Signature Color Face-Off: 2004 v. 2007 Audi S4 Avants

Signature Color Face-Off: 2004 v. 2007 Audi S4 Avants

The S4 Avant is no stranger to these pages, offering enthusiasts a “have-your-cake-and-throw-it-squarely-at-that-M3-owner’s-face-too” package which combined functionality and sport in a very discrete wrapper. Well, for the most part they were discrete; most were ordered in shades of gray because a fair amount of people ponying up new were conservative with everything but the money they were paying for this small executive wagon. Lightly optioned, an S4 Avant was north of $50,000 in 2004, a price today that would having you knocking on the A7 and S6’s base price. That sticker shock masks that the B6 and B7 represented a huge price increase over the B5 generation; out the door, the cost on average about 20% – 30% more only 3 years later – but then, they offered a full 90 horsepower advantage over the twin-turbocharged V6 with that awesome 4.2 V8, which of course could still be combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Subtle though the exterior colors may be, the performance on tap was anything but.

But some enterprising individuals chose the vivid colors which had become the signature of the model in B5 form. Nogaro Blue Pearl Effect was, of course, the go-to for all things fast Audi since it was originally called RS Blue on the original super Avant RS2. But a nearly equal amount were requested in Imola Yellow, a staggering, retina-burning banana-toned shade that seems initially out of character with a family wagon, yet raises the cool-bus level to 11. Though Nogaro was replaced in the B7 chassis refresh with Sprint Blue Pearl Effect, Imola carried over for the end of the V8s.

Today, I have one of each – so which is your style?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

Buyer beware: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550

Buyer beware: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550

Today’s featured vehicle, a 2007 S550, is as much about the potential disaster that lies under the hood as it is about the car itself. I’ve covered engineering blunders before in the early W220 S600 and unfortunately this first year W221 S550 with the M273 V8 has a pretty significant weak link as well.

Daimler developed the M273 V8 as a replacement for the aging M113 V8 that was put into nearly all of its bigger sedans and SUVs. It had four valves per cylinder compared to the three from the M113 as well as some improvements like variable-length intake manifolds for better fuel economy and a pretty interesting cooling setup that eliminated the need for a traditional mechanical thermostat. Everything looked great for the first few years until owners started reporting codes for timing issues and rough idle. Daimler probably saw this coming because it’s the same kind of issue that plagued the M272 (I’ll dive into that another day) that sent it owners looking for the the closest lawyer to sue — and sue they did.

What happened was there is an idle gear on the timing chain deep in the V of the engine that was not hardened properly during manufacturing. Eventually this fault wore away all the teeth on the gear. This then threw the camshaft timing out of whack and to put it simply, it caused all kind of hell. Mercedes-Benz remedied the faulty idle gears in later production M273 engines but unfortunately for this S550 in Tampa, Florida, it’s engine falls inside the defective range. What does that do to value?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550 on eBay

Year: 2007
Model: S550
Engine: 5.5 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 168,521 mi
Price: Buy It Now $10,900

2007 mercedes s550 luxury sport sedan with dvd based navigation heated and cooled seats vent shades all books one master keys no issues sharp car all services current no rust southern car perfect highway car many miles left in this car no warning lights no major dents or scratches good carfax and autocheck report 3 owners one minor accident no airbags deployed and driven home no big deal but we disclose everything so we have happy customers and perfect feedback family owned american owned business great rare navy color great gray leather interior perfect headliner never smoked in no stains drives great tires are 50% bid to win it no reserve auction $1000 paypal deposit due within 24 hours 7 days for full payment high bid wins we provide free airport pickup here in tampa we do ship call now for a fast quote (813)679-9609 $95 doc fee covers 30 day temp please expect great service before during and after the sale bid now!!!

