1988 BMW M3

1988 BMW M3

It’s only been a little over a week since I last looked at an E30 M3. A 297,000 mile example with extensive rebuild work, it brushed up against $40,000 in bidding in the no reserve auction.

Clearly, M3 mania hasn’t died down all that much.

Sellers have taken note; at any given time, there are a plethora of E30 M3s available on the market. Today’s search yielded no less than eight examples on eBay; average asking price? About $64,000. But that’s nothing compared to the nine that Enthusiast Auto Group have, including no less than five Sport Evolutions. If you have to ask….

But not many sellers are laying it out on the line. If the market really is plum crazy for these cars, why are more people not rolling the dice and taking market value? For example, if a nearly 300,000 mile example hits the best part of $40,000, what would a much lower mile example bring?

We’re about to find out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

It’s strange to follow up Rob’s ostentatious 911R with a 1983 Audi Quattro and remember that, at one point, they were competitors in the marketplace. Though the basis for what made the Quattro legendary; inspired racey styling, boxflares, turbocharging and all-wheel drive with a near-luxury interior seems almost trite, the Quattro really was a revolution in design. Some ten times more dear than an E30 M3, in recent years the Audi has gained a lot more respect in the marketplace. There are those that say you can’t really compare the Quattro to the M3, or even the 911 – though the pricing was quite similar. But isn’t that the point? In period, the other car you could have bought for the same money was a basic 911. And the market spoke: in 1983, Audi sold some 240 Quattros in the U.S.. Porsche, on the other hand, traded 5,707 911SCs between the Coupe, Targa and new Cabriolet models. There was basically no market overlap with the other two major contenders – the 944 Turbo and the M3. Both those cars, and the 911, were finished to a higher level of quality with better components, arguably, but the real difference was the type of owner who bought the Quattro versus the 911. These cars were built to be used and abused, and many were.

But the difference in value has started to be erased because of the scarcity of the Audi in today’s market and a focus on being a bit different. I wonder, in all honest, if the 60 Minutes scandal had never occurred what the result on values of these cars might have been. Today, finding lower mile, clean and original examples like this Gobi Beige Metallic example might be a lot more commonplace:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

If the end of the the Group B era was the RS200 I wrote up yesterday, the signature car of the rule set still has to be the Audi Quattro. There’s been a renaissance of the history of the Quattro; like the E30 M3, it wasn’t quite as successful at any given moment as fans of each tend to claim. The Quattro was far from dominant in World Rally – but it was evocative, as the close battles with Lancia, Peugeot and Ford produced the legendary sounds, sights and sensations that still send chills up the spines of anyone who sees these cars in person. The noise of the Quattro alone is legendary and the off-road soundtrack to the 1980s. I’d like to think I capture a little bit of that every time I start up my Coupe GT, but though it sounds really neat it’s nothing compared to the raucous screams of the last E1 cars. It was what made the Quattro the legend that it is. Although the WRC cars were a different breed than the road-going luxury versions, still they were simply put the fastest way to cover ground in any weather in the early 1980s. It helped that they were quite good looking, too, in their own chunky way:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

At the first Audi Club track event I went to, I excitedly hurried my 4000CS quattro through the hills of Northwest Connecticut to Lime Rock Park. The year was 1997, and while I had been heading to the track for many years this was my first foray to an Audi event. Back in ’97, old Audis were pretty uncommon – hard to fathom considering how scarce they are today. So going to an all-Audi event promised to be a special collection of audacious Audis, and I was certainly not disappointed. There were no less than ten Quattros in attendance, and may have even been more – I struggle a bit to remember, but a fair chunk of the instructor core had them and even a few students showed up with the legendary cars. It was a bit like those nature shows of Ridley Sea Turtles arriving on Mexican beaches once a year to lay eggs; a baffling display of the entire world’s population arriving in one spot at one time when for the rest of the year they’re spread around the world’s oceans. Quattros, especially large numbers of Quattros, are like that. Let’s put some figures into perspective – E30 M3s are rare, right? Sure, only around 5,000 made it to the U.S. with a pretty good amount still being sold on eBay today being driven as they should. 190E 16V owners enjoy pointing out that their cars are much more endangered, as just shy of 2,000 made the Atlantic crossing. Low residuals mean a lower percentage of those original 1,953 still are dog-legging around. E24 M6, E28 M5, E34 M5? Sure, all very low production cars. But the Quattro? 664 came here, and how many are left today is a good question. I’d estimate the number of Quattros remaining alive and in good condition to likely be less than 2/3rds of the original 664 – figure maybe 400 are still around and serviceable.…

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Audi Quattro WRC Tribute

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Audi Quattro WRC Tribute

In general I like to reserve the Motorsports Monday posts for actual track-flavored cars, but occasionally one comes along that is worth a look even if it’s more of a poseur than pole position. Of course calling any original Quattro a poseur isn’t particularly fair. Out of the box these cars were effectively Group A race cars with some luxury goods fit to them. But the owner of this particular Quattro took the next step in their “restoration” of this 1984 car, modifying the boxflared wonder to look like its fire-spitting WRC brethren. Does it pull it off?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

