1988 BMW 325iS

1988 BMW 325iS

1The E30 market is undoubtedly a little overheated. But it’s not hard to see why these cars are so beloved, especially in the configuration seen here. With a tight, sorted chassis, willing six-cylinder motor that sends power to the back wheels, and a snick-snick manual gearbox, it has all the vital ingredients of an 80s German sporting coupe. Simple, fun, unadulterated. The Ultimate Driving Machine. And with high miles, this one may even be relatively affordable.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325iS on eBay

1988 Audi 90 quattro

1988 Audi 90 quattro

The B3 was a much needed update to the very old small Audi chassis in the late 1980s. Although the addition of the 4000 quattro was only a few model years old and the Type 85 B2 had undergone a pretty comprehensive update in 1985, the reality was that it was a chassis which had been designed in the mid 1970s and was antiquated compared to the BMW E30 and Mercedes-Benz W201 chassis, both of which it was out of sync with in terms of launch. While both of those cars were in mid-life in 1986, Audi launched its new B3 platform with a heavily revised, updated and aerodynamic replacement for the popular 80 and 90. This was interesting, as the B2 would continue alongside in production for several years – notably in Coupe form – until the new 2-door was prepared.

The U.S. market’s offerings also didn’t mesh with Europe either in nomenclature or trim scale. The 4000 quattro had only come in one form – 4000S in 1984 and 1985, and 4000CS in 1986 and 1987. They were relatively loaded and all powered by the venerable JT inline-5. However, Europeans had enjoyed several different configurations; the basic 80 and more upscale 90, with many different options. Audi would continue the 4000CS in 1987, but in 1988 the new models rolled out, with two options like the Europeans had. As in the Fatherland, a prospective buyer could get the basic 80 quattro or opt for the more luxurious, upscale 90 quattro. Many of the design elements of the U.S. spec 4000s carried over into the 80 – such as the rear urethane flush spoiler and even the standard Ronal R8 alloys. But the 90 came with nicer bits, such body color bumper covers with integrated fog lights, wood trim inside, a more pronounced rear spoiler and BBS alloy wheels.…

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose

Porsche is famous for launching a special edition just about every six minutes, and in the late 1980s they launched quite a few for 1988. First off, they created a special edition of the 944 Turbo. The new option M758 “Turbo S” included a new turbocharger with redesigned vanes and a remapped DME which increased boost to a max of 1.82 bar. The resulting M44/52 had 30 more horsepower and 15 lb.ft torque to a max of 247 and 258, respectively. But the “S” package was far more than just more boost, as the cooling system was revised, the clutch and transmission were beefed up with hardened first and second gears.

Brakes were borrowed from the 928 S4 and now measured 12″ in front with four piston aluminum calipers. Wheels were Club Sport 16″ forged, polished and anodized units measuring 7 inches in front and 9 in the rear. Suspension was also beefed up with the M030 package; this included adjustable rebound Koni shocks and adjustable perch coilovers in front. Limited slip differentials (Code 220) were not standard, but a must-select option.

Within the already limited edition S (of which about 1,900 were shipped to the US), there was another special edition. The “Silver Rose” launch cars took all of the special aspects of the M758 S package and added a unique color (Silver Rose Metallic, LM3Z) and a very unique Burgundy Studio Check interior. Outside of the Turbo Cup cars, these very limited original models have become the most desirable of the 944 Turbos:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 6.0 ‘Hammer’

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 6.0 ‘Hammer’

ham1

You probably know all about the W124 AMG ‘Hammer’ cars by now. A normal 300E that was transformed by then independent company AMG into a four-door monster thanks to the punched-out 6.0 liter M117/9 and various other à la carte options depending on the owners desires. They didn’t call these cars the ‘Hammer’ for nothing with 375-ish horsepower and even more torque. Because of this, the values have held strong at nearly 10 times and sometimes even more than what you’d pay for a normal W124 300E. When one of these cars come up for auction, it’s usually a big deal. This 1988 Hammer heading to the block at the end of the month will probably fetch a pretty penny, despite what Sotheby’s is predicting. So let’s check this monster out:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG ‘6.0 Hammer’ at RM Sotheby’s

1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

I am going to continue my current theme of rooting around for driver quality classic 911s so as to establish a firmer grasp on where we can expect these models to sell on the current market. I’ve seen a lot of the earlier examples of the 911SC and where they are being priced and here I want to move to the other end of the spectrum to look at a late 3.2 Carrera. The price is higher, as we’d expect, but remains somewhat reasonable given other facets of this 911. Here we have a Marine Blue Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in California, with Grey interior and 119,250 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

