1983 Volkswagen GTI

Is it true that you should never meet your heroes? I remember the stigma surrounding the Porsche 911 growing up, and when I first got a chance to drive one as a late teen – a ’77 911SC – I wasn’t very impressed. It made nice noises but basically felt a bit like a fast pogo stick to me. That was reaffirmed by my second drive in a 911, a close friend’s ’85 Cabriolet. Both were very pretty – the requisite turn and stare every time as you walk away after shutting the door type of pretty. But driving experience? Well, maybe I completely missed the point, and perhaps neither of those cars were particularly well set up, but I wasn’t really blown away either time.

I think it’s more likely, though, that my expectation level far exceeded what the car could ever deliver in either case. For my first drive, I was moving from the vehicle I learned to drive on – a clapped out, seven-time crashed 1984 Toyota Pickup – to a goddamn Porsche 911. I’ve finally been accepted to be an astronaut, I thought to myself, this will be the best drive of my life! Plainly, it was not. I haven’t completely sworn off the 911, mind you, but since I’ve never looked at them the same.

Contrast that with my Volkswagen GTI experience. I bought what may have legitimately been the absolute worst example of a GTI it was possible to buy in 1998. Non-running? Check. Rusty? Check. Partially disassembled? Check. Crashed at some point? Check. Westmoreland build quality? That, too. It was impossible at times to find gears in my car. You could look through gaps in the body structure. The radio didn’t work. Neither did the air conditioning, or the heater, or occasionally the lights, and sometimes the starter. Or the brakes. Or the driveshafts. How the car was ever able to make it through a single inspection is still beyond me. It smelled bad, and looked worse.

But I rode that GTI hard, and even if it was a very frustrating experience 99% of the time, that 1% was pretty rewarding – so much so, that I still love to see them. They’re just neat little cars! And unlike meeting a superhero and finding out they’ve got a closet full of skeletons, it’s just about left of impossible to be disappointed by a GTI. Seriously, how high could your expectations be? You know it doesn’t have much power, or awesome brakes, or a tight chassis, or all the power features in the world. This is basic transportation with a slighty turned up motor and neat looks. That’s it. Unless your daily is a Roller and that’s your level of comfort and refinement that you expect, it will leave a smile on your face.

Imagine, then, if instead of my trash heap of an example, I had bought this clean 1983 two decades ago?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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The Porsche 911 Cabriolet – An Air-Cooled Chronology

I don’t know what exactly has lead to my decision to feature Porsche’s various air-cooled Cabriolets. I suppose it was a confluence of circumstances. During one unseasonably warm February weekend, I found myself sitting outside enjoying a beverage and the warm sunshine. As one does. A very pretty 3.2 Carrera Cabriolet drove by. The condition looked very good and it was one of those subtle but interesting color combinations. The exterior was some shade of metallic grey and it had a nicely contrasting green interior. Perhaps the exterior was Granite Green Metallic; I’m not really sure, but it was nice looking. It was a perfect afternoon for enjoying such a car.

Then I started coming across some interesting 911 Cabriolets for sale. After a couple of them I wondered if I could find one from each air-cooled model. I was successful and a post was born. I’ll say from the outset these aren’t from the value part of the 911 spectrum; interesting enough they are all priced within a few thousand dollars of one another. None is inexpensive, but all look in very good shape and promise enjoyable drop-top motoring. We’ll look at them chronologically starting with the first 911 Cabriolet Porsche produced: this Guards Red 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, located in Illinois, with just 19,016 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet on Excellence Magazine

Year: 1983
Model: 911SC Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 19,016 mi
Price: $69,000

19,016 miles; 1 family ownership; Last year of the 911 SC; First year of the 911 Cabriolet (only 5337 made); Numbers-matching collector car; Guards Red original paint; Meter confirms factory specifications; Full black leather interior; Black leather sport seats; Heated & tinted windshield; Blaupunkt Monterey AM/FM/Cassette radio; Factory alarm
Black top – excellent; rear window – perfect; 16” Fuchs alloys – excellent; Yokohama tires; 3.0 liter engine; 180 hp, 5-speed 915 trans; All tools, air pump, jack, etc.; All books, manuals, touch-up paint, etc.; Window sticker & original dealer paperwork; No winters, no rain, no bad roads; 19,016 mile time capsule; No modifications since new.

