1985 Volkswagen Passat (Quantum) Estate

The B2 Passat, also known as the Volkswagen Quantum stateside, was introduced in 1981 as a revision to the original Passat, introduced in 1973. The second generation Passat could be described as a prolific model range. In the early ’80s, the Passat was renamed the Corsar for the Mexican market and was produced in Brazil under the Santana moniker until 2006. The B2 chassis is still in production in China as the Santana, proving popular with taxi and police fleets. It has been announced that the Santana will end production in China in 2012. That’s staying power.

Here’s a clean, low mileage 1985 Passat wagon in Berlin that is being exported to the U.S., given this car just turned 25 years old and falls under classic status with the EPA and DOT.

1985 Volkswagen Passat on eBay

The seller states:

This diesel VW is from 1985. (It’s the ebay system that has problems taking the correct VIN WVWZZZ33ZGE037982 and the correct year.)

The VW is currently located in Berlin, Germany and we include shipping to Long Beach port, CA, where it will arrive in a few weeks. As the year is 1985, this vehicle is classic in the US since January 2010 and therefore exempt of DOT/EPA. Tax and insurance for classic vehicles are low, so it’s not only the 40+mpg that will make this one a perfect money-saver. You probably know you can easily prepare these kind of VWs for biodiesel.

Being in love with the cars of the 80ies for their quality, we have always been looking for german classics with lowest miles, but frankly, we haven’t once seen a station wagon in this condition. With only 38,000 original kilometers (=24,000 miles) this one is as close to new as you can possibly get. Factory paint is still shiny, walking around the car you will think it was one or two years old. There are maybe two or three chips, which were taken care of. The inside shows hardly any use. We took off the cover of the driver seat for the pictures, there is no use worth to mention.

Driving this VW, it feels like a new car, I must say. No noise, no play anywhere. No liquids dripping of course and there is the valid german roadworthiness certificate TÜV coming with it. The biannual test was passed at km 31,300 in June 2009. Whatever you touch in this car tells you that its life is still totally ahead. Turning the key the engine purrs as if saying: “Thanks man! And now where do we go?”

Bidding is already at $7,300 so even with the hassle of shipping it over, it seems there are several interested parties. With each passing year, it’s great to see interesting rides like this make their way over to what could best be described as a police state for car enthusiasts. When I was young kid, my grandparents had retired back home to Portugal. Right around when I got my license, they decided to sell their 1982 Peugeot 505 turbo diesel for a car with an automatic transmission, a Honda Civic 5-door hatchback. The Peugeot was in fantastic shape and my grandfather owned it from new, taking delivery of it at the factory in France. Sadly, this was the mid ’90s and there was no way of importing it legally.

With the budget crisis in the country, it would be reasonable for the DOT and EPA to get together and charge a flat rate to enthusiasts who would want to go to the trouble of shipping over a rare or unique piece. At the same time, maybe we could relax the year restriction to any vehicle 5 or 10 years or older. With current European safety standards and (at least for cars of German origin) the ever stringent TÜV (Technical Inspection Association) inspection, the cars coming from that continent would be just as safe, if not safer, than the ones Uncle Sam deems acceptable for us.


Clean 2000 E39 BMW M5 Red Dinan S1

This is quite a clean looking M5 for being a three owner car. The seller says it has never seen winter roads and has been in a garage all its life. With only 40,000 miles those three owners sure didn’t use it to commute very long. The car has some mild upgrades including the Dinan S1 package, with exhaust and intake. It also has a set of deep dish 20″ rims and aftermarket angel eyes. The clutch and flywheel have been replaced at 30,000 so they should be good for awhile. The engine bay looks amazingly clean.
The car is at $22,000 reserve not met. As long as the reserve isn’t set more than $10,000 from this, you could take this car and drive it for a few years and then sell it with out much depreciation as long as you take care of it.


1997 BMW 328i Sport with 24,000 miles

This find comes in from reader Peter.

