Fahrvergnüzilla: 1992 Volkswagen Golf

Fahrvergnüzilla: 1992 Volkswagen Golf

Infrequently do we look at a standard Volkswagen Golf. To be fair to us, they’re not the most impressive vehicles ever designed, especially when you go back a few generations. They were oft the most expensive in category, but seldom the quickest, most tech-laden, most efficient, best handling, neatest or most reliable. Those items are the domain of vehicles like Hondas and Toyotas, who mimicked and improved upon the ideas of others many times over. Their sales reflected that.

But there’s still something nostalgic and lovely about the simplicity of the first two generations of the Golf. It grew up considerably between the A1 and A2 chassis, in weight, size, power and refinement, but the recipe remained the same. Recently I’ve looked at two of the best performers in the chassis overall (and the fastest offered to U.S. customers) with the 1991 GTI 16V and 1987 GTI 16V. Deep seat bolsters, special trim, dual overhead cam high compression inline-4s, close ratio 5-speed manuals, alloy wheels; these represented the pinnacle of performance in the hot hatch segment. Today’s car has none of those things.

What we have instead is a bit of a curiosity. As you can no doubt see, it’s a pretty standard 4-door Volkswagen Golf. It appears to be Ascot Gray Metallic (LA7U) with cloth interior. There’s nothing special under the hood; it’s a standard RV 1.8 inline-4 counterflow engine, running Digifant II injection and good for 100 horsepower. No, what’s unique about this car is where it’s come from…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body

1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body

am1

I run across some odd vehicles during my travels around the internet. Today is one of those vehicles. What I thought was a normal taxi cab spec W124 diesel turned out to be an ambulance — at least what used to be an ambulance. This 1989 250D underwent a conversion from Binz, a specialty company in Germany that has been converting Mercedes into limousines, ambulances, fire trucks, hearses and everything else for over 75 years. So lets take a look at this long W124 for sale in New Hampshire.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body on eBay

2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Europa

2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Europa

e1

So lets start off with a quick Thursday evening history lesson. Way back in the grand time known as the year 2002, Mercedes-Benz finally decided to officially grace North America with its wonderful Geländewagen, or ”G-Wagen” for short. Or, ”G-Wag” if the next words in the sentence are ”sittin’ on 22-inch rimz.” So with the G-Wagen starting production 1979 and Mercedes never officially offering them for sale at dealers until the model year 2002, someone had to feed the need of wealthy North Americans who saw these on their vacations in Swiss Alps and wanted to get something else besides a P38 Range Rover that had a permanent EAS Fault message on the dash.  That ”someone” were the guys at Europa G-Wagen located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their business was pretty straight forward, they would bring over G-Wagens from Europe, do all the very expensive dirty work of federalizing these SUVs so they weren’t subject to the 25-year import rule, then distribute them all over the country. Their business did so well that they became the exclusive U.S. importer of the G-Wagen and eventually gained U.S. Small Volume Manufacturer status. This all went really well until 2002 until Mercedes gave them the ”we’ll take it from here” and bought the U.S. distribution rights from Europa. This left the company to focus more on service, parts and accessions. Today, Europa still dabbles in importing G-Wagens, but mostly in the models we never got here such as the three door Cabrio.

So, every once in a blue moon one of these W463 Europa SUVs pop up for sale. Today, we have a 2000 G500 in Colorado that deserves a closer look.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Europa on eBay

1990 BMW 320i

1990 BMW 320i

$_4 (5)
Even with automatics, I love perfect examples of old bimmers, and this 20k-mile 320i is no exception. It has lived most of its life in Japan but is thankfully still LHD. The island life has kept its use regular but minimal, resulting in the extremely low amount of miles. It’s a beautiful example of the E30 sedan and would make a great daily driver with a pay-no-mind transmission deciding how to best use the most diminutive M20, a teacup 2.0-liter inline-6. The seller is hoping for strong E30 money even though it’s a basic model, but that’s to be expected when the car has traveled roughly one American’s yearly miles over a quarter century.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 320i on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Multivan

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Multivan

s-l1600
A lot of the imported Volkswagen T3s are megamachines, like Syncro DoKas, Syncro Westies, and Tristars. This sweet little red van looks pretty basic without the pop-top, but actually brings a lot to the table with specs not available here in North America. It’s not quite a tin-top thanks to the power ragtop sunroof, and it’s not just a people-mover thanks to the full complement of Westfalia interior items like the sink, fridge, stove, and storage cupboards. It looks pretty stock other than a “sport suspension” and 16″ 5-spokes that help it do its best impression of a ’70s American cab-forward van. It looks great, is fully road trippable, and only has 23k miles on it; someone is going to be a happy camper at the end of this no-reserve auction.

Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon on eBay

1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1

1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1

s-l1600 (6)
This beautiful E34 Alpina B10 is of the tamer 3.5/1 variety, not the Biturbo monster that Carter posted a few months back, but it still had a healthy 46hp more than the standard 535i. Beyond the breathed-on engine, it comes with about as much style as an E34 can handle, rocking Alpina 20-spokes, pinstriping, seats, and freight-train front spoiler all installed in Beuchloe, Germany. This was just the 9th example made out of a run that reached 572. Personally, I appreciate the omission of the rear spoiler, helping it looks just about perfect inside and out. All factory Alpina cars command a hefty premium over stock examples, but this will get you pretty much all of the Biturbo’s show, just with a bit less go.

Click for details: 1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay

1991 BMW M3 Convertible

1991 BMW M3 Convertible

classicdotcombmw1991m3studio03
In these dark days, E30 M3s even well above 100k miles can crest $50k, a baffling amount of money. The craziest thing is that the E30 M3 isn’t even that rare. Nearly 17k were produced, some three times more than were required for homologation and three times more than the E28 M5. There are certainly rarities within the M3 family, from the Evolution I and II models to Cecotto, Ravaglia, and Europa Meister editions. And then there were these convertibles, of which about 800 were released over three editions from 1988 to 1991. This car comes from the final and most-produced batch, whose S14 now produced 215hp instead of 195hp. You’re going to need that extra power to move the incredible 400 extra pounds the convertible is saddled with. We talk about severe driving penalties associated with convertibles, but I have to imagine this is one of the most egregious examples. With just 21k miles covered and rare to spare, the seller is hoping for $130k to pass this M3 to the next climate-controlled secure location.

Click for details: 1991 BMW M3 Convertible

1989 BMW 325i Touring

1989 BMW 325i Touring

s-l1600
I’ve talked a fair bit of trash about right-hand drive cars here, specifically some E30 325i Tourings. A lot of the E30 wagons we’ve seen imported now that their 25-year waiting period has ended have been base- or low-option Brits, bringing along the need to get comfortable hugging the fog line and rowing the gears with your left hand. This longroof has the rare factory M-Tech package as well as some show-stopping 17″ gold BBS rims to help you look like a gangster out of Run Lola Run. Inside, recovered M seats look outstanding, but the ubiquitous cracked dash strikes again, echoing a chipped front spoiler that looks fixable. Wrapped in Alpinweiss, the seller is pretty right as long as you can handle right hand drive – “this is the one you’ve been looking for!”

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325i Touring on eBay

1988 BMW 320i

1988 BMW 320i

$_4
Here’s a great example of the late-80s, pre-recession business-sedan side of the E30. We spend so much time looking at rare examples, 325ix tourings, tuned 325is, that the populist-yuppy nature of the breed can be forgotten. This Euro-spec 320i commuter model – 4 doors, 4-speeds selected for you – helped you fly through the HOV lane listening to the Scorpions with brisk confidence and understated good looks. BMW nailed the E30 so hard that even the plastic steelie wheel covers end up looking like the E34 M5 turbines done smaller and better.

This recently-imported German example has less than 18k miles – 28,000 kilometers on the GDM odometer. It may not be the best athlete of the family, but this perfect 320i is the attractive accountant.

Click for details: 1988 BMW 320i on eBay

1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro

1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro

s-l1600 (6)
It’s been a while since we’ve featured a crazy low-mile imported 4WD Volkswagen from whoever these folks in Avenel, NJ are that keep bringing these insane examples stateside. Whether it’s Golf Countrys or DoKa Syncros, they have the least traveled and most original forbidden fruit. Today is no exception, with another blue DoKa Syncro with a completely enclosed metal bed cover. Big white steelies complement a the white lower half and contrast the all-business black roof and steel bumpers. It looks brand new because it almost is, with just 15k original miles on the clock (or rather, 24km). It’s as good as they come and is bringing a lot of bidders to play, though still only in the teens as I write this.

Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen DoKa Syncro on eBay

1984 BMW 520i

1984 BMW 520i

s-l1600
You can’t walk two steps into the E28 community without confronting someone looking for Euro bumpers and lights, selling them, or yelling about how much better they look than the diving boards. For many, the cost of sourcing the parts, hacking up the ends of their 5er, and welding in smaller bits is worth it. The more authentic route is to find a true Euro market car, like today’s ’84 520i. It has passed between serious enthusiasts for quite some time, and is now being sold in favor of an E30 M3 project. I’m typically a go before show car guy, but I enjoy seeing people who daily drive low, unique cars just like this one.

The slammed XYZ suspension and reproduction Hartge front spoiler indicate that this 520i is far from stock, with an M20B25 out of an E30 and a serious amount of effort put into redoing all the mounts and inner bits to make daily driving a reality as long as you don’t have to confront such mountains as a slightly inclined driveway, or perhaps a small speedbump. After the effort gone into making this a head-turning daily Euro, the seller is thinking he can get very strong E28 money.

Click for details: 1984 BMW 520i on eBay

1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

s-l1600
We’ve posted some interesting variations on the Volkswagen LT vans, the plus-sized Vanagons that never came to the US. From firetrucks to zombie defense vehicles to race team vans, they’re like VW’s Sprinter. Today’s LT28 model, indicating the lightest gross vehicle weight available (they went up to the LT55), is a special edition form Westfalia called the “Sven Hedin,” the Swedish world explorer. The bigger size of the LT allows for more amenities than would ever fit in a T3 like a shower, while the hightop makes standing up much more comfortable. The size and rarity are definitely the main draws here, as it’s showing some wear after its 125k miles and 28 years. The interior looks original but droopy, especially the wall-mounted cloth storage sacks. The exterior shows some cracked and possibly redone paint areas, and the incredible blue stripes have seen better days. All of the thick plastic Westfalia interior bits look great though and the turbodiesel inline-6 should be just getting into its prime, so as long as there aren’t a bunch of rust spots hiding, I think it has a lot of potential as a plus-sized camper.

Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia on eBay

1988 Volkswagen DoKa Diesel

1988 Volkswagen DoKa Diesel

s-l1600
I’d love to be the buyer for this New Jersey outfit which is clearly wandering around Europe, finding great 25+ year-old Volkswagens that were previously forbidden fruit, and bringing them to the US to turn a profit. Thus far, it’s seemed like low-mileage all-originals were the examples of choice, but this DoKa takes it to the next level. The cowcatcher front spoiler could challenge Alpina or Zender, and full-body ground effects and black-center aftermarket wheels help it strike a completely different pose. Sure, it’s a diesel, just like many of the showcar VWs in this country are “2.slows,” but that doesn’t make it undesirable. The interior is painted in the same bright blue hue, and updated front seats and steering wheel follow the few-parts-big-effects style of the exterior.

Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen DoKa Diesel on eBay

1989 BMW 325i Convertible

1989 BMW 325i Convertible

$_35 (4)
Most of the time we’re writing about 1980s E30s coming up for hassle-free importation we’re looking at tourings, as they were never brought here. Today, however, reader Bruce has alerted us to an intriguing E30 convertible from Japan via Canada. It’s still left-hand drive, but is in great condition after 90k miles and comes with the same plaid cloth and leather interior that was in the S38 M3 featured earlier this week. The biggest detraction is the automatic, but if you’re looking for some classy and easy top-down cruising, this would be a nice option.

Click for more details: 1989 BMW 325i Convertible on eBay

1988 BMW 320i Touring

1988 BMW 320i Touring

$_57

Paul was right that the Tourings are coming. Perhaps some owners have been holding on to them as forbidden gems and are realizing that, as the importation restrictions are lifted, they will become more and more common and are looking to cash out now. Today’s is a clean little wagon with some eccentricities among the nice choices; one sport seat/one comfort belong to the prior, the M20B25 and 5-speed conversion well in the latter. Bidding is hot, so clearly people are still more interested in finding one here than bringing it in themselves.

Click for more details: 1988 BMW 320i Touring on eBay