El Jettamino: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup

Although I’ve espoused my love of wagons and their do-everything nature, the reality is that I live in the suburbs and there are certainly some times (read: pretty often, actually) that I could use a pickup truck. But, if I’m completely honest, I’ve previously owned a big Chevrolet 2500HD pickup and I’m still not convinced that I’m a pickup kind of guy. Worse still, have you priced a pickup out lately? HOLY MACKEREL. A base Silverado starts at almost $30,000 and if you want things like…seats, and/or wheels, you’ll quickly need more than $40,000. When I see $40,000 asks on a pickup which a) I know will be rusting in 5 years no matter what I do and b) because it’s a GM, will almost certainly break, I get pretty annoyed. Worse still, the “Heartbeat of America” isn’t built in America. I know. I live right by the port where they all come in on a boat. Beside the steady stream of Fiats, Volkswagens, Porsches and Alfa Romeos, there’s a long line of Chevrolet and GMC pickups being driven into the United States for the first time.

So how about a pickup that’s a bit more my speed? Built in America with tons of European flare by utilizing recycled Audi/Volkswagen products, there’s always the Smyth Pickup:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup on eBay

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2006 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI

Update 7/3/18: After not selling a month ago for $5,900, the seller has raised the price to $6,500.

Recently, my mechanic picked up an interesting car. It’s a Golf GLS 2.0. Immediately, it’s a car that most will dismiss as being perhaps the least exciting Volkswagen produced in modern times, if not the least reliable. He tossed me the keys when I turned up with a broken front spring in the Passat (Thank you, Rhode Island Department of Pothole Management Transportation) .

Stepping into the Mk.4 from the B5.5 Passat, you’ll feel instantly right at home. The two share a majority of switchgear and the layout is identical. However, the quality of the Golf is lower, and it’s immediately evident the moment you turn the key. There’s less noise isolation, there’s more plastic, and the feel of the car is not as refined as the Passat. There are fewer options, too.

However, there are redeeming qualities. I can get the 1.8T in my Passat to return well over 30 mpg. But, to get those numbers you really have to go easy on the throttle. Not so in the Golf, which returns well over 30 mpg seemingly regardless of what you do with the loud pedal. And though the Mk.4 has gained a reputation for being unreliable, what immediately struck me was that everything still worked. Cruise control, power mirrors, seat heaters, air conditioning, radio, sunroof – it was all working on this relatively loaded GLS model. That was especially curious when I looked at the odometer, because still on its original engine, his 2003 Golf had an almost unfathomable 273,000 miles on it – yet it looked, ran and drove like it had less than half that amount.

For a car he picked up for around a thousand dollars, I’m not sure what more you could ask, so I decided to keep an eye out for one to pop up. It did, in nearly the same configuration as my mechanics. Except it is the more desirable turbo diesel model, known for going ultra long distances on nearly no fuel. So is this the one to get?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Something always brings me back to the M275-powered Mercedes-Benz cars. Is it the 603 hp and 738 lb·ft of torque? Probably. But something else just draws me to these mid-2000s rocket ships on wheels. I love the conservative styling with just a touch of aggressiveness like the quad exhaust tips and 18-inch twin-spoke AMG wheels in gunmetal gray. Just when I think I’m ready to dive in headfirst with one of these beasts in a business suit, I turn and run the other way when I see what it takes to live with one. This 2006 S65 AMG for sale in California checks all the boxes when you looking for one of the cars. Including a recent repair bill that will question how it is it possible that car repairs cost that much.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on MB World

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2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

I kind of stumbled into this car by accident. And I like it so I guess it’s a happy accident! This is a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe. It’s done around 61K miles and has a 6-speed manual transmission to deliver its 355 horses to the rear wheels. I don’t know quite how I ended up on its page. I certainly hadn’t set out to look for an early 997. But there I was and here we are.

I have been taking a look at more examples of the 996 lately because they do come in at pretty nice value. I’ve also grown to like the design more on some of the models. It’s all sort of a compromise though as I try to find examples that make the best of the model’s design flaws. When we step up to the 997 those issues mostly fall away. Many viewed the 997 as a return to where it appeared the 911 was headed following the 993. The 996’s divergences were smoothed over or replaced. In general, the 997 design has been better loved and we’ve seen its basic ethos carried on through the 991.

All of this is to say that if you can afford a little bit more car, then you can still do well for performance value with an early 997. And that’s why I stuck with this 911 after I stumbled into it. I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly special about it. It looks like a nice, honest, 911 and at a pretty good price. There’s nothing wrong with that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S350

Everyone once in a while one of my favorite mystery cars pops up for sale again. That mystery being why in the world Mercedes-Benz brought these for sale in North America. The car I am talking about is the 2006 S350. I’ve covered this odd ball over year ago but incase you are new or just don’t know the story with this car, let me explain.