Typically I wouldn’t think a 911SC would have much chance of selling at this asking price. This is very nearly the highest asking price of the four cars we’ll see here. But the 911SC Cabriolet is a different animal. As both a first year and one-year-only model there is extra appeal over and above most other SCs we come across. Add to that the very low mileage, original paint and sport seats and we have a very appealing 911. It’s a fairly standard color combination and I think that’s the only thing that will hold the price down some, but everything looks great. Obviously, this wouldn’t be the best option for actually enjoying some top-down miles, but as an excellent example of the first 911 Cabriolet it’s a nice option.

Let’s now step forward a few years to the last of the classic 911 Cabriolets with this Linen Grey Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New York, with Burgundy interior and a low 31,249 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1989
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 31,249 mi
Price: $64,995 Buy It Now

This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Cabriolet with 31249 original miles.This car is in exceptional condition and has been well serviced. Car was recently serviced at well known Porsche specialist Rennwerke LTD. in September of 2015 ( 31090), new oil, filters, battery, 4 new tires, all new brakes front and back. Car had a new clutch installed at 27000 miles. Car comes with original owners manual and service booklet and service records. Car runs exceptionally well and is one of the best G50 examples we have seen. For more details call 631-283-8819

You might not believe, but this is the lowest priced of the four. Again we have a pretty low mileage Cabriolet that presents very well. While a much less traditional color combination this Linen Metallic over Burgundy combo works quite well and reminds me a lot of the Cabriolet that passed me on that sunny day. There’s always debate among buyers of the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera about which to get; the differences between the models are minimal though with this final-year model you’re at least getting the most refined of the bunch: a bit more power than with the SC and with the more stout – though heavier – G50 5-speed manual. Both models are great and both of these look to be fine examples, though both come with pretty high prices.

From here we’ll see quite a few more changes with the final two models. The 964 was a near full redesign of the classic 911 and the 993 itself move on quite significantly from the 964. Changes came quick and fast. For the 964 we have another Guards Red example, though this time with a Tan interior and a few more miles at 54,186.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1994
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 54,186 mi
Price: $69,684 Buy It Now

1994 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Red Metallic Exterior over Tan Interior

I’m usually indifferent to the 964 Cabriolet, but this one really grabbed me and I found it very striking. That’s the good part! The bad: of the four cars here this one is the most obviously over priced, especially given that we are offered no description to provide even a modicum of detail to understand its history or condition. It does look very good and as another final-year model there’s certainly appeal, but for this price it needs to be about perfect and documented. Perhaps the documents exist. I don’t know, but I’m going to move on to the 993.

For me this one is the most interesting of the bunch. I think it’s easily the most sensibly priced and the most interesting color combination. I wouldn’t normally go after this sort of color, but here I think it works: a Grand Prix White 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New York, with Chestnut Brown interior and a low 29,164 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on Excellence Magazine

Year: 1996
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 29,164 mi
Price: $67,900

1996 PORSCHE CARRERA CABRIOLET for sale.

Motorcar Classics is proud to present this beautifully original 1996 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet featured in L908 Grand Prix White with BM Chestnut Brown leather interior and matching Chestnut Brown convertible top and boot cover. This Porsche has been cherished by its local second owner since 1999 and has covered only 29,464 miles. This superb Carrera has the 6-speed manual gearbox and it has never been damaged, modified or restored. The original porsche AM/FM/CD stereo is still in place.

The 993 is Porsches internal designation for the version of the Porsche 911 model manufactured and sold in model years 1995-1998. The 993 is not just the last air-cooled 911, but also the last of the hand built 911s. The 993 is often called the best and most desirable of the 911 series, not only because of its beauty, but also because its performance is very good, even by modern standards. The book “Porsche 993 – Essential Companion” refers to these cars as the “King of Porsche,” and it is widely acknowledged as “The purists’ Holy Grail.”

