1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16

Last week I wrote up a tidy looking 190E 2.3-16, the boxy, 80s DTM-racing inspired version of the W201 from Mercedes that has never really gained the same kind of attention as its obvious competitor, the E30 M3. Perhaps that is changing, as more of these come to market in respectable shape. The general consensus among enthusiasts, however, seems to be that these cars are neither desirable nor fast enough to merit the higher price tags we’re beginning to see. (Once upon a time they were firmly in the sub-$10k category, whereas now sellers seem to want the mid teens and up for non-basket case examples.) But maybe the skeptics will be won over by a an imported 2.5-16 like this one?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 on eBay

Motorsports Monday: Mecum Racing Porsches Roundup

Motorsports Monday: Mecum Racing Porsches Roundup

As Rob mentioned in his Jade Green Targa piece the other day, we’re entering in quickly to auction season. Mecum, typically the purveyors of more muscle cars than European rides, nonetheless had quite an impressive lineup of signification Porsche race models that cover a few decades and many changes in the company’s history, so I thought it would be pretty neat to take a look at them. It’s very interesting to see over a relatively short period of time the many changes that Porsche’s motorsports programs have gone through.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 934.5/935 at Mecum Auctions

Motorsports Monday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

Motorsports Monday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

While the regular 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth had originally been intended to be a rally car, by the time the company got to producing the “Evolution” models they were fully embroiled in the DTM war of the late 1980s. Massive wings mounted trunklids, fenders flared, and engines roared to new heights of power. While most probably associate the E30 M3 as being the pinnacle of this period, the wildest road-going warrior was the 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Mercedes-Benz made 502 of these cars, replete with AMG-tuned motors and enough wings and flares to make an M3 jealous. It should be no surprise that these cars hold a special place in enthusiast’s hearts and they’ve led the market in value because of their very limited nature:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II on eBay

1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution

1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution

There is nothing that I can say here that will matter at all. I won’t convince you that the E30 M3 is overpriced – maybe, compared to some of the other limited run homologation vehicles like the Sport Quattro and even the asking price on Paul’s 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II two weeks ago this Sport Evolution is downright cheap. Despite that, I could tell you that for the for the asking price of this car you could have a whole fleet of very interesting cars. Heck, you could buy a lesser E30 M3 and still have a huge chunk of change left over to buy many other vehicles and even maintain them. Some houses are less expensive than this car. College for most is less expensive than this car. The average worker at Walmart won’t make in a decade what the asking price is here. But none of that matters, because if you’re even still reading I’m just making you tread water until you can see more photos and drown in the eye-watering price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution on eBay

1989 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5-16V EVO I

1989 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5-16V EVO I

As I have mentioned previously, there are not many Mercedes models that I really lust after. Sure, there are models that I certainly wouldn’t mind driving if someone handed me the keys to them but very few that I really desire. The car you see here is one of those few, in fact it’s at the very top of the list. I would take this car over an SLS, C63 or even the new AMG GT any day because while those cars might be luxurious, pretty and insanely fast, they lack the uniqueness Mercedes and AMG were able to instill in the car you see before you. The 190E 2.5-16 was a rare car to begin with, but in 1989 Mercedes added the Evo I designation to the mix creating a new tier of rare for the brand. Only 502 of these fantastic machines were built and like the regular 2.5 liter equipped 190Es, none of them came to our shores. If you want to own what I consider the coolest Mercedes ever built, you’ll have to import one or move out of the U.S. I hear Portugal is quite nice almost year round.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5 16 Evo I

1993 Mercedes Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes Benz 500E

For all my talk of fandom concerning older Mercedes models, there aren’t many that I would actually pony up the dough for. Sure I appreciate the W123 for the road warrior that it is and I’ve often day dreamed about enjoying a summer cruise in a Blue over White Leather W124 convertible but neither would satisfy my craving for speed and handling capability. My love of technical canyon roads and aggressive cornering is probably why I’ve always been more attracted to BMW than Mercedes and my fiscal responsibility is probably why I ended up in the middle with Audi. As much as I love brute power, I’ve grown fond of driving a slow car fast rather than a fast car slow up in the twisties. Bottom line is you can only do so many 80-140 mph pulls before the experience becomes boring or you get yourself locked up for reckless driving. But if ever there was a Mercedes that would pull me away from Quattro and Efficient Dynamics and manual transmissions, it would be the 500E.

