I’m sure you’ve seen it once before. Someone takes a regular sedan or wagon, grabs a sawzall, then three months later out rolls a car with a bed on it. Usually the rear window is something out of a truck at the junkyard and is held in by some leftover bathroom caulk. The entire car now has the structural integrity of a pool noddle and it’s only a matter of time before the entire thing collapses. But what if I told you that there is now a way to make a ute from your VW or Audi without risking your life and everyone elses lives on the road? Thanks to this 2001 Jetta ”Ute” in Detroit, I now know there is an entire market for these conversions.
Edit 10/01/2017: After fixing a few more things and covering about 10,000 more miles, the buyer of this unique 325iT has it back on the block again in a no reserve auction. – Ed
The E46 wagon has emerged as perhaps the last bastion of good, clean, simple German longroofing. Modern wagons are bulbous, overstuffed with features, and crazy expensive. The biggest options on today’s 325i Touring are color choices, while the mechanicals and general usability remain refreshingly simple: no sunroof, inline-6, 5-speed manual, manual seats. Manual, but in Tanin red leather, just the kind of curveball reader/seller Rob clearly likes. A nice, plain white exterior? Why not add discreet M-pinstriping and anything-but-discreet Creamsicle Orange lower valences? The 7-spoke Style 4s are nice but plain – leave them for the all-season tires and you get summer-rubber on blackened Style 68s! The colors may jump all over the place, but if anything they draw attention to a sweet car that represents a simplicity we have all but lost.
I’ve always been intrigued, and a little confused, by the Volkswagen Van. I first learned to drive on a neighbor’s T2, and I grew up in a period where vans were as cool as it got. Vans were ambulances. Vans were campers. And vans even carried the A-Team. Sure, the GMC Vandura wasn’t a Countach, but to kids in the 1980s it had nearly as much impact, fool!
But it’s not the appeal of these vans that I find confusing at all. The first thing I find hard to follow are the various trim levels. Especially when it came to the T3 and T4 models, things get a bit complicated. You could buy, for example, a Wolfsburg Edition Vanagon in the 1980s and early 90s. This was not to be confused with the Westfalia model, which was notable for having the pop-top. However, there was also a Weekender model, which sometimes had a pop-top but didn’t have the camping accoutrements of the Westfalia. That these were further available in two- and four-wheel drive made things even more confusing, and then – of course – there was a Wolfsburg Weekender for a short period. I don’t even know what came in that model. Well, I do, actually, but the point remains that it was confusing.
The switch to the T4 was pretty revolutionary. Gone was the antiquated rear-engine layout, and cylinder count went up to five as Audi’s 2.3 liter motor was massaged into 2.5 liters with a short stroke for lots of torque in the new Eurovan. These came to the U.S. starting in 1993, and there were two configurations – the Eurovan and the Multi-Van (MV for short). The difference was the seating configuration, in that the MV had rear-facing seats behind the captain’s chairs and a table in the middle.…
The C5 Audi Allroad, a car that can’t be talked about without someone bringing up the photo of MacGyver being thwarted by one. Now a punching bag by many in the automotive world, I personally don’t think it is worse than any other German car that is over 10 years old. Yes, a twin-turbo V6 and air suspension do make things a little more complicated, but if you stay on top of potential issues, I don’t see the a giant problem with owning one of these. Fortunately, the owner selling this 2001 outside of Cleveland gave this green machine all the love it needs — and maybe even a little more.
EDIT 8/10/2017 – IT’S BACK! Now with a $58,900 asking price, according to Hunting Ridge Motor’s site. With prices on the rise when the right combinations appear on these E46s, it will be interesting to see when and what amount it finally sells for.
EDIT 7/25/2014: with a few well placed seeds and some research, it appears that this car is the same one as the 10,000 mile M3 I wrote up in May here. That makes the asking price and modifications all the more puzzling. Thanks for the interest and sorry that I didn’t catch it the first time around!
What is the price for perfection? What would you be willing to pay for a brand new example of the car you love? There are certainly a lot of people who love the E46 M3 including me. I really think it was a high point of design for BMW; those sweeping arches, the delicate lines in the hood, the hunched, angry stance – it’s perfect, and best of all, it’s relatively affordable still. But many have already begun to fall into disrepair, and of course when you’re buying an older car you’re subject to what comes to market and managing repairs, restoration and asking price. But what if the car was effectively brand new? Chances are everyone would say “Sign me up!”, especially if that car was in one of the most sought after color combinations. They would, that is, until they saw the price tag:
I have always felt like the W208 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG was missing something. In fact, I know what it was missing: a few things. The W208 CLK-Class was based on the W202 C-Class but styled after the W210 E-Class. But if you didn’t know this you looked at a CLK and thought it was just basically an E-Class coupe. So when Mercedes decided to make a CLK55 AMG it was pretty much going to be an E55 AMG coupe, right? Not so fast.
Model: CLK55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 58,000 miles
Silver/Charcoal – ID# WDBLJ74GX1F179106 – 58k miles – California car.
Sold new on 2-2-01 from Rusnak Mercedes-Benz in Pasadena, CA
Charcoal leather – Birdseye Maple wood – Rear sunshade
Full handbooks – Original tool roll – Original unused spare
Full history via MB Master Vehicle Inquiry (VMI)
342 HP 24 valve V8 – AMG brakes – Price new: $68,045
Nicely preserved California car from new – Lovely paint and coachwork
No alterations – Supple leather – Minor wear driver’s side seat bolster
Excellent wood – Excellent headliner and package panel – excellent dash
Just serviced – New front rotors/pads – New tires – Restored alloys.