This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase an investment-grade example of the last air-cooled Porsche model in arguably one of the prettiest color combinations.

Questions or concerns please call or text Reid 516-655-0940

My biggest quibble with this 993 is that it looks like it might have gotten caught in the rain with the top down as the passenger seat looks at bit mottled. This can happen with a Cabriolet, but in this case the leather doesn’t appear to have come away unscathed. Perhaps there’s something going on with the lighting. Otherwise, this Cabriolet looks great and I do think the more elegant shape of the 993 in general provides a nice canvas for a refined top-down sports coupe. As the very last of the air-cooled models there’s obvious appeal and I think this one is priced such that buyers will still feel comfortable putting additional mileage on it. It’s current owner has had it for a while so hopefully it will even come well documented. If that’s the case, then this looks like the winner.

I don’t know if I’d necessarily consider myself a convertible guy. I do own one, but I bought it because I wanted something light weight, rear drive, and with a manual transmission. That the roof came down just happened to be part of the package. I do enjoy those top-down drives though. The senses are fully stimulated and while sacrifices to rigidity certainly can make it a little less sporting the overall experience definitely doesn’t lack for purity. The 911 will be no different. It may not be your track machine, but there are plenty of other drives to be taken.

-Rob

Green with Evny: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

I’ve confessed my love for green cars before and today’s featured vehicle is no different. This 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD in Moss Green up for sale in Florida combines my favorite color with one of my favorite cars in the W123. It’s not often that I see a Moss Green car come up for sale and even better, the interior is green as well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

Year: 1983
Model: 300CD
Engine: 3.0 inline-5
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,000 mi
Price: Auction

I have owned these cars for over 10 years. I scour the country daily for them and of all that I have ever owned this is the coolest most unique 300CD. It might have been a one off special order. I have never ever seen the color combination in a turbo diesel. Moss green with green interior. The car is completely original and the paint is exeptional. It shines as new and there are only two dings that I can find. Quarter sized and likely removable. The paint is 100 percent original. No accidents ever. The rims have no curb rash and the tires are matching with plenty of tread. The glass is all original and excellent with the exception of the rear window. The defrost has left a green blob at the bottom. Not visible when driving but from the outside is noticeable but not crazy offensive. I would change it. The interior is nearly flawless with the exception of two wood pieces readily available on eBay. There is also a small tear in the armrest easily repairable and the window switches are worn. I will include two switches that are mercedes and in excellent shape. I cant overstate how nice the car is. The last one I sold for 20k was not as nice. The car has stacks of mechanical records and was purchased here in Florida at Lokey Mercedes. It has been fully serviced from day one. I have thousands in service records. There are no shimmys or rattles or shakes. The climate control works as it should. It even blows out of the center vents. Only about 1 in 10 do. The transmission shifts as softly as any I have felt. The last great one I owned had 50k miles on it. I am more disappointed to have to sell this one than that. This car feels as good as any I have ever had. I have a very fair number in mind for the car and it is for sale locally. I can be reached at 813-777-7628. This car will likely sell by Monday so if you are looking for a collector quality 300CD in the very coolest and rarest of colors grab it. No disappointments here.

This W123 is probably one of the better ones I’ve seen come up for sale except for one big thing: the shifter wood surround is destroyed. I don’t understand, the rest of this car shows great for 186,000 miles and is probably going to fetch a hefty price tag. Why not spend the few hundred to find a clean piece of replacement wood to finish off the interior to make it really outstanding? That just seems really odd to me. Otherwise, the green MB-tex is very rare and I can probably count on two hands on how many I’ve seen in this color. I’m glad it is in a car this nice and hasn’t been neglected by someone who just wants to drive the wheels off this car.

