Over the weekend I looked at a pretty nice 911 Speedster up for sale. It was, as usual, very expensive, but also quite desirable. That Speedster, of course, hearkens back to the ethos of the original 356 Speedster though it is far from as spartan a ride as those very early Porsches. In fact, we might see the 911 Speedster to have greater relation to the Speedster’s successor, which is the car we see here: the Convertible D.
The Speedster was a sales success for Porsche as a gentleman’s racer: a car that could be used during the weekly commute, but then on the weekend with its stripped down features it just as easily proved to be a capable car around the track. That said, it may have been too spartan for such dual purpose. It sold well initially and then those sales slowed. Porsche then introduced the Convertible D, which added a few creature comforts back. It borrowed a standard set of seats from the 356 Coupe to replace the Speedster’s hard buckets and raised the windshield height just a bit. It even gave you the option of winding the windows. Such luxury! The Convertible D was a little bit of a compromise, but these were still pretty much no frills open-top cars.
Like the Speedster the Convertible D remains very desirable, though a few notches down the value scale. The one we see here looks absolutely beautiful: a restored Meissen Blue 1958 Porsche 356A Convertible D, located in Colorado, with Red interior.
As we wade through this crazy time where every somewhat desirable vehicle is suddenly worth three times as what they were worth 5-7 years ago, I do suspect there are some cars that haven’t got caught up in that wave. I think today’s car, the Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer, is still a nice collectible piece that isn’t insanely priced — at least for what it is. I’ve looked at the Adenauer before, so if you want some more information these go check that the 1960 from a little under a year ago.
The W189 is still, at least in my opinion, undervalued for the total package it presents. This car was the best sedan that Mercedes could make during this era and at the same time it’s not unreasonable to own and live with unlike the car that replaced it, the 600. The Adenauer looks as stately as anything on the outside, the interior is spacious with a ridiculously opulent dash made from all wood and you weren’t cheated under the hood with the same (although slightly detuned) M189 straight-6 from the 300SL. So how much does all this cost?
Model: 300d Adenauer
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 117,000 km (72,700 mi)
Price: Buy It Now $58,000
The Mercedes-Benz W186 model 300 was a high-end luxury car produced by Mercedes-Benz between 1951 and 1957. The company’s largest and most prestigious automobile, it was the Maybach of its day, elegant, powerful, exclusive, and expensive. It recommended the pre-WW2 tradition of the flagship super-luxury class automobile, which was unbroken from the simplex 60 hp model of 1903 up until the 770 Grand Mercedes from the 30’s. Three versions were produced in succession, known informally as the 300a (or simply 300), 300b, and 300c.
If the W198 300SL price tag of over a million dollars is just slightly over your budget for a late-1950s to early-1960s Mercedes roadster but you still want the iconic design, look no further than the W121 190SL. At only one-tenth of the price tag but not just one-tenth of the car the 300 is, the 190 is still a model that you can’t really go wrong buying. So let’s take a look at this pristine 1958 located in the Netherlands.
We often see vintage collector vehicles so perfectly restored that they seem unapproachable, not just in cost, but in terms of putting them to use. One little scratch and you might not score perfect in that next concours. I never really cared much for such bastions of perfection, though. Which is why a car like this 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL has caught my attention. This 300SL is in largely original condition, having passed through two owners with an interesting, global story to boot. What price patina, then?
After the destruction of World War II, Mercedes-Benz found themselves, like most German automotive manufacturers at a crossroads. Would the company survive post war, after so much destruction, or would it close its doors for good? It would be about a decade before a clear picture began to emerge and most manufacturers started to churn out new models and so it was with Mercedes-Benz, their new sedan, dubbed the “Ponton,” arriving on the scene in 1953. Taking over where the 170 left off, the model would be available in sedan, coupe and convertible variants, with the sedan offering a choice of both diesel and petrol engines. This 220S for sale in California carries a unique story with it, being owned at one time by the service manager of the former dealership, German Motors in San Francisco.
