I passed on a decent, local M5 that was in very similar spec to the one I ended up buying due to some pragmatic reasons – lower mileage, lower price, newer rebuild – as well some reasons that were more intangible but made traveling across the country to drive it back seem worth it. The big “gut feeling” reason was finding a seller who loved the car and could talk to me about every piece of the car. You’ve got to go into buying one of these knowing that you’re in for some work, and I’d rather know that the previous owner had acute knowledge of what was happening instead of “uh, yeah, the mechanic did something up there because something was broken.” Today’s E28 M5 looks very clean, with a nicely maintained interior and exterior, but the details aren’t exactly flowing, leaving enough question marks to keep the bidding lower than most 80s M-cars these days.
All posts tagged black
Most of the time we’re writing about 1980s E30s coming up for hassle-free importation we’re looking at tourings, as they were never brought here. Today, however, reader Bruce has alerted us to an intriguing E30 convertible from Japan via Canada. It’s still left-hand drive, but is in great condition after 90k miles and comes with the same plaid cloth and leather interior that was in the S38 M3 featured earlier this week. The biggest detraction is the automatic, but if you’re looking for some classy and easy top-down cruising, this would be a nice option.
Click for more details: 1989 BMW 325i Convertible on eBay
I’ve alluded to my M5 ownership throughout my posts here, but haven’t really put together a more informative piece about what it’s been like to own my dream car. No, the experience has not always been a dream, but having a firm belief going into ownership that the car is a dream has been a great baseline attitude when something breaks or the mechanic’s bills come. To quote Walter Sobchak paraphrasing Theodor Herzl: “If you will it, dude, it is no dream.”
With E30 M3 prices staying sky high it’s time to look for a new German halo car to lust over. I’m going to throw out the often overlooked yet very similar Porsche 944 Turbo. Both the M3 and 944 Turbo were launched in the middle of 1980s and are front engine, rear wheel drive German sports cars that weigh in at less than 3,000 pounds. While the M3 has been described as a ballet slipper for its incredible handling and driver connection, the 944 is more of a soccer cleat. It wasn’t built so much for finesse but rather rugged sprints and the ability to pack a powerful punch.
Here we have a low mileage 951 that looks especially clean and sharp in black. With only 67,000 miles this is one of the lower mileage examples I’ve seen aside from the Turbo S models that tend to be garage queens. Luckily, there’s a stack of service records to go with it which should alleviate any pre-purchase stress.
Model: 944 Turbo
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline four
Transmission: 5-Speed manual
I took a job in Boston a year ago but left the 944 back in Cary, and I’ve finally decided that there’s no reasonable way to keep the 944 up here. I’ve never driven it in the salt, it’s stayed garaged, and I’d rather see it go to a new home rather than gather rust parked on the street here.
The car has 67k original miles, it’s rust-free, and the paint is overall very good for it’s age. The guys at European Performance (highly reviewed shop where I have my work done) tell me the engine pulls just as hard as the ones they remember when they were new 25 years ago. Less than 2k miles ago, this car had it’s major engine service items done. New kevlar belts rated to last 45k miles before service (I would still change them at 30k), new OEM rollers, new OEM water pump, and everything else that comes with the service. I have a receipt from European Performance for all of the work. It’s also had a recent tune-up for all of the fluids, ignition system, filters, vacuum hoses, gear oil etc. Clutch was done less than 20k ago, also has brand new master/slave cylinders. This car is ready to go for another 30k miles (have the timing tension checked every 15k though, plus synthetic oil changes). It never leaks any oil onto the garage floor. Also, it is completely stock except for replacing the stock center console (aka cassette holder) with one out of the 968 RS (not shown in interior photo). The sunroof, electric windows and pop-up headlights still work flawlessly, unlike many examples out there.
The car has a few faults. The AC no longer works, the brakes will need servicing soon, there’s a slight tear on the shift boot and the driver seat, the driver seat power height adjuster motor is burned out (the main adjusters are manual), the front end has some rock chips and speed bump scrape (visible in photos), the driver side rock guard is almost gone, and there are a few minor scratches. The stock head-unit got really confused by a burned CD and no longer works. Luckily, it’s a standard DINN unit and a new one can be picked up at any car stereo place. I would replace it myself, but I figured the buyer probably had their own taste in what they wanted in a head-unit. I’d replace a lot of this stuff (the brakes and shift boot specifically), but working full-time in Boston means that my time back in Raleigh is too limited to really get work done on the car.
Also, the Carfax report to save you some time: http://www.carfax.com/cfm/FSBO.cfm?report=64E48BA27BB72D9CC974EA4FB630FDBA
The most expensive Porsche is a cheap Porsche. This one has a stack of service records, it’s been wrenched on by professionals, the miles are low, it’s been garaged all of it’s life, and it’s been loved.
30k 1994 Feb – 30k service (with timing), brakes flushed fuses replaced
30k 1994 June – new starter, new heater valve,
33k 1996 May – air flow sensor replaced
37k 1997 June – cam covers resealed
40k 1999 July – entire clutch assembly replaced, cruise control repaired, front and rear brakes replaced.
52k 2004 Dec – Timing/balance belts replaced. Timing tensioner replaced. antifreeze, water flange outlet replaced
56k 2005 May – master/slave cylinders replaced, brakes flushed
59k 2007 July – new front/rear brake pads
64k 2009 January – master/slave cylinders replaced again
65k 2009 May – new fuel filter, new spark plugs, distributor, ignition wires
67k 2011 July – timing belt, water pump, front main seals, oil filter housing gaskets, balance belts, rollers, radiator fan switch, turbo boost valve
I lived in Boston for seven years and can confirm that it’s no place for a great condition 944 Turbo. To make things worse you could only really drive this beauty half the year. You can tell from the write up and service records that the owner not only took care of the car but actually really cared for it. This is the type of person you want to buy a car from. There are a few maintenance projects should you want to get this closer to excellent condition. I think $12,000 is a fair price for this 951. Seeing that it wasn’t snatched up right away makes me think it is more realistic that it will go for $11,000 but the owner obviously thinks it deservers top price given its condition and care.
Another revisit for us. This happens with really conspicuous cars, particularly ones that just don’t seem to find owners who want to hold on to a car for the long haul. We first posted about this car back in 2008 and it is now up on eBay again for sale by We Be Autos.
The car didn’t sell at $48k and then again at $38k, garnering bids only up to $20k back then. It is now up with a buy-it-now price of $29,995.
The car has 77,800 miles on it and has taken on the Mallet moniker in homage to the AMG Hammer name. The seller says there is $40,000 in receipts, which are worth checking out to see how recent the “mechanical restoration” work was done.
Very cool car, that would have been one of the most awesome things on the road when new. I appreciate all the photos of the car, but wish they weren’t all taken in a dimly lit Mad Max style warehouse.
The seller has posted a video of the car:
The below post originally appeared on our site July 29, 2008:
I love everything about this car. A monster 6L motor, all black on black color scheme, classic late 80′s styling with AMG monoblocks, light colored wood interior, etc, etc… It’s a cherry ride. But honestly, unless this car is a documented AMG one-off, I’d be very curious to see who’d justify the $48k buy-it-now. It’s an incredible car, but c’mon… I hope the seller and community rise to the occasion to prove it authenticity because it’s a fantastic car.