1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

4I have an itch to buy a W126. Yesterday I test drove a 420SEL that popped up for sale on my local Craigslist (not today’s car – we’ll get to that in a moment). The one I drove was offered at a fair price and when I noticed that it was parked only a few blocks away from my house, I felt obliged to take a look. I had never driven an SEL before. Here are my first impressions: 1. They really are huge. The hood alone seemed to stretch out for miles in front of me. I dreaded to think how far back the trunk extended. “What a nightmare this must be to park in the city,” I thought to myself, as I delicately threaded the car through DC morning traffic. 2. They look glorious in person, even when a bit dinged up, as this one was. 3. When you push down on the throttle you don’t so much surge forward, as waft gently toward the horizon on a magic carpet of dignified torque. Despite being smitten with the car I let it go in the end, concluding that, with snow and ice season just around the corner, I couldn’t justify picking up a RWD, nose-heavy V8 as a daily driver. But I did spend the afternoon gazing wistfully at other 420s for sale on the internet. That’s how I stumbled across this lovely, low mileage example for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on eBay

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe

Yesterday Andy featured a very interesting and original green on green early 928. It’s the sort of period-correct combination that we’d expect in the ’70s. Here we’re going to step out of the ’70s and raise the performance bar quite a bit, but retain that green on green profile. Unlike the 928, whose lighter Olive Green interior provided some contrast, this 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe has stayed on the darker side of the spectrum for both the interior and exterior. It’s certainly more monochromatic than the 928, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a light green interior I’ve liked so monotony aside, I prefer the combination here. The colors are Moss Green Metallic over Dark Green and, probably unsurprisingly, I can’t say I’ve come across another like it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

1Built in conjunction with British engineers Cosworth to rally before the Audi Quattro debuted (and siphoned instead into the DTM when Mercedes realized it stood no chance), the 190E 2.3-16 marries the handsome lines and tank-like build quality of the W201 chassis with a race-tuned four pot engine and a muscular and aerodynamically purposeful bodykit. We’ve featured a number of 16 valvers on the site lately and I’m beginning to wonder if there has (finally) been an uptick in the market for these cars. It does seem as though there are more nice examples out there for sale with every passing year, in contrast to the raft of rotted out and abused ones that used to dot Craigslist not too long ago.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on Hemmings.com

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa – No Reserve

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa – No Reserve

This one will be a little bit of a quick hitter. I’ve featured a good number of classic 911s lately. In part that’s because I like them and there have been a good number of nice looking and interesting examples come on the market. But it’s also in part because their values have gotten a bit more reasonable over the past year and I’ve been interested in where they are selling. That’s my predominant interest here as we have one that looks in good shape, has reasonable mileage, and is up for a no reserve auction. So let’s get to it: here we have a White Gold Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Oregon, with Tan interior and 56,153 miles on it. The ’86MY usually makes for a nice value since it’s the last year before Porsche debuted the G50 5-speed manual. Let’s see if this one follows suit.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

No Reserve Boost: 1986 and 1987 Porsche 944 Turbos

No Reserve Boost: 1986 and 1987 Porsche 944 Turbos

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of low mileage, crazy asking price 1980s cars – they’re out there, and in reality not particularly hard to find. But then there seems to be a gulf between the cars that are above average with sellers hoping to capitalize on market trends, and forlorn project cars in need of more help than their value. While it would be wonderful to contemplate the salvation of every single example, it’s simply not economically viable. Nor, too, is the idea of just buying the best example in existence and paying a ridiculous premium.

Look in the right place and there is still a happy medium for enthusiasts. Today I’ve located two quite affordable options of 944 Turbos. The miles aren’t crazy, the condition of both is quite good, they each have unique options that make them appealing in their own way. And, each is a no reserve auction. So which is the one you’d want to take home?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

Another day, another Targa. And for whatever reason I’m finding myself very much taken in by this one. This 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Maryland, brings us back within the realm of the regular 911, but that doesn’t stop it from looking great. Grey/red is a color combination we see frequently across the whole 911 line and my favorite version of it is Slate Grey over a bright red interior (Can-Can or Lobster would do the trick). The 911 we have here takes a slightly different line making use of a darker hue of each. We aren’t provided with the precise colors, though we could hazard a guess that this is Meteor Grey Metallic for the exterior and the interior obviously is Burgundy. The combination works very well and what it may lack in flash it makes up for with understated refinement.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

Motorsports Monday has become a bit predictable. First, I am apparently the only one interested in it. Second, it probably involves a Porsche or BMW. And lastly, that means that it boils down to generally two models – the 911 or M3. Yet every week I still type “Race Car” into the search function of eBay, resilient in the belief that eventually something new will pop up. Every once in a while I’m rewarded with a GTi or very rarely an Audi that has been set up for track duty, but today’s feature is a pretty unique beast. Apparently raced since new, this Volkswagen Scirocco 16V was constructed to compete in IMSA. Normally the domain of Group C/GTP prototypes in the 1980s, IMSA had support series such as International Sedan (IS) and Radial Sedan (RS) race series, later to become the popular Showroom Stock class populated by more domesticated beasts you generally would see on the road:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

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I’ve voiced my dislike for the R107 in the past. I think they are clichéd, the production ran way too long and are extremely expensive now for what they are. So why am I featuring this 1986 560SL today? Well, this one isn’t extremely overpriced — at least not yet. Even more unique to the R107 is that this car has 284,000 miles which means it’s owner(s) didn’t treat didn’t treat it as a part of their 401k plan. This 560SL was used regularly and according to the sellers description taken care of whenever it need be. So let’s check out this 1986 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