The car enthusiast community is a pretty fickle bunch; take a fairly slow, swoopy 1958 convertible with classic lines, just the right amount of chrome and enough charisma to make you smile. Put a Mercedes-Benz star on it and call it a 190SL, and it’s a $150,000 – $200,000 car with a well-heeled following; put a Volkswagen badge on it and it’s a $20,000 – $40,000 car with a cult following. But appreciation for the Karmann Ghia is growing, and these early “low light” early models are the most desirable. With a clean restoration and the right classic color combination, I’m left wondering why anyone would choose a 190SL over this:
Nearly 4 years ago, Paul wrote up a 1957 Auto Union Munga, rare to see at all in the U.S. and with some practical updates. In fact, it wasn’t really a Munga at all anymore; the body had been taken off and mounted onto a 1968 Beetle chassis complete with the 1600 flat-4. Now listed as a 1958 model and missing the centercaps, it appears this very same vehicle is back up for sale. What does the title of this feature mean? Well, for those in the know, the genesis of the Ur-Quattro started with a bunch of Audi models that were outpaced on a test drive through some snowy roads by a military-spec Volkswagen Iltis. So, the Iltis was really the Ur-Ur-Quattro – but in fact, the Iltis itself was heavily based upon the earlier Munga from the 1950s. That’s right rally faithful, your precious Quattro was an antique long before it was a trend-setter! Okay, so it’s an over simplification, but it is still neat to track the history of these cars and where the designs came from:
Bubble cars. These little runabouts are possibly the most confounding thing on the automotive scene for me these days. What was originally designed as low cost transport for postwar Germany have become the darling of the auction set, bringing huge sums for well restored and preserved examples of cars like the Messerschmidt, Goggomobil and perhaps the most famous of them all, the BMW Isetta. The Isetta was a curious little beast, with a unique front hinged door and variants produced in both three and four wheel formats. We’ve featured a couple of these small runabouts here on GCFSB over the years but this one is particularly stunning, given the fact that it is an untouched survivor with only 6,478 miles on it.
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: 298 cc single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 6,478 mi
Price: $22,900 Buy It Now
1958 BMW Isetta 300 Absolutely ORIGINAL and in wonderful condition!!! At Speed Motors focuses upon investment-level Porsches…but sometimes BMW’s too! Please see my website atspeedmotors for your viewing pleasure! This Isetta has ABSOLUTELY ALL-ORIGINAL PAINT! I have been over and over the body with a paint meter and can’t find but very small touch-up spots from chips that are not original. That is beyond amazing for a 55 year old car. In addition, the rest of the car, including the interior, engine, trans, gauges, lights, etc. also all appear to be absolutely original. Yes, original and untouched!!! The odometer shows 6,478 miles and I have little doubt that is absolutely correct.
I purchased the car from a short-term owner (he had the car only 4 months) who bought it from the original owner who purchased the Isetta brand new. The car was shipped to the U.S.
In the aftermath of World War II, the German nation was reeling from destruction on a mass scale and the shame which National Socialism placed upon its people. With the partioning of the country into East and West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany experienced a period of prolonged economic growth better known as the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic wonder. The demand for cheap transportation was in great demand during this time and a direct result of that was the appearance of micro and bubble cars on the German automotive scene. From the BMW Isetta to the Messerschmidt, these miniscule vehicles gave West Germans the freedom to explore their revitalized nation and beyond.
Built by the Glas company (which was later bought up by BMW), here is a very rare example of the more “sporting” Goggomobil TS400 Coupe for sale in New Jersey.
As cultural icons from Germany’s immediate postwar years, microcars are among the most desirable collector cars today and the early “suicide door” Goggomobil Coupés are among the most sought-after examples. The 1958 model presented here, chassis # 02 132 084, is one of about 1,000 Goggomobil Coupés remaining worldwide of a total production of 66,511 units.
As you can imagine, selling Goggomobils, even to an “economy” car buyer was a challenge in the landscape of 1950’s America. The US importer, Continental Car Combine of New York City was as you’d expect, less than successful in finding customers for the Goggomobil sedans and far fewer still willing to spend extra money for the stylish coupe and as a result only a very limited number of these 1950’s vintage “suicide-door” Goggos were ever sold in the United States and only a mere handful still exist here today. Of these survivors….only one is a virtually “new” car with just 457 miles!