1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V

Much like the S4 I posted over the weekend, the Jetta GLI 16V is a car which on paper I should like very much. After all, I’m a huge fan of the same-generation GTI 16V, and the Jetta was little more than a trunk added to that formula. Underneath, there were almost no changes between the two. You got the same high-strung 9A 2.0 16V with Motronic fuel injection pushing 134 horses through that open-diff front end. Your only choice was a 5-speed manual, of course, and it was a close-ratio one – enjoy those highway speeds! Brakes were updated to 10.1″ and dual tailpipes emerged from the new ‘big bumper’ A2 refresh. Central locking and a cassette player were standard, while you could opt for many power options including windows, mirror, anti-lock brakes, trip computer, cruise control and of course a sunroof. The GLI also carried over BBS wheels from the pre’90 1.8 models, in this case the 15″x 6.5″ ‘RA’.

These items should have conspired to produce a deeply desirable product for me. And yet, somehow I never really took to the Jetta though many did. I suppose it’s the same as the 4000 quattro/Coupe GT fan bases. Rarely do they seem to cross over, yet there’s a mutual respect between them. I like the Jetta, and in the absence of the GTI it would probably be a great favorite of mine. It was aimed at being a more refined alternative to the racier hot hatch. But ultimately it falls second fiddle to the GTI, which always seems (and, arguably is) just that little bit more neat.

For enthusiasts, though, that means potential value. As GTI 16V prices climb steeply with no real relent in sight and few good examples hitting the market, you can get a bit of a value if you don’t mind the junk in the trunk:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V on eBay

1990 Audi V8 quattro

If there is one German car that is an honorary Alfa Romeo, it’s got to be the V8 quattro.

From the dated underpinnings of the Type 44 chassis, Audi emerged in 1988 with an all-new 4-cam aluminum engine that could be mated to an automatic transmission. While today most enthusiasts decry the death of the manual, it was still a luxury that people paid dearly for at other points in automotive history, and the technical achievement necessary to combine the two was not unsubstantial. It benefited from a new generation of quattro models, which instead of utilizing manual differential locks had a Torsen unit in the center to automatically split power. But the V8, equipped with the automatic, couldn’t use that Torsen in the middle, instead relying on a multi-clutch differential. Instead, the Torsen unit was moved to the rear of the car. Coupled with a more rearward weight bias with the shorter V8 and the gutsy torque on offer throughout the rev range, though much of the car was borrowed from the rest of the lineup it took on an entirely different character. That was matched with new, updated bodywork outside and a wider stance with flared arches. The effect? Magical. And, complicated.

The results of both were that the V8s developed a unique fanbase separate from most of the other models. The Phantoms of the Four-Ringed Opera, these cars have long-lived in the shadows, myths that are only seen rarely, cars no average mortal would consider owning. The social pariahs who do own them are even more strange, lurking in the dark corners of the internet muttering “NLA” to themselves while figuring out creative ways to keep their coveted creations running, mostly though cannibalization of others. It seems Audi managed to pull off the unfathomable achievement of creating a whole new and unique set of VAG problems specific to the V8.…

Two Visions of the Future: 1963 BMW 700 LS and 1990 BMW Z1

Normally, our dual posts have two comparable cars to consider. But while typically that manifests itself in one model, one price point or one performance group, today it’s something very different.

Although both of today’s cars come from one marque – BMW – there is literally and figuratively a huge chasm of development between them. There’s also a vast gulf between performance, desirability and price. Yet each reflected the time point in which it was made; the austere 1960s, emerging from the fog of war into a bustling economy when average Germans could for the first time contemplate automobile ownership, and the exotic 1980s, with its new computer designs and technology rapidly forcing car designs forward. For the company, each car represented the future in many ways even if the results and their impact was so vastly different.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1963 BMW 700LS on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60

While the second-generation Scirocco was a re-body of the first-generation chassis with some upgrades, when it came to the end of the 80s and the launch of a new sporty Volkswagen, they turned to…another antiquated chassis. Prepared for the 1990 model year, the A2 chassis was already the best part of 7 years old and no the the most refined unit out there. Despite this, plans moved ahead at cash-strapped VW to produce two “new” models that were adaptations of the A2 chassis.

The result was the third generation Passat and the sporty Karmann-built Corrado. The design was more VAG evolution than revolution; in many ways, the Corrado’s profile and several aspects mimicked the upscale Audi products. Volkswagen again went to the tried-and-true ‘Operation Copy Giugiaro’ plan that worked with the Scirocco. It looks like a shorter, chunkier Audi Coupe GT to me – especially in its original G60 supercharged guise. While the GTI went to the 2.0 16V and slick BBS wheels making an instant classic, Volkswagen relied on the G-Ladder supercharger that was seen in the European Golf Rallye and G60 GTI for the motivation for the Corrado. But the Corrado wasn’t made to challenge its siblings; it was aimed at the 944 crowd, replacing the 924S as a ‘Poor Man’s Porsche’ rather than just an expensive GTI alternative.

Ostensibly, this made it the top-trump at Volkswagen, what with 160 horsepower and good torque. But the heavy weight and complicated nature of the model meant that the GTI retained greater appeal. It seemed as though Volkswagen hit a home run when they finally slotted the even more potent and better sounding VR6 into the Corrado for 1992, relegating the supercharged model to obsolescence and obscurity. Like yesterday’s Audi 5000 Turbo, this model was thoroughly overshadowed by the VR6 and GTI, so values sunk quickly.…

Affordable E34 Face-Off: 1990 Alpina B10 3.5/1 v. 1991 M5

Just because it’s got an exotic name or badge doesn’t mean it’s automatically out of your reach. That’s the lesson for today’s twin E34s. If you’re willing to undertake a bit of a project you can certainly save money up front. Just like we saw with the S65 AMG Andrew wrote up, the initial cost you pay only going to be part of your total outlay but for the price of a small economy car, you can grab another league of luxury, performance and exclusivity that a Nissan Versa could never dream of matching. So which of these project E34s is the one you’d chose, or are both busts?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay

Rare Righthooker: 1990 BMW 735i SE

The 7-series never really developed the cult following of some of its countrymen or the rest of the BMW lineup. It wasn’t as luxurious as either the W126 or W140 Mercedes-Benz competition. It wasn’t as clever as the Audi V8 quattro. It wasn’t as good a driver as the E30 or E34. There was never a Motorsports division version, and it wasn’t quite as good-looking as its successor, the already legendary E38. As a result, the E32 was – in many ways – a disposable luxury car, much like some of the Audis of the period. They’re mostly gone and forgotten, but every once in a while a really neat one pops up and is worth a look.

I grew up in my formative driving years with a 5-speed 735i E32 in the family stable, and it was a wonderful car. It rode well, it was comfortable, the 3.5 liter M30 was turned up over 200 horsepower and so it was plenty quick. Generally speaking, the U.S. spec 5-speeds are the most highly sought E32s here and it’s easy to understand why. But this particular E32 turns the desirability up a few notches:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 735i SE on eBay

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe – RoW Sunroof Delete

Let’s continue with yesterday’s theme and look at another 911 that originated outside of our shores. Here we have a Japanese market Forest Green Metallic 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe, located in California, with Black interior and a very low 32,200 kilometers on it. Of additional import this Carrera 2 does not have a sunroof. The seller has listed it as a sunroof delete – and I’ve followed suit – but properly speaking I think we’d say this 911 didn’t have the sunroof selected as an option, rather than deleted. It gets us to the same point though.

We’ve seen a few of these Japanese market 964s come up lately – I’ve even featured one – and they certainly make for a nice departure from the US versions. This particular example looks fantastic!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 911 Carrera 2
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 32,200 km (19,900 mi)
Price: $119,990 Buy It Now

1990 Porsche 911/964 Carrera 2 Coupe
Euro/Rest of World Edition
Sunroof Delete/Manual Trans/LSD
Numbers Matching
Stock #0882

VIN# WP0ZZZ96ZLS403967
ENG# 62L07426 (M64/01)
TRN# 1L03261 (G50/03)
Numbers Matching
19,900 Original Miles (32,200 kilometers)
Forest Green Metallic (L22E) on Black Partial Leather/LT
5-speed G50 Manual Transmission with LSD
Clean and Clear Montana Title
1-Owner from New
Imported by the Famous Mitsuwa Motors of Japan
Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

The Porsche 964 market has caught the attention of collectors and enthusiasts. It was really the beginning of the modern version of the 911. Some of the most significant changes in the 911’s history began with this model. Torsion bar suspension was replaced with an adjustable coil-over setup. Power steering was added. The A/C system was updated and much more effective.

