1974 Mercedes-Benz 240D

A few weeks ago I looked at a nice 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D that sold for a really fair $7,500. I confessed my admiration for the W123 and all that it can do, as well as what it can’t. Today, I came across a very interesting W115 240D up for bid in Portland, Oregon that deserved a closer look. I think the W115 in general gets overlooked at times because it isn’t the W123 but that doesn’t it isn’t a great car on its own. At first glance on this 1974, everything looked great with major recondition on both the exterior and interior. It wasn’t until I saw the photos under the hood and read the description of this car to see that this really wasn’t a 240D. At least not anymore. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 240D on eBay

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Meet Ur Father: 1974 Audi Fox

Update 9/25/18: Price on this clean Audi Fox has been dropped from $10,000 in July to $7,000 today.

For such an important vehicle, there’s very little fanfare that surrounds the Audi B1. Badged the 80 in Europe and the Fox in the United States, Audi’s small front-drive sedan was a complete transformation for the brand which was emerging from the reshuffling of DKW and Auto Union. Mercedes-Benz had a hand in bringing 4-stroke engine technology to Auto Union in the 1950s and early 1960s, and but freed of their reigns, the Audi engineers produced an all-new motor for the clean-sheet B1. It was the EA827, and it (and the B1) would go on to be the basis for basically every Audi/Volkswagen product since 1972. The 80 was the first to launch, but quickly the 80’s platform would be used to produce the first Volkswagen Dasher (née Passat) and, engine turned transversely, then the Audi 50. The 50 was then the basis for the Golf and Scirocco, and the all-new Volkswagen lineup was complete. So while most internet comments will sometimes dismiss modern Audis as little more than re-badged VWs, you can now remind them that historically it was the opposite. The 80’s traditional longitudinal engine layout ended up being convenient a few years later to help spawn the might Quattro, too.

Motor Trend (and notable automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen) called the 80 the “best new affordable small sedan in the world” in May 1973. Horsepower was modest from the 1.5 liter version of the EA827 at only 75, but then the weight was quite modest, too – curb weight of the sunroof-equipped model was still under 1,900 lbs and fully laden the 80 weighed less than an empty B2 4000CS quattro. Capable of over 30 mpg, the Fox sold surprisingly well in the gas-crunch era as a result – Audi sold 142,511 of them here. While that number sounds modest by today’s standards, consider for a moment that Audi sold only 123,764 of the Fox’s successor, the 4000, in total.

Yet today, finding an Audi Fox seems like something of a minor miracle – never mind when it’s in great condition!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Audi Fox on eBay

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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

I don’t get to feature these 911s a lot. That is partly due to there not being a ton of them around these days, but also those few that I do see never seem quite right. They’re either not in great condition or simply priced much too high, and while high prices aren’t typically something to dissuade me from writing up an air-cooled Porsche I usually end up passing them by. They just sit in a funny place in the market.

This one doesn’t seem to possess those issues, though even here where the price is at least somewhat reasonable I think it makes for a pretty tough sell. Here we have a Grand Prix White 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with Midnight leatherette interior and a reported 68,124 miles on it. These U.S market 2.7-liter Carreras must be distinguished from their much more expensive European counterparts, which shared their MFI engine with the 1973 Carrera RS. Those 911s were basically a Carrera RS Touring with impact bumpers. These 911s are not quite that. However, that lack of a shared pedigree means prices are far lower and while their collector potential also is a good bit lower, pricing is at least such that they can make for a worthwhile consideration for those who desire a ’70s 911.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

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Funny Fiber Double Take: 1974 Bradley GT II v. 1980 Aquila

Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right. So when I came across two unique Volkswagen-based bits, I thought “why not?”

