Ending Soon – What We’re Watching

Ending Soon – What We’re Watching

I’ve got my eye on another interesting and diverse set of affordable no reserve auctions this week. Take a look and feel free to chime in where you think cars will end! Let’s get things rolling with this BMW E28 with only a few hours remaining:

Click for Details: 1987 BMW 535is

This 1987 BMW 535is is definitely on the driver-quality side rather than a show piece; but all the important bones are there and the rust-free claim is worth its weight in 1980s Bavarian metal, anyway. Overall, though there are some obvious needs, for a 200,000 mile car it looks reasonably tidy and so far bidding is only at $2,500.

Click for Details: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Wagon

In an era of Volkswagen production that saw a sharp upswing in quality and performance, who would have guessed that the second most desirable model in the used market (outside of the R, obviously) is a Jetta Wagon with the diesel motor? Unlike its bigger brother Passat TDi Variant, the Jetta could be had with a 5-speed manual and they’ve developed a cult following. This one ticks the right boxes with lower miles, what appears to be good condition and the ALH/5-speed manual combination in a wagon, so bids are nearly at $7,000 with a few hours to go on the no reserve auction.

Click for Details: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan

After yesterday’s polarizing M3 Lightweight, we’re back to normal series production (and lower prices) with this still desirable M3 Sedan. In -3/4/5 configuration, these have quickly become the preferred weapon of choice for the practical E36 lover. In Artic Silver with Dove interior, this one isn’t stock, but with under 100,000 miles and in good condition, it looks like a solid investment at under $9,000 at time of writing.

Click for Details: 2000 Audi S4

An interesting, and more potent, counterpoint to the M3/4/5 is the Audi S4.…

Tuner Tuesday – Roll the Dice? 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG

Tuner Tuesday – Roll the Dice? 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG

A few weeks ago, I wrote a “Roll the Dice” article about a European specification 380SE with a host of period AMG bits. However, there was no supporting documentation that the car was actually an AMG car and, notably, several items were incorrect. The verdict was that without that documentation, it was probably overpriced for what it was. Today I’m back with another white “AMG” – this time, a pre-merger R129 500SL. Again, we get little documentation on what is reportedly a Japanese-specification 500SL with AMG bits. Is it worth a roll of the dice this time?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

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A new week, a new R129. This reason I chose this 500SL was of course this wonderfully 90s color of Teal Blue Metallic combined with Lago Metallic. It’s one of those love it or hate color combinations that are tied to an era. You don’t see a lot of colors like these on new cars, if any. But I think of it like the rainbow of colors from the 70s and 80s that were featured on the W115, W123, R113, and so on. These crazy color combos are now admired over the typical sliver, black or even worse, tan. The thing is, color combinations like this only work if they are taken care of. And this 1992 500SL for sale in St. Louis certainly looks like it was.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG

It would be easy to assume that AMG didn’t breath on the R107 chassis, instead focusing on the coupes and sedans that made them famous. The feel of the roadster is decidedly different and more cruiser than the Autobahn destroyers that the company produced. But AMG did produce parts for the SL – it’s just that not many were modified in the same vein as their stablemates. When properly presented, though, they do manage to channel AMG’s best qualities well. Subtle upgrades all around led to a more aggressive aesthetic, but not one that was ever over the top. And the SL remained one of the few premium convertibles you could buy in the 1980s, so unless you undertook an expensive conversion to a coupe, the topless R107 was a natural choice for the well-to-do who also loved wind in their hair. Yet most of these SLs ended up primarily as appearance packages – but they still make a statement:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Pre-Merger Madness: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 3.2 and 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0

Tuner Tuesday Pre-Merger Madness: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 3.2 and 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0

Such is the pedestal AMG products are placed upon, perhaps it’s only Ruf that is better regarded as the leading tuning firm from Germany in the 1980s. Combining revised suspension, special exhaust and warmed over motors, AMG managed to straddle the line between outrageous and tasteful in the 1980s perfectly with wild body modifications that somehow worked just perfectly. Inside, they were the most opulent German cars you could buy with power seats and all the luxury items you’d expect from a top-tier luxury manufacturers. But the bad boys from Affalterbach, like the Ruf cars, managed to be more than the sum of their parts – a total package that is still stunning today. They didn’t just bolt on a bunch of bits to make a go-faster car. AMG redefined the packages of the car, bringing them to another level. Today we have two examples to consider from the end of AMG’s independence – which is the perfect creation from the 1980s for you?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 3.2 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500SL RENNtech 6.0 “SLammer”

