It would be easy to credit the BMW M5 as the first super sedan, and in many ways, it is. With a motorsport-derived twin cam 24V inline-6 under the hood good for over 280 horsepower in Europe, the E28 M535i and M5 were nothing to trifle with. However, well before the Motorsports division of BMW had their way with the E28, they built the prototype for what would become the definitive sports sedan in the E12 M535i. Granted, the E12 didn’t have the super M1 motor under the hood. However, like the later M5 would, the E12 had upgraded brakes, a re-tuned suspension featuring unique springs and Bilstein shocks, a deep front air dam and rear spoiler and BBS mesh wheels. Because this was basically still the 1970s, they also received some spectacular Motorsports stripes outside to help differentiate them as something special. Inside you got special Recaro seats with a unique corduroy fabric and an M1 steering wheel – not a bad touch. All of that was coupled with the uncatalyst M30B34 seen in several other BMWs, good for 218 horsepower. It was in just about every way the stepping stone to creating the M5. They were even produced in similar numbers to the M5, with only around 1,400 made – 450 of them being right drive like this 1980 example for sale today:
All posts tagged 1980
These are the cars I love coming across. Not just that it’s a 911 Turbo, but the exterior color and the contrasting interior – basically everything about the appearance of this car makes me stop in my tracks. This is about as period correct a color combination as we’re likely to come across, and as I’ve noted in other features of similarly-colored cars it is extremely rare to see a modern car, from any marque, produced in these shades. This particular Turbo seems to have taken that period correct color scheme to another level. The metallic paint with a slight golden hue flashes and sets it apart from many of the other brown shades I’ve seen. It’s earthy and smoky, while also vibrant. There’s definitely some very nice photography at work here, but still this car looks pretty great! Here we have a Tobacco Metallic 1980 Porsche 911 Turbo with around 53,000 miles on it, and as the ad notes this color was only available in 1979 and 1980.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 911 Turbo on Jan Lühn
Towards the end of the C107 run, Mercedes-Benz decided to try its hand at rallying, and entered the 450SLC 5.0 into the 1978 World Rally Championship. This of course spawned a homolgated street version of the rally car in the form of the 450SLC 5.0 and later, 500SLC. There were some significant changes to these performance coupes, most notably a V8 engine pumping out 240 horsepower, aluminum hood and decklid and a small rear spoiler. The 500SLC would debut in March of 1980 with slightly less displacement than the V8 in the 450SLC 5.0 but now with a 4-speed automatic gearbox in place of the previous 3-speed unit. Given these were a homologation special, of course, few were made. Only 1,133 500SLCs left the factory. The Canary Islands isn’t where you would typically expect to find such a rare Mercedes, but with one owner since 1984, it is quite the find.
Click for details: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC on eBay
A rather sad thing is happening within the Porsche world; the 911 is increasing in value so rapidly that its original dual purpose nature is being threatened. The 911 was, for some time, one of the few cars that really was effectively track-ready right out of the box. While it’s seldom been the all-out fastest circuit car available the 911 has been the dependable choice; lightweight with enough power to thrill you and enough idiosyncrasies to challenge you as a driver. Today I’ve rounded up two track-ready examples that still can be street driven; both 3.0s but with different yet classic interpretations of the 911 design, which is the winner?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Porsche 911T on eBay
The well-preserved 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit L we featured back in the summer of 2013 is back up on the market, with but a few hundred more miles on the clock. It’s certainly a unique Mk1 and might not be to everyone’s taste, but kudos to the seller for preserving such a great example of the car that popularized water-cooled engines for Volkswagen.