It’s Sunday, and as we dig through the winter weekends watching the anticlimactic wrap-up to the NFL season we can start daydreaming again of spring Sundays filled with curvy dry roads, loud exhaust, and practicing our heel-toe. This 325is is well set up to be a weekend warrior, not overdone despite almost no stone unturned. It has a host of interior and exterior modifications that would probably look delightfully subtle were it not for the gold-centered wheels. The Shadowline and Euro bits highlight a monochromatic body while an Alcantara-heavy interior with recovered Corbeaus looks like a great place to be, both comfortable and functional. There’s no crazy performance gains here, just a mellow cocktail of chip, exhaust, and redone suspension to help this 325is really exploit its E30ness.
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I’m always interested in clean examples of the 325ix. Rare to begin with, their all-road capability means they’ve often experienced crueler conditions than a standard E30. This example has covered an amazing 248k miles but is a hard-to-find manual coupe. The engine was replaced about 1k miles ago with another M20B25 that has 120k total miles but recently had a top end rebuild. The interior looks good all things considered, with cracked but not ripped seats and an intact dash. The exterior was recently repainted after the common rust areas were professionally repaired, letting the Delphin Gray give off its great subtle luster. With axles and other maintenance items done within the last 50k miles, this seems like the right kind of high-mileage car to pursue, especially given the rare specification.
Click for details: 1988 BMW 325ix on eBay
The Volkswagen Mk1 GTI is quickly ascending the classic car ranks and dragging what used to be the most fun performance value available into a serious investment. We’ve seen nice examples come from Windy City Motorsports before, but today’s GTI comes from one of the owners personal garages and features an impressive lineup of modifications. The updates are mostly period-correct, and while they remove any claim to originality, they come together for a beautifully impressive package.
After buying the GTI from its original owner, the seller stripped it down and repainted it, opting to remove the fender flares. Most people want to make their sports cars wider, not narrower, but I can’t argue with how great the gold BBS RSs look on a clean body. Lots of other parts were smoothed out too like shaved side reflectors and fender antenna, with tidy Euro bumpers and a Zender roof spoiler yielding a GTI that is somehow even crisper than the outstanding factory appearance Giugiaro blessed it with. The interior is similarly spruced-up 80s with a suede headliner, all-new carpeting, and serious-but-clandestine stereo upgrades. The main performance upgrades are in the suspension, but to call the original 8V engine untouched would ignore the considerable work done replacing pretty much every auxiliary item, gasket, and line.
With just 52k miles, this would be a big-buck GTI no matter what. The well-chosen and comprehensive upgrades come together for a beautiful GTI with enough small touches to keep even the most die-hard VW fan poking around in awe for hours.
Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen GTI on eBay
One of the things I’ve liked about moving back to Washington State from the SF Bay Area is that seeing rare, expensive cars is special again. Living next to the most expensive zip code in the country meant that pretty much every luxury car was the top-of-the-line model, from BMW M5s and Alpina B7s to Audi S8s and RS7s to Mercedes-Benz E/S/CLS/SL/ML/G/GL63s and 65s. I got desensitized and disdainful, scowling at the 80 year olds puttering around El Camino Real with 500-600hp on tap. The Mercedes AMG 65 models always caught my attention with their gunmetal wheels as the main giveaway besides the badges, a nearly $200k car just hanging out next to the yoga studio and completely unnoticed by the general public.
Well, they were roughly $200k when new. Depreciation hits them harder than their (transmission-limited) 738 lb-ft of torque and now this twin-turbo V12 GT is roughly a third of its original price. They’re not the most attractive roadsters, but it’s certainly a more balanced design than the “umm… copy-paste-update new shape here!” look of the current R231 SL. This R230 looks a bit more classic in black on black and has the Panoramic Roof option on the folding top so you can see the sky without exposing yourself to the commonfolk. Carbon fiber puts a performance veneer on the interior, but this will never be a canyon carver. It’s a 604hp highway bomber, and hopefully having covered fewer than 12k miles will keep scary-expensive maintenance on the V12 at bay for a while.
Click for details: 2007 Mercedes-Benz Sl65 on eBay
What is age, anyway? As my 30th birthday quickly approaches, that question has been on my mind a lot recently. Years alive may be an objective measurement, but youthfulness, vigor, lust for life – these are all factors in “age” that are significantly more subjective. I’ve had a pretty good three decades, but I’m working to make sure that they keep getting better.
This 535i has lived exactly the same amount of years as me, but I can only hope to be as youthful as it appears. Having covered less than 70k miles in 30 years and completely original save the A/C system, this is one heck of an E28. From the chrome to the carpet to to the paint, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything resembling a flaw on this time capsule. The leather shows slight signs of wear, but then again 70k miles isn’t zero. With everything functioning well on a very sturdy platform, age is relative; there are many happy days in this 535i’s future.