Volkswagen Variants on a Theme: 2003 Jetta GLS 1.8T v. 2001 Passat GLS 1.8T

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Wagon on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Brabus 6.1

The seller of this sweet CLK55 AMG Brabus 6.1 has dropped the asking price to $39,950, and is offering a special $4,000 discount for GCFSB readers simply for giving us the nod! Thanks to the seller and check this car out!

Ever check out a car and think ”How can they possibly make it better?” Well, this is what we have today in the 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Brabus 6.1. What started life as a CLK55 AMG – already a really good platform – was transformed by German tuner Brabus into something much more unique and much more powerful. The beauty of these creations is that while almost every piece of this car was tweaked and the dial turned up, you’d be hard pressed to find any faults in them. The unity of the package retained the understated but aggressive nature of the stock example. The craftsmanship and quality are just as good if not better than what comes out of the Mercedes factory and the livability is retained just as you were driving a totally stock car. But all the little details are what makes this car so special. Scratch that – the big details are pretty special, too! This one up for sale in Dallas is no different.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Brabus 6.1 on Dallas Craigslist

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2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 Cabriolet Designo

Earlier this week I checked out a great 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 with some Designo touches that hit all the right buttons for me. Today, we have another Mercedes-Benz convertible with some Designo treatment, but this one is a little bit different. What we are looking at is a 2003 CLK430 finished in Designo Mocca Black paint with Designo light brown leather interior. I think the thing about the W208 is that it wasn’t really great at anything. It had the enormous task of replacing the W124 Cabriolet that was and still is an outstanding car in more ways than one, but the first-generation CLK Cabriolet was strange mash-up of W202 and W210 parts. Yes, it looked fresh at the time and had a lot of modern updates for its era, but at the end of the day you could really feel that the quality just wasn’t there like the W124. That doesn’t mean it is a bad car, but rather one that you knew from the beginning what you going to get out of it: an average experience.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz S600

Last week I checked out the lowly 2006 Mercedes-Benz S350 that in addition to being literally short, was short on options too. Today, we travel to the other end of the (non-AMG) W220 spectrum with a car that has no problem with features or power, the S600. The thing about the W220 S600 is that despite only being produced from 2001 to 2006, this super sedan had two variants of V12s. The early S600s used the naturally aspirated 5.8 liter M137 that was so disastrous that it only lasted two years before the engineers went back to the drawing board to totally redesign a new V12 for their flagship cars. What they came with was a twin-turbo 5.5 liter M275 that proved to be much less troublesome. Luckily today’s car, a 2003 S600 for sale outside of Chicago, sports the M275. Even better, it checks in with just a little over 27,000 miles.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S600 on eBay

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2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe

I’ve been featuring a fair number of very high-priced 911s of late. I certainly love them and in most cases their rarity earns them the feature. But for most of us those cars always will exist well out of reach and merely as pieces to admire in someone else’s collection. There is also the problem that in most cases you really can’t even drive the darn things.

This 911 should possess none of those issues and while certainly not cheap as second-hand cars go there’s nice value to be had here within the realm of the 911 itself. Here we have a Speed Yellow 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe, located in California, with 6-speed manual transmission and 33,750 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe on eBay

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2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe with 963 Miles

This is kind of silly and I have quite a few questions, but this definitely has me intrigued. Here we have a Black on Black 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, located in San Diego, with a completely insane 963 miles on it. Yep, fewer than 70 miles per year. Usually posts about the 996TT are about performance value. This one is not about performance value. I am very curious whether it will sell though. The asking price – $110K – is quite high, though given some of the asking prices we’ve seen for highly collectible versions of the 996TT that price actually is lower than I’d expect. I’m still not sure it will sell, but this is certainly one to keep an eye on.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG Widebody

In my opinion, custom body work can either go really good or really bad. Those who know what they are doing usually put out some unique stuff. Those who don’t know what they are doing put out work made of nightmares. Luckily for everyone, this 2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG for sale in Vancouver, Canada, has some custom body work that actually looks pretty good. Normally, the bodies of the mid-2000 AMG cars don’t have much of a flare to them, but this seller of this specific car had something to say about that. This S55 had the front the rear fenders pulled out by a decent amount to give it the look of a CLK63 AMG Black Series. The more I look at this car, the more I appreciate it, but I can’t decide if I really love it or not.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG Widebody on Vancouver, BC Craigslist

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C320 SportCoupé

Remember when you could take people at their word? Yeah, me either. But you get my point. The reason I bring this up is because when someone tells you something about a car you hope you can take their word at it, but ultimately it is your responsibility to do your due diligence. Enter this 2003 Mercedes-Benz C320 SportCoupé.

As you might have noticed, this W203 is far from a stock car with quite a bit of modifications done to it. It has a wing, some 19 inch BBS wheels, a DTM-inspired splitter, a carbon fiber hood and of course some special paint. Inside, the seats have been redone with Mercedes logos stitched in them and if my eyes are correct, an original Xbox gaming system in the passenger foot well. At first glance, I thought it was just a modified car from a private owner. Then I read the eBay description and saw a story with the words ”McLaren” in it. Needless to say, my eyes lit up and I became very excited. Could this car really be associated with the F1 great? Then a few moments later I had to ask myself ”Why did McLaren want an Xbox in a C320 SportCoupé?”

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz C320 SportCoupé on eBay

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2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe

We feature the 996TT pretty frequently. Even as prices have risen they remain fantastic performers for the money and definitely one of the best performance values you can find, especially when you find one with the factory X50 package raising those performance heights even higher. I wouldn’t say most of those we feature come in the best colors though. There’s the odd Speed Yellow or Guards Red Turbo and, of course, there was the very rare Signal Green Turbo S, but most are in the standard shades of gray and silver that seemingly dominated the 996 line.

This one clearly is an exception. Here is a Cobalt Blue Metallic 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, located in Georgia, with a Graphite Grey leather interior and 64,008 miles on it. Cobalt Blue was a standard color for the 996 so I have no idea why we don’t see more of them, but for some reason it seems we don’t. That makes this one a particularly pleasant find.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe on eBay

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Double Take 540i/6: E34 or E39? 1995 BMW 540i Sport v. 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport

My recent M5 v. Alpina B10 post took a look at two exotic versions of the E34. Of course, BMW offered their own alternative to the M5 late in the production cycle, as the introduction of the M60 V8-powered 540i produced nearly as much usable power as the more expensive M variant. Such was the success of the 540i that BMW initially judged the M5 dead in this market; it was removed from the U.S. in 1993 after slow sales and wouldn’t return until the new millennium.

As a result, the 540i flew the 5-series performance flag for two generations and still is very popular today. Especially in Sport versions, the E34 and E39 540is offered power, refinement and outstanding chassis dynamics in a package that was attainable for more people. So which is the better buy today – the first or second generation?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport on eBay

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