Rare stateside 1978 Mercedes 350SE

Prices of the venerable Merc 116s are continually creeping up. 30+ years later and these sedans still can hold their own. Some may say they fall in no man’s land right now. Comfortable daily driver? Classic vintage saloon? Outside of the 6.9 they aren’t that expensive to fix and are easy to maintain.

The car featured here is a rare bird in the states. The Euro only 3.5 liter V8 is lighter on its feet and had a higher compression ratio than the U.S. 4.5 liter V8. Couple that with the shorter wheel base SE model and you have your self a nice little package. The peppy, compact 3.5 liter unit, most believe is one of the better to have tucked under the wood of a W116. If the car had the manual instead of the auto transmission that package would truly be complete.

This being a grey market car it features the body hugging bumpers. Unfortunately, sometime during the federalization process the car got U.S. headlamps and the owner didn’t switch back in the Euro units.

This 350SE has the velour interior, which was common on Euro cars, even the top of the line 6.9. The sunroof is an interesting option, apparently put in instead of air conditioning, note the single dial climate system. The Becker Monza right below the climate controls wasn’t the best looking W116 radio option, the Mexico I think looks better.

Finding one of these in this nice shape, in Euro trim, in the states, with a measly 57,000 miles on the clock does not happen every day. You’d actually have to do some decent searching to turn up a similar one of these. A no reserve auction with low opening, currently the price is just over $1,500, is a fantastic deal. The seller seems to describe the car as being in great shape, but that price is so cheap it makes me want to check it out in person.

A very nice find that might find a new home for just a song.

Rare stateside 1978 Mercedes 350SE on eBay.

~Evan

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

Following on to the brutish 1995 Mercedes-Benz S500 featured a few days ago here, I stumbled across one of its ancestors this week. This amazingly original 1978 450SLC coupe. I have to admit that when I was a teenager, it was my dream to own one of these SLCs. I’m not sure why, but I still long after one of these coupes. While Mercedes of this era came in some colors that look a bit dated, the Orient Red with brand new Bamboo interior add to the sheer elegance of this machine.

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC for sale on eBay

You are looking at the best and most beautiful SLC for sale plus she has a brand new factory leather interior and all new carpet that smells brand new.

When the world’s most renowned automobile manufacturer presents the world with an instant classic, maintaining the expectations of enthusiasts can be a rather difficult challenge. Admirers of the 450SLC will feel as if they went back in time when sitting in this car which runs and feels as if it were locked in a time capsule. The new owner of this beautifully preserved SLC will feel as if they have taken a step back in time when sitting in this car which has the feeling of being brand new and still today is in “Showroom Condition” with its brand new factory carpeting and supple Mercedes all leather interior.

The Mercedes 450SLC is a car that stands amongst its peers as an icon and although there were many other style of cars made around this model it is difficult to associate this decade with any other car. The styling of this 450SLC still remains classic, and its interior, while always dignified, was decidedly luxurious. The 450SLC had two doors, a true pillarless hardtop, and seating for four. It was similar to the 450SL but with a longer wheelbase which increased the weight slightly. The rear passengers window is actually a 1/4 window with a louvered panel which provides extra privacy. Production lasted from 1970 through 1981. The 450SLC is renowned for its performance and was constructed by the manufacturer to compete in marathon rallies.

The power comes from a 4.5L V8 engine and an automatic transmission. This car is very well equipped with AM/FM stereo radio w optional cassette which has been updated and restored with the iPhone hook up that is hardwired through glove box. It has climate controlled electronic air conditioning not offered before 1978, cruise control, power steering, power locks, power sunroof, seat belts, leather, chrome wheels, and Michelin MXV radial tires.

The first thing that anyone comments on when noticing this car is the striking color combination of its Orient Red exterior over its Bamboo interior. The paint is gorgeous along with the Mercedes all leather factory interior and brand new Mercedes factory carpeting. If you are reading this, you most likely already know how rare the SLCs are, combine the very few SLCs that are left combined with this striking color combination and you have a very rare car. Most color combinations found for this car are silver, brown or blue. Besides the vehicle looking like it’s in just out of the showroom condition. The vehicle runs and drives absolutely beautiful maintaining its essence of luxury.

A few weeks ago I drove the car from Treasure Island to South Beach a 500 mile round trip get away. I used the cruise control all the way down to Miami and back. Staying cool with the air conditioning on while listening to the stereo, the trip was a breeze to make. The faster I drove the smoother she drove. Quiet and steady. While in south beach I literally could not drive anywhere without a comment or people just continually staring at the car admiring its beauty….

There are two age related items that are very difficult to see even in these pictures, there is a slight hazing at the bottom of the rear window that is approximately 1” wide by 15” long and a slight hazing on the dash both of these items are very difficult to see in the photos.

