1984 Volkswagen GTI

1984 Volkswagen GTI

As far as owning a legendary automobile goes, does it get much more affordable than the Volkswagen GTI? I don’t think it does. Universally lauded as one of the great all time designs and driving experiences, a trans-formative automobile that redefined (and forever defined) the marketplace, a practical pocket rocket, the GTI is not a million, nor even a hundred-thousand dollar car.

The asking price here is $12,995.

For that money, it’s true that money could buy you a new car. No, I’m not joking; the base price for the 2017 Nissan Versa S is 11,990. After destination, that comes to $12,855. Let’s call it even. So where is your money better spent?

The GTI produced about 90 horsepower from its 1.8 liter inline-4. The Nissan makes 109 horsepower from a 1.6. And, it’s got dual cams to impress all the chicks.

The GTI had options such as air conditioning and a radio. On the Nissan, they’re standard. Plus you apparently don’t need hands to operate them (or, Nissan gives you free hands? Whatever.) The base Versa has manual windows and locks, just like the GTI.

Volkswagen claimed the GTI could pip 36 mpg, which I’m pretty sure was a lie given that my ’84 turned about 5,000 rpms at highway speed. The Versa S you just bought is claimed to get…you guessed it, 36 mpg in 5-speed form.

Curb weight on the GTI was about 2,200 lbs with some options. The Nissan’s curb weight is 2,390 lbs. (seriously, I found this pretty shocking. I was unaware that a modern car could be made under 2,500 lbs unless it was completely carbon fiber)

You’d be equally unlikely to survive a major crash in either. But the Nissan comes with self-inflating fluffy pillows hidden in various spots of the dashboard.…

1984 Volkswagen Jetta

1984 Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta, for most, isn’t the most exciting vehicle. Nor, if I’m honest, was it the most exciting Volkswagen product in 1984. In the hierarchy of collectable Volkswagens from that year, in fact, I’d wager that a stock 1984 Jetta comes just about last in a ranking of desirability within the brand’s lineup. Beyond the fact that there was a GLI high performance model, there was the Scirocco, the Rabbit Convertible, the GTI, and of course the popular Vanagon. Heck, I’d bet there’d be a bigger draw around a clean Quantum than a Jetta.

Okay, maybe that last one was a step too far. The Jetta, even if it’s not the fastest or best looking Volkswagen product, still has quite a devoted following in each generation – and those that love the A1 don’t exactly have a glut of examples to choose from. When they’re found, they’re usually forlorn as the residual value on standard Jettas has remained so low in comparison to other models. You’re not likely to find a clean example even with needs. But a restored and rebuilt model? Surely that would just be too expensive to even contemplate?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta on eBay

1984 BMW 745i

1984 BMW 745i

The 745i was the high performance version of the E23 7-series. Produced between 1979-1986, these autobahn stormers were never officially offered in the US. But committed, well-resourced buyers were able to bring them over via the gray market, which is presumably how this one ended up here. Powered by a turbocharged version of the 3.2 or (later) the 3.4 liter M30 inline six – at a time when BMW’s competitors were using V8s and V12s – these cars came from the factory with a 3-speed automatic gearbox. But this particular example has received a 5-speed manual swap, along with a whole host of other goodies. I don’t normally post heavily modified cars, but this one seemed too interesting to ignore.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 745i on eBay

BMW 635CSi Face-off: High mileage US-Spec vs. Low mileage Euro

BMW 635CSi Face-off: High mileage US-Spec vs. Low mileage Euro

With its sharply raked front fascia, long hood and tapering rear end, the E24 6-series is arguably one of the most beautiful BMWs ever made. The grand tourer first arrived in the US in 1977 as the 630, powered by a 3.0 liter M30 engine that produced a not-terribly-impressive 176 hp. While a series of improvements and changes to the lineup would improve things little by little – the 630 was replaced by the 633 in 1978, then the 635 in 1985, and an M6 would arrive in 1987 – the American models would remain saddled with performance-sapping emissions equipment and engines with lower compression ratios than their European counterparts. It wasn’t the end of the world: the E24 was not really about out-and-out performance anyway. Instead, it was for loping across vast stretches of road in comfort and style while conspicuously showing off your wealth. The US-spec 635CSi appeared 1985, bringing with it the 3.4 liter version of the M30 engine and Motronic engine management. Still underpowered in comparison with its European cousin, it was at least significantly torquier than the 633 it replaced. And the performance gap would close almost entirely by 1987 when power output on US-models was bumped to 208 hp. For today’s post, I’ve selected two lovely looking examples of the 635. Both wear Bronzitbeige Metallic paint and come equipped with manual gearboxes. One is a high-milage US-spec example, the other is a low-mileage Euro-spec car with a significant price premium attached.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi on Hemmings.com

Kiln Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Kiln Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

