Unpretentious Street/track E36 M3 for cheap

The M3 coupe isn’t the one I’d have whenever a sedan is offered, but those with a penchant for the more classic sports car or track-capability would usually go for the coupe. Put it in Estoril Blue and I’m starting to be swayed. Drop the price to around $7k and I’m all ears when we’re talking M3. Today’s 1999 coupe isn’t perfect nor original, but it’s a nicely gone-through example with an eye on sharper handling and performance.

1999 E36 M3 Coupe for sale on Craigslist SF

The listing and the list:

Up for sale a 1999 BMW E36 M3, Estoril Blue, 160k miles, clean title.

Full cooling system overhaul done 500 miles ago
Full suspension overhaul done 500 miles ago – every bushing, every ball joint
All the parts were installed 500 miles ago.
New power steering reservoir and new hydraulic hoses and hd clamps. No more usuall BMW power steering leaks:)

-Cooling system (RMEuropean):
Stewart Water pump
Drive belts
Adjusting pullies
Deflection pullies
Fan switch 80C
Thermostat 80C
Fan delete
Aluminum thermostat housing
New aluminum Mishimoto racing radiator
Expansion tank
Alt belt tensioner
All new clamps and hoses

-Kosei K1 Racing 17″x 8.5 wheels practically brand new, 500 miles on them also. No curbrash whatsoever. Yokohama a046 30% tires.
-Ground Control AD Advanced Design coilovers, fr 650, r 750. Bought them used. They were used for about 10k miles and never been rebuilt. They need a rebuild by now most likely. I bought new adjusters for them.
-Vorschlag camber plates
-Ground Control big front sway bar with new links
-Sparco EVO 2 blue seat,not mounted
-New ignition
-New battery
-5 oil filters will be included
-More Mobil 1 oil will be included

-Suspension(Bimmerworld, UUC, Turner Motorsports):
Powerflex subframe mounts – mounted with McMaster big washers and M5 bolts instead of studs so the washers will not cup like others overtime
Derlin diff mounts
All new OEM ball joints
Rear trailing arm bushings
Limiter kit for RTAB
Turner Adjustable rear camber arms
Sway bar reinforcements kit
Lamforder control arms
Tie rods
Tree house racing control arm bushings(green)
Guibo
All new OEM bolts and washers

-Transmission:
UUC Motor mounts race, red
UUC Transmission mounts, red, race
UUC Evo3 short shifter kit + dssr shifter rod
Redline fluid

-Brakes:
Blank OEM rotors
Performance Friction Brake Pads 06
Turner Brake lines
Motul Brake fluid

Car has stock motor. Interior needs work if intended for street. Pass seat will need to be reupholstered. Mobil 1 motor oil used. I bought this car, built it, did one track day at Infineon Raceway and garaged it since. When I bought it I had to replace front drivers fender, nose panel and headlight. There was no structural damage. Front bumper was banged up but Ive saved it and it looks ok. Paint looks good overall. Clean title. I am probably forgetting some other parts ive installed, so ill try to update the list as i go.

What I like most about this M3 is a general lack of pretension. The owner wasn’t afraid of getting dirty and putting solid performance upgrades on everything but the motor (refreshingly backwards from most modified M3s), but also didn’t go overboard in making a “tuner car.”  This car is for use and fun.  Something about the track wheels and lightweight flag on the hood just work where they usually wouldn’t for me. Yeah, it’s plenty of miles on the old S50 and a few bits need attendance (passenger seat, coilovers), but it’s all above-board and priced to go. Hard to imagine a better canyon-carver or weekend tracker for $7k than this M3 coupe.
-NR

1983 VW Jetta Coupe for sale

While there’s been on/off talk of a new Jetta Coupe for the past decade or so, they haven’t produced on since the Mk2 series ended in 1989.  This is a shame as the concept pictures of more modern coupes are quite attractive, and examples from 80s are awesome but rare.  The sharp Jetta shape looks better just a little more compact, and this one for sale on VW Vortex is looking great in the Mk1 Mars Red and black.  I’ve always wanted this color combo on an early GTI, but the funky rarity of a Jetta Coupe might even be a little cooler.

1983 VW Jetta Coupe for sale on VW Vortex

The list of upgrades is too long to put here, but worth checking out on the listing if you’re interested in VWs.  Essentially, this is a thoroughly gone-over and loved Mk1 that’s better than it left the factory without being over the top modified.  There are some scuffs and scratches outside but overall it looks great with that color, clean vinyl molding, and decent black wheels. The tweed interior is as perfect as one could put in a Mk1, and the running bits are very well-chosen and sorted.  The seller is looking for $3,900, right in the middle of what I consider acceptable Mk1 range: beaters around $1k (or less), showy engine swappers closer to $7-8.  The time, energy, and care put into making this a great little coupe makes me think it’s a good price for a fun and funky alternative to more common VWs.

-NR

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

The W123 is quite possibly the most ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz of all time. Revered for it’s build quality and rock solid reliability, both clean and clapped out examples are still a regular site on roads all over the world to this day. Slightly more rare than its sedan counterpart, the coupe, or CD/CE brought the classic MB pillarless coupe style to the workhorse chassis. This particular example, a later turbodiesel variant, has seen just over 90,000 miles. One could consider this slightly broken in.

The seller states:

This is a rare 1983 Mercedes 300CD Turbo coupe. It runs and drives awesome. This is a rust free car. It has 91,371 miles on it. The car is in very nice shape. The A/C blows cold. This car will go a million miles.

After scanning other ads online and pricing guides, it seems as if the value of W123 CDs are topping out around $10,000. If this car had about 50,000 less miles on it, it might be worth it, but unless this car has impeccable service history, it’s a bit overpriced. Nevertheless, a fine example of the W123 coupe in a pleasant color combination.

-Paul

Clean and lower-mile 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro for sale

I’ve expressed my enjoyment of the Audi Coupe Quattro, a loveable nugget of a coupe packing all-wheel drive and a little 20V 5-cylinder.  It’s maybe not the most extreme Audi, but it does a lot of things well.  It looks good, if a little less taught than the ur-Quattro.  It should handle decently with some fun factory go-fast bits and a manual tranny.  And though a little coupe, it’ll get you where you need to go with all four wheels turning.  Every once in a while a nice example pops up, and this is a great, updated but unabused example from Utah.

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From the seller:

Garage kept, Summer driver, low miles 97,636. The car has many upgrades from engine, intake, exhaust, new ecu, suspension, wheels, brand new tires, paint, tint, stereo and so much more. I have a set of the original speedline wheels with tires, original air box,radio,and other misc parts. This has been a amazing car. You wont find too many out there like this.

Going to need some more investigation with a brief description like that, but this Quattro has a lot going for it.  It’s clean in and out, and the sub-100k miles is a very positive place to start.  I like the black molding instead of the singular exterior color a lot of these have, and the great Borbets are very fitting.  The one holdup here is the price; $7500 seems like a bit rich to start bidding for this 20 year-old Audi spacenugget, but perhaps further investigation will show that it’s even nicer than the ad suggests. -NR

1986 Alpina B9 3.5 Coupe for sale

What happens when you take a BMW tuner that turns all BMWs into shark-nosed road monsters and unleash it upon the sharkiest of all BMWs?

Ubershark.

Obviously based on the E24, Alpina applies their usual chunky front and rear spoilers, tron-graphics, and infinitely-spoked wheels to create the B9 3.5 Coupe.  A subtle but vast improvement on the NA 635CSi is the Euro bumpers.  All this combines for one mean looking package with some beef behind it, as the Alpina came with an improved 3.5L I6 pushing out 245hp, a healthy boost over the 635’s 215hp.  That power is nice, but really, you’re buying this car for the looks.  This example is in North Wales, GB and is far from perfect, but it’s only covered 56k miles and could be made great.

There are some things wrong with this car.  Some cracks here and there, notably the front splitter and the dash.  It’s in Wales, and though they offer a shipping option, you will may run into some federalization issues.  The biggest turn off for me about this car though is the chunky automatic gear selector in the middle.

Acknowledging those shortcomings, there’s a lot of awesomeness going on here, almost entirely in the looks department.  Holy cow.  Those lines, the spoilers, and the wheels that really tie the room together.  Notice how when the center caps are gone, it’s a totally different look?  Yeah, those wheels are the hotness.  Anyways.  It’s been posted before and it’s stuck at $4k on eBay now, so something in the “cons” section is keeping people away.  For me, it’s worth a chunk of money just to look at.

-NR

Aaron also came across this car and adds these thoughts.

1985 BMW 6-Series Alpina B9 for Sale
May 19, 2010 by Aaron

If you did not see my rant last week, I was going on and on (and on) about the rarity of real Alpina’s in the states. As if on cue a company by the name of Performance Legends in North Wales has listed three Alpina’s on eBay. All three of which look to be in good to excellent condition. Alpina’s are far more common in the UK, so the seller’s notion to offer these up to buyers in the states is a stroke of genius. Here is an example:

1985 BMW 6-Series Alpina B9 for Sale:

From the seller’s ad –

“Welcome to this listing for a very rare Alpina B9 3.5 Coupe that we recently imported from Japan. We are experienced importers and exporters of specialist performance cars and we can offer shipping of this car from the UK to the US East Coast for $2000. We would like you to be totally comfortable buying from us so if you would like more photos of the car or any particular areas of the car, please let us know and we will get them for you. The Alpina VIN is WAPB935C05B910557 and we have verified that the engine and head numbers are original and matching with the Alpina factory records. The car is number B9-557 according to the Alpina plaque on the centre console and was built in Buchloe in July 1985.

We can supply the car with either its original 16″ alloy wheels or the 17″ wheels also shown. If you would like both sets there will be an additional cost. This B9 is in good condition especially considering that it is nearly 25 years old, with both sound bodywork and mechanicals. The car is fully UK registered with all paperwork and all import taxes paid already. There is some minor cosmetic work required to make this car perfect, but nothing major and most importantly there is no rot in the bodywork.

In our opinion the mileage of the car is original, and it has never been accident damaged although we can not guarantee either of these things due to its age. The engine, gearbox and other mechanical parts are in excellent condition and we have just completed a full fluid service including spark plugs and filters. The interior is also in excellent condition with only a couple of minor faults. This Alpina drives very well indeed and I was very pleasantly surprised how nice it is when I recently completed 100 mile trip in it. Everything seems to work ok including the electrics etc. We are having a stock clear-out and as such we will listen to any sensible offers, however as it is a really nice car and deserves to go to a good home, we will not be giving it away.”

I chose the B9 as it is my favorite Alpina, while this one is not perfect it is a knockout as it sits. It is rare to find a seller so willing to export to the states, a starting bid of less than $13k and another $2k for shipping does not seem unreasonable. It would also take some cash to federalize this B9, however, the older these cars get the easier they are the federalize. There are several boutique dealers on the West Coast that will work with the seller to import the car and handle the necessary paperwork and needed changes to make the car US road ready.

If you did not see my rant last week, I was going on and on (and on) about the rarity of real Alpina’s in the states. As if on cue a company by the name of Performance Legends in North Wales has listed three Alpina’s on eBay. All three of which look to be in good to excellent condition. Alpina’s are far more common in the UK, so the seller’s notion to offer these up to buyers in the states is a stroke of genuis. Here is an example:
Is it worth it? Would it be easier to import one of these cars from Toronto which has become the Alpina capitol of North America? I have the feeling that Alpina fans are going to kick themleves in 20 years when they are even more scarce than they are now. What say you? Any Alpina owners out there who care to comment on these cars?

~Aaron.

1995 Porsche 968 Coupe

I’ll admit, I have a thing for the Porsche 968, especially a late model example such as this one. This car, located in my hometown, has been serviced by RS Barn, which is a well known shop amongst enthusiasts in the Delaware Valley.

The seller states:

Last year of this wonderful water cooled Porsche, best of 924/944/968 series. We got this car on trade for 993 cab. Car comes with all keys manuals and service history.We also have a complete tool kit and cargo cover for the car(not pictured).Tires are about 80% tread left. Car has only 20 miles since last service by RS barn in Newtown PA. Over $2500 spent to make it perfect, all fluids, timing belt, brakes were done .Everything to make a new owner happy. Interior is also in very good shape, everything including a/c works on this car. After careful inspection we discovered that the car had some previous paint work, but all panels, fenders ,doors are still original. Car runs and drives exeptionally ,and the torque of the Porsche 3.0L is really impressive.There are no signs of the track use, however I would recommend to the new buyer to take this car to the track, with perfect balance this car will outrun much more powerfull cars.No reserve on this one, Don’t miss it, and you can’t buy them every day.

This may not be the preeminate Porsche on everyone’s mind, but the 968’s handling is legendary. It could very well possess the best moves of any modern day sports car. With no reserve on the auction, it’s certain that this fairly clean example should see the better side of $10,000. Noted journalist Jeremy Clarkson agreed, however, it wasn’t his top choice, as we see in the following clip:

-Paul

Low-mileage 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro for sale

I was driving behind one of these the other day and was reminded of how cool these funky little coupes are.  Depending on the angle and mood, they can look like bloated space pods or excitable rally monsters.  Sightings are rare as only 1730 came to the US, and this is an great example with a mere 55k miles covered.

It’s not perfect, but the pearl white looks really good here, and a few small upgrades (wheels, suspension) would make this a very attractive little car.  The interior and engine compartment are in great shape and the low mileage is a huge plus, but asking nearly $10k is a bit much.  The last one I posted was half that, albeit with twice the miles.  I’d much rather spend $5k on a 110k mile car than $10k on a 55k mile car.

1983 Audi Ur-Quattro for sale

Oh, how I love me some box fenders.  They are so quintessentially 80s and badass.  All the best cars have them… E30 M3s, Golf Rallyes, HF Delta Integrales, and the indomitable Audi Ur-Quattro.  The game-changer.  As the name suggests (“Ur” means original in German), it was the first application of Audi’s now-famous Quattro system, and what a way to start.  Only 664 came to the US, so buying one would put you in rare company.  This beautiful red example looks immaculate and is probably one of the finer survivors out there.

1983 Audi Ur-Quattro for sale on Audifans

The condition of this thing is amazing.  Exterior, interior, and engine all look really clean, and it’s got less than 60k miles on the clock.  The Euro bumpers and lights are nice additions, as the US bumpers are oversized and throw off the lines.  The price is high at $20k, but the car is exceptional and rare, so who knows.  A die-hard Quattro fan who wants a near-perfect example may see this as a great opportunity.

-NR

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe

With the reintroduction of the Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupe for 2010, let’s take a moment and pour over its direct forebear. Here is a clean, relatively low mileage 1995 E320 coupe, which represents the final year of production for the W124 chassis. According to The Standard Catalog of Mercedes-Benz, only 1,798 Coupes were produced for 1995, which was amazingly higher than production was in 1994. While there were less W124 Convertibles produced during the same time frame, open top versions seem easier to find in mint condition and appear to change hands rather frequently, given the short supply. Powered by the ubiquitous M104 3.2 liter inline six, this coupe is capable of providing many more miles of effortless, reliable transport.

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe in Hemmings

The seller states:

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe, 88K, Black/ grey leather. Never smoked in, southern car, always garaged, no rust, mint condition. Clean CarFax. Cost new $63K.

Upon seeing this ad, I had a suspicion that $14,500 seemed high for an asking price, but I had not looked up the value of W124 coupes lately. Sure enough, after consulting three pricing sources, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and NADA, my suspicions were correct. High retail value from these three pricing services was $5,086, $7,150 and $8,912 respectively. Granted, the ad is not very descriptive and there is no telling whether the car is fully documented or if it is an original owner vehicle. If this were the case, I could see the value of this creeping more towards the $10,000 mark, given the mileage and the fact that you don’t see these on the market every day. All of this aside, it is nice to see a well preserved, late model W124 coupe out there, as these cars are simply timeless.

-Paul

1991 Audi Quattro Coupe for sale in Seattle

A lot of attention is given to the first generation Audi Quattro, with its rich rallying heritage and crisp 80s styling.  The second generation succumbed to the typical weight gain that manufacturers seem to equate with progress, with the excuse that it was now more of a GT than a lightweight rally car. The n/a 2.3 liter put out 164hp, about the same as contemporary Corrados, but had more weight to carry around.  It wasn’t all bad though, as the new model came with a locking rear differential, carbon fiber center driveshaft, and a clean new look.

1991 Audi Quattro Coupe for sale on Seattle Craigslist

This example is surprisingly clean inside and out (look at the engine compartment!), probably in part thanks to only having covered a restrained 109k miles.  The squat Audi 90 shape still looks great today, especially with the S2 styling cues that the North American version got.  It’s too bad we missed out on the turbo engine, but that can be remedied with relative ease in the Audi/VW lines.  It’s for sale for $4900, well below the blue book.  Being this clean, it’s a tempting example of some 90s Quattro fun.

-NR