In 2006, the last year for the W220 in North America, Mercedes-Benz sold the S350 alongside the S430, S500, S55 AMG, S600 and S65 AMG. This would be totally normal except the S350 was a short wheelbase car that was over five inches shorter than the rest of the model lineup. It was also the only one with the V6. These cars weren’t highly optioned at all and as a result, were nearly $10,000 cheaper than the 430 and $20,000 cheaper than the 500. But why did Mercedes bother to bring over the S350 for only one year? My only guess is they had an abundance of them scheduled for production and needed to rid themselves of these cars while planning the W221 production to start later that year. But that can’t be it, right? Mercedes probably has an entire building full of production planners who make sure things like this don’t happen. They are German, after all.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S350 on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Earlier this year I looked at a 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG and pondered how cheap it would need to be for me or you to take the risk on. Ultimately, at the $17,495 the seller was asking still wasn’t cheap enough for me to even think about buying the car. 603 hp and 738 lb·ft of torque be damned, $17,495 is still $17,495 to me. Today, we have the brother of the CL65 for sale in New Jersey, the S65, and guess what? It’s cheaper than $17,495. How cheap?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on eBay

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Speed Yellow 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

Alright, let’s continue with the value theme, but now we’re going to leave the air-cooled market behind. Once we’ve done that reasonable values become much more the norm. Not only that, but we get better performance and typically far fewer miles. Those preferring the air-cooled models and the analog versus digital nature of most earlier cars, I hear you. But once you step into this century you really do get a lot for your money.

For this one we have a very sexy Speed Yellow 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Oregon, with 22,029 miles on it. I definitely could be accused of finding the 997 a bit boring, a bit too refined, but this one isn’t boring at all. With the Carrera S you get more displacement and more displacement equals more power. In this case that means 355 hp all being delivered to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speed Yellow 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe on eBay

Year: 2006
Model: 911 Carrera S
Engine: 3.8 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 22,029 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

2006 Porsche 997S, only 22k miles!

This is a stunning local Porsche that is very well equipped. The Carrera S was the largest displacement engine in 2006 with a 3.8 litres and 355 horsepower. Hard to find in many Porsches today, three pedals and 6-speed manual transmission. This car is very special in how it is optioned inside and out. It has all the top of the line options like Sport Chrono Plus, Bose high-end sound system, and Full Leather interior. The exterior is Speed Yellow, and is protected by 3m clear paint protection, so it is just like new. It has the optional 19 alloys with painted crests and Michelin Pilot Sport rubber. The sound from the 3.8 is upgraded with factory option Sports Exhaust that comes with special chrome tips. The stance is widened from the factory with 5mm wheel spacers to improve handling and fill out the wheel wells. On the interior when you open the door you see illuminated stainless door sills, and color matching seat belts. To hold you firm in this car are factory Sport Seats with Porsche crests embossed in the headrests. Along with upgraded floor mats, it has the High-EndBose sound system, including CD changer, and PCM navigation. If you are looking for great Porsche this is the car. You will not find a nicer one unless you are buying new.
It has been well cared for, with no issues ever, not smoked in, and drives like it just came off the showroom floor.
Please call 503 475 8078 Josh or 503 819 9007 Matt for details.
Cars shown by appointment. Porsche’s are our specialty.

This is a very striking 911 and for me definitely one of the better looking examples of the 997. Speed Yellow is really bright and that won’t be for everyone, but it’s a nice departure from all of the blacks and silvers of the world. The mostly black interior contrasts perfectly with that yellow exterior and is accented by yellow belts in the interior. It’s just the right mix of bright and dark. The curves are filled out wonderfully and it still possesses that distinct 911 shape. With sport seats and the aforementioned manual transmission this Carrera S retains the long tradition of combining the most of performance and luxury that has long been Porsche’s trademark.

We can certainly quibble over the merits of the water-cooled 911s relative to the original air-cooled models, but there’s no debating that the performance of these modern 911s is near unmatched for the money. Bidding here sits at $40,100 – that’s lower than both of my previous features: a 911SC and 964 that each showed well above 100K miles. I love the early 911s and the classic 911 has been a part of me nearly my whole life. But if you just want the performance, then this is the way to go.

