Watching the Goodwood Festival of Speed feed live this weekend yielded a bit of aural and visual treat for Audi fans as the quite rare S4 GTO took to the famous hill. As esoteric Audi racers go, it’s pretty high on the list – especially given the performance on tap. Basically, the defunct 90 IMSA GTO was selected to head to South Africa to race and replace some also defunct 200 quattros. But since the 80/90 weren’t sold in South Africa, instead of the B4 Audi utilized a C4 chassis. Prepared by Voldi and raced in the hands of Hans Stuck, the 700 horsepower all-wheel drive monsters were immediately successful and were run for several years. Although the car running at Goodwood was in the later Rothmans livery (it’s worth watching the clip here!), the original model was in Audi’s adopted racing silver of the early 1990s. This S6 immediately reminded me of it:
I’ve gushed over the W124 Estate before and really can’t say enough about this wonderful vehicle. It has everything you really would need out a wagon, even in 2017, all while not breaking the bank when it comes to maintaining and repairing it. But like all cars that get old, finding a really nice one can become a little bit of a tough job because these were at the end of the day still station wagons. People bought them for their utility to use. I highly doubt the majority of the buyers out there treated these as a garage queens because lets face it, they had R107s and R129s for that. So when this mint 1995 outside of Boston popped up for sale, I had to take a closer look. But fair warning, the price on this one isn’t cheap.
Model: E320 Estate
Engine: 3.2 inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 87,975 mi
Price: $16,800 Buy It Now
1995 Mercedes Benz E320S W124 chassis station wagon, S/N WDBEA92EXSF338486, 744 Brilliant Silver with grey MB Tex upholstery, 3.2 litre in-line 6 cylinder gas engine, automatic transmission, power front seats, factory power steel sunroof, climate control, factory rear facing 3rd seat with 3 point seat belts, original owner’s manuals, one of 4,607 E320S wagons imported by Mercedes Benz North America in the final year of W124 chassis manufacture. Clear CarFax title history. To see additional photos, please send us a note and we’ll send a link to the complete photo file. Nationwide and international delivery arranged from our suburban Boston showroom. We reserve the right to end the auction early. For more information about Copley Motorcars, please refer to the “About Me” button in this listing. Telephone: 781.444.4646
This final year W124 Estate is probably one of the nicer ones I’ve seen in a while.…
In my last C4 S6 post, I mentioned how the mid-year changes of the short run for the re-badged C4 made each one feel a little bit bespoke given that so few were sold. That’s certainly the case here, as the running changes manifest themselves in interesting ways on this particular 1995.
The most obvious of the items that can be seen is that this car wears the earlier 16″ Fuchs-made forged wheels more traditionally associated with the S4. These were replaced later in the run by the Avus design Speedline wheels the S6 (and most S models for the next few generations) wore, but early production S6s were delivered with the leftover Fuchs wheels. Which is more desirable varies by preference, but in this case I think the Fuchs work really well. Early cars also retained the infrared locking system (denoted by a receiver at the base of the B pillar) and the manual locking rear differential button in the center console. These were replaced later by a radio locking system and electronic rear differential, respectively, in the 1995.5 S6 refresh. But what also is interesting to me, and perhaps one other Audiphile, is that this car has the later closed headrests, unlike the S6 we saw last week.
At the end of the day, these minor differences matter little in what was otherwise a very desirable package no matter what parts Hans grabbed to install that groggy Monday morgen. Presented in semi-ignominious yet signature Emerald Green Mica with Ecru leather, this one nonetheless looks like a keeper:
Before the W124 bowed out in 1995, the last oil-burning version you could buy was the E300 Diesel. It received the exterior tweaks associated with post-facelift cars of the late W124 era, including a rounder front grille, updated glass headlights and smoked taillights. It also got the OM606 engine under the hood, a 3.0 liter inline six cylinder diesel unit making about 135 hp. Unlike earlier W124 diesels, there was no turbo. But fret not. These were still fast enough (for a diesel), and the OM606 is one of the most rugged engines Mercedes ever made. These cars will cruise effortlessly on the highway while returning 30+ MPG. Perfect for the commuter looking for tank-like build quality, reasonable running costs and a bit of class.
With the exception of the high-performance C36/C43 AMG, the W202 C-class tends to get short shrift around here. That’s probably because for many, the W202 marks the point at which Mercedes began to lose its way. Not only did the taut, angular design language of yesteryear give way to the rounder, less attractive lines of the “jelly bean” era, Mercedes products from the mid 1990s onwards just never seemed as reliable or as well-built as those that came before. I think there’s something to this, but the upshot is that a garden variety C280 can be had for not much money. And while it isn’t quite as tank-like as the venerable W201 it replaced, it can still make for a satisfying commuter. If you squint hard enough, you can even see the design parallels between the two.
Okay, enough dangling carrots and arguments over what’s the best Audi of all time. If there was a do-anything, do-everything, you only have one car for the rest of your life type of car, it’s the S6 Avant.