To me, the rarity of this car is one of the most attractive things about it, only 1,528 were imported to the U.S. during its run. Equally as attractive is its ultimate Q-Ship status, as far as I’m concerned it is the finest example of a factory produced sleeper. Of course that makes sense given that the car was hand built by two of the world’s most respected automakers. Today it’s hard to fathom Mercedes collaborating with Porsche but back in the early 90’s it made a great deal of sense. Mercedes wanted a car to beat the M5 and V8 Quattro, Porsche wanted to show their engineered prowess could be applied to a four door sedan. Yes, I’m drastically over simplifying the whole project but there are those far more knowledgeable on the subject than I who’ve written about the car at great length.…

Apocalypse Now: 1988 BMW M3 Evolution II

Apocalypse Now: 1988 BMW M3 Evolution II

We’re an odd group, enthusiasts. Normally you’d assume that we’d be excited to see each and every example of rare cars that pop up. Sometimes, even semi-rare cars excite us. Occasionally, it’s just a plain-jane base model that’s not often seen that will peak the interest of the masses. Yet the excitement usually isn’t there; instead, what results is a form of cyber-bullying as every keyboard warrior attempts to find each and every wrong detail with a particular example. It could be something from small details – paint chips, a scratch, a rust bubble to things that are downright esoteric; my complaint, for example, that the RS2 color “RS Blue” appear correctly on B4s instead of the more commonly associated Nogaro Blue. It could be omission of mechanical details, incorrect listing information, a slip of the fingers in typing in a VIN. Seriously, does it matter? Well, it does when it comes to top-dollar collector cars. In the case of today’s car, the second E30 M3 Evolution II in as many weeks here on the site, my microscope attention focuses on the wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 Evolution II on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 S52

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 S52

I’d like to try a social experiment if you’ll allow me; I’d take an E30 M3 listing and say absolutely nothing about it. My hypothesis is that it wouldn’t matter; the car would still generate lots of comments both positive and negative, outlining both the strengths of the E30 and the rapid appreciation of the market. The convergence of factors that has resulted in the M3 market as we see it today is the evolution of not only a naturally occurring timeline coupled with a increase of personal wealth vis-a-vis the ownership group juxtaposed with those who actually ponder ownership. This, in turn, can be viewed as in part the skeuomorphic racing details of the M3 coupled with the natural analogue interface of the E30 chassis. Immersion in the marketplace has resulted in datafication as we try to quantify the various appeals of the models and even sub-models, while the scalability of the marketplace seems to utilize fuzzy logic – models constantly morphing in and out of vogue as the relative price of ownership fluctuates. Modularity in the E30 platform has not helped but convoluted the matter. Coupled with the emergence of internet fora the M3 is the first truly viral car. The rapid influx of various examples in order to take advantage of these previously stated confluence of factors has resulted in, ironically, crowdsourcing in an effort to elicit an explanation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 on eBay

Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute

Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute

Let me go on record as stating that I personally have no problems with replica cars. Especially when you consider the price of exclusive originals or cars that are non-existent, tributes and replicas offer people the opportunity to see cars they would otherwise never get to experience. Several of the Auto Union Grand Prix cars, for example, have been built as exacting replicas of the originals that no longer exist; see them in the flesh, and they’ll make your spine tingle just as much as if Nuvolari or Rosemeyer had piloted them originally. But then there’s a secondary tier of making replica cars that are either just expensive or hard to come by; Sport Quattros, S2s, AMG and Ruf models as well as the exclusive RS have always been popular, and an increasing trend over the past few years has been replica M3s. Of course, when the real deal is only a few thousand dollars, making a replica isn’t economically viable. But prop the price up to near six figures, and suddenly the pain and expensive of creating a replica becomes not only popular, but perhaps even lucrative:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo

Tuner Tuesday: 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo

If yesterday’s Koni Challenge 997 was a little too extreme for your Porsche dreams, you don’t need to look far for another stunning deal. We’ve talked a lot about what an incredible performance package the 996 twin turbo still is; over a decade on, even box stock these are still cars that perform at near exotic levels. Despite that massive performance, they’re available for a relative song – we’ve even seem some higher mileage examples dipping into the $30,000 range. Today’s example has been turned up as many have, now capable of 600 horsepower ripping pavement through all four wheels. That means your trumped-up Beetle can embarrass most Ferraris, Lamborghinis and some small airplanes for only $50,000. It’s so fast, not only the pictures but even the dyno readout is blurry from speed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

Motorsports Monday: Mild or Wild M3s

Motorsports Monday: Mild or Wild M3s

Going to the track is like any other addiction; it has its highs and lows. You may start going with a stock car, but soon you’ll feel the need to modify the suspension, beef up with wheels and tires, throw on some racing brakes, strip the interior and all of that heavy stuff that slows you down like air conditioning, sound deadening, and seats. Then you drop a cage in and hit the track; all smiles, no doubt, but it’s been an expensive journey and your track weapon is really only good at fast laps for a small percentage of its existence; the rest of the time, it just sits or is exceptionally uncomfortable and inconvenient as a daily driver. Plus, modern cars have gotten so expensive and complicated, with enough computer aids that they can nearly lap themselves. What is an enthusiast to do, then? Well, you can look towards some perennial favorites that helped to establish the reputation of BMW; the M3. In this case, I have two examples that are set up to hit the track – a racer E30 and a street-drivable but track-biased E46. Which is your flavor?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M3 on eBay

Motorsport Mondays: 1988 BMW M3 DTM Tribute

Motorsport Mondays: 1988 BMW M3 DTM Tribute

I know this probably comes as a surprise, but in general I try to stay away from posting E30s. There are several reasons for this; first, it seems like we have an E30 posted on this site nearly every day. In part that makes sense as it’s one of the best small sports sedans ever produced and there are many different versions, but we like variety here at GCFSB and I like to find the lesser appreciated examples of German motoring. Then there’s the second reason I stay away – the market on these cars is just nuts, especially when you’re talking about the M3. You could list all of the merits of the E30 M3, and there are many to choose from, but at least in my mind the bubble that these cars are experiencing just isn’t justified. Sure, they’re solidly worth $30,000 to maybe $40,000 for the best, show ready examples in my mind – but at double that amount, I find it hard to explain. After all, you can get so many equally (if not more) rare, equally (if not better) performing, and equally attractive cars both from within BMW and from other manufacturers too for less money. When cars like this go through bubbles, to me they just become unappealing. I remember going to the track when these cars were throw-aways; it’s not that I wished I had bought one when they were more affordable, it’s more that I wish the folks with money hadn’t soured the experience for me. Such is the market today that even non-original, less than pristine examples are commanding a serious premium over other desirable cars. The perfect illustration of this is today’s DTM-liveried 1988 M3:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 DTM Tribute on eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo II

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo II

We’ve talked a lot about the 190E 2.3-16 here at GCFSB, but one of the cars that spawned from that collaboration between Cosworth and Mercedes-Benz is perhaps one of the most wild cars to ever wear the Three Pointed Star. The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution. This version of the 190E came about in a roundabout way. Originally, the 190E 2.3-16 was to be homologated for rallying purposes. When a change in rules came into effect, Mercedes scrapped that idea. Later in the 1980s, Mercedes was keen to enter the Deutschen Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, or DTM, race series. As a result, along came the 190E 2.5-15 Evolution I.

The Evolution I differed in outward appearance from the 2.3-16 and later 2.5-16 in that a bigger rear spoiler was added, 16″ inch versions of the standard alloys were fitted and the wheel arches expanded. In terms of engine modifications, a reduced stroke allowed for a higher rev limit. Three stage height adjustable suspension and quicker steering rounded off the package.

