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

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

Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Coupe Roundup

Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Coupe Roundup

Naturally we feature Porsche’s 3.2 Carrera pretty frequently on these pages as it tends to provide one of the best mixes of value, performance, and style within the 911 catalog. It so happens that at the moment there are a few examples that are all broadly similar so it seemed as good a time as any to feature them all at the same time. These examples don’t necessarily represent the best values on the 911 market as each is low mileage – though not ultra-low – but they all come in some of the less standard colors and show in very good condition, so while the prices may be higher there is promise to be found in each one. We will begin with the one that is the rarest color combination: a Moss Green Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with Brown leather interior and 54,000 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Moss Green Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

DSCF4143
As Syncro Westies become the Holy Grail of campervans, a lot of the ones for sale are all kinds of crazy. Crazy colors, crazy upgrades, and crazy values have characterized the auctions, but today we have a 4WD pop-top Vanagon that flies under the radar in all the right ways. It’s in great condition inside and out, including a repaint last year, but the color brown over tan with black steelies keeps its true value hidden from all except those who can pick out the subtle “4WD” emblems on the front doors. It’s had a recent full tuneup, GoWesty exhaust, cat, and bumpers installed, and all new rubber seals and pop-top canvas. BFGoodrich All-Terrains complete the subtle but eminently capable package. The unknown mileage will raise some questions, but if you know what brown can do for you this no-reserve auction is a great chance at a Syncro Westy that doesn’t break the bank.

Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

I feature (and we come across) a fairly good number of 911s in lighter and brighter shades of blue. This is especially true of the 3.2 Carrera where it seems that light blue was a much more popular and common choice than any of the darker varieties available. Here we will look at a Coupe in one of those darker shades: a paint-to-sample Persian Blue 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Washington, with matching Blue interior and 68,095 miles on it. I tend to gravitate toward the brighter blues, but these dark examples do possess a certain allure for those who may be looking for a departure from the much more standard Black 911 that we see regularly. This particular 911 appears in pretty nice shape given its age and as the final year before the Carrera came equipped with the G50 5-speed transmission we can hope the price will end somewhat more on the reasonable side of the spectrum.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe – REVISIT

1986 Porsche 930 Coupe – REVISIT

s-l1600

The very low mileage Black 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe with the fantastic Cancan Red leather interior, which we featured in December, remains up for sale. The price has not yet moved so this seller remains patient. The price is high, but this is definitely a very interesting example of this iconic performance coupe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 10, 2015:

1986 Audi Coupe GT Turbo Diesel

1986 Audi Coupe GT Turbo Diesel

The flexibility of Audi’s B2 platform and the huge number of engine choices that manage to fit under the hood make it a natural choice for swaps. Most popular are the all-wheel drive quattros, but the Coupe GT models are also well built, hugely capable cars that react pretty well to increases in power. And just about every period Volkswagen/Audi motor has made it under the hood of the Coupe GT; from 10 to 32 valves, rev-happy DOHC 16Vs and turbocharged inline-5s to narrow-angle VR6s and even the 4.2 V8s. But this car caught my attention because of the very unusual choice of mill to squeeze juice from. This no-spark Coupe GT has a tuned and turned up 2.0 inline-5 turbo diesel:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT Turbo Diesel on Vancouver Craigslist

1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro

1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro

s-l1600 (6)
It’s been a while since we’ve featured a crazy low-mile imported 4WD Volkswagen from whoever these folks in Avenel, NJ are that keep bringing these insane examples stateside. Whether it’s Golf Countrys or DoKa Syncros, they have the least traveled and most original forbidden fruit. Today is no exception, with another blue DoKa Syncro with a completely enclosed metal bed cover. Big white steelies complement a the white lower half and contrast the all-business black roof and steel bumpers. It looks brand new because it almost is, with just 15k original miles on the clock (or rather, 24km). It’s as good as they come and is bringing a lot of bidders to play, though still only in the teens as I write this.

Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 944 Rothmans Cup

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 944 Rothmans Cup

I still recall my first trip up to Mosport well in the early 2000s. I accompanied my father to a Porsche Club of America race up there, and his 924S was running against some pretty stiff competition. The fastest cars in his class at that event were a pair of pale yellow and black 944s, both wearing “Rothmans” livery. At the time, I figured these were custom graphics applied to mimic the look of the period Porsche race cars, but it didn’t take long for me to be corrected, as one of the owners schooled me about the Rothmans Cup series. Even with a fair amount of brand-specific race knowledge, I had only been aware of the Turbo Cup that was run concurrently around the world as a support series for larger races, but Canada also had an earlier normally aspirated 944 Cup. These racers were the lightest 944s available, and though modifications were quite limited they were still very potent in original form when driven well. As the seller notes, only 31 of these lesser known racers were built, making them much more rare than their later Turbo counterparts, and these cars are now accepted at events such as the Rennsport Reunion, though properly driven they’re still class leaders in PCA 944 Cup racing:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Rothmans Cup on eBay