1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

1I 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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on Hemmings

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

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

1985 BMW 528e

1985 BMW 528e

1The 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

1985 BMW 745i

1985 BMW 745i

4The 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

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

2Another 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.

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

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

Here’s another favorite of mine from the ’80s and this particular 911 is really captivating me more so than I would normally suspect it should. Part of the allure is the color, but that’s also why I wouldn’t expect it to look as good as it does. I mean, grey isn’t terribly exciting as exterior colors go, nonetheless it’s attracting my eye here. The rest, however, does make for an attractive model. The Turbo-look 911 served as a popular option for US buyers unable to get a 930 during the years in which that model was on hiatus. As the moniker suggests, the package provided the various attributes to modify the appearance most notably the wider rear of the Turbo. Significantly, the package also included the Turbo’s suspension and braking serving to provide not only a unique look relative to the narrow-bodied 911, but improved performance in certain areas. Generally speaking, the M491-equipped cars have been more desirable than other 911s and the Coupes especially garner a good bit of notice. Here we have just such a beast: a Turbo-look Meteor Grey Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with 113,709 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1985 Porsche 944 with 40,000 Miles

1985 Porsche 944 with 40,000 Miles

While Porsche 944s are no stranger to these pages, early models rarely appear here. There were many variants of the 944 over its life cycle, and in many ways the improvements over that time make the 1982-early 1985 models the least appealing. Launched in early 1982, the 944 sported essentially most of a 924 with Carrera GT-inspired flares and half of a 928 motor. In mid 1985, Porsche heavily revised the model with a refreshed interior, air condition system, larger fuel tank, relocated windshield antenna, and new cast aluminum control arms among a host of other small changes. 928-esque “Phone Dial” wheels replaced the original “Cookie Cutter” alloys, though Fuchs forged alloys remained an option. Obviously, there were then the multitude of upgraded models that followed; the 944S, the 2.7, the S2, and of course the Turbo. The result is that it has to be a pretty special early 944 to draw much attention, and today’s early 1985 is just such a car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 944 on eBay

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Wednesday I featured a pretty nice 911SC and now we’ll take a step forward to its successor the 3.2 Carrera. And I’ll say from the start that I already like this Carrera better than that SC. What a difference a day makes. Given that this is an early Carrera there aren’t many significant differences between this and the 911SC. The engine, obviously, is the most significant change, but aesthetically the differences are minor and this still sports the 915 5-speed transmission that served the 911 so well for so long. I like this color a little better than Guards Red, I like the interior contrast better, and overall it just strikes me as being in better condition. I’m not sure I can pinpoint why, it’s really just the overall sense of everything we see. So here we have a Garnet Red Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Michigan, with Champagne leather interior and 57,000 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1985 BMW 318i

1985 BMW 318i

318E301Since joining GCFSB, I’ve resisted the temptation to write up an E30, mostly out of irritation at the overbaked market for the 80s era 3-series. Although we’ve recently featured some nice examples on the site, I’m tired of seeing so many rusted out, half-finished projects for sale with unreasonable price tags attached. And while there are some admittedly well-preserved and desirable cars out there, I can only stare at $150k M3s for so long before becoming bored. What traditionally made the E30 such an attractive proposition was that it offered all the best features of a sporty German sedan – a sorted chassis, a zippy motor and a manual gearbox – for not a lot of money. But as their prices have climbed upwards, so that even tired examples are no longer very cheap, the allure of the E30 has faded, at least for me.

I’ve relented, however, for the sake of this example. That’s because it’s so nice to see such an apparently clean, well-preserved and original E30 on the market. The price isn’t too bad either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 318i on Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Porsche Heynsdyk 2500SF

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Porsche Heynsdyk 2500SF

File this car under the “whatzit” category. At first I thought this modern day tribute to Porsches of the past must have been based on a 911. Wrong. This is a 944 in disguise, built by a Dutch firm called Heynsdyk. The company no longer exists, having gone into bankruptcy in 2012, but before that happened, they managed to crank out a few of these roadsters for anyone who was getting a bit bored with their Porsche 944. This 2500SF has the normally aspirated 2.5 liter inline-4 under the bonnet. For those who might not have been turned on by the 944 Cabriolet but sought some open top enjoyment with their well-balanced chassis, this car might be the solution.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche Heynsdyk 2500SF at E&R Classics

