Last week I checked out a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL that was styled after the legendary ”Hammer” from AMG. Notice I said styled and not another word because it was exactly that, styled. It looked amazing, as most people agreed, but under the hood was the stock 5.0 liter M117 V8 that wasn’t touched by AMG. Today, we have a different kind of tribute car that still isn’t the real thing, but has a lot more power over stock and still looks just as good.
This is a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe with a 3.6 liter M104 inline-6 engine from AMG swapped in. To go even further, this car has fenders from the legendary W124 500E grafted onto it for that extra wide look that every loves. And just one more thing while I’m at it, it has a 5-speed manual transmission too.
I’m going to be really honest with everyone, I didn’t want to feature this car. Why? Because I want it very badly for myself. I want to drive down to Virginia, hand this seller an envelope full of money, then drive this car home and slide it next to my other cars to make it one big happy Mercedes sedan family. But I can’t do that. Well, I could, but it would be a really bad idea seeing as I am out of garage/driveway space as it is and I already own a silver AMG sedan from the same time period thus making this car repetitive. Still, I’ll sleep on it.
So what is this car I want so badly? It’s a 1997 C36 AMG, the last year of the first official production car from the Mercedes-Benz and AMG merger that North America got. It’s not really that fast with only 276 horsepower and the W202 chassis it’s built on isn’t really that great either. Yes, it’s rare with only a few hundred built but they’ve never been all that desirable. They’ve always been available if you really looked hard enough, but now that they are getting close to drinking age, finding a really nice C36 is getting tough. Fortunately, thanks to people who still look at these cars like I do, this C36 for sale in Virginia looks like a winner.
For sale is my 1997 C36 AMG. I bought the car last year from the previous owner of 9 years. He serviced the car at his shop (Blueridge Mercedes) the duration of his ownership. I collect Mercedes and this car is my current daily but I just sold my SUV and I need to replace this with something bigger.
You know when you watch a horror film and the protagonist sees a door ajar with a strange light, noise or smell emanating from behind it? Despite the obvious warning signs and 100% metaphysical certitude of impending doom, they creep towards their demise as if unable to escape fate. As a viewer, I’m often baffled by their behavior.
But then I think about the V8 quattro.
There is nothing – and I mean nothing – that makes the V8 quattro a sensible choice for a car. Parts are hard to find, they seem needlessly complicated, and the reality is that now some 26 years old and vintage, the cutting edge of technology for 1991 is pretty easily outpaced by a Honda Civic. There are prettier, more significant, faster and more economical Audis, if you have the itch.
But like the open door, I’m always drawn to looking at them. So, cue the scary music and dim the lights, because we’ve got a twofer of 3.6 quattro action coming at you!
I really enjoy a well done engine swap. Three months ago I featured a W113 Pagoda with a M104 3.2 inline-6 swap. Today’s car is another M104 swap but with a little more displacement and a lot more AMG. What started out as a nice W124 E320 wagon was transformed to a hybrid C36/500E/E320 borrowing various parts from both cars. It’s a unique build that I haven’t seen and sure is an improvement over what Mercedes offered from the factory. So let’s take a closer look at this uber W124 wagon for sale in Connecticut.
Have you been living under a rock? Then here’s a news story – Porsche 911s are pretty hot in the marketplace right now. Consider yourself updated! For the rest of us, this is pretty old news. And by pretty old, I mean they’ve always been very expensive. Take this 1992 Porsche America Roadster, for example. In 1992, you’d have to plunk down $88,000 just for the base price. Most owners left dealers the best part of further $10,000 lighter. That translates to $151,000 or more today, and if you pop over to your Porsche configuration tool it won’t take you long to realize that amount buys you a lot of convertible Porsche today; you’re only about $20,000 away from the base price on the Turbo. Yet underneath the bulging exterior of the America Roadster was a standard horizontally-opposed 3.6 liter with no forced induction producing 247 horsepower. If you’re counting, that’s a little less than half what the new Turbo offers you.