This wasn’t where Mercedes stopped with Evo development, though. The Evolution II pulled out all the stops, turning what was once a humble W201 190E into a visual beast. Exclusive 17” wheels, a pumped up body kit and even larger rear wing gave some clues as to what was lurking beneath. Under the hook, the 2.5 liter engine produced 235 horsepower at 7,200 RPM and had a quite cammy idle to accompany the increase in power. This might not seem like a lot of power, but the car weighs in at just over 2,900 lbs, less than many modern day subcompacts, including some sport oriented ones like the Ford Focus ST and Renaultsport Megane 250.

This 190E 2.5 Evolution II is for sale near Stuttgart gives someone the opportunity to experience an awesome sedan separated from the legendary touring cars by only a few degrees.…

1990 BMW E30 M3 w/ S38 Swap

1990 BMW E30 M3 w/ S38 Swap

I think it’s clear at this point that I look at the removal of the E30 M3’s S14 motor like removing the harmonies from early Beatles music; most of the popular pieces are still there, sure, but it’s missing the soul that made it special. This is especially true when it comes to the overdone S50/52 swaps from E36 M3s. I see those in normal E30s and think “damn, fun!” I see them in M3s and thank “damn, shame.” Today’s swap, while tending towards the overdone side that most swap projects lean, takes a different tack by eschewing the second M3’s inline 6 for one that’s bigger, badder, and more rare. An evolution of the near-and-dear-to-me S38B35, the E34 M5 got the B36 and B38 models, pushing out 315 and 340hp respectively while making that heavenly sound. So while it’s still an overwrought E30 M3 project with a swap, I appreciate the more obscure engine choice setting this one apart.

1990 E30 M3 w/ S38 swap for sale on eBay

From the seller:

up for sale is one of a kind very rare in beyond excelent condition 1990 bmw m3 with a clean clean Texas car title never accident and all factory vin # sticker remain on every panel including bumpers and side skirts never had accident & 100% rust free. This m3 was taken for a car show project event, project was done at one of the 5 star shop specialist in Houston TX. www.royalcollision.com,

Job started late Nov 2010 started on the engine swap we have dropped in 1992 BMW ///M5 S38 3.6l engine. *not e36 m3 * We striped this motor all the way down the block and converted to 3.8l stroker, ported the block for stroker build high compression all new parts pistons, lifters, valves and cams by vac motorsports and a used polished crank 3.8l from germany and much more, the head exhaust outlet is ported and intake inlet is also ported and polished so engine is like brand new.

1988 BMW M3 2.5 Evo-spec conversion

1988 BMW M3 2.5 Evo-spec conversion

The unyielding rise E30 M3 prices has pushed them out of the range of reason for most enthusiasts. With standard examples pushing into the high teens, I wonder if an interested party these days might as well just go full hog and get the nicest example they can find. Today’s M3 is one of those, with the desirable 2.5L conversion done with a rebuild just 20k miles ago, along with the standard improvements like suspension, brakes, exhaust, etc. All that with a beautiful exterior utilizing the sexy and rare red-lined Evo bumpers, why pay $20k for good when you can $30k for great?

1988 BMW M3 for sale on eBay


The seller’s summary:

This 1988 (Build date 7/1987) E30 M3 started life as a 2.3 liter US Spec vehicle, yet has been transformed into a 2.5 liter EVO Spec beauty. 20k miles on the engine since the no expense spared rebuild. This M3 has been meticulously maintained, garaged from the elements, and it shows.

Redline full synthetic oil is used exclusively, and the engine does not leak a drop. The oil is replaced like clockwork, every six months. Transmission, and Differential fluids are also synthetic Redline, and were all changed within the last month.

The dash shows little signs of wear, and no cracks whatsoever. The only noticeable interior wear is on the side bolster of the driver’s front OEM seat. Cobra Imola race seats are currently installed, and that includes Schroth Harnesses on both seats. OEM seats are included with the vehicle.

The suspension consists of Ground Control Coilovers with a springrate of 700 lb fronts, and 550 lb rears. New Group N Bilstein Shocks on both ends. Ground Control Camber Plates. Rear Powerflex Bushings on sub-frame and Control arms, with Bimmerworld rear camber kit. New front wheel bearing were installed on both sides.