1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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After Friday’s wallet-busting Rabbit Pickup, we have a sweet little diesel model that doesn’t have quite the top-to-bottom shine as the low beige caddy but is looking to pack quite the value. Pretty much everything under the hood has been redone with top-notch parts from OEM supplier The Parts Place, so you can bet this little pickup is going to run for many decades to come. The value comes in because there’s still work to be done on the interior and running gear, but those are things you can do over time, improve, and customize in much simpler ways than the motor. The reserve is still on the auction and bidding is hot, but it’s looking like this is going to be a right-priced economy truck with tons of potential.

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2011 BMW 335i

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The E92 is a fairly innocuous-looking car in most cases, with even the almighty V8-powered M3 failing to turn many heads at the stoplight. This 335i has the looks and modifications to attract a bit more attention, most glaringly of which is the 3M Intense Blue wrap, a color not far off the E46 M3’s desirable Laguna Seca Blue. Under the hood a new intercooler and access port from Cobb Tuning, along with some serious breathing improvements including Dinan mufflers behind catless downpipes. A few carbon bits here, some ///M stripes there, and M5 wheels complete the package for a 335i that has both show and go.

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1988 Volkswagen DoKa Diesel

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I’d love to be the buyer for this New Jersey outfit which is clearly wandering around Europe, finding great 25+ year-old Volkswagens that were previously forbidden fruit, and bringing them to the US to turn a profit. Thus far, it’s seemed like low-mileage all-originals were the examples of choice, but this DoKa takes it to the next level. The cowcatcher front spoiler could challenge Alpina or Zender, and full-body ground effects and black-center aftermarket wheels help it strike a completely different pose. Sure, it’s a diesel, just like many of the showcar VWs in this country are “2.slows,” but that doesn’t make it undesirable. The interior is painted in the same bright blue hue, and updated front seats and steering wheel follow the few-parts-big-effects style of the exterior.

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Diesel

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Instead of Friday Fail, today we’ve got Sunday Smokers. I’m not sure what kind of dust is floating around the Dusty Old Cars warehouse, but I think it might be crack. I love Rabbit Pickups – not only was my first car one, but they’re precisely the kind of European oddity that we rarely get in the US but, for some magical reason, were blessed with for a few years in the early 80s. Practical and putting a heavy dose of fun in funky, they even came with a diesel! Today’s example is one of those oil-burners, wears a fresh coat of baby blue paint, and – despite 187k miles – the engine bay looks a great. However, a little closer look reveals some big question marks (like any description at all?) and possible rust spots that were just painted over. Even if it is just cosmetic and the truck were perfect, their asking price of $14,950 (down from $17,899, lucky you!) is top dollar for perfectly restored, low-mile, and modified Caddys. I realize New Hampshire is all about Live Free or Die, but with the amount of drugs these guys are doing, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be living free much longer.

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1991 Volkswagen Westfalia TDI

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I like older cars that are loved, maintained, and well-used in the manner they were built for. This means that high mileage is, to me, a badge of honor, and replaced and upgrades parts are more a sign of perseverance and attention than decay. Like my old cars, this ’91 Westy appears to me as a shining example of just how good 200k+ miles can look. Sure, there are some stone chips and patina, and the engine and transmission have had to be replaced, but from the wheels to the tent and all through the inside it looks a great, functional adventure van. Instead of the 2.1-liter gas engine, it now has a 1.9-liter TDI conversion that was truly done right, with some nice engine mods along with a re-geared transmission and a Peloquin differential to resist those annoying one-wheel spins in traction-deficient situations. The condition and upgrades more than offset the high odometer reading, so the auction is starting at a strong $29k.

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1981 BMW 528i

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The E12 5-series is kind of like the E21 3-series, being the first of its name but not quite as cool as the Bavaria/2002s before them, nor as desired as the E28/E30s that succeeded them. This is a pretty sweet example though that has been subtly updated over time so that after nearly 35 years and over 200k miles, it still looks and runs great. The original 2.8-liter inline-6 has been replaced with a stronger 3.2, the wheels are from an E28, and both the interior and exterior have been tastefully redone. It’s old and has a few issues that will keep it a project, but odometer gears and door handles are easy items to start with. There’s definite interest but bidding is very low, making this a nice opportunity to get in a rareish classic BMW for cheap.

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1966 Mercedes-Benz O319B Panoramabus

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Modern Mercedes Sprinters are some of the most versatile and capable vehicles out there, and we’ve taken a few trips down memory lane to look at the history of Mercedes vans. This example comes from the first generation of Mercedes mid-size van, the 319, which came in a variety of van and truck bodystyles. This Panoramabus comes with the windows up, down, and all-around greenhouse that many lust after in the 21-Window VW Bus, offering as much sunlight as you can handle. It’s been around the block, originally living the US before heading to Holland to become a tour bus for the unfortunately-named Inn at Fawnskin and then transitioning into a camper (though the Fawnskin decals remain). I find it truly astonishing that it’s covered 164k miles given that it shares the meager 1.9-liter inline-4 which powered the diminutive 190SL. It has a very funky look and could be an epic van once restored, but is also being sold for an epic price at nearly $40k.

Click for details: 1966 Mercedes-Benz O319B Panoramabus on Hemmings

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1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Thanks to a childhood friend’s family having a Vanagon in the exact same spec, this dark blue, final-year Westy (for the U.S.) paints the same picture as the entry for “Vanagon” in my personal car encyclopedia. It’s a very nice, mellow blue that teams up with body-colored mirrors and perfect (if small) OEM 5-spokes to accomplish a subtle aesthetic that is both handsome and unassuming. Fully loaded and fully functional, it’s covered just over 100k miles and is significantly more original than most nice Westfalias we see. The care to keep it looking good and performing perfectly is clear, but its all-originality helps it occupy a nice middle ground in terms of asking price.

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Inexpensive Vanagon Campers

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The fact that many camping Vanagons are going for $40k and up can be daunting for those of us who have aspirations of living the van life. Today we’ll take a look at a couple of 1991 vans that severely undercut the general Vanagon camper market – one pop-top and one rare example that has all the camping accoutrements but no pop-top.

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1987 BMW M6

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As E30s go bonkers, E24s continue to be the dark horse in the 80s M-cars race to the top of the appreciation charts. Those who know appreciate the great styling, fantastic engine, and impeccable cruising ability. Those who don’t, well – don’t; they see it slip by as innocuously as any other old Bimmer. Today’s comes in a very subdued blue (sublued?) with just 68k miles. The asking price of $24.5k seems, for once, pretty darn reasonable. You could drive this another 30k miles in the next 5-10 years and sell it for a hefty profit, having a great time while doing so.

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