1993 Volkswagen Golf VR6

What is the price for rarity? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, enthusiasts will sometimes go to extremes to have something just a bit different than the norm. Take today’s Golf. Like the 1989 Volkswagen GTI I looked at a few weeks ago, something odd will stick out to the brand faithful that will probably go unnoticed by nearly everyone else. First off, for the U.S. market, the VR6 was limited to the GTI range. This looks like a GTI with the dual chamber headlights and foglights, VR6 badges and BBS wheels. But another minor detail then rears its head – or, in this case, rears its doors. That’s right, this is a 5-door Golf VR6 from Europe. Look closer and you’ll notice items such as the textured flares, deeper chin spoiler and fender mounted directionals that differentiate ROW A3s. So what will getting into this rare-to-see VW cost you today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Golf VR6 on eBay

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Oak Green Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don’t come across a lot of what I would consider reasonably priced 993s. As the last of the air-cooled 911s the 993 always has been pretty highly prized and it seems like prices never really dipped into the reasonable territory of most of its predecessors or its successor. Well, especially its successor. This one, however, doesn’t seem priced too badly. With an asking price of $48K it’s not inexpensive by any means, but relative to a lot of other air-cooled options these days that’s not too bad.

Here we have a paint-to-sample Oak Green Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Boise, with a Classic Grey leather interior and 93,310 miles on it. To make it just that little bit more special it is also equipped with a set of the very desirable hard-back sport seats.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Oak Green Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

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1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Adenauer

About a month ago I looked at a unique 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer in beige over green leather interior. It wasn’t perfect, nor advertised to be, but looked great and came in at a fair price. I went on about how these Adenauers are overlooked in the grand scheme of classic Mercedes and undervalued for what they actually are. Even compared to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, you aren’t giving up anything in terms of styling and certainly not reliability. Today, I came across a 1955 300b up for sale in Vancouver, British Columbia that looks just as good with an even better price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Adenauer on eBay

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1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe

Last week in my write up of an Ipanema Blue Metallic 911 C4 GTS I mentioned the way certain colors can come in and out of style rendering previously undesirable colors desirable, or vice versa. I wasn’t sure whether that would apply to Ipanema Blue, but I do think it applies to the car we see here: a Tobacco Metallic 1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in Georgia, with a Brown leatherette interior – it looks like Cork and the seller has referred to it as cork-like so perhaps it is Cork – and 144,639 miles on it.

Brown cars were not uncommon during the late-70s, but it seems they quickly went out of favor because we almost never see them from any marque once we’re well into the 80s. A few automakers have tried to resuscitate the color, especially with much darker metallic browns that in most lighting appear black, but in general the public isn’t clamoring for a brown car. That, of course, can hurt an older car like this one, but any time I’ve come across a 911 like this I wonder whether we’re missing out on something unique. It’s not bright and vibrant; these are colors with a natural earthiness that doesn’t necessarily suit a performance car. Yet, they can be very good looking under the right lighting and I really like Tobacco Metallic on a 911. I previously featured one that remains one of my favorite 911s I’ve come across. They’re a little unusual, but quite captivating.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe on eBay

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

In case you missed or forgot about the totally rad 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC ABC Exclusive, take a look again at a big piece of the 1980s projected in a car. That C126 is a well-preserved look back in time at how extreme popular aftermarket car styling was, and how much our tastes have changed over the years. I was most impressed at how well that car held up because once that kind of styling fell out of favor, often they were dumped off and left to fester. Today’s car, a 1987 420SEL, is one of those cars. This car at one point was probably just as stylish and cool as that 560SEC with its massive fender flares and high dollar wheels, but sadly has fallen in to disrepair and probably won’t ever recover. Let me tell you why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on eBay

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1978 Porsche 911SC Targa

Have you ever been looking over a car and thought, “This looks surprisingly good!” and then gotten to the interior pictures and suddenly, “Whoa”? So that’s pretty much what happened to me with this Grand Prix White 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa. There’s certainly nothing very flashy about it; it’s a white 911SC, but it does look good. That white paint shows good pop for the color and given its age it looks in pretty good condition. This is a driver-quality SC, there’s no doubt there, but that’s not really a fault. It’s a good car that’s probably brought its current owner – said to have owned it since 1980 – a good deal of driving pleasure.