We’ve seen that low mile BMWs command a high price, that is no surprise. What is interesting though is we’ve found often the case with these low mile cars is that it is not only collectors buying them for a potential weekend ride or investment car, its just as frequently someone who wants to make the car their daily driver. The daily driver folks may prefer an older model because it has less electronic gizmos or they may just really like the familiarity of a model they have owned for years and don’t want to move to something newer. They figure if they are going to take the car to work everyday why not get the lowest mile one you can find.

This 328i looks almost showroom fresh. The previous owner sure didn’t get much out of their purchase. The dollar cost average of buying $38,705 car and only driving it 24,000 isn’t great. The depreciation though should look really appealing to the next owner.

Finished in shiny red, all original, and apparently only on the road when it is dry, this car is begging to see some of the country.

While the car has the sports package this is a bit of a misnomer since it does have the autobox transmission. All the things you like to see with a low mile car are there, including all the tools in the tool kit and immaculate interior, even the cell phone in the console, plus the seller has the original window sticker. The only ugly thing about is the dealer logo emblem on the trunk lid.

Sure it isn’t an M3 or M5, but here you have a car that still looks modern, that was built well, and with four doors can carry plenty of people or stuff reliably for years. Sure beats buying a new Hyundai.
So head over to Hershey, PA with $10,900 and pick up this sweet ride.

More photo’s and info on the seller’s website here:


1979 Trabant

While German vehicles have a reputation for over-engineering, reliability and prestige, cars manufactured in the former East Germany are a different story. First produced by VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau in 1957, the Trabant was known for an infamously long wait times to purchase one. Some customers would wait up to 15 years to collect their new car from the time of order, which helped drive used Trabant prices up. Made out of a plastic resin called Duroplast, the Trabant had other unique features such as a gas tank mounted up high in the engine to feed fuel to the carburetor, as the vehicle did not have a fuel pump.

Here is an example of the infamous Communist runabout from the heyday of its production run:

1979 Trabant P601 LX on eBay

The seller states:

1979 Trabant P601LX. Clear NC Title. Comes with original German Fahrzeugbrief (German registration). I bought and shipped this Trabant from Germany in Dec.05. Motor starts and runs great! 6V, standard/dual point ignition. Original factory paint job; white car/green top. There are minor nicks here and there, but not worth mentioning…paint is still near 100%. Motor is super clean…starts every time and keeps running. Interior is also in great shape and very clean. Drivers seat has some minor wear (see pic). There is minor wear from a tire that sat for a while in the back seat (see pic). Drivers side mirror needs to be replaced….glass is not broken, but reflective material inside the mirror has broken up in some areas (you can find a fairly cheap replacement on German eBay). The mileage indicator has obviously turned many times since 1979…it is now at approx 2300 kilometers.

Bidding is at $4,900 with two days left in the auction and no bids. If you want a piece of East German nostalgia that you can drive, bid now, as these don’t come up for sale here stateside too often.


Well-Traveled but Clean 1988 BMW 535is for sale

Before I take the big plunge to E28 M5dom, I could definitely see myself learning the ropes by enjoying a 535is for a while.  With essentially the same styling and plenty of fun to be had from the venerable M30 3.5 inline-6, the “is” provides a nice middle ground between the normal 535i and the fantastic M5.  535is prices also trend much closer to the 535i than the M5, making it perhaps the best value of the bunch.  Today we have a very clean but high-mileage example off eBay.

With a no-reserve starting price of $3,995, this 245k-mile 535is could be a great starter.  The body is very straight, the interior is mostly great with some medium bits, and the paint and wheels look fantastic.  There are enough little issues (trunk doesn’t stay open, broken cruise control, etc.) in addition to the high mileage to keep the price low, but it’s a lot of car.  The M30 block is widely regarded as one of the more bulletproof engines out there, and this one seems to be running strong and well maintained, so that mileage is much less of an issue than it would be on most other cars (Benz and VW diesels excluded).  If it stays around $5k, this could be a great way to enter the sporty E28 market without breaking the bank.


