Arguably, I haven’t been very kind to the cars I’ve dubbed “The Three Hairdressers”. Perhaps I haven’t been fair; each has its merits, each has its own neat designs, and each has its quirks. What ties all three together, though, is bang for the buck; today, on Ebay, you can get your choice of great condition TT, SLK or Z3 for around $10,000. Each is a well engineered car with similar purposes but different execution. To make matters a little more complicated on this week’s 10K Friday, I’ve thrown a “real” sports car into the mix in the guise of a 1997 Boxster. Which is the one for you? Let’s start by looking at the Audi:
Model: TT 225 Convertible
Engine: 1.8 turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 73,132 mi
Price: $ 9,995 Buy It Now
90 Day Warranty! Clean CarFax Report w/Dealer Maintenance History, 1.8L 4 Cyl Turbo, 225 Horsepower, Quattro (AWD), 6-Speed Manual, Leather Interior, Black Canvas Softop, Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors, Heated Seats, Cassette Player, 17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Keyless Entry, Owners Manual, Current NJ Inspection 9/2014.
Great color, great wheels, and in my mind the one that has very clearly aged the best out of the four. The TT also is the best year-rounder with Haldex all-wheel drive. It may be considered the least “sporty” of the group, but the TT is a great little car that can easily be turned up a few notches if you’d like. This one sure looks to be in great shape. Turbo Quattros not your cup of tea? How about a supercharged Merc?
I remember when these cars were launched, and I was pretty excited that after a fairly uninspired run there was suddenly a small supercharged SL with a folding hardtop. It sounded like a match made in heaven, and while the SLK wasn’t be best looking car Mercedes-Benz had ever put out, when equipped with the AMG Sport package, it did look pretty mean:
Model: SLK 230 Kompressor Sport
Engine: 2.3 supercharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 47,300 mi
Price: $ 10,750 Buy It Now
2001 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Kompressor
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DON’T MISS THIS BEAUTY RARE COLOR !!!!
There is still plenty of tread left on the tires.
This vehicle is fully-loaded.
Very low mileage vehicle.
100% CARFAX guaranteed!
Very clean interior!
This vehicle comes with extended warranty for a complete detailed component coverage please click here
It seems that this vehicle was owned by a non-smoker.
Very smooth ride!
This is one of the most desirable color combinations.
This car has lower miles than the TT, but is automatic equipped – a package that lacked the punch of some of the others in the group. Still, these small convertibles aren’t all about speed, and the looks of this Mercedes look rap-video ready with the polished lip AMG wheels making the car really stand out. Overall it’s a tidy package, and the trump card is that folding hard-top, making it an attractive 3 season car for those who don’t always have sun. Rather see what the boys from Munich cooked up? Here’s a great 2.8 Z3:
The Z3 2.8 has the unfortunately position of being almost as expensive as the more powerful and better-wheeled M Roadster, and the shadow of that more desirable car hides what a really great car the Z3 can be. Inline-6, manual transmission, lower weight; great combination. While the styling wasn’t for everyone, it was a fitting tribute to the Z1 which inspired it. Take a look at this clean Z3:
Model: Z3 2.8
Engine: 2.8 inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 75,613 mi
Price: $ 9,999 Buy It Now
1998 BMW Z3 2.8L Convertible
2.8L I6 Engine
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
16″ Alloy Wheels
Adjustable Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
A/C Climate Controls
AM/FM CD Player with Premium Sound
Alpine White Exterior Color
Beige Leather Interior
2-dr Roadster Convertible Bodystyle
Top-Condition Pre-owned Vehicle!
The color combination is classic convertible; clean and proper. Unlike the earlier black interiors, the tan is livable in the sun, and still looks great. Out of the first three, the Z3 would give most more smiles driving down a back road, would probably be the cheapest to run, but is likely the least appealing of the three – it’s hard to shake that vision of the M hanging just out of reach. Want to kick it up a notch? How about a Boxster:
The Boxster is both loved and hated among Porsche fans. Like the 944, it’s the sales of Boxsters that allow those crazy 911s to stay alive, but most 911 owners would poo-poo the convertible as “just a Boxster”. Still, it’s hard to argue with the mid-engined flat-six platform in the corners, even if the 200 horsepower felt a little weak for the badge on the front:
Engine: 2.5 flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 45,873 mi
Price: $ 11,376 Buy It Now
2D Convertible. “Vehicle being sold “AS-IS”. Red Hot! Stick shift! Here at Bob Ruth Ford, we try to make the purchase process as easy and hassle free as possible. When was the last time you smiled as you turned the ignition key? Feel it again with this wonderful-looking and fun 1997 Porsche Boxster. The precision-tuned 2.5L H6 SMPI DOHC 24V Gasoline powerhouse delivers substantial horsepower and torque to get you where you need to go…and fast! This Boxster is nicely equipped with features such as 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 6 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio, Bumpers: body-color, Cassette, Convertible roof lining, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front fog lights, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power convertible roof, Power door mirrors, Power driver seat, Power passenger seat, Power steering, Power windows, Rear anti-roll bar, Security system, Spoiler, Tachometer, and Telescoping steering wheel. The Country Dealer Who Beats Big City Prices!
Performance in a straight line between the four is shockingly similar – all around 200 hp, all in the 7 sec range to 60 mph. It all comes down to feel; the BMW and Porsche have their own driving characteristics, as do the very different Benz and Audi. Which is the winner? Well, they’re all quite nice; I can’t help but feel that the Audi is probably the deal of the four; I’d probably choose the Porsche 2nd but for the ask of the Porsche I’d really rather get into a 944 S2, honestly. I still think that the Audi has aged the best out of all of these and looks like the freshest design. Four season ability plus tuning potential are a bonus.
Which would you choose?