I have the service records where the car was dealer serviced. It just had a major service and new brakes installed at MB authorized dealer. We all know having a MB dealer serviced is much more expensive because the dealer does preventative maintenance or proactive service, replacing everything and anything before it needs to be. That’s why most vintage MB cars are not serviced by the dealer. I can tell you though it makes a world of difference after years and years when a vintage MB has been serviced by the dealer. Being dealer serviced this car has been maintained as required, that is why there are no issues with this car and everything looks and operates like it should.

This SLC is absolutely amazing given its age and mileage. The seller is wrong in saying production started in 1970, rather, it was two years later when the first SLC appeared. Still, this is another one of those cars that if I had the space and funds, it would be in my collection. The asking price is reasonable given the history, stunning condition and the fact that Mercedes-Benz coupes and convertibles always command a higher price than their sedan counterparts.

-Paul

1978 BMW 320i

Usually the first generation of a particular model is the most revered, however, the first generation 3 series seems to get overlooked in favor of the later E30 and E36 3 series. The 320i never sold in the huge numbers that the E30 did, which could be a reflection of the E21 and its lack of body variants. These first generation 3 series are becoming less and less common and I have to say, I can’t remember the last time I spotted a restored one for sale until I came across this example on eBay yesterday.

The seller states:

Purchased vehicle in May of 2003 from the second Owner who purchased vehicle when it was a few years old. I am the third owner.

Entire engine and body restoration undertaken in 1999. Engine rebuild with complete original documents in posession total $6,022 and performed by Ric Farrar a BMW specialist of Sheltie Motorsports in Portland, OR.

$4,500 original document in possession to strip body to Bare Metal and painted to glorious Canary Yellow by Europa Auto Body of Portland OR in 1999. Lustrous and flawless.

Vehicle is an original US car and spent whole life in Washington State until 2003. I had vehicle transported by Rail to Ontario in the Niagara Region and it has been my Garage Queen since. I have driven it approx 1,200 mi ea summer or 10,000 miles total. Engine & Body rebuild and Restoration took place at 156,752 miles. I have all the original documentation. Current odometer sits at 179,847.

Vehicle is flawless and garners interest and admirerers in all its travels.
During engine and drivetrain rebuild, a decision was made to swap the 4 speed manual to the 5 Speed geartrag which provides overdrive 5th – perfect for highway cruising. Upholstery is original with front passenger seats covered in cool 100% fitted Sheepskin.

This collector vehicle is a delight to drive in the summer as it takes advantage of either a crank tilt or retractable sunroof. If it is too hot simply crank the factory Air Conditioning which Blows Stone Cold! Stereo was replaced with a casette AM/FM radio with two rear mount speakers in addition to two forward.

I have never seen a better 78 Bmw 320i vehicle nor has the vetran appraiser for Classic Auto Appraisals who recently (2007) inspected and appraised vehicle for purpose of insurance and value. Vehicle has been meticulously maintained locally and only modification from stock have been Hi Performance ignition wires, & K&N filter & a cup holder sourced from Bavarian autosport. I need garage space for a new project allowing vehicle to have another owner. Vehicle will not disappoint.

As of writing this, there is about a day left in the auction and bidding is hovering around $6,300 with no reserve. Given rising fuel costs and a desire by some to seek out classics that are simple and cheap to run, the E21’s popularity may finally see itself on an upswing.

-Paul

1978 BMW Dinan 320i to 333i Turbo E21

Here is something to be thankful about this time of year. When cars like this pop up for sale it makes all of us excited.

This is a truly one of a kind early Dinan tuned 3 series. This BMW will make even the nicest E30 M3 look somewhat mundane.

What you have is a 1978 320i with a 5 speed overdrive manual that in 1980 was sent to Dinan where it received a new paint job, some body work and then had a 3.3 liter inline six with a turbo bolted on dropped in. The seller states that later in life, 1987, the head was replaced with a 3.5 version. (perhaps because the turbo blew out the head gasket on the original?) The engine bay is amazingly clean. I love the custom 333i badge completing the look on the back, just need to squeeze one of the BMW turbo badges on there somewhere.

16″ Hardy and Beck wheels keep the car on the ground and with the turbo’s 8.5 lbs of boost putting down 315 horsepower in a car this light its a good thing there are meaty Yokohama AVS Sport tires on the rims.

Recaro seats, custom gauges, and obligatory Blaupunkt stereo finish off the well cared for interior.  The car has an estimated 50,000 miles on the chassis.

A spectacular piece here showing a classic tuned vehicle that hasn’t been over restored or contemporized. In terms of collectibility finding a vehicle like this that is maintaining its original tuning, rather than finding the same vehicle that was customized recently, really helps the sale price. Quite a sleeper of a car too, that even a BMW fan might not appreciate at first look. Certainly will be a crowd pleaser at car shows though.

Right now it is sitting at $23,000 reserve not met. I’m not sure how high this one will go, but we will be talking very nice E30 M3 money.