2007 Porsche 911 GT3

2007 Porsche 911 GT3

This post serves as a nice companion to my 996 GT3 roundup from a few weeks back. Much of my interest in that post was on performance value – our not uncommon focus of any 996 in general – and at the time I was wondering about the proximity of 996 prices to those of the 997 GT3. Well here we have one: a Black on Black 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 located in New Jersey with 18,894 miles on it. There isn’t anything terribly special about this GT3 – other than, you know, it being one of the best 911 models Porsche produced – as it’s a fairly standard color combination and we aren’t told of any special options that would grab our attention. Similarly, while the mileage is low it isn’t outrageously so. I think it’s in a nice spot. With an asking price about $20K above where we’ve seen similar 996 GT3s sell there’s certainly a noticeable price difference, but it isn’t so big that we would remove it from consideration.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

Year: 2007
Model: 911 GT3
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 18,894 mi
Price: $109,900 Buy It Now

2007 Porsche 911 GT3
Black with Black leather & Alcantara interior
6-speed Manual transmission
Just 18,894 original miles

With 415 Horespeower & rear wheel drive, this is a driver focused Porsche that is incredible to drive with a great combination of power, handling & comfort.
It has never tracked or abused. A recent full vehicle inspection reports that it is in excellent condition with no over revs to the engine.

The exterior paint is in excellent condition. The front bumper, hood & mirrors are covered in a clear 3M film to protect it from chips & scratches.

2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

Earlier this week I looked at a 2003 G500 and explained that despite it being a relatively mass produced Mercedes, it doesn’t depreciate like you’d expect. Today’s featured car is somewhat like the G, except it’s a lot faster and a whole lot more rare. Enter the R63 AMG – the answer to a question no one asked. This is a vehicle which I still can’t understand why Mercedes would green-light for production.

The short of it is that the normally mundane first-general R-Class was given to AMG to let them do their thing. The result was pulling everything out of the AMG parts bin, bolting various parts up where they count and coming away with an all-wheel drive people hauler than does 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds. Carter recently included it in his insane van article for The Truth About Cars. Seeing as Mercedes isn’t totally insane, the R63 AMG was limited to a production in the mid-200s worldwide with only 30 making it to the U.S. and a mere 5 to Canada. So as these monsters hit the 10 year-old mark, what’s going on with their value?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG on eBay

Feature Listing: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S600

Feature Listing: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S600

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“It’s more than just a car, it’s a glimpse into the future”. That’s what Jeremy Clarkson said about the W221 S-Class when he first drove one back in 2006. He wasn’t lying. The S-Class has always been the peek into what’s to come for regular consumer cars 10 years later. Options like Brake Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and a list of other things were standard in the S-Class in 2007 are now part of the marketing campaign touting such features for companies like Subaru. Now if you wanted all these futuristic tech in your car and wanted it paired to a twin-turbo V12 just because…well, why not, you look no further than the S600.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S600 on eBay

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

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After spending a weekend riding around in a friend’s Volkswagen Touareg with the V6 TDI engine, I came away impressed. If you read GCFSB on a regular basis, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of SUVs, but this one is quite comfortable and has plenty of smooth diesel torque. Taking off from a standstill, I was rather impressed just how quick on its feet this truck was. I can only imagine what the power of four more cylinders in the same diesel format would bring. Thankfully, a few Touareg V10 TDIs made their way to the US market at a time when Volkswagen was throwing a lot of things at the wall to see what would stick. These experiments included in the Phaeton and the W8 engine that found its way into the B5.5 Passat. The Touareg V10 TDI was not a huge seller and gave way to the V6 TDI, but they were powerful enough to tow a Boeing 747. This 2007 Touareg V10 TDI for sale in Connecticut is perfect for those out there with heavy hauling demands.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI on eBay

Fast Five-Door Face Off: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate vs. 2007 E63 AMG Estate

Fast Five-Door Face Off: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate vs. 2007 E63 AMG Estate

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Fast wagons are perhaps one of the most cultish of vehicle genres to date. There are those like me who have disdain for most SUVs and realize there are alternatives to moving your stuff around. As a single person without children, minivans are overkill for my demographic. It was Jeremy Clarkson who was quoted as saying a minivan signals to the world that “I’ve done my breeding. I’ve served my biological purpose, and now I’m waiting to die.” So ruling out a small van, where is one to turn for their hauling needs? How about Mercedes-Benz? Unlike Audi, Mercedes-Benz has not given up on a segment in the US market which it began to popularize decades ago. There are still loyal fans of the five-door variant of the E-class, now on its sixth generation if you count the W123 T-modell which started it all. Luckily, Mercedes-Benz has been kind enough to bring AMG tuned variants to a market with otherwise vanilla tastes when it comes to family cars. Today we’ll look at two very similar looking but different beasts, the E55 AMG and E63 AMG estates, both wearing the same shade of Graphite Gray Metallic for sale for sale from the same dealer outside of Philadelphia.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