So today we have two very limited production examples of fiberglass laid over a VW chassis. Which is the winner? Let’s start with the Bradley GT II:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Bradley GT II on eBay

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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI Coupe

I’ve been showing a bunch of very expensive 911s lately so I figured why not one more. I’ve had my eye on this 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe for a while now. It’s a pretty special car. It’s a unique and very pretty color combination with a leather-to-sample interior that was originally purchased by the Prince of Bahrain! So if you’re feeling a little extra regal around the holidays then this may be the Porsche for you.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI Coupe on Excellence Magazine

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Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

When it comes to Porsche’s early pastels I’m not sure any color is more paradigmatic of the genre than Lime Green. Perhaps Pastel Blue, but even that very bright color takes a back seat to the intensity of Lime Green. Put Lime Green on an early Carrera Targa with duck tail rear spoiler and you get a car that just makes me chuckle. Every aspect of it seems hellbent on drawing as much attention as possible. And I have no doubt that’s exactly what it does.

This particular example looks fantastic: a Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in New Jersey, with Cinnamon leatherette interior and 74,237 miles on it. Unlike some ads where we wonder how the car really looks this seller pretty much shows us everything. Paint readings even are provided. That shows some confidence in this 911’s quality and it’s certainly not a bad way to sell a car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

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Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911

The love for the unloved. Almost every Porsche 911 model is popular among enthusiasts. Sure the models enjoy varying degrees of appeal as we consider simple measures of subjectivity relating to taste and levels of sophistication. However, there is one particular exception; a model range that largely goes ignored and remains mostly unloved by any other than those who own one. Here is just such a beast, yet this particular example has been shown a ton of love and sits in nearly pristine unrestored condition.

The 1974-1977 911, typically called the mid-year 911, suffered from numerous reliability issues and sapped power as Porsche adapted to changing emissions regulations. That these were also the first 911 to wear the new impact bumpers wasn’t helping as the new aesthetic seemed so much less clean. The cars suffered, the owners suffered, Porsche suffered. Right up until the release of the 911SC when the new 3.0 liter flat-six proved to have solved the power and reliability issues. The impact bumpers remained. That left the mid-year 911 as a footnote between models and one that many would hope they could forget.

But not everyone forgot about these cars, like this Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911 located in San Francisco. We are told that it is unrestored and entirely original inside and out with the exception of the radio and the wheels. The paint, the interior, the drivetrain: all said to be original. Among rare 911s, this one is a rare find indeed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Lime Green 1974 Porsche 911 on eBay

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Roll the Dice? “1973” BMW 2002 Turbo

Most of our ‘Roll the Dice’ series involve cheap asking prices, needy restoration candidates, or oddball cars that are great values. This is not one of those.

The BMW 2002 is a legendary giant killer, and the predecessor of the market darling M3. Introduced before the M1 and 3.0CSL, BMW’s Motorsport division designed and modified the E10-based model to such an extent that it received its own model code – E20. A KKK turbocharger was fit to the M10 2.0 inline-4, generating 8 lbs. of boost at 3,500 rpm and a screaming 170 horsepower. Only available in two colors, the expensive ($6,600 list price in 1974) 2002 Turbo sold in scant numbers – a total of 1,672 were produced. And since all things special BMW are highly prized in today’s market, you can bet that when 2002 Turbos come to market, those in the know take notice.

So, how is this one a ‘Roll of the Dice’?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

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1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

Produced between 1971 and 1981, the C107 was a fixed roof, four seater coupe based on a longer version of the R107 chassis. Badged as an SLC, it was effectively an SL in 2+2 configuration, with a modest amount of room in the back for a couple of (small) adults. The 4.5 liter V8 in the 450 put out a meagre 190 hp, so it wasn’t all that fast. But it was, and remains, a gorgeous and classy cruiser whose looks neatly capture that moment at which the design language of the late 1960s began to give way to that of the 1970s. Even in elongated form, the car retains the timeless good looks of the SL. Those pleated, curtain-looking louvres behind the rear windows? I always thought they simply gave rear passengers a bit of privacy while also letting in some light. But a bit of internet research reveals they have another purpose. They allow for shorter rear windows that can slide downwards into the body without hitting a wheel arch. This means the car can retain a completely pillar-less look. A typically German solution to a problem: practical and elegant at the same time.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC on eBay

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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

This 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa wears one of my favorite exterior color combinations of Orange over Black. Stepping into the interior the combination comes in a slightly different hue and suddenly is one that I cannot recall seeing. That probably shouldn’t surprise us since contrasting Orange with Dark Blue wouldn’t seem the most likely of combinations, but here it looks good. There is a subtely to this blue that I think helps. A brighter blue might just look ridiculous. It isn’t clear that these colors are original as we must note the careful wording in the ad, but as a restored Carrera it looks really good. Its level of originality will determine whether the asking price makes sense.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

Year: 1974
Model: 911 Carrera Targa
Engine: 2.7 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 64,188 mi
Price: $79,900 Buy It Now

Very rare, first year Carrera 2.7 Targa roof model representing one of only 246 USA examples ever made! Fitted with its number’s matching drivetrain, and restored impeccably to very high standards! Fully rebuilt engine to stock specifications, it remains exceptionally original inside and out! Great color combination!

Coming to the market for the first time was the Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7, with American buyers received the CIS injection system from the S model, along with Carrera RS front & rear steel fender flares, Bilstein shocks, aluminum brake calipers, standard fiberglass RS ducktail rear spoiler, larger 20mm front and added 18mm rear sway bars, and optional dealer installed wider Fuchs alloys wheels. Porsche would supply the Targa roof model only 246 units to the USA market making them exceptional rare!

Offered here is a number’s matching 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa finished in Orange over Dark Blue interior! Coming from a private California collection, this is #32 of 246 factory built examples and has only break-in miles on a complete, professional restoration to both cosmetics and mechanicals! It features its stock, number’s matching 2.7L engine mated to its factory 915 5-speed manual transmission producing 175 horsepower and 235 lb. ft. of torque. Options include Blaupunkt AM/FM Stereo radio, leather wrapped steering wheel, electric clock & VDO instrumentation, front fog lamps, rear window defrost, polished Fushs alloys measure 15×7 up front and 15×8” at the rear wrapped in 60-series BF Goodrich g-force Sport rubber, and more!

Our example has lived the good life in California being sold to a dentist, John Meyer DDS, in September 1974 from Cutright Porsche-Audi based in Santa Monica, CA. It remained documented in his original service manual through 1976. It had changed ownership to a few Porsche enthusiasts over the years before receiving a remarkable 2008/2009 restoration to better than new caliber! During the meticulous restoration, the engine was removed for a top end rebuild by Advanced Engineering of Temecula, California. A full major service was also performed to include new drive belts, plug wires, CDI box replacement with Perma-Tune Electronic ignition, alternator, clutch with correct lightweight Carrera pressure plate and all the proper hardware to refurbish the engine compartment right down to the decal stickers! The vehicle maintains its rust free originality and factory sheet metal, while preserving and all reusable parts.

It was completely stripped with the engine removed and repainted period correct Porsche Orange (156) single stage paint in factory fashion. The interior is style pigskin leatherette with the rare light basket weave factory inserts in dark blue with factory silverknit nylon velour carpet in matching dark blue. It sports factory “black look” exterior trim, flexible lip front spoiler, and rear ducktail spoiler with Carrera script. This early production Carrera #32, (built August 1973) and not to be confused with the ROW units, is in superb condition and likely one of the most beautiful examples on the market today! It hails most recently from a prominent Maryland collection where it has been kept in a gorgeous, climate-controlled garage since arrival. It will come complete with original manuals & service books, factory tools, auxiliary tire compressor, and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. It represents an excellent investment opportunity, and a perfect addition to any collection! Act quickly; cars of this caliber never last long!

The seller states that the CoA comes with this 911 so that should clear up any questions about the original color scheme. We’re also told a little of its history, but it sounds like there is not much known until around 2009. The original owner had it for only two years after which it moved around. What level of documentation goes with the period from 1976-2008 is left unsaid, but after that it appears to have found its way into a couple of collections, during which time it was restored. Given that we’re approaching ten years since that restoration this 911 still looks in very good shape. I imagine it hasn’t seen much road usage over those years, but we can hope whatever servicing it has received will be documented. There are surely plenty of questions to be answered, but overall this is a very nice looking and rare early Carrera Targa. If it indeed wears its originals colors then the asking price will be on the high side, but not egregiously so. If the colors are simply “period correct” as the ad mentions then I suspect the price will need to drop a good bit.

-Rob