Tuner Tuesday: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500SL RENNtech 6.0 “SLammer”

Since their launch, the R129 Mercedes-Benz SLs have held my attention. Perhaps it’s because I was heading towards driving age when I first got to sit in a then-new 500SL, but regardless of the motivation I really wanted one. My father used to take me to the local Mercedes-Benz dealership in his W113, so even though I was a child who grew up in the 1980s I was never particularly partial to the R107 – and I’m still not. Early Euro-spec cars look nice to me, but for the most part they look a bit too soft and large. So the R129 was a revelation – it looked substantially more sporty and was thanks to a new 5.0 V8 good for 320 horsepower mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. But for some well-heeled enthusiasts, the $100,000 price tag (in 1993!) wasn’t enough. AMG was in a state of flux in the early 1990s, but there was a new kid in town that was grabbing some serious headlines – RENNtech:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 6.0 on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another wheel roundup, and as I’m just in for winterizing the Audi and swapping the snow wheels onto the Subaru, I’ve got the chunky winter tires on my mind. Just because you’re swapping on the winter duds doesn’t mean you can’t still be in style on a budget, and today I’ve got a few sets that look like a great deal. The Audi B8 wheels are awesome looking – factory wheels aren’t the lightest, but they’re well made, well finished and look great on a number of newer Audis. For only $650, this set with caps looks awesome. The Tiguan wheels are the only non-stock wheels here, being made by Sport Edition. It’s a popular Tire Rack winter brand that looks reasonable and gets the job done. With few miles on that set of tires, it looks like an awesome deal at under $500. The Beetle wheels fit a bunch of the Mk.4/A3/TT models, and the brand new factory wheels and new tires mounted for under $800 seems like money well spent. Then BMW wheels are a bit more pricey but look overall to be in good shape. Then there are the factory 8″ Mercedes wheels, off either a 500SL or 500E. With some chunky looking rubber and no reserve, at the current bid of $250 they’re an absolute steal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi B8 18×8, 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Crockett or Tubbs? 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Custom

Crockett or Tubbs? 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Custom

There’s an absolutely classic scene in the Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer in which the Miami Vice obsessed character Glenn Guglia pulls up in his DeLorean DMC12 with the theme song from the popular show blasting. The character was the perfect caricature of 1980s excess, and the show was the pulse of the nation at that time. The brightly colored polos with white suits, dark aviator sunglasses and devil-may-care attitude of the protagonists are as classically ’80s as the bad plot developments and cliche catchphrases. And then there were the cars; the twin replica Ferraris are both notorious and inseparable from the show; the white Testarossa was the car to have – impossibly cool and improbably ostentatious at the same time. The period spawned an entire industry of cars; perhaps an unfitting tribute, but today they’re always a bit of a treat to see. It’s not so much that I want them; they’re just like perfect time pieces that throw you back to another time. And as with #ThrowbackThursday posts that seem to riddle the web, this 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL immediately reminded me of legwarmers, INXS and Vuarnet shirts:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Custom on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0

If earlier’s 500E AMG 6.0 got your blood boiling but is disappointing because it’s out of reach, have no fear! The 500E, after all, shared many components with the R129 500SL – so it’s no surprise that AMG had its hand in the convertible as well. While 1992 would see the launch of the more official SL60 AMG, there was also a 1991 version. The 1991 was nearly identical but retained the 500SL moniker; underneath, that M119 6.0 was the same and was more than enough to motivate the SL to near supercar levels. However, what’s really spectacular for enthusiasts is that for the loss of two doors and the Porsche connection, you can put the top down and save a bit of money; this 6.0 equipped SL is on the market now for less than half the asking price of the 500E:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0 on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Beginning in the 1970s, the split between US and Euro market vehicles of foreign manufacturers became more pronounced, leading some US customers to import more and more non-US market vehicles. Oftentimes these imports would be more powerful, have features unavailable on US models or, in an era of changing safety rules, have slimmer, lighter bumpers. Such was the case with the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Before the 560SL arrived on the scene for the 1986 model year, the holy grail of forbidden SL fruit was the 500SL, with the 240 horsepower V8. This was considerably more than the 155 horsepower offered from the 3.8 liter V8 in the 380SL sold in the US at the time. This 500SL for sale in New York offers the SL enthusiast a chance at an R107 in one of its ultimate forms.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: Anti-AMGs? Lorinser and Zender R107 SLs

