1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

A few months ago I checked out a great W126 Mercedes-Benz 300SE painted in the rare Willow Green with just 66,000 miles. As you can see, another W126 300SE in, you guessed it, another cool color happen to pop up for sale. This 1991 happens to have almost twice the mileage and reside on the total opposite side of the country, but the condition remains just as nice and maybe even a tad better. The price? I’m really surprised this one is even still for sale.

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

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1991 Volkswagen Golf Country

I was in Stuttgart in 1998 when what I thought was someone’s version of a good joke rolled by me. It was a dark green Mk.2 Golf; not particularly abnormal since they were still mostly less than a decade old and Germans notoriously care for their cars better than most other nations. However, it was about a half-foot taller than it should have been, equipped with some cool looking Speedline wheels, brush guards and a spare tire mounted to the rear. Germans have an odd sense of humor, so it seemed to fit that this was one mullet short of a Hasselhoff Fan Club. I had no idea that I was looking at a factory model; remember, this was in the infancy of the internet and as an American, knowledge of every single European model of the Mk.2 was hard to come by. But the “Country” graphic scrolled down the side gave me a clue, and after some research I found out that this was more than just a one-off.

Though the idea sounds simple enough since parent company Audi had an all-wheel drive system that was ever so popular, mounting that longitudinal transmission and drivetrain into the transverse engine Golf was impossible. Instead, Volkswagen contracted Steyr-Daimler-Puch to design a viscous coupling setup for the Golf with a new independent suspended rear. Like the contemporary Quantum (Passat) and Vanagon setups, it was dubbed “Syncro”, though outside of all-wheels being driven the three systems shared almost nothing.

The result was a few fan-favorite models. Performance types love the Quattro-inspired Golf Rallye, Golf G60 Syncro and Golf Limited models. But undoubtedly the most recognizable Golf to wear the Syncro badge was the jacked-up Golf Country. Utilizing an already heavily modified Golf Syncro, Daimler-Steyr-Puch installed some 438 unique pieces to create the light offroading Golf way before the Outback was conquered by Subaru. Since new, they’ve always commanded a premium and have been the object of lust for American Volkswagen fans who like to do things just a bit different. Now legal for import, they’re popping up time to time:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country on eBay

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1991 Audi 100

Today’s car is going to start a bit of a series of big-body Audis from the 1990s for me. Why start here? Well, the 1991 Audi 100 was a end of an era for Ingolstadt’s products in the U.S. For a little over a decade the big-body cars had been powered by inline-5 motors, and the NG 2.3 liter unit under the hood of this 1991 was at the end of its life span. 1991 would see the introduction of the new V6 motor that would become the staple of Audi for the nearly decade and a half. Late 1991 also saw the introduction of the Type 44/C3’s replacement – the all-new C4 chassis. Well, I saw “all new”, but inside it didn’t really look like it changed much. Outside, though…

There were other changes to the new 100 that I’ll go through in the next post. But let’s talk about today’s 100, which was really just a dressed up 5000. Like all the Type 44s, it received a revised interior with the nomenclature swap in late 1988. Dynamically, though, there were basically no changes from 1987. In fact, the ’87 5000 front-drive shared more in common with the Turbo than the later model which shared many components with the small chassis cars.

The front-drive 100 soundly outsold its more expensive 100 quattro and 200 brethren. Somewhere around 5,000 1991 100 front-drive sedans and Avants were sold here, but finding them today can be a bit of a trick:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 100 on eBay

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1991 Porsche 911 Turbo

This Black on Black 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo has been for sale for a few months and I suppose the question is whether it still should be? With the air-cooled market not really blowing anyone’s doors off these days it perhaps is not surprising that no one has taken the plunge with this one. You can find an early 964 Turbo in the low $100Ks. Were this one priced there it obviously no longer would be for sale. Were it priced higher – like the $150K Grand Prix White example I featured not long ago – then I’d suspect it to have little chance of selling. As it stands now, this asking price splits the difference, which given the fairly low mileage is understandable and not at all unreasonable. Is this a sign that the market for these Turbos might be struggling even more? Or is simply a little more patience required?

I don’t know the answer to that right now, but this is a nice example and while not the most exciting color combination it is definitely one that should have broad appeal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate

Every time I have looked at a pre-merger Mercedes-Benz AMG car it seemed to come to us from AMG Japan. What that means is that car would a leave Germany as a regular Mercedes-Benz until it hit Japan where AMG Japan, LTD. would modify these cars both cosmetically and with performance upgrades. You can always recognize an AMG Japan car by the crazy amount of wood that was added to the car and the AMG Japan plate that riveted in somewhere on the car. Were these”real” AMG cars? Technically, yes. AMG Japan official subsidiary just like AMG North America was. As special as these cars are, I always felt they weren’t as ”true” as the pre-merger cars that were built in Affalterbach. Maybe because I see them come up for sale way more often than cars built in Affalterbach and sometimes they are missing important engine modifications. I don’t know if that means that more were produced or maybe Affalterbach built cars don’t trade publicly as much. Luckily, I ran across one of those Affalterbach built cars for sale and what a car it is.

