All posts tagged 1986

1986 BMW 325es

The 325ES is my car’s efficiency-minded twin, with a few differences between the two. The one that always stands out to me is the front air dam: the IS valence has two additional slots for guiding air to the oil cooler that the ES front-end did not. The air dams are such a huge pain in the ass to mount securely to the car that I’m amazed BMW at the time not only sought to distinguish the cars via air slots but also manufactured two versions of essentially the same front wing. The 80s, they were crazy! Anyways, what’s not crazy is the price for such a clean, low-mileage E30 with minimal distortion from its original stock configuration. This is another car that, like yesterday’s Avus Blue M3, will look like a steal in short order at this price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay

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1986 Audi Coupe GT

Despite praise from critics when it was new, a great design by Giugiaro and a motorsports legacy second to none, the Audi Coupe GT has remained since new a fringe car in the United States. Compared to the E30 2-doors, Audi produced less than half the total production of BMW’s venerable small coupe with only around 170,000 made over its 8 year production run. Of those, many less were imported to the United States and even fewer survive today. They’re downright rare to see running around anywhere – the legacy of poor residual value more than anything. Those that have owned them love them – a great looking, unique coupe with awesome handling that is both at home on the highway and back roads. It’s easily capable of carrying a sizable load of adults and luggage since, like the E30, the GT shared its platform with a sedan – but where the GT differed was in drivetrain layout and the slinky roofline that has helped the car age particularly well. On paper, the GT doesn’t make a great driver – a big iron lump hanging out entirely ahead of the front axle line to allow for the all-wheel drive system we didn’t see in the GT on these shores, an open differential and a slightly heavier curb weight without much more power than the coupes from Volkswagen. But statistics don’t tell the whole story, and GT is a great example of that. Extremely well balanced and neutral out of the box, the longer wheelbase provides excellent stability while the equal-length driveshafts eliminate torque steer and help to put power down better than the Volkswagens. The package is refined and shows why the GT was successful in its own right as a racer in Europe. Plus, you get that wonderful off-beat, throaty inline-5 providing one of the more unique soundtracks from the 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Hemmings

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 240GD

$_57 (6)

Do you get jealous of the brightly-colored Land Rover Defenders romping around the streets, looking all tough? Well, today we have a Geländewagen that looks ready for safari, enough so that it will probably be regularly mistaken for its British counterpart. With just 40k miles and a great diesel/manual combo, it’s a very nice off-road package. Bidding is hot on the no-reserve auction for this orange beast that will never be taken for a road-going G55 or G63.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz G240GD on eBay

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10K Friday: A44ordable Audis – 5000CS quattro Avant v. 5000S quattro v. V8 quattro v. 100 quattro

The Type 44 Audi was an impressive advance for German automobiles, a huge leap forward for Audi in a new marketplace – but also nearly the cause of its demise. It was an aerodynamic, futuristic sedan when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed to be producing cars stuck in the 1970s. It was the blueprint for most modern luxury sedans from not only German companies, but many of the advances were copied by the Japanese, Italians and Americans for their large sedans. Yet, by 1990 Audi nearly pulled out of the American market thanks to some creative journalism from 60 Minutes, who in their effort to prove Audi was at fault for some unintended acceleration cases nearly killed off the company entirely. In part as a result of their efforts, it’s become quite rare to find clean examples of them today – but it’s also because they were such good, long-lived and solidly built machines that few have lower miles today. While I recent featured a few 20V turbocharged examples in the 20V Turbo comparison, today we’ll look at a few of the lesser appreciated examples, starting with a clean 5000CS quattro Avant in Canada:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 5000CS Quattro Avant on Hemmings

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 300E 5-Speed Manual

It broke my heart a little bit to see what this seller had to say about the number of 300Es produced with the 5-speed manual: less than 400. I know of one that recently arrived at a local salvage yard, and the overall condition indicates it was once someone’s pride and joy: original books and manuals, original bill of sale, nice paint, and so on. And if there were originally less than 400, I can’t imagine how low that number is now. I know the Mercedes manuals aren’t so great, but I still love watching the video of this ’86 for sale in West Virginia and hearing that inline-six wind out. These are great, durable cars, and at this price, an absolute steal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300E on eBay

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