1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

I wrote the other day about the approaching warmer weather and the joy of top down driving. That was as an introduction to a Cabriolet but I know not everyone is interested in the full top-down experience. Especially the associated weight gains or lack of rigidity that goes along with it. Or perhaps you’re more interested in an air-cooled 911 regardless of the model. In either case, this 911 may suit your needs a little better: a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in California, with only 26,900 miles on it.

Of course, from a performance standpoint this Carrera Targa isn’t going to match a 996 Turbo Cabriolet. And the price may end up more or less the same so performance per dollar certainly is way down. But a classic like this isn’t just about the performance. It’s about feel and connectedness and the sense that you, the driver, ultimately are in command. For some that is enough to turn them away from any water-cooled 911 and toward these classics. For others the allure of 415 hp simply cannot be passed up. Options are good!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

1985 Volkswagen Golf with 29,000 Miles

Continuing on the theme of basic Volkswagens, as I mentioned in the A2 Jetta post I have a soft spot for the Golf. I’ve twice owned them; my last was a ’98 K2 4-door and my first Volkswagen was just like this car. It was a 1986 Westmoreland-built Golf. Compared to most of the cars that come across these pages, the Westmoreland Golfs aren’t really very special. They were very basic models. But they were also unique in their trim, and they were only built in the configuration you see here for two years. Of course, that really only matters to Golfphiles, but it’s a neat bit of trivia, anyway.

I covered the details of these models when I last covered a Westy Golf back in July, 2017. Basically, the easiest way to tell them apart from German builds are the wheel covers and the grill with sealed-beam rectangle headlights. That particular ’86 was mega impressive, as it had only 44,000 miles. Well, today’s ’85 has even less:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD

I’ve been using my 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D with a 4-speed manual as my primary driver for over year now and really enjoy almost every aspect of it except for one big thing: It is ungodly slow. The North American spec 240Ds were blessed with a conservative 67 horsepower and 97 lb⋅ft of torque when new and after 35 years I’m going to guess it lost a few precious ponies. This results in me using the accelerator pedal as an on-off switch the majority of the time. Don’t get me wrong, around town the car is totally fine. On the highway? I’m traffic’s worst nightmare. If I am at the front of the line at a stoplight and the speed limit on the road is 55 mph, I might as well be hauling a car full of puppies to the pound because that is how people look at me. It takes somewhere in the 15-20 second range to accelerate to 60 mph depending on the grade of the road and Peggy in her minivan on her way to soccer practice has no patience for me.  Other than that, everyone loves the car. But what if the 240D was even slower? Say hello to the 240TD.

This German-import 1985 240TD up for bid in Arizona is equipped with everything my 240D has, including the same 4-speed manual gearbox, but with the extra weight of the wagon. You can see where I am going with this. Thankfully, this W123 estate is actually nice enough where you can pick and choose your 0-60 mph battles and not feel bad if you hold someone up for an extra second. Although at the current price, is it worth it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD on eBay

Double Take: Brown 911s – Classic vs Modern

I will admit here I am really stretching the boundaries of what makes sense for a double take. I had already come across this Nutmeg Brown Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and wanted to write it up because of its fairly rare and unusual exterior color. I like darker metallic browns a lot and we almost never see them outside of a few years in the 70s and 80s. I’ll admit that brown isn’t the most appealing car color for many, but in the right circumstances it can work quite well.

Then I came across a much newer 911 in a very similar color and thought, why not? So if you are a fan of these dark brown exteriors this might give you a sense of your options and, what for me is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this, the relative cost and performance that’s available to you. Let’s look at the Nutmeg Brown Carrera first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on Excellence Magazine

Porsche 911 Carrera M491 Roundup

This is starting to get a little bit silly. As I mentioned in my most recent feature of a Turbolook Carrera Cabriolet, we’ve seen a decent number of these 911s, also known by their M491 option code, come up for sale recently. I wasn’t really looking to post more of them. But then three all popped up for sale within a few days of one another and there are a lot of similarities among them. I still wasn’t entirely sure about posting them, but honestly two of them are so interesting and unique that I simply could not pass them by. Given how similar they all are it made the most sense to bring them all together into a single post.

One piece of good fortune: among these three cars we have a representative of each Carrera model so regardless of which model M491 you’re looking for we’ve got you covered! The similarities: All three of these Carreras are in exceptionally good condition and sit with very low mileage. All are from the earlier side of 3.2 Carrera production, meaning they have the 915 5-speed transmission. Two are for sale from the sale seller, presumably as part of the same collection, and come with a few questions, but have crazy unique interiors. All three have very high prices; high enough that when I first came across the Coupe we’ll see below I thought the seller had misidentified a 930. And I still thought the price was too high!