This is a Porsche color I have never seen before. I like when that happens. Of course it’s made even better when the color is one that I like the look of as well. The color in question is Kiln Red Metallic and here we see it on a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with only 26,998 miles on the clock. I really only have these pictures to go by, but Kiln Red appears not quite burnt orange and not really a brick red either (though that is the way ziegelrot translates). By name I’d guess it comes from the fiery inside of a kiln and we can sort of see that blend of orange, red, and yellow at work here. It’s a captivating color and even though these pictures mostly show it under direct sunlight I imagine it will show dramatic changes in the shade or even on a cloudy day. Positioned under one of those flaring red/pink sunsets it’d probably look amazing.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Kiln Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe at Chequered Flag International

Year: 1984
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 26,998 mi
Price: $76,500

Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe in Kiln Red with Black interior. Sold new 10/84 by Continental Porsche in Portland Oregon to its only owner. Garaged its whole like and unused for the alt 10/15 years. We got it and went through it thoroughly. We took the engine out, fitted new clutch and pressure plate. Fitted new engine bay insulation pad, detail all round, pulled gas tank went through all lines. Completely went through the braking system. Full fluid flush rebuilt all calipers, etc. Major service and injector service, etc. All belts and fluids.

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

Outside of a few ultra-low-mileage examples, this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe might be one of the better looking 3.2 Carreras I can recall coming across. I’ll hedge that some by saying I don’t necessarily mean the prettiest or best color, but the exterior appears in remarkably good condition. It all looks very clean, scratch, scrape, and ding free. I’m sure a good bit of detailing went into bringing about this condition, but that’s okay. The paint is said to be original, though it’s clear the seller is not 100% sure of that. That it’s a Turbo-look certainly plays a role as the wider rear of the Turbo looks fantastic on the 3.2 Carrera; for me it improves the look to a greater degree than with other 911 models. There’s also the wheels. We’ve seen platinum metallic Fuchs on other 911s so in itself that isn’t terribly unusual, but this may be the first instance I’ve seen it on a black 911. The Weissach edition has platinum metallic wheels paired with its black paint and they looked great, but that was black metallic, which is lighter, and the greater contrast with the non-metallic black exterior here works even better. All together, this is a fantastic looking 911!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

Year: 1984
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 51,000 mi
Price: $85,000 Buy It Now

Will consider partial trade.

1984 Factory wide-body, 491, turbo-look coupe. Exceptional condition! Can send more detailed photos if needed.

Factory options:
018 Sport steering wheel with elevated hub
469 Black headliner
491 Turbo look
533 Alarm system
577 Heated and tinted front Windshield
C02 Equipped with catalytic converter
E20 Special Option Group
349 Special Leather interior
000 Wheel centers platinum metallic.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

Early buyers of the W126 in America had to make do with the relatively anaemic 3.8 liter V8 in the  380SEL. Thirsty and underpowered, it was a bit of a disappointment. Meanwhile, European customers were offered the better performing 500SEL, which was powered a 5.0 liter version of the M117 block good for about 240hp. Although MB USA eventually relented in the face of demand and brought the car over by official channels, early Euro-spec examples pop up for sale in the US every now and again, since many of them made it over to these shores via the gray market.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

Twofer: 1984 BMW 733i (plus spare car)

Twofer: 1984 BMW 733i (plus spare car)

4By now we’re used to the idea that flagship, luxury sedans should look like bloated warships, with bulbous styling, semi-autonomous aids to insulate the driver from driving, and triple-glazed windows to insulate plutocratic passengers from the hoi polloi outside. But once upon a time, top of the range cars were simpler, crisper and cleaner in their appearance and design and much more involving to drive. Luxurious, yes, but swollen, no. For this reason I’ve always had a soft spot for the E23 generation 7-series, now near forgotten, especially since so few of them remain on the road and so many of them now rot in junkyards. This one is a nice looking survivor. It also comes with an added bonus: a donor car with a manual gearbox, ready for a swap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 733i on eBay

1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SEC

1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SEC

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The W126 coupe has always been pretty popular and for good reason. It’s well-built, reliable, has classic looks and can eat up the miles effortlessly. Back when the getting was good in the 1980s, the C126 was so popular that many gray market cars made their way to the US before Mercedes put an end to that. This car for sale in Miami is just that. A grey market car that made its way to America and was probably used by someone who had a strong resemblance to Sonny Crockett or Rico Tubbs because a Testarossa was really expensive. Now that it’s 2016 and 1980s fashion is a popular Halloween costume, the value and collectability of cars like today’s is in sort of in limbo. So let’s try to break down the desirability of this golden coupe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SEC on eBay