1988 Porsche 930 Coupe

1988 Porsche 930 Coupe

Time for something that’s a bit rare, but doesn’t necessarily seem like it. As I have said in the past, I’ve noticed that dark blues, especially of the non-metallic variety, seem pretty uncommon on late-80s 911s. I rarely see them, even though the color itself seems common enough in general that I feel like I should see more of them. Why that might be, I’m not sure, but I’d guess it just comes down to the popularity of certain colors at certain periods of time, kind of similar to how we don’t see Guards Red nearly as often once we reach the ’90s and later. Here we have one such beast, a 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe, located in Dallas, with 69,217 miles on it, and that the color is worn by a 930 makes it all the more special. We aren’t told the specific names of the exterior and interior colors, but given what was available at the time my guess is that this 930 sports a fairly ubiquitous sounding Dark Blue (Dunkelblau) exterior and a Linen interior. Assuming those colors can be verified as original that will make it a fairly rare thing amongst 930s.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay

1988 BMW 735i 5-speed

1988 BMW 735i 5-speed

1BMW introduced the E32 generation 7-series in 1987. The car’s design was a successful blend of the old and the new. Traditional styling cues – the four headlights, square kidneys and angular lines – kept the car looking fairly restrained and clearly part of the BMW stable. But it was also eminently more modern-looking than its main competitor, the W126 chassis S-class. And perhaps a bit less stately too. If the Mercedes was a car for high level officials and diplomats, the BMW was a car for the young, new titans of the 80s and 90s; Wall Street bankers, lawyers and real estate tycoons. Both cars still look good today, and each can give even the most budget-conscious, contemporary owner a frisson of ultra luxury, albeit 30 years after the fact. But there are hardly any E32s left on the road these days. Whether because of finicky electronics, poor paint and interior materials or just wayward owners who didn’t care for them as they should have, most have been left to rot in junkyards. This makes this low mileage, nicely specified car an attractive proposition.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i on eBay

1988 Audi 80 quattro

1988 Audi 80 quattro

While the move from the B2 to B3 chassis brought many changes to the small Audi lineup, it was also very much a case of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’. Some of the features of the 4000 were gone; you could no longer opt to lock the center differential, for example, since the manual locker had been replaced by a more sophisticated Torsen unit. You could still opt to engage a rear differential lock, but electronics overrode that at 15 m.p.h.. That change was indicative of movement in the marketplace and where the B3 was aimed – slightly more upscale from the B2. Interior quality was greater, and production was broken into two categories as it had been in Europe. Selecting the top-range 90 quattro got you nicer BBS wheels, color matched bumpers and mirrors, a sportier raised spoiler, a better leather interior and wood trim. The downscale 80 would channel more of the outgoing 4000, with savory Serret Velour and a more plastic-heavy interior. They even opted to keep the same Ronal R8 wheels as the old model early on, and the subtle rear spoiler was a near copy of the B2. The more basic 80 was closer in performance to the 4000, too – the luxury and safety items of the B3 meant more weight, and the 90 tipped the scales at nearly 3,000 lbs. Mechanically identical, the 80 quattro was about a hundred pounds lighter and anyone who has driven 80s normally aspirated Audis knows that 100 lbs. makes a difference in performance. Motivation for both was the same NG-code inline-5 that was seen in the last Coupe GT Special Build models, meaning 130 horsepower and 140 lb.ft of torque – smoothly adequate, but certainly never overwhelming. As with the 1988 5000S I looked at the other day, these models came to market at a time of crisis for Audi, and consequently few were sold.…

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG Mosselman Twin Turbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG Mosselman Twin Turbo

There is a fairly substantial problem with pre-merger AMG products: documentation. At this point, the newest of the pre-merger cars are on the verge of being considered antiques in many states, and with Mercedes-Benz takeover of the Affalterbach company, much of the documentation of the early models production numbers is lacking. They’ve often changed hands multiple times as styles and tastes have changed, and the paperwork accompanying their builds isn’t always present. Further complicating this was the model that AMG followed. Unlike, say, a Ruf BTR, there was no specific mold to most of the AMG products. Instead, individual taste and monetary resources determined how many of the à la carte options would be tailored to your individual Mercedes-Benz. Also unusual was the AMG authorized dealer-installed model, which meant that you could get an authentic AMG install in California, for example. You could also apparently claim your AMG heritage with as little as three accessories installed, leaving a broad interpretation of what makes a “true” AMG build. Lastly, the popularity – especially in recent years – of AMG products means that there are a plethora of replica kits and pieces that are available. And, at first glance, this W124 would seem to be the product of just that – replete with “custom” AMG seatbelt covers and an ill-fitting C126 hood conversion, for example. But this W124 is much more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Mosselman Twin-Turbo on eBay

