You spend a billion dollars on developing a car, it better be damn good. That’s what Mercedes-Benz was faced with when debuting the W140 S-Class. It had to every bit as good as the legendary W126 it was replacing and more. When it launched in 1991, opinions were mixed. Some say it was the last great over-engineered Mercedes that was built without cost in mind. Others say it wasn’t attractive with it’s body panels that look like slabs. Either way, 25 years later these cars still have me amazed at what it took to get this car — along with all of it’s advancements — into the hands of buyers who were willing to pay over 25% more than the W126 it replaced.
All posts tagged 1993
It’s been a while since I’ve featured Porsche’s 911 RS America and I’m curious about their current place on the market now that the air-cooled market has slowed down a good bit. It also provides us a nice contrast with yesterday’s Carrera 2 and I think reveals some of the potential issues with that car’s price relative to similar 964s. The RS America represented the US version of the 964 Carrera RS, though in truth it’s a far cry – and far cheaper – than the RS. It features a few aesthetic details that separate it from a standard Carrera 2, most notably the fixed whale tail rather than the mechanically-raised spoiler standard on other 964s, along with the departure of some creature comforts in the name of lightness. Performance is enhanced with sport suspension borrowed from the Turbo. These have remained highly sought after on the second-hand market over the past two years with values of many of them easily exceeding six-figures. The example here, a Grand Prix White 1993 Porsche 911 RS America, comes in with an asking price just below $100K. Of the four available options this one comes equipped with sunroof and A/C.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 911 RS America on Craigslist
This 911 is particularly interesting to me for a number of reasons. Modified 911s aren’t anything new, but this one strikes me as somewhat different from many of those we see. I would guess the two most common classes of modified 911 we come across are heavily-modified track cars and backdated 911s that aspire to combine modern mechanicals with vintage looks. Track cars come in a wide variety of condition, but typically remain quite functional within the arena around which they’ve been designed. The backdated 911s can be all over the place and generally possess a little bit of that pared down track focus in the interior. This 964 is sort of both but also neither of those. It’s clearly not backdated, yet it’s execution does somewhat stem from the Sport Purpose 911s of the past; those cars that owners could use for canyon runs, hill climbs, and even some rally races and which were modified for that purpose. Porsche has long been a brand that mixed luxury and performance and those 911s attempted to shift that balance a little more toward performance. Still, this 964 doesn’t seem like a track car either; it appears to remain well suited for the road. It’s a rare thing to find in a 964, at least based on what I’ve come across and that in itself makes this interesting. The base is a 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe with 59,900 miles on it and it’s seen a good deal of suspension and interior work to help bring it more in line with the 911’s dynamic pretensions.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe on eBay
Considering popular Volkswagen chassis for enthusiasts, it would be natural to equate the many generations of Volkswagen Golfs to BMW’s 3-series. Models like the legendary GTi 16V mimic the Munich brand in several ways, with high revving inline-4s, BBS wheels and the later models even sported quad round headlights. The models that followed plumped up a bit and went to sonorous 6-cylinders and even more recently turbocharging both has become the factory way. Following in that comparative logic, the Corrado SLC is more like the M5. It’s a bit more grown up, more refined – yet has an equal mystique and base of fans. For Volkswagen faithful, clean Corrados are like India was to the British Empire – the crown jewel of collectables. And no gems come to the market more brilliant than this basically new emerald-colored 1993:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay
There’s something about beige wagons that just screams KIDS AND DOGS. The E34 5-series tourings seem to scream it extra loud to me, perfecting the mix of country and classy, sedate and sporty, unsuspecting and utilitarian. The E34 was the last 5-series to really embrace the long, straight line aesthetic so easily accentuated by a longroof. In 1992 the 525i received the M50B25TU, getting single VANOS and putting out 21hp more than the earlier M20B25. It doesn’t make it a speed demon, but there’s no denying the versatility of the silky-smooth little inline-6. This autobox-equipped wagon has covered just 65k miles and the interior, exterior, and engine compartment look it. I dream of a OEM+, M5ish E34 wagon some day, but as a daily-driving family hauler this 525iT will impart subtle class to any road it graces.