1987 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG Hammer 6.0

While AMG is a household name these days, it wasn’t until the 1995 C36 that the tuner was truly integrated into the US market business model. Before the C36 arrived, AMG had focused on building a few special W124 models with breathed on versions of the 5.6 liter V8 from S classes of the day. These tuned engines featured 32 valve cylinder heads with twin camshafts. These powerplants could crank out in excess of 360 DIN hp in Europe, while figures were slightly less for US bound models due to emission regulations. Here we have a very low mileage example of the Hammer:

The seller states:

I am listing My 1987 Mercedes Benz 300E Real AMG Hammer. This is the 6.0 Litre four cam hand built motor that helped put AMG on the map in the United States. This car is a US spec car that was sold new To Mr. Stuart Haim in 1987 from Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories for the sum of $187,000.00. It is finished in its original color and is original paint in better than new condition always garaged under a cover. I Have owned this car for 14 years with no problems it has always ran excellent. All services have been up too date, the Ac has been serviced, A period correct upgraded sound system and Mitsubishi 800 cell phone is still in the optional cell phone arm rest and the transporter to make the phone mobile in the trunk, it will not work on any cell services but is still cool.

The car has the Full AMG body kit, 17 Inch Mono Bloc wheels, I have two sets one in chrome and one that is currently on the car that has Black powder coated centers. Full AMG exhaust system with AMG headers, All AMG suspension to accommodate the heavier 8 Cyl motor, upgraded brakes, Stiffened sub frame, rebuilt and stronger transmission with 1st gear start. The car rated at aprox 385 HP. 0-60 in 5 sec and a top speed of 187MPH. AMG Speedo cluster in grey, and burl wood shifter.

The interior is like new, the leather is faded, dyed, or dry, the dash is perfect, no one ever sat in the rear seats, all rubber trim is still soft and not dried out. I sold my other two Hammers at Barret-Jackson in January and think this is the best of the three cars, it has 20,000 miles on it, I have a clean California title there are no issues the car is currently registered and insured.

$55,000 is steep for any car over 20 years old. However, the condition of this vehicle and the significance of it being a vehicle that would lead the way toward more performance oriented Mercedes-Benzes in the future could very well find it a new owner in the near future. One definitely has some decisions to make at this price range, as this car’s contemporary, the C63 AMG, is not too far off from this price point.


1988 BMW M5 with 79,000 miles

Here’s a clean example of a dying breed, the E28 BMW M5, sold only in 1988. These are among one of the rarest M models, with the BMW M1, E34 M5 Touring and E31 850CSi being the only models sold in lesser quantities.

1988 BMW M5 on eBay

The seller states:

I am selling my beautiful and rare E28 M5. This is the finest possible example, in my opinion, that you will find. Why? It’s not a garage queen that you’ll feel guilty driving, but it’s not a thrashed junker that won’t perform to your expectations. It is a very, very nicely kept and maintained example of a true sports sedan. Somewhere around 1200 of these cars were ever imported to the US (all with black paint and beige leather). Nobody knows how many are still roadworthy, but very few are in daily driving condition with less than 100K miles. If you are considering this car, you likely are familiar with its history and stats. Here’s a brief summary of stats and recent upgrades:

Engine: 3.5L inline 6-cylinder; 256hp stock; 0-60 6.5 secs

Transmission: Getrag 5-sp Manual

79,7xx miles

**Passed Oregon DEQ March 2010**

New OEM Exhaust system

New catalytic converter

New oxygen sensor

New OEM electric antenna assembly

New upper and lower control arms

New Sway bar link, tie rods, center link

New power steering pump

New Alternator

New fuel filter

New brake pads and rotors

Most all hoses replaced

New Bilstein shocks front and rear

I have all records and receipts for the above.

–BMW business CD player

–AC blows cold

–Driver and passenger seat heaters

–current wheels are the black ASA’s shown in the photos. The OEM wheels will be for sale separately once the car is sold.

The car has the flaws you’d expect for it’s age: minor dash cracks, paint blemishes, minor leather cracking. None of it will keep you from loving this car as much as I do.

