What to know how professional athletes go broke? This is how professional athletes go broke. Among many other ”investments” professional athletes dump their playing salaries into during their careers that suck all their bank accounts dry, buying six-figure cars that turn into four-figure cars is a great way lose a bunch of money. You might think doing this isn’t such a big deal and isn’t a big piece of their net worth, but you have to realize that it’s never just one time or one car. Even worse, it’s not even just the car they blow money on. You need to buy the rims and the stereo systems too. You sign a professional contract and go buy a car you’ve always wanted. No big deal. Well, your mother and father needs a car too. Don’t forget your wife. Oh, her parents need cars? Your brother could use a new car too, he’s been there since day one. Same goes for your cousin. How about your two best friends you grew up with? They’ve supported you the entire way. Grandma’s Buick and your aunts old Ford Explorer are on their last legs. Now take all those scenarios and do all that three or four times over after that. All of a sudden you’ve blown a literal fortune on cars. Today’s car is an example of that.
This is a 2001 S600 that was bought and owned by former NBA player Anthony Carter. You probably don’t know who that is and neither did I, so let me explain who this guy is. Carter was an undrafted point guard that played an impressive 13 seasons in the NBA for six different teams before retiring after the 2012 season. He was mostly an off the bench guy for the majority of his career with his contracts usually being only for a year or two at most that paid him around a million dollars a year. Good work if you can find it and easily enough to buy a W220 S600 for over $100,000 then dump a bunch of other money into thanks to custom paint and a crazy stereo system. Now let me be clear, I am not saying that this car somehow made him broke, but this is merely an example of how it can happen and still continues to happen to this day. Although one thing is clear, the current owner of this car is asking entirely too much money for it.
This is going to be a slightly peculiar post for me. I wouldn’t normally think too much of this 911 and would ignore it, but it has one very particular redeeming quality that makes me think it is worth a closer look.
We’re talking about performance for your dollar. That’s not an unusual feature of the 996TT. These have long been unloved by much of the Porsche community and as such values have been much lower than their performance should warrant. To really maximize your performance value you’d seek one with the X50 package and, of course, a manual transmission. Reasonable mileage and cool colors just enhance the allure. However, the cat’s been out of the bag for a while now and those cars are being priced higher. The value is diminishing.
Which brings me here. This 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe pretty much possesses none of those features. So why are we here? Well, there is a way in which all of the aspects of this 911 I normally would construe as a negative have come together to create a positive. The asking price looks to be much more reasonable. Yet it still looks in good condition:
A fair chunk of the collector world shrugs their shoulders when an Audi rolls by. There are some exceptions, obviously; the Quattro and Sport Quattro have gained notoriety, and of course because it was touched by Stuttgart, the RS2 still has some serious street cred.
Pull up in this RS4, though, and most would have a tough time telling it apart from the 1.8T with vape clouds billowing from the windows. Their dismissal would be unfortunate, because the B5 RS4 is a serious machine. Quattro GmbH turned to corporate partner Cosworth Engineering to modify the 2.7 liter V6 twin-turbo, and the result was pretty astonishing for 2000: 375 horsepower in a manual wagon! Audi’s skunkwork quattro GmbH then gave the car a fitting set of modifications, from a unique interior with Recaro seats to wider track and flares – and, of course, the gaping guppy lower grills. Produced in low numbers, it’s even more rare to see in the United States since none were imported here originally.
Yet a few individuals have gone through the effort of Federalizing their RS4, and when they come up for sale it’s cause for a celebration!
To this point, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the E39 M5 referred to as the “first of the robot-builts”. Sound ridiculous? So does dismissing a car because it was produced in mass quantities. While the original run of 4- and 6-cylinder M-cars got the trend rolling, there are quite a few who’d argue that the recipe of the super-saloon was better achieved in the third generation M5 rather than the first two. It was still very understated, yet with 400 horsepower and instant torque it was quite a bit faster than the prior generations had been. It retained the ability to demolish back roads, keep up with super cars, and bath its occupants in luxury. Despite not being assembled ‘by hand’, it was also the last of the “analogue” M5s, with limited computer intervention and interface. And, they only came as manuals. This certainly sounds like a recipe for success.
It was. BMW sold nearly 10,000 E39 M5s in North America – triple the combined total of the E28 and E34 models. So there should be a lot of really great examples out there to consider. Yet many are starting to come to market with upwards of 150,000 miles a a laundry list of maintenance to catch up on. Where does a low-mileage example fall these days? This beautiful Royal Red one in California gives us a clue:
Over the past month I checked out a few W124 Mercedes-Benz Estates and from the looks of it, they are still in pretty high demand judging by their price tags. I can see why as those wagons were and still are some of the best all-encompassing packages you could buy. Some might argue that the W123 Estate was better and I see their points, but the newest one of those is now 33 years-old and lack things like airbags as well as other modern safety features. What is interesting is that the car that replaced the W124 Estate, the W210, kind of flew under the radar when it came to fans of wagons. Whether it be its elongated looks or lack of old school Mercedes feel, people aren’t exactly eager to snatch these things up. It doesn’t mean that they are bad cars or anything, but the passion is just a little lacking compared to the W123 and W124. Today’s car, a 2001 E320 Estate up for bid in Oregon, is painted in the rare Aragonite Blue Metallic and is actually quite nice. Does that mean anyone will be clamoring for it?
Obviously, this post comes to you from someone who likes Volkswagens – and, in particular, 5-door VWs. I’m not sure exactly what the attraction is for me, but the last two Volkswagens I’ve had – both Passat GLS 1.8T Variants – have been faithful and fun-to-drive companions. Despite their relative popularity (VW sold nearly 110,000 wagons in North America – 20% of production overall), they somehow manage to stand apart from the crowd. And for about ten years VW enthusiasts got to choose not only from the Passat’s fairly robust lineup of wagons which featured everything from luxurious automatic V6 all-wheel drivers to thrifty diesels and outrageous W8s, but there was also the slightly smaller Jetta Wagon as well. Like the Passat, several options were available, from a basic 2.0, the turbo 1.8, the TDI and the crazy VR6 model.
Today I’ve got two examples to consider; in this case, both are front-drive 1.8T 5-speed manual GLSs. Despite what should be a very similar basis, these two take on remarkably different character. Pricing is pretty similar but presentation and mileage are quite different. Which is the one to buy? Let’s start with the Jetta:
This GT2 reminds me very much of the Speed Yellow GT3 I featured last year. That GT3 remains one of my favorite cars I have posted here at GCFSB. It doesn’t possess the insane rarity of other models I’ve posted, but perhaps that’s part of its allure. While certainly not inexpensive it actually was attainable. And with 50K miles it also was driveable – in the sense that you don’t have to worry about that extra mileage harming its value.
This Speed Yellow 2001 Porsche 911 GT2, for sale in the Netherlands, with the factory-optioned Clubsport package ups the ante quite a bit in most of those regards. We’re taking a swift step upward in cost, but there’s also a significant upgrade in performance and rarity. That means it isn’t as attainable for most of us as the GT3 might have been. However, for those capable of shopping at these prices I do think it presents an alternative that should be equally as alluring as, if not more so, plenty of other options – some of which might themselves cost significantly more. It’s a simply wonderful machine.
Let’s pretend for a second that you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. Welcome back! Donald Trump is President of the United States, the Cubbies won the World Series and Kanye West has alienated the 50% of America that you wouldn’t have expected him to. A Castro is no longer in charge in Cuba, Facebook sells your information to make money and if Bill Cosby offers you a Jello pudding pop, I’d be suspicious.
While we’re on recent trends, have you checked out the pricing on Z3 Ms lately?
What used to be the cheapest foray into one of the most polarizing designs offered by BMW in modern times has become a cult classic and increasingly expensive, especially in Coupe form. But select the right options on a Roadster, and the price will still shock you. Take today’s, for example. Produced in August 2001, it’s a later example and that means something special is under the hood. That’s right, it’s a S54 cranking out 321 horsepower. Only ~1,600 were produced with that motor for North America, so that makes it pretty special. More special is the color; in total, only 39 E36/7 M Roadsters were specified in Phoenix Yellow Metallic. This is one of fourteen PYM/Black Nappa produced for 2001. As if that wasn’t outstanding enough, this particular M Roadster has turned only 19,760 miles since new. Guesses on the price?
The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S500 had the job of carrying on the legacy of being the best sedan in the world for the past 40 or so years. It failed miserably. Not only was the design a soft, mushy shape, but the materials inside were less than stellar. Thanks to unproven things like Airmatic suspension (as opposed to hydraulic), reliability wasn’t great and legacy buyers were jumping ship for cars and SUVs from rival brands. Don’t get me wrong, people still bought these but the S-Class was no longer than the standard of full-size luxury and technology and more-so just another blob sedan in a now very crowded market. So why am I featuring such a forgettable car today? Well the interior, of course.
For me, the Jetta got a lot more interesting when it came to the fourth generation. That’s mostly because the Mk.4 came in a myriad of variations. Sure, there was no coupe as there had been in the first and second iterations. But I’d gladly trade the odd two-door sedan for what did come to the U.S., as the Golf Variant finally arrived here as the Jetta Wagon. Engine choices were plentiful, as well; the base 2.0 continued on, but there was the torquey and tunable 1.8T, the thrifty 1.9 TDI, and…of course…the 2.8 liter VR6, Volkswagen’s party hat since 1992.
Mild revisions in the late 1990s gave the VR6 174 horsepower and 181 lb.ft of torque. In most Jettas, the VR6 had been paired with the “GLX” package since the prior generation. They were fully loaded with electrical accessories and leather interiors in an attempt to bring the economy sedan closer to near-luxury models. But since the GLX and VR6 came with a serious premium on the Jetta – almost $6,000 over the base price of the 2.0 GLS Wagon – Volkswagen offered a de-contented GLS version of the VR6. I remember a friend purchasing one when new and excitedly showing it to me. There it was – a Jetta which looked pretty much like every other Jetta, but with a VR6 under the hood. It had smaller 16″ wheels, cloth interior, and…like pretty much every other basic Jetta…an automatic.
So, two days after the last cheap and interesting spec Jetta, here we are again. This one is in a very interesting configuration, as well. It’s a GLS wagon – so, cloth interior and no sunroof, but it was selected with the VR6 motor and is mated to a 5-speed manual. Talk about a sleeper!