~Evan

1978 Volkswagen Scirocco

Even though 22 years have passed since the Volkswagen Scirocco was sold here in the United States, they still have a strong following. Here is an early example of the breed on The Samba that has some period correct styling touches and the later G60 engine that saw service in the Corrado.

1978 Volkswagen Scirocco on The Samba

The seller states:

Cars like this don’t come along all that often…this is a true once in a lifetime time-capsule. I have acquired an amazing 1978 Scirocco G60 and are now offering it up for sale. This car hasn’t seen the road in 20 years, and is amazingly perfect in every regard. Only 32,580 miles were on the chassis when it was taken off the road. Tons of period parts…from the rare BBS body kit with fender flares, to the rare Zender Turbo wheels, super old-school Momo steering wheel, shift knob, etc.

No part has been left untouched. The entire shell has been resprayed, and the undercarriage is almost as shiny as the roof. The interior has been re-trimmed in green leather (headliner to match) with black accents. When have you ever seen a car as completely period correct and perfect as this? Not ever.

The engine is a 2.0 G60 8v with a ported stage 3 G-lader, lower front / bottom mounted intercooler and a full Supersprint exhaust from the header to the tailpipe.

Obviously a Scirocco this nice should not go to just anybody. It deserves the proper owner who is going to love and cherish this car for exactly what it is…an amazing example of period styling and parts. It is for the passionate enthusiast who knows that the chances of finding another Scirocco as clean and perfect as this are pretty much close to impossible these days. As such we are currently accepting offers on the car but I do not expect to have a problem finding a new owner with the right price in mind, so don’t wait around if you’re interested.

Parts include:

* Neuspeed sway bars
* Neuspeed strut bars front / rear / front lower
* Neuspeed Springs w/ shocks
* 2.0 G60 motor
* Stage 3 ported G-lader
* Chip, etc
* Supersprint header / exhaust
* BBS body kit including front spoiler, fender flares, side skirts and rear valance
* Zender Turbo wheels, 15″ w/ 205/50 Kumho tires
* Momo steering wheel (not sure which model, looks like part of the I.D.E.A. system from the late 80s / early 90s?)
* Momo Shift knob (also very rare, never seen one like this)
* Fully re-trimmed interior, green leather
* Super clean
* Super low miles
* ZERO RUST!

There is no doubt this is a clean Scirocco, however, the colors may not be to everyone’s taste, obviously. The scheme of this particular Scirocco reminds me a lot of the Lotus Esprit Jim Clark special from 1991. Personally, I think $12,000 is a bit optimistic in this market. If this was more like $7,000 to $8,000, we’d be in the ball park. Still, a rare, clean example of the people’s car styled by Giugiaro.

-Paul

Euro-spec 1978 GTI for sale

We all love a good GTI, especially the first generation.  The Europeans got the revolutionary hot hatch a few years before the States, and also benefited from an even greater sense of “less is more” with the Euro version.  Of course the US bumpers weighed down the ends a bit, as well as a clunkier, rectangular light setup instead of the classic Euro quads.  Today we have an imperfect-but-enticing Euro-spec GTI for sale in the SF Bay Area, in need of a little work but with a lot of great bits providing the foundation for a great A1 GTI.

1978 VW Euro-spec Golf GTI for sale on Craigslist

A list of mods from the seller:

2.0L Audi 3a Bubble Block
8 Scirocco valve head
Scirocco Intake Mani
Dual Downpipe
TT Race Header
TT Low temp fan switch
High-flow cat
Replaced Vaccuum Lines
TDI 5spd transmission
Strong Clutch
Weitech TX Height and Dampening Adjustable Coilovers
Nuespeed Fr Tie bar
Neuspeed Fr and Rear Sway Bars
Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines
Brand new bfg tires on oem 14×6 Snowflake rims
Have all fender flares (currently off the car)
Euro Duckbill front spoiler
Fenders Rolled for 15×8 Widened Steelies (not included)
Euro Bumpers (not running rear)
Euro Quad Headlight Setup
Euro Taillights
Euro Cluster (kph, speedo is not hooked up)
Euro Gti Grill badge
Euro Golf Gti hatch badge
Black interior
Radio Delete Panel
Glass in great shape
Current Registration
That’s a lot of great mods for $2700, and I like that he ends his ad with “Cash Talks, if you seem like you’re going to take care of it thats more important than the money.”   This is definitely a guy who had a fun Mk1 project and is looking to pass it on to a kindred spirit.  The Audi 3A block originally came with 115hp, probably more now thanks to the upgrades, and either way a significant improvement over the original mill.  Sitting low on Weitech coilovers, I really like the subdued grey color scheme and roof spoiler.  It’ll need some work to be perfect, but I think this would be a really fun GTI with a great Euro-theme already established.  And you know what?  I kind of like that it’s a dirty little monster.  If I had a little more in the bank, I’d go offer $2500 and have some fun.
-NR