Going up? Double Take: 1990 and 1988 BMW M3s

Going up? Double Take: 1990 and 1988 BMW M3s

That the E30 M3 has been on a stratospheric price rise is old news. So are the stories of “I could have bought one for $400 20 years ago”. You know what? I could have bought a really nice piece of land near the coast in Rhode Island for 10% its current value 30 years ago, but I didn’t. Old, too, are the stories of what floor some ex-M3 owners got off at; for unlucky examples, it was $10,000 a decade ago, but smarter sellers have cashed in on E30 mania in the past year. Thanks to some big number sales late in 2015, the E30 M3 market is stronger than ever which raises the question of how high it will go. At what point will people say “You know what? This is a 4-cylinder near-luxury economy car that I’m paying $100,000 plus for”? It would seem that every time someone raises the flag of THE END IS NEAR another shockingly priced example clears what appeared previously to be an insurmountable hurdle and Mr. Toad’s wild ride continues. While there’s been a slight cooling in the acceleration curve, it’s still pointed directly towards the Moon today. Hagerty’s Condition 1 price valuation for a 1990 M3 is now $115,000, and the average value of those insured is $55,800. But the market has realized that many of the examples coming to market weren’t condition 1, or frankly even condition 2. Lesser than top-tier example’s value has gone almost completely flat, and now it’s the really exceptional models that are rising to the top rather than the entire crop. So let’s take a look at two of the best out there today and muse over whether this trend will continue to new heights:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 on eBay

1982 Audi Quattro

1982 Audi Quattro

The same dealer who brought us the cool 2002tii Touring and M3 convertible has another European-specification treat that they’re taunting us with. This time it’s an original Audi Quattro, bucking the trend of these cars heading back to Europe. An early 1982 example, it’s painted Alpine White like the factory rally cars were and features the early WR 2.1 liter inline-5 turbochanged motor and 6″ Ronals. Unlike U.S. spec cars, European models got the full-fat 200 horsepower, bringing performance more in line with equal priced contemporaries from Porsche. There are some other neat things to see – for example, it’s a non-sunroof example – fairly rare among a group of cars that’s already quite dear, and of course sports the better looking European bumpers with integrated headlight washers and foglights. With only 85,000 miles on the clock and in mostly original condition, does this one check the right box(flare)?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Considering what it takes to be called a supercar these days, it’s somewhat amazing that in the early 1980s the Audi Quattro sparked such a revolution. After all, the boxflared wonder arrived in the U.S. costing about the same as a Porsche 911 but sporting only 160 horsepower. Factor in the relatively heavy for then (though admittedly light by today’s standards) 3,000 lb curb weight, and the Quattro was anything but high performance by the standards we consider today. But a revolution in performance it was, as it allowed you to push the car hard in any condition with confidence. Recently I watched the old Motorweek clip on the Quattro; performance was about what you’d expect from the numbers presented above and is probably on par with a base Honda Civic these days. But still the reviewers raved about the performance of the luxury coupe, and though few sold on these shores they’ve always enjoyed a cult following which today is growing into a greater appreciation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Trying to convince people that the Quattro was the most influential and important car developed in the 1980s is akin to attempting to argue that Scottie Pippin was the all-around best player on the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Sure, you could back up your premise with plenty of facts, testimonials and opinion pieces that “Pip” was a better all-arounder than some other more famous players. But in the mind of nearly all enthusiasts and most non-enthusiasts alike, the image of Michael Jordan winning everything trump any argument a Pippin fan can generate. It’s therefore up to the small group of enthusiasts who understand the significance of the Quattro to support the dwindling supply of road-worthy examples – not an easy thing to do these days, given the even more scarce amount of spare parts:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1985 Audi Quattro

1985 Audi Quattro

It’s always a bit of fun to see a GCFSB alumni pop up again; back in September of 2013 this particular Quattro appeared on these pages. Now, typically when we relist a car we’ve previously featured, we’ll do a “revisit”. But I’m not going to do that with this car for one simple reason; the change in price. You see, the current seller bought this car almost exactly two years ago to the day. I remember looking longingly at the listing and thinking that if I was in a slightly different place, this car had the prospect of being an incredible deal. Not only were few 1985 model Quattros imported, but to me they’re the best looking of the bunch and offer the upgrades of the later Type 85 chassis; better electronics, an updated dash and some trim bits and of course the classic 8″ Ronals. There were a lot of positives, including a respray, working air conditioning and recent maintenance. Despite that, it traded hands at $15,000 – a bargain for a legendary car in good shape with low miles. Well, if you missed the boat then, tickets for this ride have gotten slightly more expensive….as in, just over 5 times more expensive:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

