As we neared the final year of the 3.2 Carrera, which would also be the final year of the classic 911 design, Porsche released a couple special models as a send-off (or for the cynical as a way of selling off a few extra chassis) for the car that had quickly become the staple of the brand. But even with those special editions it is to the standard models that frequently we return with such joy. For that is where the variation lies and is most apparent. Here we have another example of an interesting color combination that we rarely come across, but which provides excellent vitality to even an older car: a Velvet Red 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Florida, with a Burgundy leather interior and 58,000 miles on it. While today the 911 Cabriolet seems as common as any other model, at the time of the 3.2 Carrera’s departure it had only been around a little more than 5 years, with the Carrera itself being the first model to have a Cabriolet during its entire model run. That doesn’t necessarily make these especially rare or anything like that, but this is the first model where we begin to see an evolution of the design and, of course, for those particularly interested in the classic 911 it would be the most advanced on the market.
To round out my week of posts I thought it would be appropriate to post the top dog of the W126 lineup, the 560SEL. I found a couple pristine examples with rather lofty prices that I considered writing up but in the end it was this example that needs a bit of cosmetic love that captured my imagination. The seller notes that they’ve handled a number of issues and that the only concerns are the state of the hood, top and trunk paint and the A/C system needing service. Other than that, this Bavarian living room on wheels is ready for a whole lot more use, either as a daily driver or weekend warrior.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL on Craigslist
I like older cars that are loved, maintained, and well-used in the manner they were built for. This means that high mileage is, to me, a badge of honor, and replaced and upgrades parts are more a sign of perseverance and attention than decay. Like my old cars, this ’91 Westy appears to me as a shining example of just how good 200k+ miles can look. Sure, there are some stone chips and patina, and the engine and transmission have had to be replaced, but from the wheels to the tent and all through the inside it looks a great, functional adventure van. Instead of the 2.1-liter gas engine, it now has a 1.9-liter TDI conversion that was truly done right, with some nice engine mods along with a re-geared transmission and a Peloquin differential to resist those annoying one-wheel spins in traction-deficient situations. The condition and upgrades more than offset the high odometer reading, so the auction is starting at a strong $29k.
Click for details: 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia TDI on eBay
I believe in every C4 post I remark that it’s pretty rare to find good example. That’s especially true of the Avants, since even though they enjoy a coveted status amongst Audi fanatics there were only around 300 examples imported originally. Considering that the newest (and the oldest) examples are some 20 years of ski trips old, the likelyhood that you’ll come across a good example is extremely low. Of course, I say that, and last month a remarkably excellent Avant popped up. A one owner silver example with lower miles turned up, and immediately I contacted my family member who has been on the lookout for one. “This is your one chance” I effectively said, since it was the only near perfect silver model I’d seen for sale post-2000. While it didn’t work out in that case, here we are less than a month later; with an even better example of an incredibly rare car:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay
Who doesn’t love a hot hatch? The combination of a nimble chassis, lively performance, and versatile practicality has been a winning package for decades now and though they still are less beloved here in the States than they are in Europe we now at least have a few nice options from which we can choose the one that suits our needs. VW, of course, produced one of the most iconic hot hatches of all time and while their current options have departed quite a bit from the excellent lightness of the original GTi, they remain a leader in hot-hatch execution. For 2012 Volkswagen brought us their top performance version, the Golf R. As the replacement for the R32 the Golf R utilized a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 to direct 256 hp to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual. These pack a serious punch when added to the dynamic chassis and all-wheel drive helps smooth out the various problems associated with asking the front wheels to steer and deliver all that power at the same time. With both a 2-door and 4-door as options there’s also plenty of versatility available to those who need it. The example we see here appears to be a lightly used 2-door Rising Blue Metallic 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, located in Dallas.