Niche vehicles are always a funny thing. The BMW M Coupe was derided for its weird styling when it debuted in the late 1990s and wasn’t a big seller. But now, these rare sport coupes are wildly popular in the collector car market. While you could consider the R-class a niche vehicle on its own, Mercedes-Benz toyed with the idea of an AMG version of this people mover around 10 years ago. This fast van hung around for one model year and as such, has been relegated to an almost persona non grata status amongst Mercedes history. However, any car with 503 horsepower that can seat six in comfort should at least be given a second look. This R63 AMG for sale in Washington state is one of approximately 30 to 40 examples that were sold in the US, out of a total production of under 200 worldwide. If you need space with pace, there are few choices more rad than this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG on Autotrader

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

For me, the desirability of the BMW M3 peaked right around 1997 and 1998, when the M3 sedan became available in the US market. Sadly, this more practical take on the //M formula didn’t last long, nor was a four-door example available in the successor, the E46 M3. However, a curious vehicle wound up coming along right as the E36 sedan exited the market: the M Coupe. Based on the M Roadster, this two-seater sports car with a breadvan profile wound up being derided at first for its styling but has since turned into a premiere collectable. Even though the first M Coupe was a niche model, BMW decided a follow on was necessary and created the Z4 M Coupe. This car had a bit more conventional profile but packed the mighty S54 inline-6 that found its way briefly into the end of the original M Coupe production cycle. This Z4 M Coupe for sale in Texas has only 8,600 miles on the clock, giving someone the chance to own a nearly new example of what has become a rather mythical BMW model.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe on eBay

2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

In recent features of the 991 GT3 RS I’ve talked about alternatives to these very high-priced machines given that most of them are currently priced above $300K. Of course, there isn’t much of an alternative that’s going to get you 100% there, but there are options like the Cayman GT4 or previous generations of the GT3 RS that at least begin to reach the dizzying heights of such machinery at a fraction of the cost. To present one such alternative I’ll reach back to a reliable favorite of mine: an Orange over Black 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The one here is fitted with the optional carbon ceramic brakes and sits with just 17,069 miles on it. While the last of the 997 generation, the GT3 RS 4.0, remains extremely cost prohibitive even compared to the new 991 GT3 RS, these earlier examples with the 3.6 liter engine remain, at least in a relative sense, a pretty reasonable value. Even in these earliest examples you still get 415 hp delivered to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission along with a lightened and stiffened chassis to help keep all of that power directed precisely where you intend.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS on eBay

2007 Mercedes-Benz SL65

2007 Mercedes-Benz SL65

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One of the things I’ve liked about moving back to Washington State from the SF Bay Area is that seeing rare, expensive cars is special again. Living next to the most expensive zip code in the country meant that pretty much every luxury car was the top-of-the-line model, from BMW M5s and Alpina B7s to Audi S8s and RS7s to Mercedes-Benz E/S/CLS/SL/ML/G/GL63s and 65s. I got desensitized and disdainful, scowling at the 80 year olds puttering around El Camino Real with 500-600hp on tap. The Mercedes AMG 65 models always caught my attention with their gunmetal wheels as the main giveaway besides the badges, a nearly $200k car just hanging out next to the yoga studio and completely unnoticed by the general public.

Well, they were roughly $200k when new. Depreciation hits them harder than their (transmission-limited) 738 lb-ft of torque and now this twin-turbo V12 GT is roughly a third of its original price. They’re not the most attractive roadsters, but it’s certainly a more balanced design than the “umm… copy-paste-update new shape here!” look of the current R231 SL. This R230 looks a bit more classic in black on black and has the Panoramic Roof option on the folding top so you can see the sky without exposing yourself to the commonfolk. Carbon fiber puts a performance veneer on the interior, but this will never be a canyon carver. It’s a 604hp highway bomber, and hopefully having covered fewer than 12k miles will keep scary-expensive maintenance on the V12 at bay for a while.