I’m really curious to see where the bidding ends up for this car. Generally, the W123 coupe has always brought a premium over sedans and this one should follow that trend. It being a Florida car and the condition it is in, even with the bad wood, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it crack $10,000. You don’t see a combination like this one come up for sale often, even at all, so this one has potential to be a nice payday for the seller.

– Andrew

1983 Audi Quattro

It’s strange to follow up Rob’s ostentatious 911R with a 1983 Audi Quattro and remember that, at one point, they were competitors in the marketplace. Though the basis for what made the Quattro legendary; inspired racey styling, boxflares, turbocharging and all-wheel drive with a near-luxury interior seems almost trite, the Quattro really was a revolution in design. Some ten times more dear than an E30 M3, in recent years the Audi has gained a lot more respect in the marketplace. There are those that say you can’t really compare the Quattro to the M3, or even the 911 – though the pricing was quite similar. But isn’t that the point? In period, the other car you could have bought for the same money was a basic 911. And the market spoke: in 1983, Audi sold some 240 Quattros in the U.S.. Porsche, on the other hand, traded 5,707 911SCs between the Coupe, Targa and new Cabriolet models. There was basically no market overlap with the other two major contenders – the 944 Turbo and the M3. Both those cars, and the 911, were finished to a higher level of quality with better components, arguably, but the real difference was the type of owner who bought the Quattro versus the 911. These cars were built to be used and abused, and many were.

But the difference in value has started to be erased because of the scarcity of the Audi in today’s market and a focus on being a bit different. I wonder, in all honest, if the 60 Minutes scandal had never occurred what the result on values of these cars might have been. Today, finding lower mile, clean and original examples like this Gobi Beige Metallic example might be a lot more commonplace:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1983 Porsche 911SC Targa

For a while it seemed like I was coming across and featuring interesting examples of the 911SC every week. Sometimes more than one. Whether they were particularly rare examples or just nice looking options at reasonable prices, we could find a 911SC with ease. And to a degree the finding of them has not changed; there are always a good number available. But the features have slowed as for one reason or another they fail to catch my eye.

So let’s return to my perennial favorite: the 911SC Targa. I will freely admit that this is a fairly standard example and as such might be just the type I’d ignore. It’s triple black, which many like but some find boring, so it isn’t necessarily the most rare or interesting option out there. But it does look in nice shape and with a full documented engine rebuild it now sits in the sort of condition that should allow for it to return to providing the reliable and fun driving that has long been the draw to these classic 911s.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

Year: 1983
Model: 911SC Targa
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 93,679 mi
Price: $40,000 Buy It Now

1983 Porsche 911 SC Targa purchased in 2014.

The vehicle was taken immediately to TRE Motorsports in Van Nuys, CA for a full restoration.

In the photos section you will see that I have provided documentation for all work that was done to the vehicle.

***Additional photos can be provided upon request

Summary from TRE MOTORSPORTS
“Customer brought his nicely kept 911SC to us in 2014 for sorting and mechanical detailing through 2015. We went through the car and completed the refurbishment of the interior, exterior (including targa top), and wheels. We turned our attention to the motor, where a compression and leak down test revealed worn valve guides. We removed the engine from the car, disassembled the top end.

Our machinist rebuilt the cylinder heads, installing new valves, guides, and seals,. We completely detailed the motor to original factory look. During the rebuild we included upgraded seals for the rocker arm shafts, new head studs for the block, and a safety “pop off” valve for the injection. The parts list is quite extensive.

Throughout our work list, every task was performed to return the car to original pristine condition.”

As noted above, this 911SC looks in nice shape inside and out and the engine should now be in good shape. But that is now. We don’t hear anything about its life before its restoration and while with restored cars our interest may fall more firmly on current condition, it’s always worthwhile to gain as much information as possible. Peace of mind is important with any second-hand purchase. The rebuilt engine may provide us with some mechanical assurances, but what about the rest of the car? Are the suspension and chassis in good shape? Might there be some sort of major issue lurking from its past? None of these questions will be new for any shopper of older 911s and I only mention them here because they seemed particularly germane to this SC. The answers to those questions will come in play with regard to value. As we’ve see with quite a few SCs lately $40K is really stretching things when we’re talking about a fairly standard 911 with higher mileage. Without documentation I’d think it will be too high for this SC as well. That said, if there’s a lot more known about its past than we are told here then buyers may feel more comfortable with this price.

