1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 with 49k miles

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Andrew’s Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG post had me considering my last car, a W203 2007 C230 Sport. Truth be told, I didn’t like that car all that much. The 7-speed automatic was overkill for the V6, leading the gearbox to hunt around too much and the lack of standard features such as auxiliary input for the stereo and fold down rear seats were bewildering on a car costing over $35,000 new. And while the interior fittings were upgraded in 2005, the overall package left a bit to be desired, especially if you were used to Mercedes-Benzes of yore. I’m a much bigger fan of the C-class that preceded the W203, the W202. While my 1998 C230 only had a 2.3 liter inline-4 mated to a 5-speed automatic, it was a much more well-rounded package with a big helping of that old school Mercedes feel. I dearly miss that car and this 1998 C230 for sale in Florida has me missing it even more.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 on eBay

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1998 Volkswagen GTi

The internet has been abuzz in recent months about how horrible Mustang drivers are in aggregate. Citing the numerous video records of late model Mustang burnouts gone horribly (and sometimes hilariously) wrong, the conclusion seems to brand all pony drivers as PBR sipping, Larry the Cable Guy watching, Copenhagen chewing knuckle draggers who greet each other with “OH YEAH? WATCH THIS!” Outside of some really special models, I’m generally not a huge Mustang fan – but here’s the thing. I’m really not sure it’s fair to brand the entire ownership of a model like this based upon the video witness of a few yahoos. After all, the Mustang is a hugely successful model. They sold a half a million of them in the first model year alone, which wasn’t even a whole year. To put in in perspective, yellow is considered one of the least popular colors on the car, yet there is an online support group enthusiast page devoted to them with over 10,000 members. Ten thousand – just yellow ones. Sufficed to say, there are a lot of Mustangs out there and odds are that most are probably pretty reasonable, non-crashing into crowds at Cars and Coffee event owners. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

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1998 BMW M3 Sedan

1 While the E36 M3 coupe is known to be a relatively quick, dynamic and fun car to drive, it’s often hard to find a good one. That’s largely because so many of the coupes have ended up as thrashed track-rods with dubious modifications. On the other hand when they do turn up for sale, the relatively uncommon sedan versions are more likely to be found in stock, unmolested condition and as such have tended to keep their value. This is probably because they’re more likely to have been used for trips to the organic grocery store rather than to a track. (There’s an Arctic Silver one with Yakima roof racks that I often see where I live in DC, parked near a place colloquially known as Whole Paycheck, and yes, I eye it jealously every time I see it). The two extra doors do not fundamentally alter the M3 package, except to add a healthy dose of everyday practicality, while the M-tech bodykit that distinguishes the Ms from ordinary cars lends the already handsome sedan body shape just the right amount of sporting aggression. I think these cars are well on their way to becoming a bit of a cult classic. This M3 has those two extra doors plus the all important 5-speed manual gearbox, making it an “M3/4/5” in enthusiast-speak.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don’t usually go out of my way to feature a 911 with Tiptronic, but for whatever reason this 993 really got my attention and more or less seems like just the sort of air-cooled 911 one might look for if a Tiptronic actually was desired. The 993 itself has always struck me as a particularly elegant design within the air cooled world. Some of the more aggressive edges of earlier 911s have been smoothed and the curves accentuated. The color combination of this particular 993 further enhances that elegant look. Add to that the very fact that this is a Cabriolet and I think you have the recipe for a 911 cruiser where an automatic might be preferred. Here we have a Forest Green Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Nashville, with Red leather interior and 58,279 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

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1998 Volvo V90

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If you weren’t paying attention, Volvo has unleashed a new, large wagon on the world. The new V90, while designed for utility, has a very elegant swagger about it. While other manufacturers go about cranking out facsimiles of the same SUV, it’s encouraging to see Volvo go back to its roots. Even more encouraging is that Volvo will be selling this big wagon in the US. Hear that, Audi? Not everyone needs a jacked up pseudo truck in which to travel around. Dial back two decades prior and we arrive at this 1998 V90 we see here for sale outside of Philadelphia. This would be the end of the road for the ubiquitous rear-wheel drive platform, giving way to the S80 platform a year later, which would spawn the V70 wagon. This V90 represented a turning point in the history of Volvo Cars.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Volvo V90 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe

While derided by some for being a bit watered down compared to its European counterpart, there is no denying that the E36 M3 was a wildly popular model and widened the appreciation and market of BMW and the M brand. This particular model alone – the BG93 North American 3.2 Coupe – accounted for 11,793 examples produced. That’s greater than the total number of M products that had been imported to the U.S. prior to the E36 (E24, E28, E30, E34, and 850CSi) and doesn’t account for the 10,000 plus 3.0 Coupes, 6,300 convertibles and and 8,600-odd sedans. You’d expect, then, that finding good examples of the E36 would be quite simple as there are some 35,000 to choose from. But the popularity of the E36 M3 was in part its undoing, too. The flood of the cars devalued the market; many fell into hands unable to maintain them or who treated them like a pinball, bouncing them off every curb, guardrail or other cars. Additionally, the E36’s shift towards mass production did have tangible effects on the long term quality of the product. It’s not unusual to see rusty examples with the trim falling off and headlights so nebulous they’re useless. As a result, finding excellent examples of the E36 is somewhat cause for celebration and really nice ones have been finding a greater appreciation in the enthusiast world. This ’98 Coupe is certainly one of the better quality examples out there for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe on Providence Craigslist

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Tuner Tuesday: 1998 Alpina B10 V8

By the late 1990s, it was becoming increasingly difficult for tuners to compete with the stock offerings. Tightening emissions and safety regulations made getting turned up models harder to sneak past inspection, while simultaneously manufacturers were producing hotter models. The 540i is a great example, and you don’t need to look much further than the conundrum of the E34 M5 versus the various 540i Sport and especially M-Sport models. While the aluminum V8 may not have had the horsepower of the M5 model but only just, it had more usable torque and was (theoretically, at least) cheaper to run. It was so good, in fact, that supposedly when it came to the E39 model BMW was unsure if a M5 would be necessary in our market. So, it would seem to be the natural and easy choice to modify, right? Well, not so fast – because signature tuner Alpina had a problem. Its tried and true method of increasing displacement wouldn’t work on the M62 because you couldn’t bore out the special Nic/Alusil coated blocks. Game over, right? No. If you’re Alpina, you call up BMW and get them to make you a bigger motor:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Alpina B10 V8 on Vancouver Craigslist

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1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S

For pure beauty of design it is very tough to find a better example of Porsche’s 911 than the 993 Carrera S. There is a way in which the design takes us back to the 911’s predecessor itself, the 356 Coupe, through its curvier nature. The lines are significantly more taut and of course the entire package is more refined, but the hereditary lines are clear. The C2S enhances the entire aesthetic package of the 993 by utilizing the wider rear of the Turbo, but unlike its sibling the C4S and the Turbo itself the rear-drive layout has been retained. It’s a best of both worlds design: the fullness of the rear silhouette packaged with the simplicity and the, preferred by many, dynamics of rear-wheel drive. It is no wonder then that these models have been so highly prized by collectors and 911 aficionados alike. They were the last of the air-cooled 911s and the last of the more upright greenhouse that has gradually diminished beginning with the 996. The example we see here appears in impeccable condition: an Arctic Silver Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in New York, with just 21,064 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S on eBay

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1998 BMW M3 Convertible

From a performance standpoint, the E36 M3 Convertible may not be the most desirable BMW product produced. However, if you’re able to back out that this won’t be a car dominating your local track days, the E36 Convertible does offer quite a bit of M-car magic for your money. True the U.S. spec E36 M3 was detuned and mass-produced, but it’s still a great looking, sounding and fun to drive car. Drop your prejudice, and the M3 convertible is a neat package in many ways – plus, it is one of the more affordable ways to get into a M3. This particular model is well equipped and neatly optioned with the forged Motorsport wheels and a host of recent Dinan upgrades:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate

Mercedes-Benz has made a name for itself in the hyper estate segment. Their C and E class estates have been providing the basis for family vehicles that don’t just haul cargo, but haul a**. We didn’t see an AMG estate Mercedes decided to unleash the E55 AMG estate on the US market in 2005. This was a seven seater supercharged beast that was quickly snapped up by collectors and families with a need for speed. But prior to the W211, the W210 was given the AMG treatment as well. But this W210 estate takes it one step further. This E60 AMG Estate is tempting us at across the border in Canada. This was originally an E420 Estate that was sent to the boffins at AMG and emerged with a V8 packing 376 bhp. The look on the outside is subtle. Step inside the red leather interior and step on the loud pedal, however, and the beast will be unleashed.

Click for details: 1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate on Classic Driver

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