Here it is. After a 28-year run as the W463 and nearly four decades in the same bodywork, the new Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is here. Despite still looking like a G-Wagen, the 2019 W464 just has five parts carried over from the W463. The headlight washers, sun visors, D-pillar vents, outside door handles and the spare tire cover. Other than that, it’s all new. Mercedes was pretty much forced to do this. Their core buyers, the Kardashians of the world, were growing tired of the clunky old G-Wagen that drove like a farm tractor despite paying well over $100,000 for one. Almost every automaker is making a full-size luxury SUV now and if you don’t advance, you suffer. Mercedes knows this, so here we are. The new 2019 G500. Do you like it?
The 356 Outlaw always has presented me with somewhat of a conundrum. I’m most attracted to the 356 for its elegance and beauty. It possesses a vintage style and charm that for me represent joyful, if not necessarily spirited, motoring. It’s a backroad cruise in the sunshine with a loved one appreciating the beauty of the environment in a beautiful car.
The Outlaw attempts to shift that and I must admit they do a very good job! With its meaner appearance and more aggressive demeanor these builds utilize the sporting side of the Porsche pedigree to produce something that no longer strives for elegance. The curvy, almost bulbous, nature of the 356 Coupe’s body fits these models incredibly well and their already spartan interior makes for an easy canvas with which to create something unique and fitting of the Outlaw’s new attitude.
Like with backdated 911 builds, 356 Outlaw builds come in a wide array of attention to detail and general appearance. Some pay more attention to the interior with only minor exterior updates, while others do the opposite with perhaps the only interior modifications being a new pair of bucket seats. The one we see here, based upon a 1958 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupe, has gone the full way with quite a few alterations to both the exterior and interior and I must say it really looks quite good.
Typically, our ‘Roll the Dice’ features have been cars that are a bit of a gamble; little history is disclosed, there are no photos to show the car’s condition or no description, something’s odd about the example, it’s got a million miles…you get the point. Today’s S6 Avant is a bit of a different gamble, though.
To be fair, jumping in to any 15-odd year old German car today is somewhat of a leap into the unknown. You’re entering territory where the complicated electronics begin to fail, oil seeps from every joint of the motor and rattles permeate the body structure. Often, you’re left chasing the ghosts of deferred maintenance. Add up the number of things that could potentially go wrong on an older car and then cross reference the part costs, and you’ll quickly see the problem.
So what does that look like when we consider today’s S6 Avant? Well, if the seller is to be believed, in the past year they’ve spent $14,079 fixing this Audi. The last nice S6 Avant that I looked at sold for $13,000. You don’t have to be a math wiz to figure out that’s a bad deal. And that last nice S6 Avant was in much better condition than today’s model with only 50,000 miles on the clock.
So if you’re getting in to today’s car, you’re rolling the dice a bit that the $14,000 “invested” in this one has resolved all the problems. But there are positives, because the seller has opted for a no reserve auction format, and…oh yeah, it’s supercharged.
What to know how professional athletes go broke? This is how professional athletes go broke. Among many other ”investments” professional athletes dump their playing salaries into during their careers that suck all their bank accounts dry, buying six-figure cars that turn into four-figure cars is a great way lose a bunch of money. You might think doing this isn’t such a big deal and isn’t a big piece of their net worth, but you have to realize that it’s never just one time or one car. Even worse, it’s not even just the car they blow money on. You need to buy the rims and the stereo systems too. You sign a professional contract and go buy a car you’ve always wanted. No big deal. Well, your mother and father needs a car too. Don’t forget your wife. Oh, her parents need cars? Your brother could use a new car too, he’s been there since day one. Same goes for your cousin. How about your two best friends you grew up with? They’ve supported you the entire way. Grandma’s Buick and your aunts old Ford Explorer are on their last legs. Now take all those scenarios and do all that three or four times over after that. All of a sudden you’ve blown a literal fortune on cars. Today’s car is an example of that.
This is a 2001 S600 that was bought and owned by former NBA player Anthony Carter. You probably don’t know who that is and neither did I, so let me explain who this guy is. Carter was an undrafted point guard that played an impressive 13 seasons in the NBA for six different teams before retiring after the 2012 season. He was mostly an off the bench guy for the majority of his career with his contracts usually being only for a year or two at most that paid him around a million dollars a year. Good work if you can find it and easily enough to buy a W220 S600 for over $100,000 then dump a bunch of other money into thanks to custom paint and a crazy stereo system. Now let me be clear, I am not saying that this car somehow made him broke, but this is merely an example of how it can happen and still continues to happen to this day. Although one thing is clear, the current owner of this car is asking entirely too much money for it.
Yesterday I wrote up a 911SC priced at top market (perhaps even above top market) and I will stick with that general theme here simply as an exploration of where some of these high priced cars are selling. That 911SC probably shouldn’t have been priced as high as it was given its overall condition and mileage. It’s a nice car, just not top market.
However, this Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa is befitting of that sort of price. The question simply is just how high the market has reached because the asking price here is quite a bit above the standard 964 pricing we typically see. That’s not unheard of for the 964 Targa because they’re pretty rare and from my experience the vast majority really don’t seem to be in great shape and have much higher miles. If we remove those issues do we have a six-figure car? Here is where we might find out.
Update 6/28/18: The best part of a year after originally being listed, this reasonably clean 1985 Audi Coupe GT is back in a reserve auction format. Since the Buy It Now was $4,950 last September, we can guess the reserve is probably at or over $4,000. The Coupe GT market has moved forward since last year, so will it sell this time?
