Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another wheel roundup, and today I’ve focused on some great looking 5-spoke wheels. One of the cult BBS designs in the RF 3-piece wheel that was sold alongside the more common RS, RM and RA wheels in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This set looks awesome! The MOMO Stars look great and period correct on that M3; they’ll need some work but would be a cool winter project. The 993 Speedline Targa wheels are some of my favorite OEM Porsche wheels, and the Speedline Mistrals are a favorite aftermarket design – I’ve owned a set of one-piece Mistral wheels for some time that are for sale in the self-service classifieds right now. Then we have some great OZ Mitos, a popular design with the Porsche crowd, along with some Borbet Type As that are popular with the BMW and VW crowd. Both to be great in their custom configurations. Lastly we have some Fittipaldi wheels that were likely intended for a Fox-body Mustang but could work on a B3 Audi Coupe Quattro and would be really neat. I think the offset is a bit too aggressive for the early B2 cars but with some flares and stiff springs you might be able to make it work. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS RF 17×8.5,9.5 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Porsche 930 Andial 3.5

When it comes to 1980s Porsche tuners, the immediate name that pops into enthusiasts’ minds is Ruf. And for road cars, certainly the Yellowbird set the tone for performance tuned cars and remains legendary today. In the shadows of Ruf’s imposing figure, though, were smaller firms such as Andial. Andial worked in tandem with Porsche Motorsports to run many of the customer racing program cars such as the 935, 956 and 962. This gave them some serious credentials and notoriety for building impressive cars. Some of those Andial-built motors ended up in road-going Porsches, such as this 3.5 liter converted 930:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 930 on eBay

1984 BMW M635CSi

Yesterday, Nate wrote up a last-of-the-run 1988 M6 for a budget price. He noted that $12,000 seemed like a deal for a 107K mile car with that magical S38 power plant hidden under the long hood, but concerns about maintenance costs linger with any of these complicated machines. It wouldn’t take you long if you dove into the motor to double that initial investment. Well, from last of the run to first, perhaps this 1984 M635CSi is a better proposition? It’s got a lighter curb weight, more pure European lines outside, and an even more potent engine thanks to the M88/3 pumping a few extra non-catalyzed ponies. Presented in black over black with a great set of BBS RC wheels, it sure looks fresh despite being 30 years old:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW M635CSi on eBay

1995 Volkswagen Passat GLX/TDi Variant

Yesterday, the blog Daily Turismo wrote up a 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 Variant 6-speed, the very car I wrote up about 10 months ago here. In looking back at my original article, I suggested that at under $8,000 I’d be interested, but that part of that interest was going to be setting aside enough money to do a TDI motor swap when the inevitable problems popped up with the W8 mill. I find the idea of a performance oriented chassis with a fuel-sipping TDi swap intriguing; the exterior of the W8 just looks that little bit better than the normal Passat with a few small details that make a big difference, but the complexity and inability to use the power of the engine means day-to-day, and for the long run, the TDi would probably be a better engine choice for me. I’m not alone in thinking this, apparently – though the VR6 isn’t known as being as finicky as the W8, here’s a 1995 Passat GLX VR6 Variant that’s undergone the swap I propose:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Volkswagen Passat GLX/TDi Variant on eBay

1982 BMW 320is with 37,000 Miles

I’ve recently been on a bit of a kick enjoying the looks of the BBS Mahle wheels. I’m not entirely sure why they appeal more to me today than they did last week, or last year, or even when my father had a set on his 1982 BMW 633CSi two decades ago. Then, I felt they looked outdated and undersized and really preferred the looks of the RS wheels he later placed on the CSi; but there’s a certain purity about the original design that I really like. Generally associated with the E9 and E24 models, the BBS Mahle wheels also made an appearance on the E21 320is. Today’s example is stunning in Henna Red with claimed original condition and lower mileage; but does that support the high asking price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 320is on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

