I never get tired of a really nice Mercedes-Benz W108/W109. From the 2.5 liter up through the legendary 6.3 and with a bunch of options in between, you can get your fix just about any way you want with them. Honestly, this thing is so handsome it could have a tiny OM615 that makes 55 horsepower and I’d still be happy with it. The square contours on this thing are all sized perfectly but at the same time doesn’t feel like a small car. Despite only having an eight year production run from 1965 to 1973 and pumping out over 380,000 examples, these sedans have stuck around. You can find them in almost every condition for almost every price. Today’s example, a 1972 280SE 4.5 up for sale in California, is one of those better ones.
Why not kick off the New Year with a few fantastic wagons? Sounds like a good idea to me!
A few years ago, I looked at a pretty tempting bit of forbidden fruit – a C6 Audi S6 Avant. Loaded up with enough tech to employ half of Palo Alto, the C6 moved the concept of the C5 S6 Avant a few notches ahead. The jump from C4 to C5 was 113 horsepower strong, and the next generation nearly matched that. With 95 more horses to net 435, the new C6 had one more gear, more space and even more luxury than the car it replaced. But thanks to very slow sales of the prior generation in the U.S. market, it never came here. Although they’re at least twelve years old now, that means we’re still a solid teenager away from seeing an easily legal import here.
Or are we?
This car grew on me quite quickly. When I first saw it I thought it was a nice enough 993 Coupe. The condition looks good and the mileage is pretty low. As I’ve looked at it more it’s not so much that any of those thoughts have changed, but rather that its overall appearance is much better than I thought. I believe I’ve said a few times before that I find white to be a color that works particularly well on some cars, while on others I don’t like it at all. I have never been able to figure out what makes such a stark difference to me – and I do think this is very much a personal thing.
As you’d probably guess I’m finding white to be particularly nice on the 993 and, of course, on this 993. Some of the 993 Turbos I’ve seen in white are even better! In this case it is the combination of interior and exterior that are really attracting me. This is a Glacier White 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with Cashmere Beige interior and 58,690 miles on it.
The main problem with yesterday’s 745i is that, while on its own it’s a neat car, you can grab many other more desirable BMWs from the same period for less money. The perfect case in point is today’s 535iS. Effectively, this was the U.S. version of the M535i – a M5 without the M88/3, for all intents and purposes. BMW sold about 10,000 M535i models making it a quite successful recipe. Equivalently, the iS model was specific to the North American market and gave you the look of the U.S.-bound M5, with deeper front and rear spoilers, M-crafted sport suspension and sport seats. It, too, was quite popular – between 1987 and 1988, just over 6,000 examples sold in the United States alone, and of those, a little more than half were the preferred manual variant.
While M5 prices have gone somewhat crazy, the 535iS remains quite affordable to most enthusiasts. You get superlative handling, great looks, fantastic reliability and build quality at a fraction of the price of the Motorsport version. And when you add a few choice mods, boy do they look the part:
Some things never change. One of those things just happens to be people cutting the roof off Mercedes-Benz coupes and adding convertible tops. I’m not kidding. They did it with the C126, they did it with the C140 and they did it with the C215. Naturally, they did it with today’s car, a 2007 CL550, up for sale in Florida. Thankfully for everyone, Mercedes started doing it themselves with the 2015 S-Class convertible that looks amazing in my eyes. The biggest problem with these conversions is that they are clunky. Adding a convertible top to a car is no easy feat and those who do it as an afterthought always face an uphill battle. It’s one thing to make everything function smoothly and actually work, but it is a whole other challenge to make it look good. Most of the time when the top canvas is folded down, it creates an ungainly mass of metal and fabric sticking up behind the rear seats. This not only looks bad, but has horrible wind noise and causes visibility problems. Nevertheless, people still do it because people still buy them for whatever reason. As for this specific car? I have a no idea why anyone would ever consider it. Let me explain why.