The interior does bring with it a little flash. It’s a special order white and black combination and it really wasn’t what I was expecting. From the exterior pictures I could tell the interior was a lighter shade, but the black/white combination wasn’t apparent. It isn’t flashy in the way a Can-can Red interior would have been on a white 911SC, but it does bring with it a particular character that is quite unique. But does it work?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

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Meet Ur Father: 1974 Audi Fox

For such an important vehicle, there’s very little fanfare that surrounds the Audi B1. Badged the 80 in Europe and the Fox in the United States, Audi’s small front-drive sedan was a complete transformation for the brand which was emerging from the reshuffling of DKW and Auto Union. Mercedes-Benz had a hand in bringing 4-stroke engine technology to Auto Union in the 1950s and early 1960s, and but freed of their reigns, the Audi engineers produced an all-new motor for the clean-sheet B1. It was the EA827, and it (and the B1) would go on to be the basis for basically every Audi/Volkswagen product since 1972. The 80 was the first to launch, but quickly the 80’s platform would be used to produce the first Volkswagen Dasher (née Passat) and, engine turned transversely, then the Audi 50. The 50 was then the basis for the Golf and Scirocco, and the all-new Volkswagen lineup was complete. So while most internet comments will sometimes dismiss modern Audis as little more than re-badged VWs, you can now remind them that historically it was the opposite. The 80’s traditional longitudinal engine layout ended up being convenient a few years later to help spawn the might Quattro, too.

Motor Trend (and notable automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen) called the 80 the “best new affordable small sedan in the world” in May 1973. Horsepower was modest from the 1.5 liter version of the EA827 at only 75, but then the weight was quite modest, too – curb weight of the sunroof-equipped model was still under 1,900 lbs and fully laden the 80 weighed less than an empty B2 4000CS quattro. Capable of over 30 mpg, the Fox sold surprisingly well in the gas-crunch era as a result – Audi sold 142,511 of them here. While that number sounds modest by today’s standards, consider for a moment that Audi sold only 123,764 of the Fox’s successor, the 4000, in total.

Yet today, finding an Audi Fox seems like something of a minor miracle – never mind when it’s in great condition!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Audi Fox on eBay

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I promise everyone, this is the last Mercedes-Benz R107 for awhile. I am just as sick of writing about them as you are reading about them, but I want to go full circle and look at this 1984 280SL up for sale in California. This European-spec car is the low man on the totem R107 pole but that doesn’t mean it is the worst of the bunch, at least not in my eyes. It uses the 2.8 liter M110 inline-6 that puts out a respectable (for the times) 182 horsepower and 176 lb⋅ft of torque.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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Feature Listing: Supercharged 2002 BMW M5 Dinan S2

I promise that this post wasn’t by design, but rather is completely a coincidence that it follows hot on the heels of the neat supercharged E34 540i 6-speed from yesterday. How do you possibly trump that potent hot rod? Well, starting with a M5 is probably a good bet.

If the E34 was a potent athlete, the E39 comes across as a consummate professional. It was immediately the new benchmark for sports sedans once again, and when BMW finally did make the call to bring a M5 to market they produced what many consider to be the definitive driver’s car in super sedan form. Whatever you had from the period, the M5 was just plain better. With 394 horsepower kicking out of is snorting S62 V8 and mated solely to a 6-speed manual transmission, it was hard to conceive how that package could possibly be improved upon.

That didn’t dissuade Steve Dinan, though. His S2 package fixed a car that wasn’t broken according to Car and Driver. Power was up to a massive 470 yet the car was still naturally aspirated. Bigger, better intake was met with bigger, better exhaust, and the whole package was kept up with bigger, better suspension and slowed down with bigger, better brakes. It was…well, bigger and better. 0-60 was dispatched in a tick over four seconds and it would do a standing quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds. These numbers won’t scare a Dodge Demon, granted, but are still really respectable today.

Of course, if “respectable” isn’t quite enough for you and you really need to surprise that Demon driver…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW M5 Dinan S2 on Austin Craigslist

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2012 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS

Rare color or undesirable color? It is a question that presents itself pretty much any time I come across a Porsche in one of the many less common colors Porsche has produced. Of course, in some cases a color may be undesirable during its period of production and then become more desirable years later as preferences shift. Yellows and greens kind of come in and out of favor in this way, likewise the many variants of brown from the late-70s and early-80s suffer under a reversal in popularity.

In the case of the car here, an Ipanema Blue Metallic 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, located in Washington, we may have one of those situations. Available in the final years of 997 production, we see very few 911s painted in this color. Anecdotally it isn’t difficult to find stories of buyers getting nice discounts to take them off of a dealer’s hands after sitting on the lot for too long. Though a standard color offering its rarity does seem related to its desirability, or lack thereof. We haven’t moved far from its original production date so I’m not sure enough time will have passed for preferences to have changed. However, Ipanema Blue isn’t too far removed from a variety of lighter blues Porsche produced in the ’80s and those cars don’t seem to elicit much derision. So is it a color that might become more desirable or one that, like quite a few colors over the years, will fade away to be forgotten?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS on eBay

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