The 1985 Audi Coupe GT debuted the aerodynamic B2 refinements in the 2-door version of the Type 85. Just like the 4000CS quattro I looked at the other day, smooth bumper covers front and rear were met with wide molding and new rocker covers. DOT-required 9004 halogen lights replaced the upright quad-rectangle arrangement on 1984 models, and the new grill sloped to meet stainless trim which surrounded the car. Inside was met with a revised dashboard with new softer-touch plastics, a leather covered steering wheel and few other changes. Mechanically, just as with the 84-85 4000 quattro, there were very few alterations between pre-facelift GT and the ’85. The same KX 110 horsepower inline-5 and 5-speed manual (3-speed automatic available) drove the car, but the ’85 up wore the same 4×108 hubs and brakes (in front, at least) as the quattro.
As with the 4000 line, most of the manual bits available in early B2s disappeared, and in you bought a late model it probably came standard with power locks, mirrors and windows. Most GTs also came equipped with a sunroof (manual and pop-out) and the rear wiper. Today’s example follows that convention minus the rear wiper. The package proved to generally be considered more than the sum of its parts, and in 1985 Car and Driver tested eight GT cars and proclaimed the Audi Coupe GT the best package available, beating ‘sports cars’ like the Supra, Mustang, and Camaro. One of the 3,586 sold in 1985, this Alpine White example reminds of a more simple time when you could drive a car at 10/10ths and still remain (mostly) at legal speeds:
Recently, in my 1989 GTI post, I referenced the Radwood show in California. A celebration of all things 80s (being liberal to accept items both older and newer, too!), Radwood has become the newest and hottest show to consider. Why? Well, to head to Pebble Beach, Amelia Island or Greenwich Concours, you’ll need a car of significant stature. But you can roll up to Radwood in a 4000 quattro you literally just pulled out of a field (seriously, someone did), and you’ll find fans to celebrate both the model and your insistence that it’s a cool car worthy of being saved. Because, ultimately, it was!
But the GTI I presented was a headscratcher because it was so expensive and subtle that most would probably walk right by. Sure, it had little details that were neat, but not THAT neat or THAT particularly 80s. But today’s GTI takes 80s To The Extreme, killin’ your brain like a poisonous mushroom as you ponder if anything less than the best is a felony:
If you’ve been paying attention to the current crop of Porsche GT models you’ll notice that there seems to be a relative abundance of paint-to-sample cars on the market. Even with Porsche significantly raising the cost of the PTS option buyers are opting for it more and more. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this influx of PTS cars is that Porsche’s standard color choices have dramatically improved as well. I guess everyone really wants color these days! It is a nice change though as Porsche is coming out of a long period where the color choices were less than inspired.
Part of what is great about all of these PTS cars is that we get to see more of the great colors from Porsche’s past. If you only began paying attention to Porsche in the current millennium you could be excused for thinking that Porsche, as a brand, was a bit boring. In fact, you might think that of every German automaker. However, Porsche has rarely been boring when it has come to its color palette. For better or worse, it has offered a wide array of options encompassing the entirety of the color spectrum going all the way back to the early years of the 356. In a way the current influx of PTS cars and better standard options simply is a return to the norm.
I mention all of this as prelude to this Light Blue Metallic 1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in Florida, with Cork interior and 64,500 miles on it. Blue over Cork long has been one of my favorite historical Porsche color combinations. While some of Porsche’s brighter blues are my favorites, the ’80s saw a good number of lighter shades of blue that might not strike you for their brilliance, but which offered an elegant beauty that fit the lines of the G-series 911 quite well. This particular 911SC shows off those colors to good effect.
Earlier this week I checked out a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL that was in a cool European-spec setup. I don’t mean to focus too much on R107s, but one just happened to pop up that I couldn’t overlook. This is a 1986 420SL. Yes, a 420SL. If that number ‘420’ followed by ‘SL’ seems odd, you aren’t wrong in thinking that. In North American, Mercedes only sold the 350SL, 380SL, 450sSL and 560SL offically through their dealerships. Back in the 1980s, some people were bringing in the 280SL, 300SL and 500SL through grey-market channels before that was put to a stop by ironically, Mercedes themselves. For whatever reason, I can’t recall ever seeing the 420SL for sale in North America and they are even not that common in Europe. They use the same 4.2 liter M116 from the W126 420SEL and is generally thought of as ”not the 560” the same way you think of the 420SEL sedan. Either way, one popped up for sale Florida and it doesn’t look like a bad example at all.
Keeping track of special options packages isn’t easy and I will admit I did not know this existed. I’m still not entirely sure it does, but after some searching I’m pretty sure.
This is a 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S with the Vesuvio package, which was an optional package offered through Porsche Exclusive that provided a few contrasting cues to highlight that stunning exterior paint. We have featured the 993 in Vesuvio Metallic before; we’ve even seen the 993 C2S in Vesuvio Metallic before. But the full package? That I have not seen.
From what I could gather it appears there originally were 24 of these 993s produced. One of those has been totaled, which leaves us with the figure this seller gives us that this is 1 of 23 known to exist. That’s pretty rare. To make this one even more rare – though probably not more desirable – this one is a Tiptronic. There are only a couple of those, so if you’re uninterested in a manual transmission, or if the years simply have passed you by and driving a manual no longer is feasible or desirable, then this should mark one of the very rare opportunities to get your hands on one of these cars.