I planned to leave the W126 300SE alone for a while since I’ve posted quite a number of these over the last few months. But I couldn’t resist when I noticed not one, but two really nice examples pop up on eBay this week. While these short wheelbase, six cylinder cars are often overlooked in favor of the 420 and 560 SEL, they offer all the class and sophistication of the larger models with somewhat lower running costs, making the 300 a nice entry point for W126 ownership. They certainly don’t have the power of the V8. But on the plus side, the M103 motor is famously stout and will run forever without needing too much work. The only real weak spot is the headgasket, which tends to need replacing every 150k miles or so. I’ve test-driven a few of these recently myself, and I was pleasantly surprised by the driving experience. The 3.0 liter engine provided more shove on the backroads than I was expecting, certainly enough to get the car moving, even if it won’t win any drag races. And out on the highway it cruised effortlessly, which is what these cars are all about.
On Saturday I wrote up a gorgeous example of a 500E, the 90s-era super sedan from Mercedes commonly referred to as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” As cool as the Benz may be, the first car that comes to mind when you utter the phrase is probably the competitor from BMW, the E34 M5. Produced between 1988 and 1995, these were hand built at the M GmbH facility in Garching. To the pliable, balanced but twitchy-at-the-limits chassis they added a glorious 3.6 liter inline six with six individual throttle bodies. The S38 motor, whose ancestry can be traced to the unit found in the famed M1 supercar, puts out about 310 hp in US-market guise and swiftly propels the car to 60 MPH in under 6 seconds. Like the 500E, the M5 differed little from its regular stablemates in outward appearance. In fact, it’s probably even stealthier than the W124. There are no flared wheel arches here and only the subtle M5 badges fore and aft give the game away. That’s no bad thing in my book. The E34 5-series, even in base specification, is a classically styled car whose unfussy design still looks good on the road today.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on Portland, OR Craigslist…
I need to get one thing out of the way immediately with this car: it has been in an accident. There’s also some confusion about the title – it’s listed as rebuilt on one part of the ad but the seller then says later he has a clean and clear title. Maybe that makes sense within the car title world but it seems odd to me. Presumably the rebuilt title at least hints that this wasn’t a minor accident and statements about a bent axle confirm that as well. I want to get those points out of the way because for some buyers they will be a deal breaker. If you’re still here this is an otherwise pretty nice paint-to-sample 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo with only 32,555 miles on it. It’s had some engine work performed by the current owner to raise the power and while it isn’t clear exactly what was done, hopefully a few questions or documents can provide clarity. Obviously a thorough mechanical inspection of this Turbo will be needed, and the car will always have that stigma attached to it, but many accidents are fully repairable and those cars can still make for great drivers. And, of course, the upside to a car like this is a lower purchase price. There’s less long term value as well, but for the right price why not buy it and enjoy it worry free for as long as you please?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Paint-to-sample 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 32,555 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
You are bidding on a low mileage, rare, 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo – paint to color car – 1 of 1
My 911 Turbo has only 32,555 original miles.
I continue to keep an eye on the W126 market. Mint examples of the V8-powered 560SEL can sell for as much as $20k, though higher mileage examples that are rougher around the edges can be had for just a few grand. The W126 hasn’t yet achieved collector status – there are probably too many of them out there – but they remain an attractive proposition for those who want a luxurious, usable car for not too much money. This version of the S-class perhaps marked a watershed moment in Mercedes-Benz history, being among the last cars built to a standard rather than cost. I’ve written before about my love for the short wheelbase, six cylinder version, the 300SE. Though generally less desirable (and therefore cheaper) than the V8 420s and 560s, occasionally a really nice one pops up for sale with a higher price tag attached.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on Raleigh, NC Craigslist…
Let’s move to the other end of the 964 Turbo spectrum because I’m sure yesterday’s ultra-low-mileage Turbo, while beautiful and very interesting, would present most prospective buyers with plenty of issues. Notably the very high price and the fact that it is basically undriveable given that price. This Black 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Houston, possesses neither of those issues. For starters, it has 118,115 miles on it so there should be no problem adding plenty of extra miles just as Porsche’s engineers intended. And it’s $400K cheaper!
