When I think of homologation specials, there are all sorts of models that instantly pop into my head. Of course, being an Audi fan, the Sport Quattro is a great example, but plenty more images pass through my mind, too. Of course, Group C spawned a whole series of special cars, from the RS200 and Lancia 037 to the Porsche 959. There’s the special 924 Carrera GTS, for example – a car few remember outside of Porsche circles, and one that’s often forgotten even by them. Then there’s the great period of DTM specials – the “Evolutions” of the M3, 190E and V8 quattro that proved Darwin was right. Of course, you can go back even further and look at one of the most special cars ever created – the original Ferrari GTO – to see a very special homologation of a race car. But outside of the big headlines, there are plenty of small production run cars that were created to jump through loopholes, and returning to my original Group B example, we can see one neat car that was created in order to run in World Rally. It’s not a car you’d expect though – it’s the quite heavy and long Mercedes-Benz C107. Mercedes took steps to make it rally worthy, including lightweight aluminum panels in front and back, and of course upped the power with a new all aluminum 5.0 V8:
Have you ever fallen in love with a car instantly? Is it sometimes completely irrational? I am somewhat ashamed to admit I let out a low sigh accompanied by an “Oh, man!” when I first came across this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE. Perhaps my wife is too accustomed to me doing so, because she didn’t even direct her stare in my direction – instead simply saying “What now?” Expecting to see some exotic Ferrari or Lamborghini, it was instead a rather boring looking Mercedes-Benz. And it was green. Really, really green. She also emitted a low sigh, but coupled it instead with an “Ugh!” That, however, did not dissuade me. I continued to stare at this Euro-spec W126, thinking that all should have come in short wheel base configuration, in Willow Green, and with green cloth interiors:
I got to laughing the other day during a National Lampoon marathon on television when the memorable “Family Truckster” came onto the screen. The inclusion of that heavily ornamented and modified car in the movie was truly a stroke of genius, but once again a sad reminder that many of the wagons that previously were available to us are gone, replaced by crossovers, “GT”s, or SUV/SAV vehicles. Of course, because of this you don’t have to go back very far in time to find great deals on the last generation of premium 5-doors. Today, with that in mind, I’ve rounded up a set of all-wheel drive sporty wagons to consider – which is the winner?
There’s a romantic vision I always seem to have; grabbing my wife and child, jumping in the exotic sports car and heading for the backroads for some spirited driving. That vision always seems to include some exotic; a Maserati Ghibli or perhaps even a Ferrari 400i. While Ferrari 400i prices have remained at a level attainable for mere mortals, the Ghibli has rocket well out of reach. But the Ferrari has problems, too – well, it’s a Ferrari. Last time I checked, maintaining those lovely stallions isn’t exactly cheap. But there is a much more practical supercar also born in the 1970s with futuristic styling and it’s a perennial favorite of ours; I’m speaking, of course, of the Porsche 928. Sure, compare the 928 to a Volkswagen Scirocco and it’s a very complicated, expensive car to run. But compare it to some of the exotics it ran against, and the 928 almost seems like a bargain to maintain. Great build quality, styling which has weathered the test of time and legendary GT performance make for a quite desirable package which is still very affordable in today’s world:
Following up on our trio of AMG-equipped cars Tuesday, a W126 500SEC AMG that I wrote up last year has resurfaced on eBay. Last time around the car sold for $13,100 – but there’s a twist this time, as it appears that the current seller (who, it should be noted, has zero feedback) is offering the car at a discounted $10,000 with a non-running engine after having driven it less than 1,000 miles. Condition appears to be equal to December’s auction with some better photos this time around. I’m still not a fan of the chromed wheels, but refinish them in graphite with polished lips, tone down the tinting and in my opinion this car would be a stunner. Is it worth the rebuild? I hope someone thinks so!
The below post originally appeared on our site December 17, 2013:
We can’t get enough of the 928s today. The seller of the great condition 1985 Porsche 928S 5-speed has contacted once again to let us know he reduced his price to $15,999. With recent mechanical work and tires and an overall impressive condition, these mid-generation 928s are great performers that still look amazingly fresh even 30 years later. While you may be able to find a cheaper non-S model or automatic, these 5-speed 928Ss are certain to appreciate in value over the coming years and provide plenty of entertainment along the way. If you’re looking for a no-excuses, no stories foray into classic Porsche ownership this is a fantastic option. You can contact the seller if you’re interested directly at email@example.com or phone 410.218.7712.