This is a 1991 E60 AMG Estate. This car started life as your standard W124 300TE until it was sent to AMG not once, but twice, to make it what it is today. This wagon has a M119 6.0 liter V8 and a boatload of other AMG parts to go along with it. The best part about this car? The original VIN was actually X’d out and replaced with an AMG-specific VIN that begins ”AMG124” instead of the standard ”WDB124” that every other W124 begins with. This is quickly shaping up to being my favorite car of the year.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate on Mobile.de

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1991 Volkswagen Jetta Carat

When going through the not particularly extensive product range of Volkswagen in the early 1990s, I really find it hard to get excited about the Jetta. Okay, there were fast Jettas, like the GLI. And they were pretty cool in their own right. But as the GLI was available with less weight and better looks in more famous hatchback form, I’ve never been as excited about them.

I also found the trim levels very confusing. There was the standard Jetta, which pretty much got you nothing other than seats and a motor. Then there was the GL, which got you slightly more of something, but I’m not really sure what. Pretty much everything remained optional on these two models. Everyone knows about the Wolfsburg models, of course. They were more loaded, with special colors, interiors, radios and wheels – generally. Each model year was a bit different, and the A2 resource guide is helpful to sort it out..

In the middle was a strange one – the Carat. Technically, this model was placed above the GL and below the Wolfsburg model. But sometimes it wasn’t as well equipped as the GL, and other times it seemed better equipped than the Wolfsburg. It came with rear headrests (shared with the GL), power locks (shared with the GL), delay dome light (shared with the…are you seeing a trend?). So what did you get for the substantial premium in price? Unseen was the motor upgrade, which gave the Carat the 105 horsepower engine. Carats also differed from other non-GLI Jettas because they were equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes – but only for some years. In 1991, drums returned as standard. They also had an upgraded sports suspension, sport steering wheel, cruise control, sport seats and a power package which included mirrors and windows. So, it was a sporty option of the Jetta – wait, wasn’t that the goal of the Wolfsburg? It certainly seems like mission creep. Still optional were sunroof, automatic transmission, and somewhat shockingly alloy wheels. The Carats came standard with “unique” wheel covers – so unique, they were borrowed straight from the same year base Passat. It was a strange package of piece-meal parts for which Volkswagen charged a serious premium; the Carat cost nearly 50% more than a base Jetta out the door.

But in the company of the neat-looking and 2.0 16V-powered Passat, the supercharged and then VR6-powered Corrado, the legendary Cabriolet and Vanagon models, and the best looking GTI ever produced, it’s really hard to see the Jetta as anything other than an “also ran” for 1990-1992. Still, once in a while a nice one comes along…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Jetta Carat on eBay

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1991 Porsche 911 Turbo

The other day I was discussing the appeal of the Porsche 930. Let’s now jump to its successor, the different but also similar 964 Turbo. The 930 appeals for its general lack of smoothness. Its lines are a series of angles balanced by wide curves with the 911’s distinctive round forward pointing headlights leading the way. The 964 carried on that tradition, even if it was an almost entirely new design. The engine too was a refined version of the 930’s 3.3 liter flat-six mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. There would be engine changes in its final production years, but in ’91 and ’92 there was certainly a lot of familiarity to be found under that new skin.

This has placed those turbos in a somewhat odd space. They are surely desirable, but I’m not sure we give them nearly the consideration we do with the 930. The same is true when we compare the early 964 Turbo with the later 3.6 liter models. Their relative appeal is understandable: the increased performance and relative rarity of the 3.6 models makes them increasingly desirable. The desire for the 993TT – the last of the air-cooled Turbos – remains higher still. So what do we do with these less frequently recognized Turbos? I guess we might as well take a look at one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

Buying any used car carries some sort of risk and gamble. Probably even more so with a used German car because of the potential disaster that some cars may bring. The majority of the time, you trust yourself to form an opinion if the car is worth it based off what you understand and what the seller is telling you about the car. Most of the time this works out pretty well for both parties involved. Generally as the stakes get higher and the cars get more expensive, the more due diligence is done with research and inspections. Sometimes you can sniff out a car pretty quickly but other times you might need a really keen eye to see what is really going on. For today’s car, a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300CE for in Brooklyn, maybe isn’t all that is presented to be by the seller. Let me explain why.

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

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1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe

I love a red interior. Even the very bright red interiors. Porsche has long made such interiors available to those who like them. I also am a big fan of the 964. Curiously, I’m not sure I’ve ever featured a 964 with a red interior. Well, at least, not a standard 964. I think there have been a couple ultra-rare models, but I won’t count those.

At last I have found one: this Black 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe, located in Los Angeles, with a Matador Red interior and 105,420 miles on it. I don’t think I’ve seen Matador Red before, not knowingly anyway. It looks great with just the right amount of brightness. While it may only be the lighting in these pictures it doesn’t appear quite as bright as some of Porsche’s other offerings like Can-can Red or Lobster. I think for most that likely gives it a nice balance. For those who find a black car to be a bit dull, perhaps this interior will help liven things up. It’s quite beautiful.

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

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E

A few weeks ago I checked a wonderful Signal Red Mercedes-Benz 560SEC. I explained that on some Mercedes, red looks pretty good and suits the car well. Other cars, like sedans, red is a pretty tough sell for me. Encase you haven’t noticed by now, this 1991 300E that I am looking at today is painted in that same Signal Red. It is a very clean W124 that has under 100,000 miles and I really dislike it. Let me tell you why.

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

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