Audi Oddity: 1997 Audi A8 3.7

The V8 quattro was notoriously innovative. It was also quite complicated (read: expensive) and therefore painfully slow selling. At a time when all European imports were suffering from the global recession, the range-topping V8 busted budgets. Introduced for the 1990 model year in the U.S., the launch year was really the only marginally successful one; just shy of 3,000 were sold between 1989 and 1990. However, even light revisions in 1991 and a major engine upgrade to 4.2 liters failed to bring buyers to dealerships. Audi sold 527 1991s, 270 1992s, 170 ’93s and a scant 78 ’94s. Statistically speaking, you’re about as likely to run across a 4.2 V8 quattro on the road as you are a BMW M1.

By 1994 there was no denying that the Type 44-derived D11 chassis was quite old. Audi admitted it themselves with the big splash of their new ASF concept in 1994 – a thoroughly modern large executive again full of innovation, this time with its extensive use of aluminum. Audi brought that design to market largely unchanged in the all new D2 A8 range. And to help keep costs in check, while the V8 quattro had only been available in one configuration each model year, Audi introduced options in the A8 range. The one that got the headlines was Audi’s signature all-aluminum 4.2 V8 mated to the all-wheel drive quattro drivetrain. But if you wanted range-topping looks and didn’t need the sure-footed nature of the quattro system, you could briefly opt out.

That’s because Audi launched a FronTrak (front-wheel drive) A8 model. Instead of the larger 4.2 model, motivation was provided by destroked 3.7 liter unit. Rated at 230 horsepower and matched only to the 5-speed automatic tiptronic and weighing the best part of 4,000 lbs., it was pretty underwhelming in just about every respect.…

2006 Mercedes-Benz S350

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Another week usually means another S-Class from me. Today is no different with a 2006 S … 350? Wait, they made a S350? For the United States? Yes, they did and that’s what we have here today for sale in Florida. So this is just a regular S-Class with a V6, right? Not quite. So lets take a look at what makes this W220 so different.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S350 on eBay

1973 BMW 3.0CS 3.7

If you’ve been watching the E30 M3 market, you’ve been shocked by the seemingly insane appreciation of the entire line. From roughly a year ago’s top value of about $28,000, condition 1 M3s are now valued at nearly $70,000 with no slow down in sight. While the trend is undeniable, the question I have is at what point do you recognize that there are some classic options that are more unique and perhaps as collectable as the E30? Certainly, BMW has plenty of options in its own stable, and the E9 3.0CS is one of the best. Currently top examples are trading at about the same rate as the M3, begging the question of which classic BMW you’d rather have. For me, while the E30 is an awesome ride, I think I might sport for something more classic in that price range, such as today’s “RS” inspired 3.0CS – pared down and turned up with a 3.7 race motor:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 BMW 3.0CS 3.7 on eBay