Today it’s not abnormal to have a car that can out-drag sports cars, carry a family of five dependably and their gear, go through any weather and be a luxurious car that even returned reasonable mileage. In the early 1990s, though, what were your options in that category, exactly? That was a time where Audi had the market cornered with its S4 and later S6 Avants. Though they were available in Europe earlier, it took until the 1995 model year for Audi to introduce the concept to Americans. And just like that, it was gone again, with only a few hundred imported. Nearly every single one is unique as a result of mid-model year changes. Yet all are equally legendary among U.S. Audi fans:
I recently sold my E34 525i and replaced it with a W126 300SE. I’ll post a write up on my new car next week. I love it, but let’s just say I learned a few valuable lessons about buying cars sight unseen from the whole episode. As potential buyers came to view my BMW, a funny thing happened. The more I explained my ownership experience while they test drove it, the more I began to wonder why I was selling it. In fact, I concluded, if space and money had allowed, I would have preferred to keep it alongside the Benz. In one year of ownership, I put an unusually high number of miles on it while doing a mega commute. During that time, it never once failed to start or gave me any reason to worry. I replaced some suspension parts that were worn out. But other than that, all I did was drive it and feed it fuel and oil. It was remarkably fun to drive, which I credit to the 5-speed manual gearbox and sweet chassis setup. Sure, it wasn’t terribly powerful or fast, but it was certainly fast enough for me. And it made for a good commuter, getting 28 MPG on the highway. In all, I think the E34 525i is an under-appreciated gem. I’m sad I let it go.
The U.S. version of the E36 chassis Motorsport offering has steadily begun to emerge from its “also ran” position in the category of favored M products. It has languished in value since the introduction of its replacement, the wildly popular and more aggressive E46 M3. Long derided for being a bit too cost-conscience of BMW, the reality is that the car that came to the U.S. might have been a bit better.
Yes, I just said that.
It is true that the North American M3 made due with a less powerful and certainly much less exotic motor. The U.S. S50, based upon the 325i’s M50, displaced the same 3 liters as the European S50B30, but the two differed in nearly all other aspects. Only items like the oil filter are shared between the models; in Euro guise, the engine sang with individual throttle bodies. The engine also sported the trick continuously variable VANOS system to optimize performance. After finally being convinced to bring the second generation M3 to North America, the news came down that the western-bound motor would be less exotic; static VANOS, lower compression, and no individual throttle bodies.
Frustrated though enthusiasts may have been to not be getting the “true” model, many were just happy it was coming here at all. But the amazing thing was what the USA motor offered. At 240 horsepower, it was indeed 46 down on the European cousin. Yet other numbers told a different story; torque was nearly the same between the two, as was weight, and the real advantage of the Euro motor was only quite high in the rev range. That meant acceleration in the real world was effectively identical between Euro and USA models. Sure, you lost a bit of top speed – but where in the U.S. were you hitting 155, anyway?…
Ever been out shopping and you impulse bought a shirt, wore it a few times, then it sat in the back of your closet for many years? Then finally one day you rid yourself of that shirt because you wanted it gone without too much hassle? Well, that’s what we have today. Only it’s not a shirt, but a highly desirable Mercedes-Benz. Imagine living in a world where in 1995 you drive down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, purchase a car for $79,000 ($125,000 in today’s money), put a few thousand miles on it, then seemingly forget about it. Situations like this still blow my mind.
This 1995 E320 Cabriolet for sale in, you guessed it, California, was sitting at an estate with four flat tires for over ten years. It had only 6,300 miles before being noticed then rescued by the seller. It received a careful examination and full rehab before being listing for sale ready for a new owner. Much like the 1,300 mile 1982 240D I looked at last week, this is essentially a brand new car. So with nice examples of these cars with over 100,000 miles still selling for prices in the mid-teens, how much will this one bring? I might have an answer.
Model: E320 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 6,348 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
This an amazing find, and the cleanest Mercedes I’ve ever seen outside of a new car showroom. It’s an almost mint condition 1995 Mercedes E320 convertible coupe with only 6,384 miles on it and one prior owner. It was stored its entire life in a perfectly conditioned garage, and wasn’t driven the last 10-12 years before I got it. This car is in amazing condition, down to the still legible paper price-tag style stickers clearly visible on the brake heat shields, and all the paint markings on the undercarriage from original assembly at the factory.
Here we have a pretty rare opportunity. Of course, such opportunities come with a high cost, but I can’t imagine the market for a car like this ever really extends to us regular buyers anyway. You expect to pay a lot. This is one of only 40 Carrera Supercup 911s built in 1995 and reportedly is the only one that was sent to the U.S. From what I gather it hasn’t really seen any race time (or at least not within the Porsche Supercup series) as it was intended as a show/demonstration car for Bridgestone. Its graphics make that aspect pretty clear. It looks in wonderful condition and that it is eligible for vintage racing certainly is a nice bonus for the owner who’d like to experience a legit Porsche factory racer.
Model: 911 Carrera Supercup
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: unlisted mi
Originally purchased by the Bridgestone Corporation as a VIP car used to introduce and promote the new SO2 tire. It is one of only 40 Supercup cars built in ’95 and the only one sent to the US. Hurley Haywood and David Murry were the hired drivers for this car. Class winner at the Porsche Parade and Excellence Magazine cover car. I have just completed a light restoration to museum quality condition of how it appeared in 1995. The car has never been crashed and retains the original engine and gearbox. It retains proper Recaro seats, correct dash, instruments and interior panels as well as proper alloy front lid and original rear wing. A great addition to any collection and can be vintage raced. Please ring me with any questions. Thank you.
Serious inquiries please call 631-786-6511 EST.