While E28 M5s are rare, I’m thinking $13,500 might be a bit optimistic for an E28 M5, unless of course it had under 50,000 miles. These cars just don’t seem to have the lust after factor as much as the E30 M3s and E24 M6s have. I could be wrong, though. As real estate agents will tell you, there’s an a** for every seat.


Beautiful 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo for sale

For around $45,000, you could buy a brand-new BMW 335i with it’s fancy twin-turbo inline-6, iDrive, and plenty of plush amenities and Bangleness.  You could also buy a very low-mile 1974 2002 Turbo, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, some gauges, a steering wheel, and some nasty (in the good way) fender flares  and spoilers.  Which would you go for?  I know my answer.

We can all agree that the 2002 is an amazing car that forever changed what a sedan could be, but the 2002 Turbo is just in a different league.  Reasons it stands alone: 170hp; 5-speed dogleg; limited-slip diff; M Stripes.  I also love the tall greenhouse on the squat body, the center exhaust, and the all-business yet inviting interior.  This beautiful 2002 was originally owned by a Japanese F1 driver and painted black then later brought to the US and redone in the appropriate Polaris Silver with lots of OEM refurbishing.  I’ve seen these in black, and it’s something special, but this original hue is gorgeous.  Though unverified, it looks like it’s covered a scant 17,000 miles.  Much time and money has gone into making this a fantastic example, just one of 1672, of the awesome Turbo.  I don’t know the market for such a time piece and will admit that $45k is a lot, but it’s a lovely, rare BMW, one that laid the groundwork for all of BMW’s souped-up sports sedans to follow.


Widebody 1981 BMW M1 for sale

We listed this car almost exactly one year ago and it is still up for sale. The BMW M1 is such a magnificent anomaly.  Never before, nor since, has BMW made a mid-engined supercar (in fact, how many have come out of Germany period?), but when they did, they did it right.  Sharp and exotic, it still looks irrefutably German, especially in white like our example today.  It just sweats engineering excellence and Teutonic rightness, as though Kraftwerk is the only music the Blaupunkt is capable of playing.  And while it’s held in high regard on its own merits, perhaps the M1’s greatest legacy is the fantastic inline-6 it later passed on to the E24 M6 and first two M5s.  Today’s example is extra special with the Procar bodykit, mimicking the aggressive, flared look of the M1 race series and installed by none other than AC Schnitzer.

The clean white with black accents emphasizes the Germanness of this beefed-up M1.  With about 23k miles, it’s a beautiful car with “no known issues.”  It’s not perfect; the headers are very patina’d and the original paint doesn’t sparkle, but that’s ok.  I kind of like that this is a badass time machine that doesn’t look like it has to sit in a showroom for the rest of its life.  The $135,000 asking price is steep, but this is a rarity of a rarity and one of just 456.  German exoticar pr0n, widebody M1 is thy name.


Supercharged 1997 BMW 318ti for sale

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’ve never given the BMW E36/5 318ti a second glance, let alone any respect.  Kind of the predecessor to the 1-series, it was BMW’s unique (eschewing more common derisive descriptors) rear-wheel drive compact, the only of its genre in North America.  MSRP’d below $20k, it was definitely an economy-BMW, and this association along with it’s slightly awkward profile kept it from being taken very seriously and it never sold well.

Today, however, I found one on Craigslist that has me questioning my dismissal of the baby Bimmer.

Supercharged 1997 BMW 318ti for sale on Craigslist

Not only does this beautiful white 1997 version have the sport package, it’s been upgraded with a very clean Eaton supercharger installation.  That has to make some positive steps towards discarding the frumpy reputation, as well as the M3-style front fascia and the very, very well-chosen 17-inch BBS RKs.  The M-accented cloth seats are decidedly 90s, but that’s ok and the rest of the interior is clean and sporty.  The proportions will always be funky on this car, but the aforementioned upgrades along with a trunklid spoiler and M3 mirrors really suit it and make you think how tossable that short wheelbase must be.  For sale just under $9k, 165k miles seems like a bit, especially with a boosted engine.  That said, it looks extremely well cared-for, and is probably a ton of fun for under ten grand.

For the first time, I’m finding myself giving a 318ti a long, desirous look.