For today’s Wednesday Wheels I have some more affordable options and some of my favorite aftermarket wheels. I’ve been neglecting Brabus for Mercedes-Benz, but they make some great looking wheels that are just subtle enough to look slightly different than stock but more aggressive. It’s an understated look that can really dress the car up. I love the BBS Mahle wheels in the right offset on early BMWs, even if they are only 14″ wheels. Try getting good tires for those today! The Speedline MIM wheels are some of my favorites and rare to see, and I just love how those Empi wheels look on early VWs. Another rare set is the Fittipaldi/OZ 3-piece wheels, though they may be better suited to a track car. All of these are cool to see for one reason or another – what’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speedline MIM 16×7.5,8.5 5×112 Wheels on eBay

1984 BMW 745i 5-speed

The E23 has always been a design which to me has been quite polarizing. As with the E12 and E24, Paul Bracq was heavily involved in the final design and it shows – in many ways, the E23 looks like a cross between the two that was scaled up 10%. The results of that in my mind weren’t always good. Growing up, my father had both E24s and E28s, clean looking, well proportioned designs, and when I first saw an E23 I remember thinking it looked a bit ungainly. In U.S. specification, the bumpers were too big and the wheels were too small, resulting in a car which appeared heavy, sagging and sad. When he’s really upset, my son manages to invert his lip and stick it out, tears streaming down his cheeks. It’s a look which nearly mimics the U.S. spec front end of the E23 I now recognize. However, in European trim the E23 made more sense – it looked lighter, smaller and better proportioned. While not as stately as the W116, it certainly looked a fair bit sportier outside and more modern. Couple those European-market looks with some great period BBS RS wheels and the look is just about perfect; throw in the turbocharged M106 motor and you’ve peeked much interest. Of course, unfortunately the M106 was only pared with an automatic transmission – but then, what would happen if you swapped that for a 5-speed?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 745i on eBay

1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro

If you walked up to a stranger on the street and said “would you buy a 1991 Audi with 227,000 miles for $6,000”, I’d guess nearly every response would be a hearty laugh. But then, if you asked the same question but instead of the Audi and $6,000 it was a 1970s Porsche and a million dollars, you’d probably get the same laugh. Car valuations are so difficult, because within them lies desirability, condition, and sometimes childhood dreams. I still remember the James Bond movie where the baddie-turned-goodie-but-still-baddie was whisked away from the border guards tucked in the back of a 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro. I was, at the time, a teenager and didn’t really have much of an idea what the 200 was at that point. When I finally bought my Audi, I understood a bit more – it was a luxury sedan with the heart of a World Rally champion, a car whose dual nature few could manage at the time. High speed Autobahn cruiser? Check. Quiet, civilized luxury car? Yes, that too. Spirited on back roads? That could be said about the 200, but so could it about the BMW M5. What set the Audi apart at that time was the combination of the turbocharged engine with the quattro all-wheel drive system, allowing this performance to occur in just about any condition. That made the quattro a ski-trip vehicle as well. With handsome looks, the lightly flared 200 was also a racer, competing in the North American IMSA series as doing quite well for such a large, production based car. While not quite the jack of all trades, one can appreciate what a special package the Audi 200 20V was, and still is:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2001 BMW 540i Touring Dinan Supercharged

For generations, we in the United States have been unjustly denied the most versatile of the fast BMWs – the M5 Touring. From its genesis in the E34 Touring through its evolution to V10-powered monster E60, the M5 Touring has remained one of the most desirable unobtainable German cars to U.S. enthusiasts. However, U.S. fans shouldn’t feel too discriminated against, because the fan favorite E28, E39 and even the new F10 have no touring option – anywhere. What is a lover of fast BMWs with 2.2 children and a dog to do? Well, you could take your E39 Touring to Dinan, who would be more than happy to turn the wick up for you:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 540i Touring Dinan Supercharged on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Un-pimp My Ride: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60

Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!

I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package.…