more at home in a art festival than in a car show. Volkswagen’s “Chinese fire drill” of body parts from primary colored Golfs was an interesting exercise, leading to the moniker Harlequin – a reference to the colorful and semi-psychotically eyed ducks, themselves named after a colorfully dressed character in Italian 16th century theater. Now that you’ve learned something, these Golfs have become legendary and desirable in their own right despite effectively being a base model underneath, leading to the replica color scheme not only extending to copies of the originals, but even to replicas utilizing other Volkswagen models. My local Volkswagen dealer, for example, has used the scheme not only on post-Mk.3 delivery Golfs, but even their Chevrolet Express parts vans have the mismatched tones. But today we’ll look at a replica GL which has gone to great lengths to mask itself in the colorful attire. Unlike the originals, though, this one has a serious weapons-grade revision in the drive department:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Replica VR6-swap on eBay
Chances are if you live in the United States, a Mercedes-Benz B200 is something you only might of seen in the background of that weird French movie that your significant other made you watch on Netflix. And chances are you only caught a glimpse because ”We aren’t stopping the movie again so you can go back and look at a car”. So what is the B200? Mercedes calls it a ”sports compact tourer”, the Euro NCAP calls it a ”small multi-purpose vehicle” and I just call it a tall, skinny, four door hatchback . This front-wheel drive 2009 B200 is powered by an engine the size of a case of beer and actually gets over 40mpg when paired to the 5-speed manual gearbox. So let’s take a look at this illegal immigrant located in New York.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Mercedes-Benz B200 on eBay
Following upon the heels of yesterday’s Porsche 930 here we have a very similar looking 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Virginia. Both cars came from the 1979 MY and both have the same rare exterior color. But the devil is in the details as this SC departs from that 930 in a few interesting ways – you know, other than them being completely different models. The most obvious point of departure comes in the interior where we find pasha inserts on the seats. Like the many tartan inserts we’ve seen on other Porsches from this period the pasha inserts can be tough to love and pretty clearly date this 911 to the ’70s. For some buyers though they are just the thing to spice up the interior. We also find the cookie cutter wheels, here shown in black, a color which I’ve very rarely seen and which gives them a very subtle appearance. It also has one of the earlier whale tails for the SC and it looks much more like that of the early 930s than what we would late find on other 911s. Some documentation of its originality to this 911 will be key here.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa on Excellence Magazine
I’ve posted a number of W126 sedans over the past few weeks, making no secret of my love for the 80s era S-class. But no less desirable, in my view, is the two-door variant based on the same platform, the C126. These cars offered all the luxury and advanced (for the time) safety features of the sedans, not to mention their elegant and timeless styling, but with the added panache of a sexy, low-slung, pillar-less coupe. As with their four door counterparts, used prices for these cars are a little all over the map these days. This ’90 560SEC is a middle of the market example that appears to be in turn-key condition.