It seems that another generation of small BMW hatchbacks – I’m looking at you, 1 series – will be passing us by here in the US market. But, not many people can blame BMW, as there were few takers for its mid 1990s experiment, the 3 series Compact. Sold here as the 318ti with the 1.9 liter four cylinder engine found in the Z3 Roadster, this car was all E36 saloon from the A-pillar forward but carried a vastly redesigned hatchback rear section with trailing arm rear suspension and simpler, one piece dashboard inside. This 318ti for sale in Pennsylvania has the rare California Roof option, which equips the 3er hatchback with a canvas folding roof, providing almost targa-like motoring pleasure.
This, right here, is the car I need to own. It is the holiest of holy grails for an E30 owner, combining the MTech II package with the touring body. When you factor in the ideal color combination, perfect mods with the reasonable lowering kit, and what looks to be a car that has been maintained quite well, this becomes my ultimate daily driver. This seller is making a habit out of importing seemingly high-quality Tourings and this one is no different, with the added allure of one of the rarest equipment options found in the E30 family. I am already jealous of whomever ends up owning this.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325i MTech II Touring on eBay
Some time ago, I picked up a set of BBS RS wheels for my Audi Coupe GT. I’ve always been a big fan of BBS wheels, and of course by 1980s standards, the RS is the Holy Grail of road wheels. They have an accompanying price to go along with their desirability, however, as most clean sets will easily set you back over $1,000 dollars. When you factor in the number of sets that are available in the Audi Coupe’s 4x108mm bolt pattern, there just aren’t many options. However, SPG SAABS had the same bolt pattern and were available with 15×7 BBS RSs from the factory. What I was able to track down was a set of just those wheels, in original and un-modified shape. That was a plus to me, because I’m honestly not a fan of the overly polished or crazy colored BBSs, so finding an original set what great. Unfortunately, that meant they also had 25 years of wear on them, and in many areas – especially the center caps – they looked quite tired. I mulled over what to do for years, between sourcing replacements, having the wheels refinished, or just trying it myself. And to be honest, although there were many “DIY” BBS RS rebuild threads, I wanted to see if I could refresh these overall clean RSs that just needed some love without pulling them apart. So over the next few weeks I’ll do my best to chronicle the cleanup. I started with the center caps, replete with peeling, pitted and corroded clearcoat:
Last week, Paul wrote up a nice 2005 Audi S4 Avant, one of the few manual V8 wagon options ever offered to Americans. The package of the B6 and B7 Avant were certainly quite desirable and as Paul also noted, they developed quite an enthusiastic following. As they should have; as enthusiasts, we hear constant whining about all of the cars that aren’t offered to U.S. markets; yet when afforded the option to buy these cars, often the folks doing the complaining won’t ante up and buy them. Consequently, we’ve seen the S4 Avant model leave U.S. shores in favor of more and more “sport” utility vehicles. What are we to do as enthusiasts? Snap up the remaining clean examples of Avants, that’s what. And today, if you want to stand a bit apart from the crowd, there is one of the rarest color combination B6 Avants available:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi S4 Avant on Craigslist
The 911, for good reason, has developed a reputation as a difficult car to drive. Much of this has to do with the rear-engine layout and subsequent dynamic imbalances from the resulting rearward weight distribution. In its early years, these effects were actually more pronounced due to the 911′s shorter wheelbase. A shorter wheel base produces greater agility and provides for easier right-to-left transitions, but in a car with its weight shifted towards the rear those nimble qualities can quickly get out of hand. For the 1969 model year Porsche sought to improve the 911′s overall stability by lengthening the wheelbase, making the short wheelbase cars somewhat of a historical footnote. The car we have featured here comes from those first few years of 911 production: a long-time garaged 1966 Porsche 911 Sunroof Coupe with a mere 14,620 miles on it, located in Oregon. It doesn’t wear its original shade of Light Ivory paint, but still looks very sharp here in Red.