I have a love-hate relationship with the G-Wagen, the 4×4 from Mercedes first introduced in 1972 as a military vehicle. I think that the contemporary, blinged-out AMG versions driven by celebrities and Hollywood moguls are an abomination, a crime against motoring humanity. But on the other hand, I’m quite partial to the older, more humble trucks on which they’re based. (I clearly have a thing for boxy old SUVs: I adore vintage Range Rovers, and used to own a Jeep Cherokee XJ, though the less said about that the better.) The original trucks are honest in a way the modern behemoths are not. The G-class was never supposed to be nice to drive, luxurious or a status symbol of wealth and conspicuous consumption. It was a spartan, utilitarian vehicle intended to transport soldiers across inhospitable terrain or, when sold to the public, farmers across boggy marshes.
All posts tagged 1985
When I first began writing for GCFSB it was just before the air-cooled 911 market took off. Suddenly nearly every 3.2 Carrera I’d see would set a new benchmark for value. Long-hood models, which already had been expensive, began to reach well into six figures for the 911S and rare variants seemed to leap into the stratosphere. We saw quite a few interesting examples hit the market as sellers tried to capitalize on these gains and almost any time a well-maintained 911 came up for auction with no reserve it would sell well before auction’s end, sometimes in a matter of one or two days. Those times are behind us as the air-cooled market has settled down and while the gains haven’t retreated much for many of these cars the classic 911s of the ’80s have taken some steps back into much more attainable territory. This is especially the case with higher-mileage basic Carreras. And I don’t mean this as a bad thing. These are wonderful cars meant to be enjoyed so ideally the prices will be such that owners don’t feel conflicted about opening the garage just because it’s a little cloudy. I mention these things because I’ve begun to notice a lot more nice looking examples of the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera popping up for much more reasonable prices. These aren’t necessarily the 911s in great color combinations or low mileage, but nice honest looking cars none the less. At times the reserves remain too high, but even that should work itself out with time. The example we have here seems to fit this bill: a Black 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Memphis, with 111,000 miles on the clock.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay
The 528e is a bit of an odd duck. The product of the oil crisis of the late 70s and early 80s, this was essentially a gasoline engined car that attempted to mimic the frugality of a diesel, at a time when BMW was yet to bring a diesel engine to the US market (the e stands for “efficiency”). Powered by a 2.7 liter, de-tuned version of the inline-six cylinder M20 motor, what you got was a car that offered all the good looks of the E28 5-series, but with none of the performance to back it up. In other words, you bought this car to drive cheaply and slowly with a bit of German style and sophistication.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 528e on eBay
The E23 7-series is already a bit special, for two main reasons. First, as I mentioned when I wrote up a 733i a couple of weeks ago, you don’t tend to see them on the roads anymore. Second, the beautiful design, which shares a number of features with the shark-nosed E24 6-series coupe, matches anything put out by Mercedes-Benz in the same era in terms of elegance and style. That is not something that could always be said about BMW products, even if they were more fun to drive than their counterparts from Stuttgart. But this E23 is even more special, since it’s a gray market 745i. Not available in the US, this high-performance model represented the top of the E23 lineup in Europe and came with a turbocharged version of the 3.4 liter inline six cylinder M30 engine (here called the M106) and a host of luxurious and high-tech (for the time) accessories. Very few of these come onto the market, and rarely do they do so in the kind of condition shown here.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 745i on ebay
Another day, another old diesel Benz. I know, I know. But when I saw this one I couldn’t resist. Yesterday I wrote up an ‘87 300SDL. While that car presented very nicely, in truth the better W126 diesels are either the early, short wheelbase models (’81-’85), like today’s car, or the very late ones (’90-’91), during which time the short and long wheelbase diesels shared the same engines. As noted yesterday, the diesel motors in the cars in the period in between had a few design faults that could potentially affect their longevity (quite unusual for a Mercedes product). This particular car is an ’85, the last year in which you’d find the legendary OM617 engine under the hood.