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet

Previously I featured a 930 with a Marine Blue exterior over a Linen interior. Here we’re going to sort of turn that inside out. We now have the Linen on the outside and we have the dark blue serving as accents to the interior and the convertible top. It’s not a full reversal of colors since the primary interior color is light grey. It’d have been fantastic if the interior were all dark blue though. I can imagine that would have provided for a very captivating contrast.

This is a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet, located in California, with 83,478 miles on it. The color combination isn’t bad, but it is a bit monotone. As we can see, when used as an exterior color Linen isn’t quite silver, nor is it quite white or gold. It’s a little bit of all of them. In the sun it shines really well, but it still looks good in the shade. All together it doesn’t look too bad, though it is very much on the refined/elegant side of the spectrum. There isn’t much that’s aggressive about this 911, but that’s ok.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 83,478 mi
Price: Reserve Auction ($41,500 Buy It Now)

Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer the 1990 Porsche 964 Cabriolet in Linen Grey with light Grey interior and Dark Blue soft top. 1 owner from new with 83,478 miles, clean Carfax. Mechanically excellent and a delight to drive. Just checked and serviced by us and less than 4k miles ago it had over $10k spent on a full engine reseal that involved disassembly, replacement of all common wear items and reassembly, plus fuel pump, soft top cables, etc.

1990 BMW M3 with 297,000 Miles

I believe this is the perfect counterpoint to yesterday’s 968 Coupe. The recipe is much the same, though the result is even more legendary. But what I find so interesting in considering these two cars is not how similar they are, but indeed their opposites. Unlike the 968, this M3 was driven with aplomb, eclipsing nearly 300,000 miles so far. It’s not a particularly special color combination; Diamantschwarz Metallic (181) over Black leather is pretty standard though admittedly it looks very nice. It wasn’t unusually specified, as it carries the normal assortment of M3 options; air conditioning, sunroof, cruise control and electric windows. While yesterday’s 968 was basically factory fresh, obviously with the amount of miles on this chassis, to look anything like the photos it’s had to go under the knife and from the inside out this M3 has been thoroughly rebuilt. But the real tell will be what the hammer falls for in two days. While the immediate reaction of many to yesterday’s 968 was that it was heavily overvalued in asking price, I’m curious to see what the reaction to the bidding on this M3 – already at $28,200 at time of writing – is:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 on eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

Last week I check out a CLK55 AMG and felt like it was missing something. Not only was it missing something but it had a different feel from Mercedes coupes of the past. I understand it though, it was a transition from an era of analog to a launch of much more modern renditions. From the W124 to W210, the W140 to W220 and even the W202 to W203. All those cars looked and felt significantly different. You saw the line in the sand when everything changed. But I can’t blame them nor should anyone else. Evolution is a thing with cars and if you don’t, you’ll be eaten alive by competitors. Suddenly your legacy buyers who have owned your cars for 25 years have jumped shipped for Lexus.

But the good thing is that you can always go home. And for a lot of people, the W124 is home. It was the perfect mix of old school Mercedes but you still got modern features. For some, the W124 coupe is that perfect home feeling.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on Hemmings

Model: 300CE
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 184,000 mi
Price: $6,500 or Best Offer

This 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE has 184k miles and is powered by a 3.0L 6 cylinder engine with automatic transmission. The W124-based coupe is mechanically sound and ready for a cross-country trip, with no rust. Recent maintenance includes a 4-wheel alignment, new front brakes, new front window switch, new full exhaust and oil change. The car was purchased new in California and is on owner 4. The car has a detailed mileage history and has been well kept over its lifetime.

Detailed Videos Available Here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtiAsXmWVVyIXwKyZ5KSqDCWdNO3LuJKV

The 300CE coupe was based on the W124 E-Class and has a slightly shorter wheelbase than its sedan sibling.