1988 BMW 750iL

1988 BMW 750iL

6Last week I wrote up a clean and low-mileage E32 740i, noting that examples of this generation of the 7-series rarely come to market in such decent shape. A few days later, Carter shot me an email with a link to this lovely looking ’88 750iL. The flagship of the E32 lineup, and available only in LWB form, the 750 was powered by a hulking 5.0 liter V12 unit, essentially two six-cylinder motors stuck together. They crop up from time to time on Craigslist and on eBay, but mostly as basket cases, with shot exteriors, torn up interiors and numerous electronic and mechanical gremlins. This car, on the other hand, appears to have received the kind of love and attention that these old cruisers really deserve.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 750iL on eBay

1988 BMW M6

1988 BMW M6

3

The coupe is a no compromise automobile. In a world that demands convenience at every turn, I’m surprised vehicles that make you twist and turn into the backseat are still a part of the automotive landscape. Being single with no kids, practicality isn’t something that enters into the equation for me when it comes to vehicle purchases, so a coupe with a usable backseat is all the better. This 1988 BMW M6 is the car I dreamed about upgrading to when I was driving my 1988 325is. The original M3 was, while ultra popular now, was a relatively obscure option at first. But for me, the draw of the silky smooth power of a BMW inline-6 trumps the race-derived inline-4. So being the contrarian I am, this M6 lets me have my inline-6 cake and eat it too. This Alpine White M6 for sale in New York is served up with some attractive BBS alloys in a contrasting dark gray that is pleasing to the eye.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M6 on eBay

1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

Contrasts: they don’t always work, but when they do they create something that is much more interesting than the norm. I think we see this a lot with modified cars where contrasts in style become much more prevalent. With factory cars these contrasts usually come about through color combinations between the interior and exterior, but even more so when those colors appear to contrast with the ethos of the car itself. That is what we have here. The 930 needs little introduction. As Porsche’s turbocharged rear-engine Goliath it provided rewards to those able to master its dynamics and treachery to those who could not. Subtle is probably the last adjective that might be used about it. In neither appearance nor performance is it anything approaching subtle. Cassis Red Metallic seems a near opposite. A color that is both vibrant and also soft that may even suggest playfulness. It’s beautiful in a way that belies the nature of the 930. When combined we get a stark contrast, one that has been found on many Porsches before and after it and which remains one of my favorite hallmarks of the brand. Does it work? That will be up to individual buyers. But it’s about as far from triple black – the über aggressive alternative – that we can get.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet on eBay

1988 Porsche 930 Coupe – REVISIT

1988 Porsche 930 Coupe – REVISIT

s-l1600

The Guards Red 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe with Mahogany interior, which we featured back in June, remains for sale. The seller appears to be quite motivated as his asking price continues to come down with each passing auction. It now sits at $112,500 and given the mileage and somewhat rare interior color the pricing doesn’t seem too bad.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site June 25, 2016:

1988 BMW 535is

1988 BMW 535is

3

We all look back fondly on our first car. I enjoyed my short time with my 1988 BMW 325is. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t opt for another BMW. Many of the new ones lack the smooth manual gearbox of BMWs of yore and fail to fully capture that “Ultimate Driving Machine” aura. But now, the older models aren’t as interesting to me as they once were. Skyrocketing prices have put many BMWs of the 1980s out of reach of enthusiasts of modest means. In addition, there seems to be a bit of a hipster aura about them, as they have become popular with those wanting to stand out. Perhaps I was an über hipster for driving an E30 back in 1998? Do I care? Not in the least. I buy things more on spur of the moment emotions.

While I scan through countless ads for E30 M3s, E24 coupes and the occasional 2002 or E21, every now and then a BMW from this era grabs my attention. This late model 535is for sale in Utah is one of them. Representing the final year for the E28, this particular 5er has an engine swap, packing a 3.4 liter turbocharged inline-6 from the E23 745i. It’s not an original car, but has had some upgrades and a bit of freshening to make it a bit more appealing. It’s not what you would consider concours, but would certainly make an eye-catching daily driver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 535i on Cars.com

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo

We’ve talked quite a bit about increasing values on Porsche 944 Turbos, and especially the high market price of the 1988 944 Turbo S and S-specification 1989 models which are highly prized. While in 1989 you could not opt-out of the S trim features (hence no S designation), in 1988 you could. With more power, bigger brakes, and better suspension, why would you? Well, because in 1988 ticking the “M030” option box to get the S-specification cost you a staggering $5,510, and Porsche then declared you “needed” another $2,000 worth of options like cruise control and a nice radio – but, ironically perhaps for Porsche, not a limited-slip differential, which you had to tick option 220 to get, too (*it was a mandatory option in 1989). That brought your already pretty pricey 4-cylinder Porsche from $40,000 to a nose-bleeding $48,000 – around double what you’d pay for a Porsche 924S. So, it was no surprise that while the S specification was popular, it was not chosen by roughly 2/3rds of 944 Turbo buyers in 1988. Still, it feels almost unusual to see a non-S 944 Turbo today as so much attention is focused on the special upgraded model. When you see a 944 Turbo that looks like today’s example does, though, it’s worthwhile choosing the lesser:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay