1982 Volkswagen Scirocco

1982 Volkswagen Scirocco

Yesterday’s 1985 Scirocco was a well modded driver. But if you wanted to win a preservation class – or, just liked the original configuration the car came in – it wasn’t for you. Today’s car answers those critics with a very clean first-year model of the second generation design. Though the shape of the new Scirocco was modern for the time, underneath the specification changed little from the outgoing model. It was still a Mk.1 underneath, with a 1.7 liter, 74 horsepower inline-4 providing adequate motivation to the 2,000 lb. coupe. Where the original Giugiaro design had held lovely nuance, the Karmann-penned follow-up borrowed heavily from the Asso di Picche design (ironically, also from Giugiaro) meaning it was all angles, everywhere. But it pulled it off reasonably well, and the second generation was quite popular, selling about a quarter million units in total. There were rolling changes throughout the years as more power, bigger spoilers and wheels, and even a more traditional second wiper appeared. But in terms of purity, the simple design shows through well despite the clunky U.S. spec bumpers on the early models like this 1982:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Winter Project: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

Winter Project: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

While Andrew and Craig have been the typical purveyors of all-things Mercedes-Benz over the past few months, I’m always drawn to the clean, simple and classic look of the 70s and 80s MB products offered in the rest of the world. Today’s 1982 280SE is a perfect example of this. A W126.026, this European specification S-Class is powered by the M110 double-overhead cam inline-6 which was never offered to U.S. customers. Admittedly, the engine looks a bit lost in the bay you’re used to seeing V8s in, but it’s a proven unit with adequate power – 185 raging ponies, to be exact. However, the 280SE is the short wheelbase model and with European bumpers and missing some of the heavy luxuries, performance should be on par with some of the U.S. spec early V8s, if not better. Even if buying the short wheel base, six-cylinder model may sound a bit ego-deflating, these Euro-spec cars always get my attention:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

1982 Porsche 928 5-speed

1982 Porsche 928 5-speed

I’m going to shift gears a little and step over to the front-engine side of the Porsche lineup. We have a couple excellent guest contributors who feature the best and most interesting of Porsche’s front-engined cars so any time I wade into this territory it’s really just with a sense of “hey, I like this car, it looks good and the price doesn’t seem too bad, why not feature it.” So, I like this 928! It looks good and the price doesn’t seem too bad! Here we have a Black Metallic 1982 Porsche 928, located in Tennessee, with Brown interior, a 5-speed manual transmission, and only 54,698 miles on it. It’s said to be in entirely original condition and with good documentation and if those two points both check out it looks like a nice option for a fairly early example of Porsche’s V8 Grand Tourer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 928 on eBay

1982 Porsche 911SC Targa

1982 Porsche 911SC Targa

In case there was ever doubt whether I’d feature any Minerva Blue Metallic Porsche I come across, here I present another. But this one is worthy of our consideration even beyond the wonderful exterior color. Unlike the past few Minerva examples I’ve featured, which have been high-dollar 930s, this is a fairly basic 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa with a price we can think long and hard about. The seller seems quite knowledgeable about his car and its current mechanical condition and has provided us with a wealth of detailed photos and description with which to judge that condition. It has a Black interior, rather than my preference of Tan, and 142,000 miles on it. Regardless, I imagine I will be quite jealous of the new owner of this beautiful 911.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup GTi

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup GTi

Volkswagen of America’s small pickup truck offered a unique experience at the beginning of the 1980s; basically, the front half of the pickup was a Rabbit, which meant relative comfort, reliability, easy of use and driving and good fuel economy. In back, Volkswagen stretched the wheelbase nine inches and swapped in a tubular axle supported by leaf springs giving the pick up 1,100 lbs of payload capacity and a six foot bed – not too shabby! They even launched a “Sportruck” model, which gave you bucket seats and some really trick decals that covered most of the side. You also got some amazing options for the period, like a tachometer (wooooow) and a 5-speed transmission. However, the mix of 1.7 liter, low compression 8V motors available weren’t exactly going ignite your enthusiast dreams. 78 horsepower channeled through the manual would return a not particularly stunning 0-50 time of 9.7 seconds. 60, you’ll remember, was illegal in the United States at that time, so why bother designing a car that could approach it?