So what did the America Roadster offer, then? Well, you got the look of a Turbo and limitless sky. You also got the brakes, suspension and wheels from the Turbo to help fill out those wide arches. But to really differentiate the model, Porsche decided to release only 250 of them to the public. That makes them about four times more rare than the already quite-infrequently seen Speedster model, and therefore pretty desirable in the collectable 964 spectrum today. Exclusivity of any special model 911 certainly makes them quite special and helps to separate collector examples from those who just pop down to the dealers to buy an off-the-shelf 911 Turbo:
On paper, the Passat W8 4Motion Variant like the one I wrote up early in August was the enthusiast with a family’s dream; an understated, all-wheel drive eight cylinder wagon with BBS wheels, smart styling and a not-outrageous asking price. I mean, it wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t RS7 money. You could even get a manual. But it was complicated, and ultimately, it was still a $40,000 Passat. The W8, while silky smooth, also was a bit underwhelming in the power department. Out of 4 liters, despite all the engine trickery, it produced only 270 horsepower – only 20 more than its contemporary 2.7 V6 twin-turbo sibling S4/Allroad/A6s could. In many ways, while the model that replaced it seemed a bit more tame in the headline department, it’s actually the one to get:
You’d be forgiven for not knowing much about this model because Ruf has been known mostly for their outrageous turbocharged models and the RGT was their first real stab at a naturally aspirated model. But a pretty serious stab it was, with a GT3 derived dry-sump flat-6 pumping out 385 horsepower from 3.6 liters – some 30 more than Porsche managed from the same motor. This goal was reached by massaging the heads with larger valves, integrating Ruf’s proprietary engine software along with model specific catalytic converters and exhaust. Performance was close to Turbo levels, with 60 arriving in 4.6 seconds and a terminal speed reported to be 190 m.p.h.. The narrow bodywork also had special Ruf front and rear bumpers along with a purposeful wing that mimicked the race cars, and indeed was later similarly adopted by Porsche on the post-facelift GT3. It ran alongside the first generation 996 GT3 as an equally potent but (theoretically, at least) more street-biased suspension setup. Compared to that model, the expensive Ruf model was apparently a bit of a headscratcher for most and apparently only 17 were produced in the year this car was made. I was lucky enough to see one of these cars new at Summit Point back in 2001; at a time when the GT3 was unavailable in the U.S., it was certainly a revelation to see the lightweight race-inspired RGT and in Viper Green it reminded me of the car which ultimately inspired it – the original RS. Today’s car is a different kind of revelation and is certainly one of the most unique RGTs out there:
Here’s an interesting one that has had me scratching my head quite a bit. What originally caught my eye was the bright Estoril Blue Metallic sitting on some refinished E46 Style 67 wheels. It was worth a second eyeball, which resulted in me noticing it was a 4-door. CLICK – I’m interested in seeing more. Once in the posting, the title became even more interesting – Racing Dynamics RD Sport? Lesser known than Alpina or Hartge, but still producers of some pretty trick products. 3.6 liter motor? 6-speed? TELL ME MORE!!!
When it comes to sporty wagons in the mid 2000s, your only options were really Audis and BMWs, right? Well, wrong – because Volkswagen dropped one pretty hot sleeper on our shores before elimination of the Passat wagon from the lineup. Granted, Volkswagen’s hottest entrant into the sport wagon market – the R36 – wouldn’t come here, but the normal 3.6 4Motion was darn close. With 280 horsepower on tap from the enlarged narrow-angle VR6 channeled through all four wheels, the unassuming Passat was the second most powerful wagon offered on these shores from VAG. Unless you spent another 50% to opt for the Audi S4 V8, this was as quick as U.S. bound German wagons got. Unlike the B5/5.5, the B6 chassis returned to the Golf-based platform, which was both a blessing and a curse. From a performance standpoint the change was a good one, as many of the items intended for the R32 model worked on the Passat now. However, the change to transverse engine placement from the inline Audi setup in the B5/5.5 meant that the “true” quattro drivetrain in the earlier 4Motions was replaced by the Haldex setup found in the R32 and Audi TT. Is this the end of the world? No, not really, and in fact because of this change you can opt to alter the power distribution with aftermarket control units. These 3.6 models were expensive and fully loaded, so they’re somewhat infrequently seen and generally unknown and unappreciated even in the German-specific realm:
I don’t write up Porsches that much on the site, though not for a lack of admiration. I just don’t have the history of knowledge that I do with Audi/VW and BMW. Yet one of my weirder first car stories was when I tried to buy a $900 Porsche 914 off a message board in 1998 (craigslist didn’t even have that name at that point), when I was in 8th grade. My mom heard me on the phone and after I hung up was asking me what the hell was going on. It was innocent enough, a pipe dream that I could earn enough money to get a funky little German gokart and work on it myself.
The gokart idea still appeals to me, and daydreams of Elises, Superformance 818s, and 914s still dance around in my head every once in a while. This example is much more than the plaything I’m looking for; it’s the 914 for Porschephiles. No Subaru or LS upgrade here making it a silly toy, but a 3.6-liter flat-6 straight out of a 964. It started as a low-mileage, one-owner 914 that was pretty much rebuilt from the ground up to contain the improved power, resulting in a car that looks like a showroom-perfect beacon of the VW/Porsche gokart project but goes like a scalded cat that got surprised by a cucumber. They included a nice, brief, drone-shot video that gives a great sense of the sound and drama that this orange machine can produce. The build was essentially cost-is-no-object, and the price is accordingly many times more than a standard 914.
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