Anyway, on to the cars. I’ll show them all before any discussion and in ascending order by price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

I’ve been featuring a lot of really pristine cars of late almost entirely thanks to their low mileage. The reality is these cars are actually pretty few and far between. The overwhelming majority of cars, even German ones that hold a special place in our hearts, are used on a daily basis to rack up the miles and in turn, the wear and tear. But today’s car, a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD up for bid in California, managed to defy the norm and not only rack up a bunch of miles, but stay almost perfect in the process of doing so. How so? Well, it probably took the perfect storm.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD on eBay

Double Take: Grand Prix White Carrera Targas – Which 5-speed Will You Have?

If you find yourself desiring a classic 911 from the ’80s you’re immediately presented with a few decisions. The first of which, while seemingly the most straightforward, can actually present the biggest quandary: which model do you get, the 911SC or the 3.2 Carrera? Both are great and their similarities in design and performance are such that either model should fulfill your desires. But let’s say you’re set on the 3.2 Carrera. You want the improved performance and slightly more refined feel. You still have one more decision to make: would you rather find one of the earlier models (1984-1986) utilizing the long-standing 915 5-speed transmission or a later model (1987-1989) with the newer G50 5-speed transmission? It seems a minor detail, but the transmissions do make a difference. Most drivers find the G50 to be the nicer shifting of the two and it is a more stout transmission to begin with, a point that certainly could make a difference 30 years from new. However, the G50 also is heavier and typically the prices for the later Carreras, in part because of that transmission, tend to be higher. If you’re thinking strictly about adding one to a collection the G50 probably is the one to get. For a driver? It’s not so straightforward.

Generally speaking, unless you’re very patient most of these decisions will be made for you since you’re typically best off by buying the best available option from these years. A well sorted 911SC is likely to bring you more joy and fewer headaches than a 3.2 Carrera with some issues. Sometimes, however, the options are such that you really can have your choice and, in fact, in our case here your choice really is distilled down almost completely to the different transmissions.

Here we have two Grand Prix White 3.2 Carrera Targas with pretty similar mileage, pretty similar asking prices, and seemingly very similar condition.…

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

If you’ve been searching for a Turbolook (M491) Carrera Coupe, then take note. These have begun to come around for sale so rarely that we cannot pass them by regardless of condition. Thankfully this one appears to be in nice shape. This isn’t one of the extremely rare G50-equipped Coupes, but even the earlier models are uncommon enough and desirable enough that I’d expect a lot of interest.

For those unfamiliar, the M491 package gave buyers the option of fitting the 930 rear, suspension, braking, and front and rear spoilers to their standard 3.2 Carrera. Basically you got a 911 Turbo minus the engine. Hence the Turbolook moniker. During its early years on offer the 930 wasn’t available in the US market so the M491 was the closest you could get. Better handling, improved braking, and arguably better looks, but with a less high strung engine. You can see why these have remained very desirable still today.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose

Have you been looking for the most ’80s Porsche you can find? Not just an ’80s model, but one that has taken the extra steps to modify it and add those little details that really showcase the time period? We’ve got just the car for you. Here we have a Black 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose Coupe. The Slantnose itself always has been right at home in the ’80s exhibiting the general sense of excess in design with which we’re all familiar from those days. We dealt with the issue of authenticating the Slantnose conversion in our feature of this Slantnose and the issue presents itself again here as well. As the seller notes it isn’t until the ’87MY that these determinations become much easier.

The details don’t stop there though. This is more than just a Slantnose and especially once we step into the interior things really get interesting. The history of how this 930 came to be in its current state are a little fuzzy, but it’s had a good bit of work and houses some nice RUF upgrades. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose on eBay

1985 Audi Quattro

It is, admittedly, quite hard to lump the importance of one car into the same category with yesterday’s M3. But if there’s a German car from the same period that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath, it’s certainly the Quattro.

True enough, the U.S. version wasn’t really as quick as you’d expect it would be considering the Deitous stature levied upon it by fans of the brand. But if you looked up “game changer” in the dictionary, an image of the Quattro should certainly appear next to it. So advanced was the thinking behind this car that today it’s still the recipe being followed by many manufacturers nearly 40 years later. And those iconic boxflares that the M3 sprouted? That’s right, they appeared here first. While in some ways the re-work of the design sullied Guigiaro’s clean silhouette, the result was monumental and again the basis for all of the important be-flared WRC fighters that came after. The M3 was only one to copy the style; the Celica Alltrac Turbo, the Escort Cosworth, The Lancia Delta Integrale, the Subaru WRX, and the Mistubishi Lancer Evolution are but a few of the turbocharged, all-wheel drive and box-flared cars that would go on to become legendary in their own right. But the one that started it all has finally gotten some recognition over the past few years. Great examples of the Quattro are few and far between, so when they come to market it’s something very special. And this particular Quattro is really exceptional:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro at Gooding & Co.