When the W126 S-class first appeared in the US in the early 80s, the most powerful gasoline model available, the 380SEL, proved a bit of a disappointment. The 3.8 liter V8 engine produced a relatively paltry 155 hp, prompting wealthy American buyers to go to the trouble of importing the more powerful 500SEL from Europe. These cars, initially unavailable in the US, were powered by a 5.0 liter V8 which produced a much more respectable 240 hp. In fact, the gray market demand for the 500SEL turned out to be so strong that ultimately Mercedes-Benz of North America relented, and began officially bringing them to the US from 1984-85 (in 1986 they were phased out in favor of the 560SEL). Still, Euro 500s remained an attractive proposition: making roughly about the same power as the US 560s, they had slimmer bumpers and more attractive glass headlights. That may explain why this ’86 Euro-spec model was imported to the US in 1987, by a high-level German banker no less.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 928S LS1

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 928S LS1

I’m a big fan of unusual track cars. I’m not sure why entirely, but there is some satisfaction in taking the path less traveled, perhaps. Maybe it’s just having something a little different than the norm. If you wanted to go to the track with a V8, there are any number of possibilities from Mustang to Mercedes. If you wanted to go to the track in a Porsche, 911s, Boxsters, Caymans and 944 Turbos abound. But to combine the two? Well, that means 928, and traditionally speaking, the 928 hasn’t been a great track car even though one raced at Le Mans in 1983. Complicated, heavy, expensive and well, old, the 928 doesn’t immediately strike you as an ideal track attacker. But what if you swapped in a 400 horsepower LS1? They do call it the “German Corvette”, after all…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 928S LS1 on eBay

1986 Volkswagen Golf Diesel

1986 Volkswagen Golf Diesel

It isn’t always the flashiest car that pulls your attention, and such was the case for me when pondering this 1986 Golf. Let’s get beyond the diesel scandal and its impact on the company for a moment, as I want to talk about the noise. In this case, it’s not the wind noise generated by the relatively upright Mk.2 design. It’s not even the substantial clatter coming from the engine bay of the 1.6 liter inline-4 diesel. No, seeing this car is a trip down memory lane because of the noise it makes when the key is in the ignition. 1986 was the year that changed at Volkswagen, and I just so happened to have a 1986 Golf 4-door. The noise was the warning chime, and Volkswagen’s clever marketing campaign proclaimed it as a digital “Volks-wa-gen” repeated until you either had to start the car or yank the key out. Fans of the marque have dubbed it “La Cucaracha”, which it vaguely sounds like, though it’s clearly a rip-off of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Rip out is what I, and many others, did to the door chime relay in an effort to maintain sanity when working on the car. The signature door sound would carry on for a few generations but finally died in the 2000s like most VW electronics. I openly wonder if, in an effort to re-brand itself in the post-Dieselgate world, VW will reintroduce the theme song as a “throwback” to gain back its original fan base. After all, I’m sure I’m not the only one who vividly has those three tones repeating in my head as I look at this Golf:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen Golf Diesel on eBay

Feature Listing: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

Feature Listing: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

We’ve often lamented on these pages about when enthusiast cars used to be more affordable. Pick your poison; there were days you could buy a pretty sorted E30 M3 for under $10,000, a clean 911 in the teens, a pristine W113 Pagoda for under $20,000. At least for the foreseeable future, those days have left us, and enthusiasts on a modest budget need to pick and choose between the few remnants of a once vibrant sub-$10,000 market. I’ve spent a fair amount of time predicting and watching the ascension of the 944 turbo – the understated, underrated giant killer from Porsche. It’s been no surprise to see soaring values on clean 944 turbos, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that once again another classic has been priced out of sight. But if you’re willing to prioritize driving over shows, there are still some great deals to be had out there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo on Omaha Craigslist

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

I don’t like to overstate my preferences for the cars I feature and it’s always hard for me to keep track of what’s best given that I come across so many interesting cars. But this one is just stunning. This might be the best (at the very least one of the best) shades of blue I’ve seen on a 911. It’s said to be both paint-to-sample and Iris Blue. It’s certainly possible for both of those things to be true, but I’m fairly certain Iris Blue was an available color in ’86 which suggests it wouldn’t be paint to sample. Iris Blue is a great color regardless and if that’s what this is then it looks particularly good here. The pictures appear to have been touched up some so perhaps that enhanced contrast is working to great effect.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1986 BMW M635CSi Euro

1986 BMW M635CSi Euro

The other day my wife texted me a picture of an E24 she’d spotted while biking home from work. “It’s gorgeous!” she wrote. I went to have a look at it for myself; you can see the picture I took of it here. It was a 635CSi, parked a few blocks away from the White House with a license plate that read “1LADY.” I can only hope that this means Michelle Obama surreptitiously drives a shark nose when not traveling in the official motorcade. While that particular car was a little worn when seen from close up, with broken bits of trim and some scuffs on the front bumper, even in less than stellar condition it reminded me of just how beautiful these elegant grand tourers are. I haven’t seen or thought of an old 6-series for a while, and that put me on the hunt for a nice one to write up for today.

While I toyed with the idea of featuring a lesser, cheaper model – there are certainly a few knocking around on Craigslist and eBay right now –  ultimately I opted for a car that’s a bit special. This utterly gorgeous, low mileage and mint condition European-spec M635CSi is listed on US eBay, but it’s actually located in Portugal. I’m guessing that anyone who can afford to bid on this car will have no trouble paying for the associated costs of bringing it over.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M635CSi on eBay

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe

This seems…reasonable. As always that makes me somewhat wary, but with the air-cooled market having slowed quite a bit coming across reasonably priced examples should become more common. I should emphasize this Porsche 930 isn’t a low price, but given the mileage it does strike me as pretty reasonable. So we’ll have to ask our usual questions, but there is some promise to be found here. This is a Grand Prix White 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe, located in New York, with 51,800 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay