1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

You know that feeling you get when you stumble across a car that resembles one you used to own, and now sorely miss? That pang, deep down in your stomach, of gut-wrenching remorse that you let it go, mixed with familiarity and excitement (“hello, old friend”), and the irrational urge to buy another car just like your old one, even though you probably shouldn’t (because: reasons)? I got that feeling when I saw this listing for a 190E. Outwardly it looks almost identical to my old baby benz, whose life ended ignominiously and prematurely in a ditch to the side of the I-95 on a cold, icy day in February. I still think about that car. This is my “one that got away.” If I hadn’t crashed it I would have kept it forever, because the W201 is the best kept secret in the world of cheap daily drivers that still, after all this time, feel expensive and luxurious. (A side note: after the insurance adjuster told me he was going to total it, a mechanic who was observing the scene, and who must have noticed the sadness on my face – as well as a lucrative opportunity – pulled me to one side to say he could probably rebuild it for less than the cost the adjuster had estimated, if I wanted. But because I was exhausted, broke and feeling upset and confused, talking to an unfamiliar mechanic who I was not sure I could trust, I said no. I should have said yes.)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay

1991 Porsche 911 Turbo

1991 Porsche 911 Turbo

As I’ve been finding and writing about a good number of 930s and 993 Turbos I’ve been meaning to come back around to the 3.3 liter 964 Turbo to check in on where the market stands and just generally appreciate these cars. My desire came to a head after I happened across one in the city a couple weeks ago. It stood out more than I would have expected, especially given how common a 911 Turbo is on our streets. But this was different – I nearly walked into traffic. Granted, I’m more drawn to these than your average person wandering the streets, but still the sound and look immediately made clear to me that I needed to pay attention. So here we have one. Guards Red certainly isn’t a hugely unique color, but it’s still a good one and this particular one does come with a more unique interior than what I’m accustom to seeing. Grey wouldn’t be everyone’s choice, but it’s still nice to have some variation among the many Red/Black examples we see. This Guards Red 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Utah, sits with 39,523 miles on it and though the color in the pictures seems somewhat off it still presents very well and promises to turn quite a few heads.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

As some readers will know, while I toyed with the idea of replacing my W201 with another old Mercedes for daily driving duties, on a whim I went with a similar era BMW instead. My E34 is a fine car, but I really miss driving a Benz. For that reason I like to torture myself by browsing them online. Lately, I’ve been obsessed by the W126. There’s one always parked outside my apartment building in DC. It has rust, faded paint, a broken bumper and a broken headlight. You could say it’s pretty beaten up. And yet, I’m still charmed by it every time I see it. I often think about buying one myself. At the moment I have a very long commute, which rules out the V8s on grounds of fuel economy. The diesels have their own problems, leaving the 300SE/SEL. I wouldn’t exactly call these “frugal,” but they do offer the best fuel economy in the W126 without going down the diesel route.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

1991 BMW 318i

1991 BMW 318i

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As I scour the ads each week for noteworthy vehicles to feature here on GCFSB, I come across a fair amount of E30 BMW M3s on the market. These original M3s are now the darling of the collector set. I was a bit intrigued by them when I was running my E30 325is two decades ago. Nowadays, they don’t do much for me. This is party due to my preference for the 2.5 liter inline-6 that powered my 325is and partly because their collectability has made them all but impractical for use as a daily driver. If you still want some E30 four cylinder goodness, why not check out this 318i for sale in Maryland? This car has undergone a partial restoration and is a non-sunroof model with a 5-speed manual, a combination suited for the purists out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 318i on eBay

1991 BMW 535i 5-speed

1991 BMW 535i 5-speed

3A 535i with a manual transmission is probably the third most desirable version of the E34 5-series, after the M5 and the 540i/540i M-Sport. These cars came with the 3.5 liter “big six” M30 engine (technically a 3.4 liter mill) and represented the top of the non-M lineup until they were replaced in 1993 by the V8-powered 540i. While manual 540s are a hoot if you can find them, they are not without their faults (somewhat thirsty, and susceptible to the nikasil issue, in which the sulphur content of 90s era gasoline had the tendency to eat away at the nikasil lining of the block, requiring a replacement engine). The six-cylinder manual 535 on the other hand, which is perhaps even harder to find than a manual transmission 540, is torquey, smooth, reliable and fun to drive while returning decent fuel economy.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 535i on Bimmerforums

