1985 Volkswagen Scirocco

Like the Rabbit Pickup from a few days ago, today’s Scirocco won’t win you a trophy in preservation-class at your local Euro show. But will it draw attention? Absolutely. The Scirocco 2 may not have been the landmark design the original Giugiaro-designed first generation was, nor was it as pretty, arguably. It was interesting that Volkswagen chose to farm the design to Karmann rather than pay for Italdesign’s follow up, because that resulted in the Scirocco’s competition. The Isuzu Piazza (Impulse) took the Italian’s lines to a new level with cleaner execution, cool wheels that looked ready for a auto show, plus you got the automotive equivalent of Thor’s hammer to impress your friends with trim levels like the “Turbo RS” and “Handling by Lotus”. Show up at a party in a Impulse Turbo while one of your friends drove a Scirocco, and you’d go home with the girl and Simple Minds playing in the background.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that easy. And honestly even if the Scirocco was a little underpowered and had clunky bumpers and poor headlight execution here, it still was a compelling choice. This car fixes some of the second generation’s problems, too – Euro bumpers and headlights slim it down, the removal of the rear spoiler tidies up the design a surprising amount, and under the hood lies more motivation in a trusty ABA 2.0:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

1985 BMW 735i

The E23, produced between 1977 and 1987, was the first iteration of the 7-series. It set the standard that BMW has followed, more or less, with each subsequent version of its luxury flagship. Large, comfortable, conservatively styled and packed with the latest technology for the time (ABS brakes, an onboard computer, electric seats and climate control, for example), these autobahn cruisers were for those who had arrived but couldn’t quite afford a Mercedes, or preferred the driving dynamics of a BMW. Sadly, very few have survived the ravishes of time and they’re quite a rare sight on today’s roads. And that’s a shame, because these are truly very handsome and classy cars, sharing a lot of styling cues with the gorgeous E24 6-series, including a sharply raked, shark-nosed front end. So it’s refreshing to come across a low-mileage, nicely kept example like this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 735i

1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

Last week I wondered what kind of W126 S-class you could buy if you had an unlimited budget and wanted one in practically brand new condition. That search yielded a gorgeous, pearl black on black, ultra-low mileage ’89 560SEL, which ultimately sold for a very respectable $21k. I thought I’d play the same game this week, only this time I went on the hunt for a coupe. The SEC (or “C126”), designed by legendary Bruno Sacco, was based on a slightly shortened version of the sedan chassis. While the car retains many of the same graceful and elegant lines of its four door sibling, the coupe sports a sexy, pillarless profile that changes the character of the car. If the 80s stock broker was chauffeured to Wall Street in the SEL during the week, he drove the SEC to wild parties in the Hamptons on the weekends.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Not too surprisingly, the German car market has quite a lot of Porsches running around. Looking through the listings shows us all kinds of rare models or interesting colors and option packages. In some of the best cases, I’ll come across configurations that I’m completely unfamiliar with and this will lead down a long rabbit-hole of reading and history. Those are a lot of fun and generally involve cars that never made it Stateside. However, most searches just show us cool versions of cars we’re used to seeing. Here, I’ve stuck with that theme as this is a standard 3.2 Carrera, but I was really taken by the color combination and the condition does look quite good. I’m not sure this asking price would make sense for anyone in the U.S. given the additional costs of bringing it here, but who knows. Here we have a Meteor Gray Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with Burgundy leather interior and around 39K kilometers on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on Classic Driver

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

The other day, Carter wrote up a gray-market, Signal Red 280SE. The Euro options and unusual color made for an attractive proposition, but that particular car had some mechanical needs making it a light project. This car, on the other hand, appears to be in need of no such work. Available in Europe but not sold in the US, the 280SE paired the 2.8 liter, six cylinder M110 gasoline engine with the short wheelbase version of the W126 chassis. While that might seem a small motor for such a large car, it made about 185 hp in Euro guise, a perfectly adequate, though certainly not blistering, amount of power. Like the US-spec 300SE/SEL, it might need a bit of shove at the low end, but once up to highway speeds it should cruise around capably.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

Paint-to-sample 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491

This 911 will take some work to get our heads around. There are a whole host of interesting details to this car, but also plenty of questions. Let’s start with the basics of what we’ve got and then we can get to the questions. This is a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with a paint-to-sample exterior and interior to sample. Those points on their own are of some significance, though we must admit that while these colors may be special order there isn’t really a lot that is special about them. Don’t get me wrong, the burgundy interior is great and the exterior is a nice shade of metallic paint, but if you didn’t tell me they were special order I wouldn’t have immediately thought that. But we don’t end there. It also has sport seats, which are a nice addition, and more importantly comes with the M491 Turbo-look package. As if all of that is not enough, attentive readers will also notice that it’s a Turbo-look package with the spoiler delete. That last point is perhaps the most important aspect of all as the Turbo-look with spoiler delete is very rare. We almost never see them and on the Cabriolet especially it makes for a really attractive change. Combining all of these options creates a very rare 911 and one that should attract a lot of attention. If it can all be verified….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Euro-Spec

1I’ve posted several 190Es since joining GCFSB, making no secret of my love for the W201. But I haven’t yet written up a 2.3-16, the high-performance version developed in conjunction with Cosworth to go racing at the DTM. It’s not because I don’t like them. Far from it; I lusted after one of these when I was in the market for a W201 a few years ago. But the 16v models in my price range were all wrecks and so I settled for a stock 2.6 instead. (I did, however, get my hands on a full 16v body kit but, as some of you will know, I crashed my car before I had the chance to install it). The reason is rather that many of these come to market in poor shape, and it takes a special car to pique my interest. This one has it’s faults but, being a European market gray import, it also has a few redeeming features.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on eBay

1985 Audi 90 quattro

No, it’s not a misprint. Though you may not have been able to buy an Audi 90 in the United States until the B3 in 1988, in the rest of the world the same model you could buy here as the B2 4000S/CS quattro was marketed as two different models – the basic 80 quattro, and the more upscale 90 quattro. Differences between the two were bumpers, lights, wheels, and interior options as well as different power plants. The 90 was closest to the more “loaded” U.S. spec 4000S/CS quattro, and in fact looking through this model you’d be hard pressed to see many differences – consequently, few even ponder importation of a European model. However, differences are there – so let’s go through them and see if this B2 is worth the steep asking price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 90 Quattro on eBay

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

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