The below post originally appeared on our site May 14, 2014:
I’ve talked about what you could get if you were willing to miss out on the E30 bandwagon, and here’s another example of just how much car you could get. The E31 BMW 8-series is still relatively undervalued; part of that is not yet being recognized as a classic, and the other part is the fear of repairs on this fairly complicated big coupe. That means that if you’re willing to maintain that double-inline-6 motor that those crazy engineers from Munich developed, you can nab yourself a top-rate luxury grand tourer for a song. This example is one of the early M70 motored cars, with 300 horsepower on tap and what I’d consider still a great and underrated design:
I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking about how the 944 – especially the Turbo and S2 – have seemed to remain one of the best values in German motoring; on paper and in real life easily the match for their more popular 911 friends, they’re generally available for a fraction of the entry price into the much more air-cooled world. However, there’s another way to travel in Porsche style as well; the car that was intended to replace the 911. A revolutionary design in the 1970s that still looks remarkably fresh today, the 928 is a supreme grand tourer with plenty of power, a fantastic sound track and a tremendous amount of presence and personality. While it’s a very different character than the 911, they’re well built cars that don’t get the attention that they should. If you’re an enthusiast, that means you can pick up a great example on a budget – at least, for now:
Two weeks ago I wrote up one of the coolest replicas on the market, a build your own 917K. Well, at least to me it’s pretty cool, but not many people seemed to agree. Perhaps Porsche folks are a tad bit touchy about replicas, or perhaps it was a little too extreme for most tastes. In light of that, today I have something a little bit more “working man” but from the same era. Sticking with the tube-frame theme but going in a very different direction is today’s silhouette 1969 2002, powered by a 5.0 liter Ford V8. Interested? Read on:
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 30,398 miles
Price: Reserve Auction
One-off Rally inspired Car
Titled as a 1969 BMW 2002
Built on a Cobra kit chassis VIN 1664243
This vehicle is anything but ordinary but guaranteed to out a smile on your face whenever you drive it. Built from the best of both worlds with a BMW 2002 body yet powered by a Ford 5.0L fuel injected engine shifted by a 5 speed. Just imagine taking a Cobra kit car with its tubular chassis, disc brakes, and mustang power plant and then positioning a BMW 2002 body reminiscent of the old rally cars on top.
This car is not for the purist but for the adrenaline junkie. With its lightweight body, powerful V8, suspension, and frame it feels like you are driving on rails. It has fiberglass flared fenders wrapped around its 16” wheels and tires. The more you look at this car, the more you will want to drive it and that I can tell you, is where the fun comes in. I have been around a lot of cars and to fully appreciate this car you need to drive it!!!
The Audi S4 has been the subject of several of my “10K” posts, and for good reason – for around $10,000, you can have your choice of three different generations of these beastly sleepers. In the last “S4-off”, the B6 S4 was soundly beaten by the original model at least in part because it was a tiptronic automatic model. As I said in that post, however, in order to fit the “10K” boundaries most of the manual S4s are eliminated, so automatics are the choice that remains. Today I’m back with another automatic S4, so what’s the twist? This time the slush-box is facing off against the real original S4 – a 1988 Porsche 928 S4. Let’s take a look:
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 118,242 mi
Price: $ 10,995 Buy It Now
2004 Audi S4 4.2 Quattro
Financing Available 4.2 V8 ONE OWNER Car Fax
With a reported one owner and clean carfax, this car looks pretty nice. I love the Dolphin Grey over light grey leather as it’s both stealthy and good looking. I’m not a fan of the Enkei wheels that have replaced the originals, but with both curbing and bends common on those S4 Avus alloys it’s not hugely surprising to see them gone. They’re replaceable easily enough – you could even go for something more sporty like I displayed in my Audi wheel post this past Wednesday. The automatic wouldn’t be what most would choose when selecting this model, and a fair amount of people have also complained about the potential repair bills. For those people, stop reading now:
Model: 928 S4
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 101,000 mi
Price: $10,000 Buy It Now
1988 Porsche 928 S4.