But Westmoreland, PA produced some other neat Volkswagens around the same time, though – notably, the U.S. finally got the higher compression, higher output GTi. Though Volkswagen themselves never combined them, that hasn’t stopped some enterprising individuals:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe

1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe

Earlier this week I mentioned that as the air-cooled 911 market has settled I’ve started to come across a lot more classic 911s that appear to be in good condition and also might be had for reasonable prices. For a while it seemed like that was impossible. But here we have another: a Black Metallic 1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in New Jersey, with Tan interior and 85,756 miles on it. The condition isn’t perfect by any means, but as a driver-quality example it looks good and the Black Metallic paint provides a nice change of pace from the usual non-metallic Black with which we’re far more accustom.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe on eBay

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

The advertising tag line for the 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup was “So American, it’s not available in Germany”. Since the mid 1980s, though, the opposite has been true as the truck range of Volkswagen was removed from the U.S. lineup. In some ways, that’s a bit strange since the small truck market was so strong in the mid-to-late 1980s, but starting in the 90s and culminating in the early 2000s, the small truck market evaporated as the crossover to large trucks became so easy and prevalent. But big trucks have gotten very expensive, and smaller trucks (which really are the size of 1980s full sized trucks) are experiencing a minor resurgence – so much so that VW is rumored to be thinking of bringing the Amarok starting as early as next year. So, let’s take a look back at where the VW pickup began:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

1982 BMW 323i Baur TC1 Turbo

1982 BMW 323i Baur TC1 Turbo

In a post I wrote for The Truth About Cars this past week, I covered a few E30 models that offer affordable and interesting visual and performance alternatives to the E30 M3. One of those models was the Baur TC2, the model which gave BMW a soft-top before BMW made its own in 1985. Of course, the E30 wasn’t Baur’s first foray into convertible 3-series models, though, as they had started with the E21 model. Baur only produced a little less than half the amount of E21s – 4,595 according to Petrolicious – as they did E30 models at over 11,000, but as importation of early 1980s cars was easier, it seems more common to see the E21 Baur than the E30 Baur. Though fitted as standard with no performance upgrades, this unique 1982 example remedies that with a turbocharged M20:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 323i Baur TC1 Turbo on eBay

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible with 8,000 Miles

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible with 8,000 Miles

The product catalog for what Formula E is makes for a pretty hilarious read. “Passive Formula-E systems built in to your VW begin with an aerodynamic body design that cuts down on wind resistance.” Have you actually looked at a Rabbit? I guess in terms of footprint, it was physically smaller than a Chrysler Cordoba, so there’s that? But ‘aerodynamic’ is not the first thing I think of when I see an A1. It continues on touting the benefits of radial tires (Wooooow), a high-torque engine (compared to….?), and the George Costanza-inspired “breakerless transistorized ignition”. What it really was was a long 5th gear, denoted on Audis as the ‘4+E’ in the same year. What that meant was it spun the high-torque motor down to low revs, and that road better be pretty flat and not particularly windy if you’d like to maintain any speed. And, if you downshifted to pass anything or go the speed limit, immediately an arrow-shaped light would pop on the dash, reminding you that fuel was being wasted. But Volkswagen claimed it was good for 42 m.p.g. in a period still reeling from the fuel crises of the 1970s, and marketing is marketing.

What the Rabbit Convertible really offered you was one of the very few drop-top options in the early 1980s. Remember, this was a time when Detroit had pulled out of convertibles following hints they would be banned by the NHTSB. Japan didn’t really have much of anything on offer, either, as it hadn’t really established itself fully into the market in anything other than superb economy cars. And Germany? In 1982, you had two options – the Mercedes-Benz 380SL, or the Rabbit Convertible which had replaced the Beetle in 1980. That was it. In some ways, that makes these early Rabbits special, and though these Volkswagens were no where near as dear as the Daimlers, some who bought them treated them as royalty:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible on eBay

1982 Audi Coupe with 36,000 Miles

1982 Audi Coupe with 36,000 Miles

Anthony Bourdain has been pretty successful with his show Parts Unknown, in addition to the many other reasons he’s been an award winning chef and writer. In that show, he’s always on the lookout for new and rarely heard of cuisine from around world. And, for the most part even though I’m not a ‘foody’, I find his presentation, travels, and quick summaries of far reaching historical periods pretty enjoyable. He is, for lack of a better comparison, the Jeremy Clarkson of food critics – at least, a bit. In one memorable-to-me episode, he set out to find this magical, amazing and hereto unheard of cocoa plant. But he wasn’t going just to taste this new and interesting food; he was going to secure rights to harvest the plant and to profit. And, frankly, he couldn’t have seemed less interested or involved in any step of the process. He complained, whined, and lackadaisically mused about the chocolate he’d later offer for $18 a bar throughout the episode, ignoring the cultural and economic aspects of the lives the people of Peru – where the bar’s magical ingredients come from. I was left feeling at the end of the episode that it was less an investigation of the process, and much more an advertisement for the overpriced consumerism he was going to attach his name to. Why wouldn’t you pay $18 for a chocolate bar – he’s Anthony Bourdain and he obviously knows more than you, so ante up!