1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi

1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi

Yesterday, searching through bad 1980s movies to watch I came across the Orwellian classic 1984. I sat and stared at the image of John Hurt, slightly bemused that Orwell’s vision of the future was so dark, dire and complicated. Sitting at the end of a head-scratching 2016, 1984 seems in many ways to be such an easy time. Okay, remove the equally crazy politics of the period; telling my students that bombings in downtown London were commonplace when I was growing up confuses them, or that plane hijackings happened almost as often as mass shootings do today, nevermind the environmental and infectious disease disasters of the period. In 1984, you could buy a Volkswagen Jetta GLi for $8,500. Inflation corrected, that’s just below $20,000 – so still quite a deal in the grand scheme. Sure, today’s cars offer more luxury and convenience, and isolation from the driving experience. They are, without a doubt, safer in every measurable characteristic than cars in the 1980s. And faster? Also indisputable, as a new Jetta GLi turbo will positively wipe the floor with this A1’s performance. With only 90 horsepower on tap, you’ll struggle to best speeds most modern cars can do without the driver even blinking. Relatively speaking, this Jetta GLi is slow, loud, unsafe, and not hugely comfortable. Why, then, were they so much fun to drive?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi on eBay

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Let’s get right to it: I want to take a look at a very low mileage Glacier Blue 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe located in New York. Glacier Blue 911s have graced these pages a couple of times in the past and it’s a color that always draws attention. But here we start to see the fullness of its color to much better effect. The negative to a color like Glacier Blue is that in many lighting conditions it looks washed out, basically a dull white, and it is hard to capture the color so that it actually looks blue. They’ve done that here, perhaps through a combination of better photography and some touching up, but they’ve done it none the less. Combined with a navy blue interior we experience the full force of the color’s name: it’s appearance is icy like the waves of a cold sea crashing against a glacier. It’s a strange environment to model upon a car’s appearance, but it does produce a sort of natural look that is quite different from the typical earthy colors we associate with nature. As we’d expect the combination is quite rare – stated to be only 160 in this exterior color; no word on how many in this combination – and with only 19,615 miles on this one we also can expect a high price. But this high?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible

1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible

When considering the Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible and it’s Halloween disguise replacement, the Cabriolet, I was at a bit of a loss to explain its general lack of popularity. It wears much of the same DNA as the very popular, universally lauded, and VW market darlings of the moment GTi and first generation Scirocco. Yet it is often dismissed as too soft, too heavy, too weak on performance, and too girly. This is strange, since it’s not the removal of the top that dynamically changes it much. You don’t look at a R107 or Porsche Cabriolet and think ‘Wow, those drapes they’ve put on top have really made this car feminine.’ I guess ultimately it’s probably like the difference between the two Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Underneath, the share 99% plus of the same DNA. They’re both intelligent, well spoken, dynamic and ruthlessly, take-no-prisoners fast on the race track. Yet when it comes down to it, the crowd loves the plucky underdog Brit, while the cold and calculating German seems a bit of the villain. Silly, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Porsche DP 935-Kremer G5 Street 2

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Porsche DP 935-Kremer G5 Street 2

When considering 1980s modified Porsches, there’s visually fine line between a poorly executed garage swap and a full-blood, racing heritage model. Many will be familiar with the name DP Motorsports, and though rare we have featured quite a few of the DP935 model. In fact, Rob looked at a pretty blue one earlier this year. However, while some love the racing-inspired lines and livery, many more detest the somewhat poser status. I say “somewhat”, because more often than not we’ve seen these DP 935s feature upgraded powertrains. But if you really want the chops to back up the Le Mans-ready looks of the DP 935, there was really only one place to turn – the Kremer G5 Street 2:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche DP935 Kremer G5 Street 2 on eBay

1984 BMW 733i

1984 BMW 733i

1 A couple of weeks ago I binge-watched Stranger Things. Sort of a mashup of The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, The Goonies and E.T., it’s a sci-fi/horror show about kids chasing monsters set in the early 1980s. It’s fantastic. The producers have clearly gone to great lengths to get the period details correct: the hair, the clothes and the music are all spot on. As are the cars; the show features an impressive lineup of cool 80s iron that had me wondering whose job it is to source cars for TV and film, and where they get them from. Do studios keep a stock of mint, vintage cars on hand? If so, I’d love to see that garage. Anyway, in the show one of the major characters (a teenager, rather improbably) drives an E23 733i. You don’t see many of them left on the roads these days, so it was a delight to see it on screen. A quick search online turned up only a few for sale, but this one in particular caught my eye.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 733i on eBay

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D

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Another week, another diesel Mercedes-Benz. This one has a little more rarity thanks to fewer features than what we normally see. Manual transmission, manual windows, non-turbo diesel engine, cloth seat inserts but what you do get is European lights and bumpers finished over the wonderfully period-correct Thistle Green. So if you are looking for a bare-bones W123 diesel with a little bit of European flare, then this 300D north of Philadelphia might fit the bill.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D on eBay