-Rob

Feature Listing: 2006 Porsche Cayman S

I sometimes feel I am neglectful of the Porsche Cayman. I write almost exclusively about Porsches and it turns out equally exclusively about the 911. This is by choice, not necessarily by design. The Cayman is (in relative terms) the new kid on the block for Porsche so it doesn’t always possess the sort of historicity that remains rooted in my brain. In simpler terms: these were not the Porsches that captivated me as a kid; not the Porsches that I saw on posters and dreamed about. All of this may be to my loss.

The Cayman is a fantastic car possessing inherently better dynamic balance than its much more well known sibling, the 911. Porsche has been oft criticized for holding the Cayman back, portrayed as fearful that it would overtake their beloved 911, but that doesn’t make the Cayman a family sedan. Impeccable balance, impeccable feel, and still plenty of power for everyday use characterize the chassis. In S specification with a 6-speed manual transmission you’re getting nearly 300 horses propelling a car weighing just over 3,000 pounds. That’s good for 0-60 in around 5 seconds and should you so desire you’ll top out north of 170 mph – not too shabby. There really is a lot to love with these cars and here we have one that comes from the very beginning: an Indischrot 2006 Porsche Cayman S with Sand Beige leather interior and just 31,000 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche Cayman S at Eurowerkz

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2006 BMW M3 Competition Package with 11,600 Miles

To me, this M3 is a very interesting counterpoint to yesterday’s RS6. Many aspects are the same; pristine original condition, lower mileage, mid-2000s leading edge performance car.

It’s there where the similarities end.

While the RS6 represented the stepping over a threshold of performance into a war of escalation, the E46 M3 was, in many ways, BMW’s equivalent of the Porsche 993. It was the ultimate development of the normally aspirated inline-6, and to many (this author included), it was the best of the breed.

The third generation M3 is simply a marvel. It took the basic layout of its predecessor and improved essentially every aspect. The E36 wasn’t aggressive looking enough? Fixed. The motor wasn’t the technical marvel that was the European version? Fixed that, too. And the build quality and plastic materials in the second generation were a bit lacking? Solved that one, as well.

Are there drawbacks to the E46? Sure, it only came in two-door guise. There are also some known weaknesses in the chassis, like the subframe problems that can be a costly repair. The S54 is also a more expensive motor to repair than the S50/52 had been, and requires more maintenance (and, super costly oil).

But enough gripes, because while there isn’t a collector market for 2000s Audis, the E46 never really went through the dip in value that the E36 did. Prime examples have always demanded strong money and appear to be on the rise, with several notable auctions recently hammering for ever increasing numbers. Today’s example comes from the end of the line for the E46, and is about as desirable as they come to market. One of 2943 A08 Silvergray Metallic coupes imported, it has the desirable N51M Imola leather interior, the even more desirable 6-speed manual transmission and equally sought ZCP Competition package, and it’s only traveled a reported 11,600 miles since new.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW M3 Competition Package on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S430

If you wondering why I am featuring a run-of-the-mill W220 S430 look no further than the words “Almandine Black Metallic”. That’s the name, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful colors Mercedes-Benz has ever produced for its cars. It direct light it looks plum purple only for it to be mistaken for black in the shade and at night. It’s conservative enough to be taken seriously in any setting but still gives off a great shimmer that separates itself from the usual sea of black cars. So when this 2006 S430 4Matic popped up for sale in California, I had to take a closer look at it while trying to restrain myself from getting shipping quotes to bring this thing home to me.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S430 4Matic on eBay

Year: 2006
Model: S430 4Matic
Engine: 4.3 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,660 mi
Price: $6,900 Buy It Now

Non Smoker Car – second owner – Delivery in San Jose area – buyer must arrange out of area shipping.

Outside of the paint, this is your fairly standard W220. It’s a nice, clean California car with albeit fairly high miles at almost 187,000, but it looks like it has about half of that. Being this is the last year of the W220 and probably the best year of these cars to purchase as most of the problems that plagued these cars had theoretically been worked through, but at the end of the day it’s still a W220. You’ll occasionally run into Airmatic faults but generally I trust these cars at their core. It’s still just a basic M113 V8 paired to the 722.6 gearbox that has been tested a million times over in every Mercedes from this era. These cars do a pretty good job at being what S-Class are supposed to be: a relaxing, enjoyable place to be. If you stay up on your maintenance and repairs when needed, there’s no reason this car can’t go another 187,000 miles — just keep it away from salt.

So what’s the price to make it purple rain? A surprisingly reasonable $6,900. This price is indicative of it being in the place like San Jose where your mail carrier just got a new E550 so the price is a little softer than what you’d probably see if this car was for sale in any other part of the country. But this is a probably the best way to own a purple German car if you want to save $248,000.

– Andrew