1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

It’s been hot. But as we slip past the mid-point of August cooler temperatures are on the way and some of the best days for open-top motoring are on the horizon. So why not begin investigating those options? Cars like the 911, with their strong sporting pedigree, aren’t always the most likely choices for convertibles, but that open-top experience has been a part of the Porsche lineup since nearly the beginning. And why feel like you have to drive something boring just because you want the wind in your hair and sun on your face? The first 911 Cabriolet was released in 1983 and they’ve been a consistent presence in the lineup ever since. The one we see here also combined some new technology in the guise of Porsche’s all-wheel drive system. This certainly wouldn’t be your most sporting 911 available, but its 911 DNA will insure in makes for a captivating drive. Here we have a Black 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, located in California, with Grey leather interior and 71,610 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 250D 6 Door

1991 Mercedes-Benz 250D 6 Door

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Need to transport seven of your friends all in one swoop? I have just the car for you. Today’s featured car is none other than the legendary Mercedes-Benz W124 diesel … that seats eight! Believe it or not, this car wasn’t hacked together behind Crazy Vaclav’s Place of Automobiles but it was actually Mercedes themselves that pumped out 776 of these 6 door W124s for whatever reason. So let’s cut to the chase and take a look at this 1991 250D six door.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250D 6 Door on eBay

1991 BMW M5

1991 BMW M5

2The other day I posted a 500E, which was Mercedes’ take on the Q-ship formula of stuffing a large, powerful engine and race-tweaked suspension into an ordinary looking mid-size executive sedan. What I didn’t mention was that the 500E was, of course, a response to the original (and some would say best) wolf in sheep’s clothing: the E34 generation M5. While I’ve posted a few E34s lately, I’ve so far avoided writing about the M-variant (though my colleagues have written up some really nice ones: see here and here, for example). This is only because my preference is to find cheap daily drivers to share with our readers and, as enthusiasts begin to seek out more affordable alternatives to the E30 M3, these M5s are increasingly becoming too expensive to count in that category. Still, when this lovely example popped up the other day on Bimmerforums.com, I couldn’t resist the temptation to write it up.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on Bimmerforums.com

Trio of Affordable W124s: 400E, 300D and 260E

Trio of Affordable W124s: 400E, 300D and 260E

1After I wrote up a nice looking W124 the other week, a few of our enterprising readers did some further digging and uncovered a number of discrepancies in the car’s history, suggesting it wasn’t such a great deal after all. To try to make up for it I’ve found three more examples of the venerable old E-class for consideration this week. What these cars have in common is that they all present nicely in the ads, appear to have been well cared for by their previous owners and are all priced very competitively. Hopefully at least one of these is a winner. First up is this white 400E.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 400E on Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 BMW 318is M62-swap

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 BMW 318is M62-swap

Dismayed that the E30 M3 is priced unrealistically for most? Me too, and we’ve heard it plenty of times. Not only have M3s gotten pricey, but so have low mileage, pristine original 325s and even 318s. But the wonderful nature of the E30 is that you can build one yourself, as the amazing support and knowledge base that exists in the community coupled with interchangeable parts and plenty of gutsy engine options creates a near limitless amount of permutations. While quite a few swappers follow the tried and true S50/2 path with their hotted up 3 series, today’s car goes one step farther with an E39 M62B44 V8 and a 6-speed stuck into an otherwise mostly unassuming 318is:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 318is M62 on eBay

1991 BMW M5 Euro-Spec with 12,500 Miles

1991 BMW M5 Euro-Spec with 12,500 Miles

In the 1980s, especially in the early 1980s, if you wanted a hot BMW your best bet was to look for a “gray market” car. Equipped with stronger motors and unequipped with emissions equipment and bumper-car bumpers, they were the more pure versions of the original designs. But as the 80s drew to a close, the flood of Euro-spec cars into the U.S. dried up. It became harder to import and Federalize them, and the differentiation between U.S. and Euro versions became smaller. True, there were cars that still had a pretty big gulf; the E36 M3 is a great example of this. And it’s still not usual to see fans of a specific model from any of the marques interested in what was available in Europe – or rather, what wasn’t available to U.S. customers. Take the E34 M5, for example. There were a number of colors and interiors that U.S. fans didn’t have the chance to partake in, but it’s usually the later run 3.8 motor that raises eyebrows for U.S. fans. That, and of course the Touring model of the M5 that debuted with the E34 and wasn’t brought here. But this particular E34 M5 doesn’t have any of those things. It’s an early run car without the larger motor, so the S38B36 is essentially the same one you’d get in the U.S. model. Interestingly, the HD93 U.S. spec car is much more rare than the HD91 European version – 1,678 produced versus 5,877. Rarity also isn’t on the side of the color, as Jet Black 668 with 0318 / L7SW Black Nappa Leather isn’t an outrageous combination. It is more rare to see the four post seat setup which this car has, but the real kicker is the mileage and condition with a scant 500 miles a year covered:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 Euro on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E

3 In the past I’ve sung the praises of the W201 as a classy yet affordable daily driver (see here and here). But for some, the compact Baby Benz is just a little too small. The good news is that all the best features of the W201 – the classic styling, bank vault build quality and over-engineered platform that yields surprisingly high levels of crash protection  – can all be had in the roomier W124. Produced between 1984 and 1996, this generation of the E-class is in many ways the definitive 80s-era Benz: handsome, practical and built to outlive its owners. Indeed, since these cars are so long-lasting, there’s no shortage of them out there for sale, with a wide variety of examples available to suit all manner of tastes and budgets – sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles, gas or diesel engines, hoopty or minter. Most of these fall on the affordable side (with the exception of the 500E super sedan), offering a lot of substance for very little money. This particular car is a fairly basic 300E, but it caught my eye because it ticks all the right boxes: a nice color, low miles and a good price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E on Autotrader

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 5-speed

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 5-speed

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The R129 has always been my favorite iteration of the SL roadster. Softer and more modern than the classic R107 that it replaced, but still sufficiently angular that it doesn’t succumb to the awful jelly bean aesthetic of the late 80s and early 90s, the quintessentially Mercedes design remains attractive today; sporty and taut yet elegant and handsome. While most US buyers opted for the V8 500SL or the range topping and magnificent V12 in the 600SL, the car could also be had with an entry level 3.0 liter straight six, as found in this 300SL version. Already a relatively uncommon spec, this car features the especially rare manual gearbox, available only on six cylinder R129s.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for sale on eBay

1991 BMW 318is

1991 BMW 318is

For all the desirable //M cars over history, there’s one classic BMW that has always stood out in my mind that hailed from the end of the E30 production run. The 318is. This was a curious model, pairing the popular but aging 3 series with the new DOHC M42 inline-4. Sold for one year only in the US market, this car offered the style of its bigger brother, the 325is, at a reduced cost of entry by way of a the smaller engine and the omission of a few features. While I have fond memories of my 1988 325is, I would almost prefer a car like this mint, low mileage 318is for sale in Chicago from Evolve Motors. Somehow, this coupe speaks to the simple pleasures of motoring. This has been a BMW theme over the years that, in my opinion, has been clouded in recent years but somewhat fussy styling and an overkill of technology and the added weight that comes with it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 318is on eBay

1991 Volkswagen Golf GTI

1991 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Perhaps the rationale behind the SUV popularity in the US these days is due to the fact that people used to like hatchbacks more here in the US. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the choices for vehicles with a rear hatch seemed endless, but nowadays, you would be hard pressed to identify on two hands the number of offerings available here in the states. The second generation Golf went a ways towards refining Volkswagen’s first attempt at a subcompact, front-drive vehicle for the masses and with it carried over the hot version, the GTI. This particular GTI for sale in the UK is another one of those low-mileage creampuffs we’ve come to expect from 4 Star Classics. While this one packs the milder 8 valve engine, there is no denying this car’s classic appeal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Golf GTI at 4Star Classics