All posts tagged 1988

Wagon Week: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 230TE 5-speed manual

Wagon Week is back here at GCFSB. We’ve decided to start off not with one of the high-horsepower hyper wagons the Germans are known for, but rather, a workhorse of sorts. With the end of W123 production in the mid 1980s, the W124, now named the E-class, would take over the middle of the lineup for Mercedes-Benz. The W123 estate was the first such mass produced vehicle for Mercedes-Benz, and the W124 range would include a successor for the 300TD. The W124 estate has now itself become a bit of an icon, representing the durability and magnificent engineering that Mercedes built their reputation on. This particular W124 estate was one that was not sold here, the 230TE. With a 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine, it won’t win any acceleration contests, but with the 5-speed manual gearbox, you’ll be able to make the most of the power it has.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 230TE on eBay

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1988 BMW M5

The term “Q-ship” was created by the British, originally not to describe super sedans – but rather to describe a class of disguised merchant ships that were in fact heavily armored and carrying weapons. They were intended to fool German U-Boat crews into revealing their location – prior to unrestricted submarine warfare, U-Boats operated by a gentleman’s agreement where they would surface, let the crew of the ship know they were going to attack the ship and get off, and then they would sink the ship. However, these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” would later lend their name to an entire group of “unassuming” sedans equipped with larger engines and with sporting intentions. Often, the BMW M5 has been lumped into this category but I feel this is an incorrect name for it. The E28 M5 was anything but unassuming, with deep front and rear spoilers, large and wide BBS wheels, M5 badges front and rear and of course looking quite menacing in all black. To me, the Audi 200 20V is probably the ultimate “Q” ship – from the factory, only the slightly wider and slightly flared arches distinguished it from the normal 200 model; no badges, no spoilers, and sedate colors meant the performance under the hood was more or less completely hidden. Perhaps in 1985, when the M5 launched in Europe, people didn’t know what sedans were capable of – but by the time it hit U.S. shores in 1988, rest assured that every enthusiast knew what those all black E28s were:


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1988 Volkswagen T25 Aid Vehicle


Reader and stellar commenter Ry alerted us to this awesome German military medical vehicle over on the Samba, always a cool source for some unique VWs. It may be located in Germany, but it’s a cool combination of military looks, diesel power, and shockingly low mileage. The interior is set up to be a radio vehicle, but as with any T25, it’s easily convertible. We’ve seen some astonishing prices for Vanagons in the US, so while this isn’t a mega-Syncro Westy, it’s a very cool, very clean VW van that could be bought and imported for very little.

Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen T25 Army Aid Vehicle on The Samba

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1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

The Targa has had a peculiar history. Somewhat unloved among 911s, its original development derived from Porsche’s sense that constricting safety regulations eventually would render the convertible obsolete. Those concerns never quite materialized, but Porsche still has continued to produce the Targa, even if there have been various times during which it was not available or, as was the case with the 993, was altered significantly before being shelved entirely. But the Targa recently has been revived and I applaud Porsche for returning it to its original design (I really didn’t like the 993 version). The model remains less loved than its Coupe and Cabriolet counterparts, yet still provides an interesting compromise between the two, and for that I hope it continues to be produced! The example we see here comes from near the end of the most prominent model run: a 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Washington state, with 120,000 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

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1988 BMW 735i 5-Speed Manual

What is it about big sedans and manual transmissions? Is it the Ronin influence? Or is there something just so baffling about the combination of the two that it seems inherently “right”? I’m guessing the answer falls somewhere in the middle, because it’s always appealing to see a car do things it wasn’t intended to do and most enthusiasts want to march to the beat of a different drummer when it comes time to choose their daily transport. This ’88 735 with only 63,000 miles checks both boxes with ease, and based on the seller’s description of how he and this car came together in the first place, it’s sporting all sorts of good mojo. The price is a bit steep, but as the saying goes – find me another one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i on Charlottesville Craigslist

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