In the wake of the Brexit vote, the British pound has plummeted against the US dollar. This means that importing a car from Britain has suddenly become a bit more affordable. As a Brit living in America, I feel a bit guilty recommending that you take advantage of my home country’s economic plight to get a good deal on a car. But only a bit. Which brings me to today’s car. The 500SE was a V8 powered, short-wheel base version of the W126 S-class. Made for the European market and never offered in the US, it offered the grunt of a larger engine in the slightly smaller and (in my view) better proportioned chassis. This one is for sale on UK eBay. Not only is it reasonably priced, it’s a LHD car. So no need to worry about the steering wheel being on the wrong side if you choose to bring it over.
Today we get a VAG-specific update to our Hammertime resource guide. Prices for this quartet were a bit all over the place; there was a pretty exceptional value in the clean and (according to the buyer) accurately depicted Jetta GLi 16V for under $4,000. The B6 S4 Avant in fetching Imola Yellow traded about where we’d expect in the low teens. While a great value for a race car, the A1 GTi pulled a pretty strong number at $7,250. But the really impressive bidding was the $20,400 that the low mile B5 RS4 replica pulled; the most I’ve seen on a sedan in quite some time. As before, the links below are hyperlinked to the articles.
There exists a wide range of “degrees of provenance” that collectible cars carry with them. On one end of the scale there are barn finds with virtually no recorded documentation, and at the other end there are the low mileage weekend drivers fastidiously maintained by a single owner over a long period of time. In regards to cars like the Porsche 928, the former is more common than the latter. Perhaps the most special are the latter when owned by a well-known enthusiast. This 1990 Porsche 928 GT is one of those rare and special cars. Originally owned by Rob Burrell, a well-respected member of the 928UK community, this 928 remained in the hands of its original purchaser for 24 years. In a letter to the 928UK community, Burrell stated that this 928 was the best car he has ever owned, without question (further mentioning that it had stiff competition from several other Porsches, a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini).
Burrell sold the car to an enthusiast who held onto it until late 2015, when he put it on consignment at Dick Lovett Ferrari. I am uncertain whether or not the car ever sold, but it is now advertised again by the same dealership for the same price. That price is substantial, too… £74,990, roughly equivalent to $98,570. I don’t follow the UK market for 928’s very closely, so I will withhold judgment on whether or not this is a reasonable figure.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 928GT at Dick Lovett Ferrari
We all look back fondly on our first car. I enjoyed my short time with my 1988 BMW 325is. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t opt for another BMW. Many of the new ones lack the smooth manual gearbox of BMWs of yore and fail to fully capture that “Ultimate Driving Machine” aura. But now, the older models aren’t as interesting to me as they once were. Skyrocketing prices have put many BMWs of the 1980s out of reach of enthusiasts of modest means. In addition, there seems to be a bit of a hipster aura about them, as they have become popular with those wanting to stand out. Perhaps I was an über hipster for driving an E30 back in 1998? Do I care? Not in the least. I buy things more on spur of the moment emotions.
While I scan through countless ads for E30 M3s, E24 coupes and the occasional 2002 or E21, every now and then a BMW from this era grabs my attention. This late model 535is for sale in Utah is one of them. Representing the final year for the E28, this particular 5er has an engine swap, packing a 3.4 liter turbocharged inline-6 from the E23 745i. It’s not an original car, but has had some upgrades and a bit of freshening to make it a bit more appealing. It’s not what you would consider concours, but would certainly make an eye-catching daily driver.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 535i on Cars.com
The 500E is the pumped up, M5-fighting, super-sedan version of the W124 platform E-class. The product of a Porsche-Mercedes collaboration between 1990 and 1994, these cars were 322 hp monsters capable of 155 MPH on the autobahn. Powered by the 5.0 liter V8 M119 engine, the 500E was externally differentiated from ordinary W124s only by flared fenders, a slightly lowered stance and an innocuous-looking badge at the rear. The 500E was the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing: practical, supremely fast and understated (a cliche, to be sure, but an apt one). I used to scour Craigslist for these cars, in the vain hope that I would come across one being sold for cheap by somebody who didn’t know what they had. Sounds far fetched, I know. But Doug Demuro once found one for half price price at a dealer who mistook it for just another old Benz. Sadly, I think those days are over. The used market has since woken up to these cars and now they’re usually priced anywhere between $10k and $40k depending on condition and miles.