While the other day I wrote up two great looking early examples of one of the best performance bargains in classic German motoring, 944 Turbo. Now we’re going to look at the end of the run – the 1989 944 Turbo. Often mistakenly referred to as “S” by even enthusiasts (I’ve been guilty more than once myself), the ’89 did in fact gain all of the upgrades that the 1988 Turbo S received. Today we have two seemingly equal examples – but as we know, not all things are created equal. Which white over black ’89 is the one you’d choose?
The term “Q-ship” was created by the British, originally not to describe super sedans – but rather to describe a class of disguised merchant ships that were in fact heavily armored and carrying weapons. They were intended to fool German U-Boat crews into revealing their location – prior to unrestricted submarine warfare, U-Boats operated by a gentleman’s agreement where they would surface, let the crew of the ship know they were going to attack the ship and get off, and then they would sink the ship. However, these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” would later lend their name to an entire group of “unassuming” sedans equipped with larger engines and with sporting intentions. Often, the BMW M5 has been lumped into this category but I feel this is an incorrect name for it. The E28 M5 was anything but unassuming, with deep front and rear spoilers, large and wide BBS wheels, M5 badges front and rear and of course looking quite menacing in all black. To me, the Audi 200 20V is probably the ultimate “Q” ship – from the factory, only the slightly wider and slightly flared arches distinguished it from the normal 200 model; no badges, no spoilers, and sedate colors meant the performance under the hood was more or less completely hidden. Perhaps in 1985, when the M5 launched in Europe, people didn’t know what sedans were capable of – but by the time it hit U.S. shores in 1988, rest assured that every enthusiast knew what those all black E28s were:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
I was driving to San Francisco on the picturesque I-280 last week in my E28, and came upon a nice E30 325i touring. I’m sure it was easily overlooked by the rest of the drivers on the road, but I approached it excitedly, wondering what enthusiast was driving this rare (to us) longroof. The middle-aged woman driving was unassuming, but she got major points in my book for car choice whether she knew it or not. The E30 Touring is becoming much more common as the 25-year block is lifted, and we’re all better for it. They’re attractive and utilitarian cars that lift the mean coolness of roads everywhere. Today’s is a simple 318i and mileage isn’t listed, but the AC Schnitzer wheels are a nice touch and overall it appears very clean. The lister has a host of E30 wagons in pictures, meaning you’re buying them from someone who realizes how cool having one of these in the US is. The flipside is that he also knows how much people have paid for them recently, and is charging over twice what a non-Touring 318i would cost.
Click for details: 1989 BMW 318i Touring for sale on Washington DC’s Craigslist
When the Mercedes-Benz 190E arrived on the scene in the early 1980s, the notion of such a small car from the house of the Three Pointed Star seemed far fetched. Even more so was when the Cosworth-tuned 190E 2.3-16 debuted. Here was a car that was originally designed for rallying but wound up competing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series, equipped with a twin cam four cylinder engine, available 5-speed manual gearbox with dog leg first gear and a full on bodykit. Quite un-Mercedes like.
The US market would see the 190E 2.3-16 for just a few years, but the evolution of the breed would continue on in Europe right up to the end of the production run, with a 2.5 liter engine and Evolution models. This 190E 2.5-16 Evo for sale in The Netherlands was brought to our attention by our reader Walker and is now legal to import to the US. Just over 500 were produced to comply with DTM homologation regulations, with and engine that revved higher and had improved top end power. While not as aggressive as the Evo 2 that would follow up this act, those who know about these special 190Es will recognize this car’s awesomeness in an instant.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo 1 on autoscout24
It’s been a little bit since we looked at some nice Karmann Ghias, and today there are two lovely but very different examples in the marketplace. These are lovely designs; granted, not the best driving cars in the world – but a car that really will set you apart from the crowd and will make everyone smile. Of the Karmann Ghias, my favorites are the early “low light” models and the Type 34 from a bit later – luckily, here’s an example of each: