From my perspective, watching auctions like Barrett-Jackson has always been a bit of detachment from reality. The numbers thrown at cars over the past decade are simply unfathomable to most and somewhat laughable at the same time. The frenzied auctions for economy cars with truck motors in them have been staggering; simply being witness to the Hemi ‘Cuda insanity was astonishing. In many ways, it strikes me as a historian much like the famed “Tulip Mania” in 1600s Netherlands. Speculation on the value of tulips reached the point where a single tulip bulb was worth around 10-15 times the average worker’s salary. For a flower. The resulting semi-insanity ended up partially ruining the Dutch economy, though it was not solely to blame and leaves out many other events that transpired. To me, watching shows like “Antiques Roadshow” often raises similar issues. In particular, recently the show has revisited older shows to display updated appraisals. In general, nearly all of the speculated values a decade on are lower, sometimes significantly. There’s one area that isn’t though – the Asian market, which if anything is much stronger than it was a decade ago thanks to the surging Chinese economy. For some time, the focus on muscle cars eclipsed the old money; very special coach-built pre-War cars used to be where the go-to value was. And while the E30 may be a flash in the pan with people lamenting when they could have bought an example for $10,000 that’s now worth 4 times that, consider this: in 1956, someone bought a Mercedes-Benz 540K special roadster for $2,167 (about $18,600 today). The last one that sold cleared $7.85 million dollars. How’s that for a good investment?
All posts tagged Cabriolet
The W124 Mercedes-Benz E-class convertible isn’t exactly what you would consider a sporting drive. It’s a thoroughly competent cruiser and can handle itself in the twisties, but this is a car meant to cosset you as you motor, top-down and enjoy the passing scenery at a more relaxed pace. It is, simply, a car to be seen in. Our reader Walker spotted this imported 1993 300CE-24 Cabriolet equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox, one of a handful that were equipped as such. Imported in 2001 and brought up to US specs, it’s available in Richmond, Virginia with just over 100,000 miles on the clock.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE-24 Cabriolet on Craigslist Richmond
I’ll continue with the Cabriolet theme, though unlike yesterday’s car which I specifically featured because it was a Cabriolet this one appeals to me for additional reasons and that it happens to be a Cabriolet simply is coincidence. This Cabriolet equipped with the M491 package offers many of the stylistic and handling upgrades of the 911 Turbo, but retains the less highly strung and more maintenance friendly naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six of the standard Carrera. While accurate production numbers for the M491-equipped cars have been notoriously difficult to pin down for their six years of production (1984-1989) these cars are certainly more rare than a standard Carrera. It does appear that the option was prevalent on Coupes early on and then shifted heavily toward the Cabriolet once the actual Turbo was again made available in the US. Still, as a performance variant the M491-equipped 911s have become highly sought after, especially for the later years that also came with the G50 5-speed transmission.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491 on eBay
We are entering convertible season and probably the time of year when many crave open-top motoring the most. There is probably not a shade of color I enjoy more on a Cabriolet than the various blues that are out there. These shades provide the sort of lightness and brightness that goes hand in hand with sunny motoring and combine to create an excellent atmosphere to match the sky above. Here we have the rare triple blue: an Iris Blue Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Arizona, with matching blue leather interior and dark blue wheels that is on auction with no reserve. This is not a perfect car by any means as I think there are a few questions to be answered, but as a driver it looks in very good shape with very reasonable mileage.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay
The allure of a Cabriolet is fairly obvious though I do think it is difficult to accurately gauge that appeal until you have spent a warm afternoon enjoying a winding country or mountain road behind the wheel of a fantastic sports car. No doubt, there are negatives to owning a convertible, but there also is a way in which the reality of those near perfect drives easily exceeds whatever preconceived notions we might have had regarding what makes open-top motoring so popular. And right now I want nothing more than to take one of those drives. I have a few variants of the 993 I plan to feature this week, but I will begin with this beautiful, very low-mileage, Cabriolet. Here we have an Aventurine Green Metallic 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in San Diego, with a mere 3,200 miles on it. It’s anybody’s guess how such a wonderful 993 saw so few miles residing in San Diego, but here it sits in pristine condition ready to join someone else’s collection.