It’s a sigh of relief to see a market correction in classic Audi’s favor. For such a long time, Audis were simply unappreciated; but innovative designs, great looks and solid build quality mean that those who hung on for the depreciation ride are now smiling a bit more. There’s simply more appreciation for the classic Audis now then perhaps ever; even perhaps more than when they were new. That’s because back then, no one knew what they were, really – but today, the legend of Quattro has spread and thanks to the proliferation of internet video, we still get to hear the raucous barking and watch the belching flames from the turbocharged inline-5. This past weekend, I took my Coupe GT out for a ride. I grabbed my cousin and we went to look at a new car for him; a 2009 Subaru WRX. Much like a modern interpretation of the original Audis, it’s apropos that we arrived in an Audi to take a look at it. What was perhaps more striking, though, was the reaction of the Subaru crowd. We showed up to a Subaru speed shop where the WRX was to be view, and instantly once within earshot, all of the crew at the garage came out to see the approaching Audi. It was a genuine show of respect, smiles, and thumbs up from a crew you wouldn’t automatically assume would know their history. Even more shocking, though, was the resounding appreciation they showed for the old car – more than often is seen at Audi-specific events. That’s the legend and the importance of the Quattro:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Despite my general love of all-things-Audi, even I have a hard time coming up with good condition examples of the marque from the early 1980s. For U.S. fans, there just isn’t a plethora to choose from. For example, when you search eBay for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or BMW models and sort by age, you’ll find usually several pages of examples before you get to the 1980s, where inevitably there will be a flood of models. When you switch to Audi, you’ll find three cars – and this is a good week. Fortunately for Audi fans, one of those three cars is the daddy – an original Audi Quattro. Few of these quite expensive turbocharged all-wheel drive Coupes made it to the U.S., and even fewer remain today; as I mentioned in the Coupe Week 1983 Quattro post. There was an excellent example of a low mile Quattro that had been repatriated to Europe, a trend which seems increasingly popular for the model which has more respect in the Fatherland than amongst U.S. enthusiasts. In fact, recently on our Facebook page one of the Quattros I posted prompted an enthusiasts to remark that the boxflared-fenders were reminiscent of the E30 M3 – without any acknowledgement that the Audi came on the scene well before the DTM star. So here’s your opportunity, Audi faithful, to keep one of the better examples of the limited-run Quattro on U.S. shores with this excellent 1983 Mars Red example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Double Take: Modded or Stock 1983 Audi Quattros

Double Take: Modded or Stock 1983 Audi Quattros

For some time, the Quattro remained an undercover legend amongst enthusiasts. Saddled with an unfair reputation from media hype and enthusiasts’ misconceptions, the Quattro was remarkably affordable until very recently – especially so when you consider the ascension of other ’80s icons. But Audi’s acknowledgement that they built cars prior to the A4, coupled with some star power from the British show Ashes to Ashes and universal acknowledgement of the car’s impressive stature in the halls of automotive history mean that it’s still a star on the rise – especially in Europe, where the car is seriously coveted. Americans are just catching on in the grand scheme of things – and their delay means that many of these turbocharged all-wheel drive wonders have gone the way of the Dodo. It’s not as if there were many to choose from initially, with only around 11,500 of them produced and a majority of those remained in Europe. The U.S. only saw a few years of importation; a reported total of 664 made it here – and though they’ve maintained a devoted fan following since they were pulled from these shores in 1986, it’s nevertheless been difficult to find good examples of these cars today. They’ve become regarded as quite cool; the mystique of the turbocharged, box-flared World Rally Championship car for the road – the original Quattro is unsurpassed in the realm of cool Audis. Today, we’ll look at a mild and modded example and see which is the one to grab:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on Craigslist

1984 Audi 80 quattro Widebody

1984 Audi 80 quattro Widebody

You’re not going to buy this car. Let’s be honest, even if you wanted to spend a lot on a wildly modified Audi 4000, it’s on the wrong side of the pond. And then there’s the definition of “a lot” – in this case, the best part of $60,000. Crazy, right? Well, not so fast – arguably, this is one of the most famous and best executed modified Audi 80s in the world. But not only does it look racy; the looks are backed up by a 2.5 20 valve inline-5 turbocharged motor running a host of upgrades through a custom application V8 quattro 6-speed. The result? Going on 800 horsepower! Ridiculous for a standard 80 perhaps, but under the grafted Quattro flares and WRC OZ Rally wheels lie a host of RS2 and Group B works suspension upgrades. Compared to what’s under the hood, if anything the exterior suddenly seems quite sedate:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 80 quattro on Finn.no

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Well, he’s at it again; the same seller as the 1984 Audi 4000S quattro in Laguna Seca Blue and earlier 1990 Coupe Quattro in Ginster Yellow is now selling his 1983 Quattro. These cars have been pretty rapidly appreciating, pulled upwards by the popularity of the E30 M3 and resurgence of Audi’s campaign to recognize that it made cars before the A4. Undoubtedly, this Quattro is much more valuable than the last two offerings from this seller – but is it the one to buy? The last few examples that we’ve seen have had some rare but polarizing modifications that arguably hurt more than helped the value of the cars for sale – is this legend the same?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay