Feature Listing: 1983 BMW 635CSi

I count myself lucky that my formative BMW experience was in an E24. Around 1990, my father finally gave up riding motorcycles and decided it would be more fun to have company on his trip. He traded his RT1100 for a much older BMW, but this one had doors. The shape was outrageous to me; coming from a family that had almost exclusively owned Toyota products to that point, the low and long 633CSi he purchased had so much more presence and so much less plastic. The interior was lined with rich carpet and supple leather, and it just oozed class and style. It just felt special.

A few years later, he picked up a second E24. It was a 1985 635CSi, and the character of the two cars was remarkably different. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was in part thanks to the mid-82 swap to E28 underpinnings. Dynamically, the ’85 was a much better driver, and while the revised M30 only had 1 more horsepower, it felt gutsier and revved more freely. It was Arctic Blue Metallic with Pearl Beige leather, and it was just a beautiful car. It only had one real downside – it was an automatic, and after a few years my dad decided he’d have a lot more fun in a M5.

While that would certainly be hard to argue, I wonder if he would have been so motivated if today’s E24 Feature had been his original purchase. There were several distinct advantages to the European model, not the least of which was of course the lack of the DOT bumpers. But one thing that always really bothered me about the U.S. E24 was the front corner lights. They stuck out a strange amount while the European units smoothly followed the fenders.…

Feature Listing: 1989 Volkswagen GTI 16V

I was pretty excited to see the 1986 Volkswagen GTI that popped up for sale last week. While the A2 is a seriously popular platform for enthusiasts and tuners, coming across original examples is exceedingly hard. But within the GTI range from 1985-1992, the ’85-’86 probably rank lowest on desirability.

You can imagine what a treat it was for me, then, to get to follow it up with the car that re-injected excitement into the lineup. For 1987, Volkswagen brought its development of the EA827 inline-4 – the PL – to the Golf. Already in the Scirocco, it boasted 16 valves, 10:1 compression, KE-Jetronic injection and 123 horsepower. That was over a 20% jump in power, and mated to a close-ratio 5-speed manual it more than made up for the additional heft of the A2 compared to the A1.

To help differentiate its new engine, and because it was initially run alongside the 8V model, several styling cues were added to the 16V. Shared with the Scirocco, the easiest to spot were the “Silverstone” (Teardrop) alloys that would be the signature of the 16Vs for the next few years. Less noticeable were minor changes; painted lower valances and a deeper front lip spoiler, a relocated Fuba antenna now residing on the roof, and – of course – 16V badges and red stripes throughout. The 16V also got a special leatherette interior and beefy 205-55-VR14 Pirelli P600 tires.

Measured 0-60 times plummeted; now capable of achieving the feat in 7.9 seconds, Volkswagen also installed a pretty optimistic 140 mph speedometer. But it was an indication that this was a quick car, and indeed the GTI again punched above its weight class in performance. The base price was up, too – now $12,250, but you could opt in air conditioning, metallic paint, a sunroof and nicer Heidelberg radio and be pushing $14,000 pretty easily.…

Feature Listing Alumnus: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

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We originally featured this 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 Estate back in May of 2013 from our friends at EuroWerkz. This car has boomeranged to them with a little bit more miles but presenting just as great as it always has. The E55 AMG Estate needs no introduction here at GCFSB. It’s remarkable that Mercedes-Benz still offers a go-fast E-class Estate in a marketplace that demands vanilla offerings at every turn. But they have bravely carried on through the years, offering this bonkers five-door to us for a decade now. Along with the Geländewagen and AMG GT, this populates the cool corner of the current Mercedes lineup. However, not everyone has around $100,000 to spend on a new family speed machine. This E55 AMG offers a solution around that fiscal sticking point.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate at EuroWerkz

1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 – REVISIT

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The low-mileage 1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 Feature listing from last December is back up on offer, with a few days before auction end. Surely there is someone out there who would like to put a big red bow on this for someone for the holiday season?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 11, 2013:

1998 Audi A8 4.2 Quattro

I’ll make no excuses for my love of the Audi D2. Sure, it helps that I owned a D11 V8 Quattro, but the reality is that the D2 was, at least in my opinion, a better looking car than its competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It was clear when the original “Aluminum Space Frame” (ASF) concept launched in 1993 that Audi had jumped the game up. No longer would they rely on a restyled mid-size car for their top of the range executive sedan; the A8 represented an entirely new direction for the company, with revised design language that would last two generations as well as substantially altered technology. That technology made the A8 much lighter than it looked; through use of aluminum, the curb weight of the large A8 was about the same – despite increased levels of luxury, legroom and soundproofing – as the outgoing V8 quattro. Sure, at around 4,000 lbs, it’s no featherlight; but it wore its weight well and elegantly, making it seem like a much sportier and livelier car than the numbers alone would suggest. Then there was the presence that the A8 just oozes; much like the beloved BMW E38, the D2 manages to look long, low and aggressive while still seeming elegant and refined. It’s a combination few large sedans are able to pull off, and from a looks perspective, it’s hard to argue that either of the successive generations of large Audi have surpassed the good looks of the D2.

From a buyers perspective, these cars are also the bargain of the “Big Three” German executives. Generally it’s hard to find a late 1990s A8 in very good condition, but when you do it’s a bit of a treat because they’re generally on offer for about the same money that gets you into a decent A4.…

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit L Diesel

By the end of the 1960s, the writing was on the wall for the original Volkswagen Beetle. It was slowly being outpaced by its rivals but still had its group of ardent fans. VW toyed with many ideas to replace the Bug and in the end, one design stuck: the Golf. With crisp lines by Giorgetto Giugiaro and a water-cooled four cylinder engine up front mounted transversely, it was the antithesis of the Beetle. The Golf would be known as the Rabbit upon arrival in the US, a name which would be resurrected for the fifth generation Golf in this market. This clean 1982 Rabbit Diesel comes from our reader John, who featured his 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa with us a few months ago.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit L Diesel on eBay

1981 BMW M535i

A few years ago, the seller of the BMW 2002ti and E28 M5 we featured sold both cars in order to take better advantage of his then-new acquisition, a 1981 BMW M535i. Fast forward to today, and priorities for the seller have changed, and he’s looking to move on from this wonderfully rare example of BMW history.

The E12 M535i was a fitting bridge between BMW’s 1970 and 1980s performance model, the 3.0 CSL, and the upcoming E28 M535i and M5. More than just a gap model, though, this car featured an uprated 3.5 liter 210hp Motorsport built motor coupled to a close-ratio 5 speed with a limited slip rear differential. Outside, the Motorsport division added front and rear spoilers, while the interior received deeper bolstered Recaro seats. This particular car has been taken to the next step with many Alpina details, such as the B9 head and B7 intake. Additionally, the car features some of our favorite Alpina turbine wheels bolted to the correct Alpina-specific suspension. For the purists, the car also comes with the correct original BBS Mahle wheels and M535i stock suspension. We actually featured this specific car back in 2010, and as Aaron said at the time, this is truly a special car:

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Year: 1981
Model: M535i
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 138,700 mi
Price: $19,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW M535i on Kijiji

A pristine example of a very rare BMW – never sold in North America. The first car (aside from the M1) produced by BMW Motorsports. Read all about it here: http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=3 Highlights of the car include: – 1 of 960 LHD units (1410 in total) produced. This is one of the last produced. – Imported into US from Switzerland in 1998 – have all EPA/DOT releases and nearly complete records from original sale in Italy.

2006 BMW 325xi Touring – REVISIT

The BMW 325xi Touring 6-speed manual is back up for auction this week, after a high bidder failed to follow through with the transaction. Their loss is your gain, as everyone gets one last crack at this looker of a Touring this week.

-Paul

2006 BMW 325xi Touring – REVISIT

The below post originally appeared on our site August 21, 2013:

A friend of mine who recently welcomed his first child into the world is facing the age-old dilemma of car enthusiasts: how can you still have your fun and with a dose of practicality? Not surprisingly, his wife wants an SUV. She has put the nix on a wagon purchase, a vehicle that makes infinite amounts of sense for a family with one child. From what he has told me, she thinks wagons are a bit frumpy and has bad memories of one from her childhood. Short of a Toyota Prius, I’m not sure how any vehicle could cause such emotional distress, but as these domestic arguments usually go, it looks as the idea of a wagon has been 86’ed. Nevertheless, it’s nice to dream.

This is one particular car that has me dreaming. Even though I don’t need the extra space over my current ride, this 325xi Touring for sale from our friends at Classic Car Club Manhattan strikes a mean look in Monaco Blue with the M3 replica wheels.

Year: 2006
Model: 325xi Touring
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 53,274 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW 325xi Touring for sale at Classic Car Club Manhattan

BMW E91 325xi Wagon – 6-spd, Competition Package Wheels

Get the best of both worlds; SUV utility with sports car handling in an extremely rare 6-speed manual BMW 3-series wagon. Rare as they come, very few wagons are available these days with a real manual gearbox, one of only a handful available for sale in the US right now and this is definitely the lowest-mile of the 325s.

1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

The W124 was Mercedes-Benz’s bread and butter car for a decade, offering a variety of bodystyles and engines to suit just about every need. Aside from the 500E/E500 über sedan, the Cabriolet is one of the most highly prized of the lot. Introduced late into the production cycle, these were the first four seat convertibles in twenty years from Mercedes. Pricey when new, these open roofed tourers command strong money today. They aren’t the flashiest, quickest or most exciting of the four-seat convertible genre, but they offer legendary build quality, smooth power delivery from the inline six and timeless looks that emits an air of old money. This silver E320 Cabriolet comes to us from our reader Allen and is on offer at his dealership, Encore Motors in Macon, Georgia.

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Year: 1994
Model: E320 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 120,000 miles
Price: $10,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet at Encore Motors

This is becoming a rare bird. This is a 1994 E320 4 place convertible in Brilliant Silver with black leather and a black soft top with a glass window. There were only a few thousand of these cars imported to the US during 1992 and 1995. They are fast appreciating, and great fun to drive with that huge open interior. These are based on the reliable E320 sedans, but with nicer trim, and of course, that fabulous convertlble top. This car is mostly original, the paint has been color sanded and buffed by our best local shop, and the interior is great in black leather. The only major change from 1994 is a contemporary Pioneer single slot CD radio with a changer in the trunk. I do have the original radio as well. It’s just turned 120k miles.

1989 Alpina B11 3.5

BMW M cars are some of the most sought after performance machines on the road today. But with the proliferation of the Motorsports badge across the entire lineup, what if you want something a little bit more exclusive? Something just a bit more special? Alpina is a good place to start. Not just any other tuner, Alpina works closely with BMW to maintain the integrity of their vehicles which they seek to modify, something they have been in the business of doing since the late 1960s. Unlike many other tuners, they have earned the recognition as an official vehicle manufacturer by the TÜV in Germany, or Technical Inspection Association.

This 1989 B11 3.2, based on the E32 7 series, is for sale from our friends at North Shore Autosport in Chicago. It’s one of 332 built, having been imported to Canada via Japan about a decade ago. It has since been federalized upon arriving in the US.

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Year: 1989
Model: Alpina B11 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 84,261 miles
Price: $23,800

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5 at North Shore Autosport

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Originally a Japanese spec Alpina and then imported to Canada in the mid 2000s. This is B11 is owned by me, (Frank), personally. I hired a US approved importer from Washington State to federalize this B11, as they were near to Alberta, Canada where I found this unmolested Alpina. It was EPA exempt due to the year, but was still subject to some lighting, gauges and side impact requirements to be in accordance with NHTSA and DOT. This was a painstaking process and was quite expensive. Nevertheless, it is a completely street legal vintage Alpina with low original miles and unaltered original condition.

All original Alpina components are intact and nicely preserved.