The point of this is story that I’m left feeling that many of the inflated markets are doing just what Bourdain did; cashing in on a name and a reputation coupled with a market surge. One classic you can get into without all of the market hoopla, though, is pretty much any classic Audi outside of the Quattro – for now:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

1982 Porsche 944 Euro-spec

1982 Porsche 944 Euro-spec

First year model. Undiluted European specification. Rare non-sunroof. Rare air condition delete as well. Paint to sample. Pascha interior. Clean history. Under 100,000 miles. Overall great condition. Were these the statistics for a model named “911”, the price would be through the roof already. Yet while enthusiasts bemoan the increasingly unreachable air-cooled variety of Porsches, their water-cooled brethren remain steadfastly affordable – at least, for the time being. Let’s take a look at this 1982 European-specification 944:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 944 on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

From what was arguably the least desirable Porsche product from 1985 yesterday, we move on to the most desirable Audi product from the same period. Contrary to popular belief, the Quattro did not pioneer many of the technologies it is credited with. What it did do, though, was for the first time marry turbocharging, full time all-wheel drive and a slinky coupe shape together with just enough luxury to partially justify its $40,000 price tag. For those not quick with inflation numbers, that’s just shy of $120,000 in today’s buying power – about the same as a lightly optioned 2017 RS7. What you got for that amount was surprisingly sparse; a manual sunroof, rear wash/wipe, and electric mirrors and windows – that was about it. Under the hood, the off beat inline-5 produced only 160 horsepower in U.S. trim, and toting around the best part of 3,000 lbs it was far from the performance produced by dollar-for-dollar equivalent models. You’ve often heard the expression that today’s Camry outperforms a 1980s Porsche? Well, a Kia Soul could give one of the U.S. spec Audi Quattros difficulty in a race. Coupled with a reputation for rusting and poor electrics, these expensive Audis were sold in sparse numbers and are a very rare sight today, especially with lower miles and original like this one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300D

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300D

There’s not much more I can say about the W123 Mercedes-Benz than I’ve already said here on GCFSB. A few words come to mind. Indestructible. Timeless. Reliable. This car was many things to many people. From motorists on the Sunset Strip who chose the 300CD coupe to the errant 200 series sedan you still see cruising unpaved roads in the far reaches of the African continent, these Mercedes made their mark. This 300D for sale in California is one of the early turbocharged five cylinder models and looks quite young despite clocking over 150,000 miles.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300D on eBay

1982 Porsche 911SC

1982 Porsche 911SC

I do frequently find myself returning to the 911SC. Even those we might consider fairly basic examples tend to attract my notice more so than the other models. On the other hand, quite a few of those other models attract greater notice from me when I happen to come across one in a peculiar color or a special edition. But the SC attracts me even when there isn’t much more to be said than I think it looks like a good car in nice shape. I think that’s what we have here with this Guards Red 1982 911SC Targa located in Nashville. It’s bright red so I cannot properly say it isn’t flashy, but we come across Guards Red pretty often with any 911 from the ’80s so it isn’t a color that really makes us take notice. But that red exterior looks good and contrasts nicely with this Tan interior. The 911SC has remained a popular option among many 911 fans for its combination of reliability, classic looks, and pretty reasonable performance. They won’t necessarily blow you away, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide a long life of enjoyable motoring.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 911SC on eBay

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

1A W126 diesel provides all the comfort, style and luxury of the legendary S-class while giving your wallet less of a pounding at the pump. There were three diesel engines available for this platform: one five cylinder unit (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SD between 1980 and 1985) and two six cylinder units (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SDL between 1986 and 1987, and a 3.5 liter offered in the 350SD/SDL between 1990 and 1991). These later engines were afflicted by a number of reliability problems, quite out of character for a Mercedes diesel product. So if you really want an oil-burning W126, the safest bet is to stick with one of the earlier cars, like this one. Not only does this ’82 300SD have the more reliable five cylinder engine, it’s presented in a particularly fetching and suitably classy shade of green.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD on eBay