Tuner Tuesday: Anti-AMGs? Lorinser and Zender R107 SLs

Just yesterday, Paul revisited a lovely green 1986 560 SL and reminded us that these cars are at the bottom of the market in terms of classic Mercedes-Benz convertible ownership. It was only a few years ago that the W113 was priced below $20,000; now getting into a good example of that car will set you back the best part of three times that amount if not more. While in my opinion the W113 was a much prettier car than the R107 successor, there’s no denying the presence and value these 1970s and 1980s drop-top Benzs offer. Yet, few of these cars were modified like the sedan counterparts; those that have are usually AMG cars. But today there are two different versions of the R107 that have been modified, showing the alternatives to Affalterbach crowd:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay

Super low mile 1984 Mercedes 500SL AMG

Super low mile 1984 Mercedes 500SL AMG

As I mentioned recently I like the monochromatic look on Benzs. This one fits that description, but is also quite special.

Super low mile 1984 Mercedes 500SL AMG on eBay

First and foremost it has traveled only 9,000 miles. Secondly, not nearly as important as the low mileage, is the AMG package on the car. The AMG package sets of the look of the car off nicely with bumpers, skirts, trunk lid spoiler, wheels, and requisite AMG steering wheel. The seller doesn’t provide a whole lot of information about the car, they do state that they believe it to be the only 1984 500SL with the AMG package, I’m not sure I believe that, but would hear the seller out if they have some sort of citation.

Though you might not expect a whole lot of service history with such a low mile car it would be nice to know where it has been all its life. It is stated that it has lived in a heated garage and only seen rain once.  The seller describes the vehicle as having larger brakes and special gold paint, that actually looks peach in the photos. It would be nice to take a peak at the data card. The car comes with both the soft and hard top. It also sports Euro headlights.

The 5 liter V8 in the R107 isn’t seen as much in the states as other engines since it wasn’t officially offered here in the SL during the mid 80s. The rarest is the fixed roof 450SLC 5.0 and 500SLC. The 560SL was the top line model for the U.S. market. There were 5 times as many 560SL models produced as 500SL models worldwide. Of important note for those not familiar with the SL models of this era is that the 5.0 in euro trim was putting out greater horsepower than the larger 5.6 liter.…

1993 Mercedes 500SL for the Superbowl

1993 Mercedes 500SL for the Superbowl

For the Superbowl I thought this car was appropriate.
A 1993 Mercedes 500SL formerly owned by NFL player and broadcaster Pat Summerall. I don’t really think there is much value added in the former owner status though, no offense to Pat.
67,000 miles is not much at all. With so many of these 5.0 Benz engines out there parts should not be outrageous. The seller says the car has a brand nw convertible top and another $1600 in recent tuneups. I kind of like the blackberry color on this car.
It is nice that it comes with both tops as I think if you aren’t going to drive topless the hardtop on the SL is a much better look than the softtop.
The $11,700 ask should have some play in it if the owner wants to sell.

~Evan…

1991 Mercedes SL500 low mileage fair priced

1991 Mercedes SL500 low mileage fair priced

You know how much I like it when sellers take a gamble and put up a vehicle for auction at a low or reasonable opening price and stay away from placing a reserve. When an ad like that goes on eBay and is away from the hype of a major Barrett-Jackson style event you really can peer into what fair market price is like. This is even more the case when the same car gets listed twice in a short period of time.

This nice blacked out Benz has only 36k miles, peanuts for the venerable 5 liter Mercedes engine. The black out trim and lights looks pretty decent on this. The treatment isn’t really complete, if it was triple black with all black interior and black rims it would look even better. It has some interior custom bits too. If I was the buyer I’d keep the hardtop on, the look is much nicer. I’ve always thought Mercedes did a better job than BMW 3 series in terms of the looks of a removable hardtop on convertibles. You have four different options here, hardtop, softop, neither with, or without roll bar.
Someone might get a deal here unless two crazed bidders get into a battle. The car “sold” last month for $9606. If anyone noticed this it should make the price a bit lower this time around as you always wonder why it is being relisted.

From the seller:

This is an ultra clean 500 SL. It has all original paint that is in excellent condition and is the beautiful color of Jet Black. The original paint has a beautiful luster and in great condition. The added AMG styling package is the only thing that has been painted on the car.