Silver Narrows: 1985 Audi Coupe GT and 1986 Audi 4000CS quattro

Silver Narrows: 1985 Audi Coupe GT and 1986 Audi 4000CS quattro

Though they share many components, each different variant of the Audi B2 chassis took on a character that made them all feel quite unique. Obviously the big headline for the chassis was the turbocharged Quattro model that has gained much more notoriety and respect in the marketplace over the last few years. However, the narrow-body variants still remain very affordable and entertaining options for enthusiasts. Today I’m going to look at two similarly priced 2nd tier options, both in Zermatt Silver Metallic. Let’s start the throaty 5-cylinder up with a KX-code 1985 Coupe GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

1985 Alpina B7 Turbo

1985 Alpina B7 Turbo

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We’ve been having some fun with Alpinas recently, and the seller that brought us Carter’s E12 B7 Turbo is back again with a sexy E28 B7 Turbo. The E12 and E28 always look similar, and in grey with gold Alpina stripes these two examples further that notion, though the closed-lug 20-spokes help this 1985 B7 look a bit more modern. It’s No. 46 out of the 236-car run and is in beautiful shape thanks to good care and a repaint a while back. The stripes are still there, however, as well as the monster 300hp M30 turbo. The interior looks clean but 31 years old and used, though much better than the normal E28 wear on the seats. Other than that, from the Alpina-green toolkit to the gold name emblazoned across the front spoiler looks to be spotless and perfect.

Click for details: 1985 Alpina B7 Turbo on eBay

1985 Volkswagen Vanagon Adventurewagen

1985 Volkswagen Vanagon Adventurewagen

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This Vanagon does my favorite kind of bait-and-switch. At first glance, the unwavering white paint/black trim looks at best plain. White wall tires on steel wheels exaggerate its age, giving the overall impression of yet another old beater camper van. This impression matched with the $26,750 asking price furrowed my brow immediately, but elicited a rewarding closer look. Checking out the details on this High Top, you see that the plain white paint is actually a recent and well-done respray. Inside, we find a nearly perfect interior with a new wood-laminate floor to match the cabinets. All camping items work including the propane stove and heater, water pump with filter, refrigerator, and external ports. It has 184k miles but still returns 20+ mpg and appears to have received the maintenance and care to keep it going for another couple hundred thousand. The 6’7″ standing height means even my 6’5″ brother could be comfortable, though the fold out bed might not either of us very well. It’s an under-the-radar Adventurewagen that is perfectly eccentric as is.

Click for details: 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon Adventurewagen on eBay

1985 Audi 4000S quattro

1985 Audi 4000S quattro

I was sure I had seen this car before. Tornado Red and Brazil Brown Kensington Velour? Check, but there are quite a few 4000 quattros that fit that description. But a 1985 model narrows the pool slightly, though numerically Audi reports selling more 4000 quattros at nearly 5,000 in 1985 than any other model year. Pacific Northwest and under 120,000 miles? And in very good survivor condition? Yes, surely this is the car that I wrote up in February, 2014.

But I was wrong. It’s not the same car. It’s another that is in even better condition with less reported miles. Does lightning strike twice? The air sure feels pretty electric around me as I poured over the details of this 1985:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 4000S quattro on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 230CE

1985 Mercedes-Benz 230CE

There are few cars, in my opinion, more stoic the Mercedes-Benz W123. This wasn’t a particularly flashy Mercedes, nor was it overtly luxurious. It was designed to take over a large segment of the Mercedes-Benz portfolio while providing transportation that would last a lifetime, as we see with the examples still pressed into service on a regularly basis. So popular were these cars that even shortly after their introduction, people were paying premiums for new examples immediately available, averting the wait list in Mercedes-Benz showrooms. The US market did not receive many non-diesel W123 variants over the course of the production cycle, and none were in coupe form. That makes this final year 1985 230CE for sale in California is a bit of a rarity on these shores.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 230CE on eBay