2001 Audi S4 Avant

In recent posts I covered both the importance of the B5 chassis and its development into nuclear-grade weaponry in the RS4. In the midst was the substantially more tame yet still quite exciting S4 Avant.

Audi brought the S4 Avant to the United States for the first time in 2001. It joined the sedan lineup and offered a follow-up to the large chassis S6 Avant from 1995. Instead of the traditional inline-5 motivation, though, Audi had developed a new 2.7 liter version of its V6. With a K03 turbocharger strapped to each side, the APB produced 250 horsepower at 5800 rpms and 258 lb.ft of torque at only 1850 revs. Like all the B5s, Audi’s new generation of ‘quattro’ used a T2 Torsen center differential and relied upon an electronic rear differential utilizing the ABS sensors. The B5 chassis used the same technology on the front differential as well and was capable of independently braking each front wheel to try to sort the car out through its dynamic stability program.

But the real fun was that it was available as an Avant and with a 6-speed manual. Just over 1,500 were claimed imported between 2001 and 2002’s model years, with about 600 of those being Tiptronic equipped. Light Silver Metallic was by far the most popular color ordered, and this particular Avant is one of 358 LSM manuals brought in for the 2001 model year:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on Second Daily

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1978 Porsche 911SC Backdate RSR Replica

I am going to assume this car has made the rounds over the past couple months, but this was the first time I came across it so for me it’s new. This again falls into the category of cars I like quite a bit, but the asking price doesn’t make sense. In this case, I think this is one of the better examples of this particular breed of 911, i.e. a backdated Carrera drawing inspiration from the 1973 Carrera RS and RSR, that I’m sure will turn heads anywhere it goes.

While they weren’t the first to do it Singer brought these builds into wider recognition with their bespoke “reimagined” 911 combining modern performance with vintage long-hood 911 aesthetics. They’re highly sought after packages and can be very expensive. From those who have seen and driven them they are works of art with performance to match. James May referred to them as a love letter to a car – taking all of the best aspects of the 911 and combining them into a single machine. Over the years it has seemed like others have hoped to emulate the Singer model, but few really compare.

This, of course, isn’t a Singer. Rather than the 964 off which a Singer is based, this 911 began its life as a Silver 1978 Porsche 911SC Coupe. Fully stripped and disassembled the entire car was refreshed and rebuilt. It now possesses a slightly more modern 3.2 liter flat-6 from the 3.2 Carrera, the wider rear of the 930, and the impact bumpers are gone. It looks great! Power should be increased over the standard Carrera, though we aren’t told what exactly it’s putting out right now. So you get great looks and better performance. How much is all of that worth?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Porsche 911SC Backdate RSR Replica on Excellence Magazine

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Rust in pieces: 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500

Few things in this world are undefeated. The internet is one of them, taxes, death and then the ultimate final boss, mother nature. You can hide or try to fight it all you want, but the world very rarely has mercy on vehicles. Today’s vehicle, a 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500, was spared no mercy. Granted, this G-Wagen lives in the harsh climate of Quebec, Canada, but what this poor W463 turned into will make anyone scratch their head as to what happened. This brick on wheels has an extreme amount of rust to the point where there are holes the size of your fist in the body panels. These Gs have somewhere of a propensity to rust in some common areas, but I don’t understand how this G500 got this bad. As what it did for the value? I suppose not much.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500 on eBay

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1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with 25,440 miles

This is kind of similar to yesterday’s 911 I featured. It’s a totally different model obviously, but comes in a very similar color palette – including the somewhat frustrating monochromatic combination – and has low miles. Even lower miles in fact. So if those colors are your thing, but you’d rather have the classic 911 design rather than those of the more modernized 964 this could be worth a look. I don’t think it’s price will be quite as insane either, though we never can tell with any very-low-mileage 911. The premiums sought can be insane.

So what do we have here? A Ruby Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with Burgundy leather interior and just 25,440 miles on it. 1984 served as our introduction to the 3.2 Carrera as the replacement for the 911SC. Changes were somewhat limited, especially in this first model year when the interior seating was carried over from the SC, but you did get a small bump in displacement and corresponding bump in power. As we’ve discussed a few times on our pages, your choice of 911SC or 3.2 Carrera comes down somewhat to preference between the two models, but mostly should come down to finding the best available condition in either model. Both are great; both offer stout reliability in a classic 911 package.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

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Caveat Emptor: “1988 BMW M3”

Update 9/13/18: After being listed as sold for $27,300 in February and then again for $35,900 on April 5, I wasn’t hugely surprised to see it back up for sale. This time bidding has started at $25,000 and the Buy It Now is listed at $50,000. Will it actually trade hands?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck in today’s collector world, you might still be looking at a turkey. So valuable have some cars gotten that it’s worthwhile for enterprising individuals to undermine the market with a less-than-honest example. The problem is that it seems all too easy for those sellers to misrepresent the vehicle, so it then becomes incumbent upon the buyer to investigate the background. Beyond that, though, sometimes I think buyers are so eager to get a “deal” that they’re often willing to overlook what’s highbeaming them right in the eyes.

Case in point; today’s E30.

Obviously, the M3 is a hot and desirable car. That’s nothing new and we’ve talked about it plenty of times. But there are quite a few less-than-desirable examples out there. It’s also possible to create a replica of the M3, because of the relative plethora of replacement parts or wrecked examples. Granted, this comes up in the 911 and muscle car market a lot more, but it’s happening for BMWs, too.