-Rob

1983 Porsche 911 SCRS Rothmans Rally Tribute

This one is just for a bit of fun because I’m not sure the asking price here really makes too much sense, even if it is apparent that a ton of work went into bringing life back into this 911. But who knows? Maybe there’s a buyer out there looking for exactly this type of replica and would prefer the finished product rather than putting the work in himself. It only takes one such buyer. This was originally a 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe that was in pretty rough shape and in need of full restoration. The seller has included a few “before” pictures and we see a 911 suffering from serious neglect. Rather than return the car to its original specifications, which probably would not have been worthwhile strictly from a financial standpoint, it was decided that a tribute car would be built instead. In this case, the build was modeled off of the Porsche 954 rally car carrying the Rothmans livery. These were designated as an SC/RS and were purpose-built racers intended to run in the FIA World Rally Championship. Like any part of Porsche’s racing history the original cars are highly coveted. For comparison with the price here, there was a 1984 SC/RS Rothmans, said to be the most original remaining example extant and with a distinguished racing history, up for auction at Gooding and Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions back in August. It didn’t sell (and I can’t recall where bidding ended), but Gooding’s low-end estimate was a cool $1.4M. Maybe the price here isn’t so bad after all!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911 SCRS Rothmans Rally on eBay

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

Powered by the legendary five cylinder OM617, the sort of motor for which Mercedes-Benz earned their reputation as manufacturers of “million mile engines,” the W126 300SD was a classy and reliable ride, offering a frugal option for S-class owners not perturbed by a clackety-clack sound coming from the front end of their luxury car. This engine would be replaced in 1985 by the OM603 six cylinder unit (later enlarged to 3.5 liters) that, while offering more power, was susceptible to a number of very serious problems (a fault with the trap oxidizer – part of the emissions system – that could ruin the turbo, cylinder heads prone to overheating and cracking, bent rods and head gasket failures). So those looking for a diesel W126 would do well to consider an early, first generation car like this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE AMG

“Pre-merger” AMG cars date from the period when the company was not yet officially part of Mercedes-Benz and instead existed as an independent tuner (it would be folded into the MB family in the early to mid 1990s). Back then, customers could upgrade their cars with AMG parts by choosing from a menu of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades and having them shipped from the production line to Affalterbach for modification (or, if they were in the US, having those parts installed by a locally authorized dealer, like the storied Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories). Early period AMG cars that show up for sale today offer a neat slice of the exotic 80s tuner world, but they present a number of difficulties when it comes to authentication. This gray market, seemingly AMG modified 500SE is a good case in point.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE AMG on eBay

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1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet – REVISIT

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The one-year only Guards Red 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet we featured in late September remains up for a reserve auction. It’s consistently received a bid or two on these auctions right around $50K and now sits with a BIN price that is a little lower than when we first featured it. It’s still a lot of money for a 911SC, but given the low mileage and that these were the first year Porsche produced a Cabriolet for the 911 perhaps it may finally see a sale.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 27, 2016:

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1983 Porsche 911SC Targa

This almost seems sacrilegious to say, but I’ve found myself frequently attracted to some silver 911s lately. Not all of them, but a few have crossed my path and I have really enjoyed their look. The only caveat is that the attraction seems limited to classic 911s as there hasn’t been much from the 964 and later that has caught my eye in silver. The car we see here is one of those that’s attracted my gaze: a Pewter Metallic 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in California, with 51,641 miles on it. Properly speaking this isn’t silver so perhaps I could rationalize it that way. But it’s close enough! Anyway, it is the details of this 911SC that make it even better. It appears to be very well documented and cared for throughout its life and the seller has provided ample description and abundant photos to address most issues buyers may have. I wish more cars were sold this way.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

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