Click for details: 2007 Mercedes-Benz Sl65 on eBay

10K Friday: BMW 3-series Showdown

10K Friday: BMW 3-series Showdown

Rightly so, I’ve been accused of comparing everything to BMWs – so for today’s 10K Friday, I thought why not compare BMWs to BMWs? Part of the reason I compare various cars I write up to the alternative BMW products is because for some time they have been considered the benchmark, and their popularity from new to the used classic market means that they set the pricing trends against which others can be judged. That’s especially true of the 3 series; for some time, the go-to performance product from Germany, increasingly many earlier generations of the 3 are being viewed as not only collectable, but indeed as investments. So, what does your $10,000 budget buy these days? I’ve rounded up five examples from the first five generations, covering nearly every configuration the small executive platform has been available in. Which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW 320is on eBay

2007 Audi S6

2007 Audi S6

I have a bit of a funny relationship with the C6 style Audi A6. On the one hand it is a good looking car that bestowed upon us the option of having a motor with Lambo DNA in a luxury sedan. On the other, it added heft to the most beautiful Audi design of all time, and it didn’t come to our shores in S6 Avant form. For a number of years I have simply found the latter unforgivable, especially since Audi did offer us the C5 S6 Avant. However, Audi crushing my dreams is nothing new, they’ve been doing so with reckless abandon for a number of years now, and frankly their more recent choices have turned me off to the idea of ever getting a new one so long as I’m living in these United States. No manual S4, no manual R8, no hatchback A3/S3?! I understand why these decisions make good business sense, but they’re a blatant FU to the core Audi audience that helped the brand achieve the success that they’re currently enjoying. While I find some of the new cars pretty, and their performance impressive, I can’t help but think that they’ve lost some of the inherent traits that made them special in the past. An RS7 will blow the doors off pretty much anything, and look damn good while doing it, but you’ll need to shell out $120k to have the opportunity to do so. The lower level Audis have just become uninspired, bland, devoid of emotion. That’s why instead of getting a new S4 like every other 30 something that just got a promotion, you should consider picking up an S6 with a 10 cylinders under the hood that only live to please.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi S6 

2007 Audi S4 Avant

2007 Audi S4 Avant

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The S4 Avant has always seemed like the best of all worlds to me. While our household quiver of automobiles all serve fairly unique purposes – a truck for hauling and beating on, a van for camping and road trips, and the M5 for raucous fun. The longroof S4 can accomplish most of those things pretty well without taking up three parking spots. I’ve been in one that was beat up and used a construction company car, while a roofbox could make the rear sleepable and lord knows the 4.2L V8 can dispense some justice. This B7 model looks great in black and has just over 50k miles, meaning you’ll hopefully have some worry-free miles before you start wondering if you’re on the precipice of a maintenance nightmare.

Click for details: 2007 Audi S4 Avant

Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche Cayman S

Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche Cayman S

Yesterday, our editor Paul sent me a quick message with a link enclosed – “Enjoy a late birthday present!” he said. The link was to the movie Le Mans, the 1971 classic staring Steve McQueen piloting the equally iconic Gulf-liveried John Wyer run Porsche 917Ks. But while that combination would be emblazoned in history as the defacto color for the Porsche 917, to me the more memorable combination was the car that actually won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours. That was the magnesium-framed number 22; a pale white car that debuted an equally iconic combination for me as it was sponsored by Martini Racing. Later in the 1970s, the livery would become more famous as the multiple winners with both 935 and 936 chassis, but few remember that the connection went back into the era of the light-blue Gulf cars. The Martini livery is still popular today, carried on by a proud tradition into Formula 1 as well as being recreated by amateur enthusiasts in the Porsche Interseries, a Cayman-only race program that notably offered drivers to run famous Porsche colors. Very few can afford the opportunity to even see 917s in action – never mind own one. But a Cayman S racer? While not cheap, they’re considerably more affordable than you’d expect:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche Cayman S on eBay