1986 Mercedes Benz 300E

It seems like just yesterday I was handing over the keys to my Audi S4 Avant to a happy buyer, thus setting me off on my journey to find my next vehicle. In reality, yesterday was actually late April. Here we are in the dog days of summer and I’ve yet to pull the trigger on a new ride, but not for lack of trying. I’ve driven a number of cars over the past couple of months, some new, some used, and I still have yet to feel that magic connection that I’m looking for. I’ve crossed cars off my list that I’ve long lusted after, E46 BMW M3/E36 M3, and some that I wasn’t a fan of until recently, 540i/6, E30 325i. Though I was rather dead set on getting my first BMW, I’ve been seriously considering a Mercedes lately. On the upside they’re more affordable in this current market, on the downside it’s really hard to find a desirable model with a manual transmission. So, when I came across this 1986 300E with a 5 speed manual the other day, I was immediately intrigued. When I saw that it was just 45 minutes away from me, I picked up the phone and got in touch with the seller. He told me that he had a buyer coming to check it out but if the sale fell through he would let me know. It was a long shot, but wouldn’t you know it, the car remained available and I went to check it out yesterday.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes Benz 300E on Craigslist

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Classic Benz Style? The 30K Decision: 1984 280SL 5-speed v. 1964 220SEB 4-Speed

While for a few generations it’s been fairly predictable that newer used Mercedes-Benz models are cheaper than the older, well kept models, there’s been an interesting turn in the market over the past 6 months. We are witnessing a trend of ever increasing prices on all the 1980s iron, but really specifically in the Mercedes-Benz world the R107 is on the rise fastest of all. In a 5 month period, Hagerty has re-assessed its evaluation of the model’s worth, with most models doubling or tripling in value seemingly overnight. What was, in 2014, a $10,000 – $15,000 example will be on the market for double that today, or more. Is the R107 the next E30, or is this simply a demand spike that recognizes some of the best built and engineered Benz models produced? Well, it certainly does beg the question – if you were going to spend $30,000 on a R107, what other classic Mercedes-Benz models would fall into that range. For comparison, I lined up a lovely W111 coupe to consider – nearly the same miles, condition and asking price, and both are Euro-spec manuals. Which would be your choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 4-speed on eBay

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1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed

Up through 1995, Audi really liked to do things differently. Since then, they have perhaps become a bit more mainstream – but there are plenty of examples of their unconventional engineering before then. It was even a bit of a joke, with some enthusiasts lovingly (or not so much) using the Audi name for the acronym “Always Unusual Designs Incorporated”. One of my favorite unusual Audi stories, though, must by the development of the Audi V8 race car. Audi looked at what Mercedes-Benz and BMW did in the DTM and said “Sure, we can do that. But, we’ll use our full sized luxury-oriented car”. Then, to add insult to injury, they left the wood trim in the race cars as a reminder that this was their top-tier car. And, of course, you’d assume it would lose to the self-proclaimed most successful race car ever made, the E30 M3. But, it didn’t. It won the championship in both 1990 and 1991. Ever since then, I’ve had a bit of a love affair with the Audi V8 quattro, if for no other reason than it was not the normal choice. Rare to see even when new and quite expensive, nearly all of the 3,868 imported were automatics – a new and important development for bringing Audi to a larger market. But for 72 of those cars, the experience was quite different:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed on eBay

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1976 BMW 2002

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While I’m an 80s fan myself, it doesn’t take much imagination to see why the classy Bimmers of the 70s have so many fans. From the E9 to the Bavaria, this was the era that really saw BMW gain worldwide acclaim as the people’s sports car. The 2002 is one of the main reasons BMW is still cashing checks on their reputation for sports sedans, bringing great handling and smart styling to the world, along with some delightfully funky colors. Today’s Golf Yellow example features one of the hues that might be maligned on most cars, yet seems playful and fitting on these machines that seem to perform so many duties well. Quite clean at first glance, this example is not without its share of needs, but none severe enough to keep it from being a fun driver immediately. A 5-speed from an E21 helps perk it up from the original slushbox, along with headers and exhaust. There are many tasks to be completed if you want this to be among the super clean Neue Klassen, but the tinted windows will help hide the inside while the attractive exterior distracts.

Click for details: 1976 BMW 2002 on eBay

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1987 BMW 735i 5-speed Euro-Spec

Much like the E23 that it replaced, we just don’t seem to see a lot of good condition E32s cruising around these days. In comparison to the E34 that was launched at the same time and shared much of the technology, it’s interesting that this is the case; is it that 7-series owners just didn’t care for their cars as well, or expected something different from them? Certainly the German ultra-luxury market witnesses the greatest depreciation this side of a Nissan product, resulting in expensive cars in the hands of those who sometimes can’t afford or aren’t willing to maintain them. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of 750iL wrecks, for example – cars that just could never be brought back from the brink. But it still surprises me that we don’t see more of the 735i, especially the fairly rare 5-speed variants. We’ve listed them before, and I think one of the comments was “does a 7 series really fit with a manual?” Having grown up with one in the household, I can say it’s an emphatic yes. It may not have been the preferred transmission for the E32, but it transformed it from a sedate luxury car to a sports sedan with a luxury bias. It felt much quicker than it probably should have and drove more of less just like a heavier version of the 5 series – which is to say, quite well. But they’re very rare to see, so when this 1987 European-spec model popped up I was sure excited:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 735i 5-speed Euro-spec on eBay

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1985 Porsche 928S 5-Speed – REVISIT

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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 cvisconage@gmail.com or phone 410.218.7712.

The below post originally appeared on our site May 14, 2014:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 928S 5-Speed on German Cars For Sale Blog

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1983 Porsche 928S 5-speed Euro-Spec

It’s been both great and bad to have a resource like Flüssig Magazine’s Pablo join our ranks. It’s great because Pablo is a wealth of knowledge and a great resource on these classic front-engined Porsches; it’s bad because I’m now petrified I’ll make a mistake or choose a bad example. Sometimes, though, you need to roll the dice – and today’s European-spec 1983 928S is just one of those times. Presented in light bronze with brown leather, this 928 looks both refined and striking – but is it a good example to buy?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 928S on eBay

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Heap(s) of the Week 2: Tres Audi Quattros with DTM dreams

Ahhhh, the Audi V8 quattro. It’s like that friend that comes over, crashes on your couch, eats all of your food and smears his greasy hands on your furniture, insults your wife and leaves the toilet seat up, burps and farts in a business meeting, forgets your birthday, and asks to borrow a hundred bucks (or several thousand) that you know you’ll never get back. But he’s your friend, and it would take a lot more than just those indiscretions to make him otherwise. Every once in a while, your friend really dresses up and looks great, but most times that you see him he’s disheveled, unshowered and hacking up some fairly disgusting looking phlegm – which, incidentally, he spits out on your carpet. Sound awesome? My experience with the V8 quattro was pretty similar, and yet it’s a car that I just look at and daydream about. Few are in good shape and serviceable today; many more appear as these do; discarded, forgotten, permanent projects. And much like your college bum friends, they seem to congregate in groups, because of course you need a parts car for your parts car. So what are they doing here? Well, one of this particular lot happens to be the best of the bunch brought to the U.S. – the coveted 1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985, 1990 and 1991 Audi package on Craigslist

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 250CE 5-Speed Manual – REVISIT

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The Moss Green Metallic Euro-spec Mercedes-Benz 250CE 5-speed we wrote up about a month ago is back up for sale, still with a reserve auction. While not the most popular Mercedes-Benz model, this car offers a lot of value in classic Mercedes motoring and we think it looks fantastic:

The below post originally appeared on our site April 8, 2014:

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The 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL that Carter featured last week highlighted a very rare option for the manufacturer at the time, the ZF 5-speed manual gearbox. But the roadster wouldn’t be the only model to employ this advanced transmission. The rather staid looking W114 Coupe would feature the 5-speed in the six cylinder models, complimenting what was, at the time, the newest chassis in the lineup. This 250CE for sale in Michigan was imported into the US in the 1990s and featured at one time in the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s magazine, The Star.

Click for more details: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 250CE on eBay

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1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL 5-speed

It’s been a little while since we looked at a W113, and they’re continuing their ascension out of affordability for most enthusiasts. Especially rare are the manual cars; add in the rumble seat and the 5th gear that was a seldom-selected and expensive option and you’ve got the rarest of the W113s outside of the Pininfarina coupes. This particular example is stunning in dark blue with red leather, and while the asking price is quite high it’s still relatively low for rare, classic Mercedes-Benz convertibles:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL 5-speed on eBay

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