Non-smoker – Quick and agile – An emerging Young Classic AMG model
In my opinion, the CLK55 AMG is about 8/10ths of a E55 AMG. I may be a little biased since I own a W210 E55, but the equipment and stats don’t lie. First on the outside, the E55 got 18 inch Monoblocks while the CLK55 had to settle for 17 inch. Also a section of the taillights are smoked on the E55 but clear on CLK55. Inside, the big difference is that the E55 had different seats that were only found on the E55 and no other W210 or W208.…
I tend to lean much more toward naturally aspirated cars in my own general desires. Forced induction is fine, though in some of the cars I’ve driven I’ve really not cared for it. I like high revs and instant response. There are exceptions though. For shoppers looking at the 996 the Turbo may be just the area to do your shopping. They are a bit more expensive than a standard Carrera, but you’re getting a lot more performance and the Turbo (along with GT3 and GT2) does not suffer from the IMS issues that have sometimes plagued the first generation of Porsche’s water-cooled 911. So I’m always looking for decent 996 Turbos on the market and I think the one we have here fits that bill. Here is a Midnight Blue Metallic 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, located in California, with Metropol Blue leather interior and 73,500 miles on it.
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.6 liter twin-turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 73,500 mi
Price: Reserve Auction ($43,000 Buy It Now)
2001 Porsche 996 Turbo 6 Speed Manual
Midnight Blue Metallic/Metropol Blue Full Leather
OEM Carbon Fiber dash, door pockets, steering wheel, leather covered vents, aluminum/carbon shifter
Completely Stock, no accidents, all original paint.
Second owner. Michelin PSS tires are about two years old and plenty of tread.
Car is in excellent condition, everything works perfectly as it should.
It was bought new at Carlsen Porsche in Palo Alto and serviced regularly.
All maintenance records included since new. Car has never left California.
Two keys, car cover, all books, tools, records, original window sticker.
A small dime size ding on driver-side rear quarter panel, hard to see in pictures.
Scuff mark on left side of rear bumper.
For all my fellow American readers, you’ll have to sit this one out today as it’s forbidden fruit — at least until 2026. What we are looking at is a 2001 Mercedes-Benz E430 4Matic Estate. This isn’t all that exciting on the surface as the E430, 4Matics and estates aren’t particularly rare by themselves, but combine all three and it’s far from a common build. Of course, North America was denied this combination but fear not if you wanted a fast all-wheel drive wagon, the Audi B5 S4 wasn’t a bad substitute. This V8 S210, for sale in Japan, is up for sale for a shocking low price and the best part about it is that it’s free to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Model: E430 4Matic Estate
Engine: 4.3 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 146,035 km (90,741 mi)
Price: $4,000 CAD ($2,961 USD)
For sale is my 2001 S210 430 4matic 145,000km.
Silver on black leather interior. No sunroof, auxiliary heater
Close to mint condition.
New Mobil1 oil change, fleece filter, air filter,
fuel filter, front and rear brake pads and hoses, front and rear diff oil, roof antenna rubber, lower windshield moulding, windshield washer pump, rear nozzle, blower motor resistor/regulator. Transmission fluid and coolant and water pump changed 20,000km ago. Needs nothing.
For what I can gather, this is a really nice example even with the 90,000 miles. W210s aren’t regarded as being the most durable cars Mercedes has ever rolled out but this one looks like it’s held up just fine. Inside, this car looks fairly well-equipped with the Comand system and power folding mirrors but no sunroof or parking sensors. The most important thing about this wagon is that it doesn’t appear to have any rust because once you start seeing rust, it’s a losing battle.…
The E38 7-series is a firm favorite around these parts, a throwback to the pre-Bangle era in BMW styling’s department, before things got all fussy and bloated. With its angular lines and restrained, good looks, the E38 is a bit like a bouncer in a bespoke suit: brawny but sophisticated looking. Given that many of them were pressed into service as executive transportation, it’s not surprising they mostly appear in subdued colors like black, silver or gray. But every now and again a more adventurously colored car pops up, like this low-mileage example for sale in California.
“Dinan’s latest work of art, he has not only fixed a car that wasn’t broken but also sought to perfect a car that everyone considers to be as close to perfection as is humanly possible: the BMW M5”, Car and Driver wrote in 2002. Dinan had, at that point, already made a reputation for themselves as the premier BMW tuner in the United States to the point where they became offered straight from the dealer. Considering that’s just occurred for Alpina here, the endorsement of the level of engineering from the California firm was resounding. Yet that is in part because Dinan’s modifications are far from just slapping a badge and some wheels on a car and calling it done. Take, for example the M5 S2.
Dinan took what many considered to be a very highly developed 4.9 liter V8 in the S62 and went old-school to up the power; and up it a lot, he did. There was no supercharger or turbocharging here; revised intake and enlarged velocity stacks were met on the other end with tubular headers and a bespoke exhaust. Each throttle body’s bore was increased, too. These changes required a reflash of the computer, but were both lighter and more powerful. As in 76 horsepower more. That’s the best part of a 20% gain on a motor that many considered to be close to peak performance! Dinan further upgraded the suspension, brakes, wheels, and final drive, along with adding a lighter flywheel. As a result, the new S2 was, well, about 20% better than the already awesome M5. But that perfection cost, and it was more than a 20% increase. A lot more.
On top of the M5’s $73,400, if you wanted a fully spec’d out S2 you’d tack on $36,000 to the price. For that amount, you could have grabbed a nice 330Ci in addition to your standard M5!…