So while the photographs of this “1988 M3” look great at first glance, what’s wrong with what you’re looking at?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: “1988 BMW M3” on eBay

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1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe

I never really know if I should post cars like these. The car itself I like a lot. It’s an Amethyst Metallic 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe with matching interior and 40,500 miles on it. A low mileage, rare color, rear drive 964 is something I’m always on the lookout for. It’s got a few modifications – center exit exhaust from a 997 GT3, new headers, bronze/gold painted Cup wheels, upgraded suspension, and a couple other minor items – though the seller says most of the original parts come with the car. Overall it looks great. Not everyone will care for the choice in wheel color, but I think they contrast nicely with the Amethyst exterior. Regardless, wheels are easily changed.

That said, unless I’m missing something the price seems so out of line with the market that I’m not sure any serious buyer really will give it much consideration. Maybe the market changed while I wasn’t looking or maybe the seller has seen a few RoW cars with similar asking prices and figured this one should garner similar attention. I don’t know. Obviously, we can see where I landed on the decision of whether to post. I like this 911 enough and see them rarely enough that I thought it worth a closer look. But I’m not sure where we go after that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe on eBay

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2013 BMW 135i M-Sport

I casually mentioned in passing recently that we traded our E61 530xi Sports Wagon for an E82 135i Sport. While production overlapped between the two chassis, they are really polar opposites when it comes to BMWs. The 5-Series was obvious all about comfort and isolation, as well as carrying a huge load of anything you could throw at it through any weather. The 1-Series sought to return BMW to its more affordable small car roots by shrinking the swollen 3-Series down substantially.

What BMW unintentionally did was to create an E46 successor. The E82s are similarly sized, similarly equipped and were similarly priced to the E46. And in its most basic, most sporty form, the early 135i Sport is on paper a close match for the performance of the third generation M3. Okay, there’s no doubt that the 135i isn’t a M3 when you get behind the wheel. But is it a special car? Yes. And does it move? The N54/55 are rated at 300 horsepower – about 10% shy of the S54. But they’ve got 300 lb.ft of torque, almost about 15% more than the M3 had. And because they’re a turbo motor and they were able to tune that torque curve in, it’s about as flat as the Makgadikgadi Pan. That means roll-on performance, and the 135i rewards you any time you want. The strange thing is, it really doesn’t drive like it is a turbo motor. There’s no lag, no flat spots, no real woosh. It just feels like a very strong high-compression inline-6. And though it won’t corner like a E46 M3, it’s not far off in acceleration or driving feel.

The dash changed and some of the operations are different, but the seats and small greenhouse will instantly remind you of the earlier chassis. Ours is about as basic as they came – 6-speed manual, manual seats, no iDrive, but with a sunroof. But probably the ultimate spec is the late N55-equipped M-Sport and ‘is’ models. They’re quite hard to find even though they’re fairly new. Why is that?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 BMW 135i M-Sport on eBay

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1988 Porsche 928 S4

In a recent post of a 928 GTS there was a comment wondering about their pricing relative to that of one of its not-too-distant predecessors the 928 S4. It’s a good question to ask if you’re looking at the 928 in general as the value of a GTS is significantly higher than any other 928 out there. Heck, the GTS has shown higher values than even a few of the turbocharged 911s from similar periods. Before considering one you do need to know what you’re getting into.

Why the GTS is so much more expensive is pretty straightforward: they’re quite rare and they are the last of the 928s. They also are arguably the best looking 928, though I’m not sure that really has a huge impact on value. For the buyer thinking about an investment and long-term value a GTS probably is the way to go, assuming you can afford that initial cost of entry. However, if you want to drive and enjoy a 928, or simply don’t have $100K to spend on a ’90s Porsche, then one of the earlier models provides nearly as much performance for far fewer dollars.

Case in point: this 1988 Porsche 928 S4, located in New Mexico, with 117,456 miles and the desirable 5-speed manual transmission. Unlike just about every 928 GTS this S4 is up for auction with no reserve and bidding sits at only $8,100. That’s a much easier pill to swallow.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 928 S4 on eBay

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1995 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG

Last week I checked out an interesting Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG that needed some help up for sale in Canada. It seems like no one wanted to give a helping hand for this car as it ended with no bids even at it’s reasonable $2,500 US starting price. Today, I ran across another C36 AMG up for sale in Canada although this one has a much different story. This 1995 is actually a Japanese-spec car that has a few little touches that set it apart from the North American-spec cars. Unlike last week’s example, this one isn’t a basket case that needs thousands of dollars to make it presentable again. In fact, it is actually pretty clean.  The price? Not all that bad in my eyes.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa with 8.2 liter V8

Yes, you have read the title correctly. This 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa houses a 537 horsepower 8.2 liter V8 from a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado. A couple weeks ago I posted the Safari 911 and began that post stating, “Let’s get weird.” Little did I know just how weird things would get.

From the outside there actually isn’t too much to really distinguish this 911 from any other SC of the period. Observers might notice the extensive grill work on the boot lid, but otherwise it looks like a 911 that someone has stuffed a bunch of luggage in the back. The condition even looks quite good. If you start poking around though you’ll realize things are not quite what they seem. I imagine pulling up next to it at a stoplight would reveal a little bit as well!

This obviously isn’t a very traditional method for modifying any 911, but for the owner it was the culmination of a desire stemming from his teenage years. I’m not sure I’d ever consider such a thing myself, but as someone who does lust after some of the V8 Miatas that lurk the streets I can’t say I don’t totally understand the impulse. I’m not sure ‘unique’ even begins to describe it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa with 8.2 liter V8 on eBay

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