There is more: this doesn’t appear to be an entirely standard Turbo. While the details are scanty we’re told that the engine has undergone a Ruf conversion, which I presume is along the lines of the engine work that brought us the BTR. That would mean we’re looking at something in the neighborhood of 374 hp, or perhaps this is the full BTR III Motronic treatment raising power to 408. In either guise it will be very fast!
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 118,155 mi
Price: $89,750 Buy It Now
Documented with lots and lots of service receipts including an 8 grand recent one, bone dry with no oil leaks, RUF Conversion done by RAC, the list include;
.RUF BR 3.3 Build
.993 Big Red Brakes
.RUF strut brace
.RH Wheels, (Speedline style).
Thank you for choosing MW Carline as your premier high line dealer. Our inventory is hand picked and inspected, only the top 10% is presented to our valuable clients, honesty, integrity, honor and passion drives us. We promise to treat you with respect before, during and after the transaction.
The ’70s and ’80s certainly possessed their own sense of style and few things make that more clear than when we look at tuners who were popular during those eras. Not all were so crazy. Looking at a few RUF models we can see that they were content to retain the general style of Porsche themselves, though in fairness a 930 isn’t exactly a shrinking violet. But here our attention will be on the other tuners; the tuners who delighted in bringing their own sense of audacity to the automobile market. Koenig Specials is one such tuner and though they’ve been around for four decades now I think most of us would be familiar with them from their earlier years when they produced complete packages to transform both the appearance and the performance of many cars. On these pages we’re most familiar with them for their work with Mercedes-Benz, but there are a few rare Porsches floating around as well. One of those is the one we see here: a Koenig Specials modified 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe with a mere 19K kilometers on it. It is said that only eight such examples were built, making this a very rare commodity on the 911 market.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Koenig Specials Supercharged on eBay…
Recently I took a look at an E39 Touring M-Sport, explaining how I’d finally come to see the appeal of the load lugging variants of my favorite German sedans. I couldn’t possibly leave things there without taking a look at the W124 estate. There’s one parked near where I live that proudly displays Mercedes “high mileage” award emblems in its grille. I’m not surprised. Practical and durable, the W124 possesses the kind of old school Mercedes build quality that leads many of their original owners to hang onto them for as long as possible.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE on eBay
The time has come for me to part ways with my E34, and I’m reluctantly putting it up for sale. As readers of my posts will know, I’ve been on the hunt for a W126 Benz for a while now. A lovely example has fallen into my lap, and living in DC without off-street parking makes keeping both cars impractical. Hence the sale. It would make me very happy if it went to a fellow enthusiast looking for a reliable and cheap commuter, so I’ve written it up for today’s post.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 525i on Washington, DC Craigslist…
Yesterday, Craig took a look at a very nice and quite affordable E32 750iL. These cars have traditionally been one of the most affordable ways to get into a V12 sedan, and consequently coming across a generally well sorted one that doesn’t require an extensive amount of service is difficult.