In a star-studded lineup from the 1980s, the BMW E23 certainly seems to be always the bridesmaid. I’d wager that even the E21 is more popular than the first 7-series, and that’s saying something. It doesn’t help that the 7, while bearing a resemblance to the other great Paul Bracq designs from the period, never quite seems to be in the right proportions – especially in U.S. form. But today’s example isn’t a U.S. spec model, it’s the more desirable and much more pleasant to look at European model. On top of that, it’s the turbocharged M102 under the hood, cranking out 252 ///Mvious horsepower and 280 lb.ft of torque to match. That was enough to propel the heavy, automatic 745i to 60 mph in the mid-7 second range and 137 mph flat out – numbers that made its competition envious. It’s got lower mileage, condition is great, and overall it appears to be a very nice example. The rarity and obscurity of the model in some part outweighs the less desirable nature of the large chassis among collectors. Yet this car has failed to sell for not one, not two, but now going on five years.
So what gives? Well, there’s only one reason that a car doesn’t sell, and it’s price. The seller of this car has had it for sale on and off again since 2013. We last looked at it almost exactly one year ago:
1982 BMW 745i Euro-spec
Perpetually, bidding runs out of steam between $5,000 and $6,000. That number seems far short of what the seller is hoping for, but we never learn much about what that amount is. A few weeks ago, the seller tried Bring A Trailer. The result? $5,000 in bids. So here we are again, a bit like Groundhog Day, with a new auction for this very nice example of an early 7:
Porsche has a few divisive colors; colors that almost everyone will have an opinion about and you either love it or hate it. Some of those colors we don’t see often enough to bother ourselves with, but there are two in particular I can think of that we see relatively frequently. Both were available on the 964 and seemed to hit their stride at that time and both tend to come up as PTS options on modern Porsches. One of those is Rubystone Red (Sternrubin), now almost a classic 964 Carrera RS color, and the other is the color we see here: Mint Green.
We’ve seen it too adorning the 964 Carrera RS and it looks stunning. Here it has been revived as a paint-to-sample option on this 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, located in Virgina. I won’t say that it comes across as quite as stunning as it did on the Carrera RS, though the pictures themselves may be to blame here. Regardless, we have ourselves a very unique modern 911 with this one.
“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Not only is that a great quote from The Godfather: Part III and even better quote from The Sopranos, it is what I said when I saw another version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. I’ve covered the GT S, the GT C Roadster, not one, but two GT Rs and I figured that would be it for a while. Then this came along. The GT C Roadster Edition 50. The Edition 50 is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AMG which was founded in 1967. As you might have guessed it, AMG made 100 of these Edition 50 cars split evenly between roadsters and coupes, with a handful coming to the United States. Painted in either ‘Designo Graphite Grey Magno’ or ‘Designo Cashmere White Magno’, these special editions received black chrome highlights as well as some different colored wheels. No increase to performance or suspension, just some cool paint and some different badging. So I have to ask, is it worth the premium over a regular GT C Roadster?
There are times when I am specifically in search of an auction for a particular car rather than a standard listing with asking price. In some cases, I even want that to be a reserve auction rather than one with no reserve. This is one of those cases.
I like to do this when I feel I don’t have a great handle on the market for a particular model and an auction provides a nice gauge of that. Why search specifically for a reserve auction? Because I’m confident it will run to completion since the reserve almost certainly will be too high!
The market for a 996TT with the X50 package or a 996TTS has seemed strange to me of late with asking prices all seeming much too high. Most of those listings simply are overly ambitious sellers and the cars don’t sell. Occasionally, however, they do sell. So I’m curious where asking prices should be and where they might be headed. That lead me to this: a Speed Yellow 2004 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, located in Miami, with the X50 package and just 17,500 miles on it.
It is amazing what a color can do to a car. You could have identical cars, one with a really desirable color and another with a not-so popular color, and have their values be dramatically different. Today’s car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD for sale in California, is a perfect example of that. Regardless of color, the W123 300TD is no slouch in terms of desirability and people willing to do anything to keep them on the road. But paint it in a color that everyone loves and suddenly you’ll be a little shocked to see what kind of money these can bring on the open market. This 1983 painted in Labrador Blue isn’t a perfect example by any means but that is the appeal of an example like this. You can enjoy it without obsessing over every single thing that might happen to it. But seeing as this is a 300TD and it is in Labrador Blue, how high could the price be?