But the M70B50 also found its way into the replacement for aging E24. The revolutionary E31 signaled a leap forward in sophistication, refinement and styling from other period BMWs. Minus small details, it still looks reasonably fresh today; something that can’t be said of many 1980s-era designs. The three-quarter view above, for example, is mimicked closely by BMW’s own current 4-series today and the Audi A5. Yet as with the E32, the E31 has been the gateway into V12 Grand Tourers for many with aspirations loftier than their bank accounts. Finding a pristine, early 850i isn’t an everyday occurrence, so this one was certainly worth a look. It didn’t hurt that it’s been breathed on by Dinan, either.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 850i on eBay…
The Mercedes-Benz 560SEC quickly went from another used, old Mercedes to a modern classic that everyone suddenly wants. Yes, the W126 coupes have always been more desirable than the sedans but recently a huge demand gap has grown between the two. Finding a coupe for sale at typical well-used Mercedes prices is rare or when you do find a really nice one, be prepared to shell out a lot of money. The latter is the case today for this 1991 offered for sale in California.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC at Mercedes Heritage…
I’ve been seeing dealers here and there with higher priced 964s of late, but try as they might to push the market upward for these cars it doesn’t really seem like it’s happening. At least not at the pace the higher prices would suggest. In the eyes of many (and I include myself in this crowd) the 964 has come around. Somewhat unloved during its production the 964 occupies an awkward space between the much-loved classic 911 that served Porsche for so long and the wonderfully beautiful 993 the represents the apex of air-cooled 911 design. For a while that awkward spot shaded my view of the model, but I have sense turned 180 seeing it not as a problematic spot in the lineup, but as a blessing. In its design, the 964 remains more firmly attached to its predecessors than to its successor and in that regard serves as a welcome evolution of the classic 911 design. As I’ve remarked before, seen on the roads now they possess a presence that I didn’t feel in earlier years and a presence greater than that of the 993. Day or night when a 964 approaches me I know what it is as that iconic 911 shape comes into better view. The one we see here brings a brightness to that shape with its Guards Red exterior and contrasts it with a Black interior. At just 52,174 miles this 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa should have a long life left ahead of it.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa on eBay…
Back in the 80s and early 90s, when AMG was an independent tuner not yet folded into the Mercedes-Benz family, those looking to soup up their Benzes could have their cars delivered to an AMG-authorized dealer for the installation of a range of body, suspension and engine upgrades. As a result, there are a number of “mix and match” cars from the period with bespoke configurations, making the authentication of pre-merger cars today quite difficult. The most famous car from this period is probably the “Hammer,” the AMG-tuned, V8-powered, wide-body kitted version of the W124 platform E-class (there’s a neat little video of Chris Harris driving one here). While the Hammer continues to be highly sought after, and priced accordingly, less well known is that AMG also produced a tamer version of the W124, the 300E AMG. This offered the brutish exterior styling of the Hammer while retaining the M104 six cylinder engine, bored out to 3.4 liters.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG on eBay…
The other day I wrote up a Euro-Spec 190E 2.3-16, noting that the seller must have good taste in cars since there was a W126 pictured in the background. It turns out that W126 is also for sale. It’s a 300SE. These are my favorite old Benzes. Imposing and timeless, these old S-classes still look beautiful today and remind you of an era when Mercedes built stately cars of bank-vault solidity. It’s a real treat to see one in mint condition, which is not that uncommon. Many of the original, wealthy owners have held on to these since new and maintained them at whatever cost necessary. Looking like it just rolled out of the factory, this appears to be such a car.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay…
Although the Type 44 chassis would live on in the D11 V8 quattro until 1994 (albeit heavily revised), for many the pinnacle of the chassis was the 1991 model year. It was then that finally the U.S. market received the power that Europeans had enjoyed in the chassis for so long. Audi used its Group B, Sport Quattro and IMSA experience to create a four valve head for their road cars. It was utilized in many chassis in slightly different configurations; the U.S. market 200 and early S models received the 3B, while the Quattro had a slightly upgraded RR motor. With mild revisions, this motor was again offered in AAN configuration for the 1992 model year, while Europeans had the ABY. The final development was the RS2’s ADU, but all of these motors shared the same inline-5, 20V turbo construction – and all are very highly sought. For U.S. customers, though, since the S2 and RS2 models were never offered along with the late 20V Quattros, it doesn’t get much better if you like the older cars than the 1991 200, and then again doesn’t get much better in 200s than a clean Avant:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant on eBay…
We’ve posted a few W124 tourings recently, noting the high esteem in which these old wagons are held. A functional and solid mode of transportation for well-to-do families of yesteryear, plenty of these cars have been kept by their original owners well into old age (or passed down to their kids), because people often just can’t bear to part with them. No surprise: like all Mercedes cars from the era, these were built to last forever. This particular example is a 1991 Euro-spec diesel sourced from France. Not only does that make it quite rare – 300TDs were only ever offered in the US for one year, in 1987 – it also comes equipped with some features not usually seen on US-market cars. And the good news: it’s already here, for sale in Florida.