1988 BMW 325i Convertible

The beautiful M3 Convertible I looked at yesterday was a reminder that I often skimp on drop-tops entirely. On top of that, I’ve been ignoring one of the most popular options in the classic German car market – the E30.

Introduced midway through E30 production, the Convertible you see here was the first factory BMW convertible since the 1950s. It showed in the execution; BMW’s slick top folded neatly away under a hard cover, in stark contrast to Volkswagen’s Cabriolet which looked like it was sporting a neck support pillow in back. Little trunk space was lost in the execution, meaning you had a fully functional 4-seat convertible replete with storage for the weekend. Base price was nearly $29,000 in 1987, but that included leather sport seats, electric windows, anti-lock brakes, cruise control and an on-board computer. For the U.S. market, there was only one engine option, too – the M20 2.5 liter inline-6, meaning no “E” model and plenty of spin on the tach, along with 168 horsepower. This helped make up for some additional weight from the top mechanism and structural strengthening, resulting in around 3,000 lbs of curb weight. But while the E30 was the benchmark as a driver’s car, many more of these were used in a relaxed manner; top-down luxury cruisers to enjoy the sun:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325i Convertible on San Francisco Craigslist

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1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe

One of the things I love about the W124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is that it came in every shape and size. What I mean by that is that you could buy a sedan, estate, coupe and cabriolet. This is unique because it is the only generation that can boast such a fact. The prior W123 lacked a cabriolet and every generation after lacked the coupe and cabriolet. You might be saying that the CLK-Class is basically the E-Class coupe, but I don’t see it that way because the CLK was a mash-up of a parts both mechanically and cosmetically from the C-Class made to look like an E-Class, not a true E-Class coupe. Even when they literally changed the named to E-Class Coupe in the recent generations, it is still riding on a C-Class chassis. That leads me right into today’s car, a 1994 E320 Coupe up for sale in Connecticut, that has that classic facelift W124 look and checks all the right boxes if you are looking for a sleek and livable daily driver. The best part about it? It looks to be fully sorted and won’t take much to drive home with.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz G320

Whenever I see a Europa Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen pop up for sale, I always take time to really check it out. Personally, if you gave me the choice to buy and live with any G-Wagen out there, from military-spec W460s all the way up to W463 G65 AMGs, I’d probably pick a Europa truck. I think they are the perfect compromise between the spartan offerings and the outrageous luxury you can get from a G-Wagen. You get a G that still can be daily driven in total comfort with modern safety but without the crazy options that ultimately you fear of breaking and then driving you nuts. This 1998 G320 up for sale in New Jersey just might be the perfect G-Wagen but fair warning, something this good won’t come cheap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz G320 on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

Normally most of the Mercedes-Benz W108/W109 cars I look are at the M100-powered 6.3s and for good reason, they are really cool cars and the market on them is as hot as it has even been for them. Luckily for most of us, if you want a W108 or W109 and don’t want to pay a minimum of $35,000 just to have a seat at the table, you have some options. Today, we have one of those options. This 1971 280SE for sale in California is painted in the rare Arabian Grey and believe or not, has nearly 150,000 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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1997 BMW M3 Sedan

Just last night, a friend informed me he had “acquired an older BMW”.

“Willingly?”, I asked. He affirmed he had contractually agreed to this life changing experience. “What model?”, I furthered.

“A Z3”.

Now, supportive friend Carter probably should have nodded in approval. After all, the Z3 is great value for the money. They’re cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and fun to drive. But what actually came out of my mouth was laughter. Not maniacal laughter, mind you, but just the uncontrollable mocking type that you immediately feel a bit bad about. Hoping to redeem the situation a bit, I prodded “Six cylinder…?” Nope. 4. I contained further laughter at this point, but I was grasping for straws. Meekly, I ventured “…..manual….?” hoping for some affirmation. “YES!” he happily retorted, glad to finally confirm a question of mine.

It’s actually a nice car, and it’s in great shape, and he paid almost nothing for it. But from the same period, BMW had some other affordable, fun to drive and even more potent options for enthusiasts. Take, for example, the M3 Sedan. Like the Z3, it was rear drive. Like the Z3, it has a manual, and they share some achitecture. But while the Roadster has a bit of a stigma that results in enthusiasts’ dismissal, the M3/4/5 has developed into a legend in its own right. Damn the fact that it didn’t have the more exotic Euro motor, if you want a cheap and pure driver’s car while still being able to comfortably transport 4 adults, they don’t come much better than this platform:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E

A few weeks ago I checked a wonderful Signal Red Mercedes-Benz 560SEC. I explained that on some Mercedes, red looks pretty good and suits the car well. Other cars, like sedans, red is a pretty tough sell for me. Encase you haven’t noticed by now, this 1991 300E that I am looking at today is painted in that same Signal Red. It is a very clean W124 that has under 100,000 miles and I really dislike it. Let me tell you why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E on eBay

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1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet with 6,700 miles

These ultra-low mileage cars always intrigue me in more ways than one. How have they held up after so many years of just sitting? How has the maintenance been handled despite only having a handful of miles a year? But this biggest thing I wonder is was it worth it, literally, to let the car sit and preserve its pristine condition. Today’s car, a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet that checks in with a little over 6,700 miles, isn’t your typical used car to begin with. I’ve covered the C124 pretty extensively and we’ve even featured some really nice examples here for sale. But for this 1994 for sale in New York, is it worth the giant price tag for the so little miles?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet with 6,700 miles on eBay

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1983 BMW 528e

My recent coverage of the 5-series BMWs seems timely. Just last week, I looked at a 1982 BMW 528e. Since it’s been so short a time, I won’t reiterate the major highlights of the model again – click HERE if you’d like to read those details. So why look at what many consider the least excited E28 so quickly again?

Well, in part it’s because of what occurred this past weekend. If you weren’t paying attention, a stellar 1988 BMW 535i came up on Bring a Trailer. It was probably the most impressive older 5-series I’ve seen in a long time. So it was expected to bring pretty big numbers when the auction closed, and like looking through the picture gallery, it didn’t fail to disappoint. The final bid was $50,000 – unfathomable to this point for most of the E28 lineup.

Admittedly, the example I have today isn’t as nice. But it shares many things in common. First, it’s not a top-flight model, though again the Eta motor isn’t what many would prefer. So what does it have going for it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 528e on eBay

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

Last week I check out a CLK55 AMG and felt like it was missing something. Not only was it missing something but it had a different feel from Mercedes coupes of the past. I understand it though, it was a transition from an era of analog to a launch of much more modern renditions. From the W124 to W210, the W140 to W220 and even the W202 to W203. All those cars looked and felt significantly different. You saw the line in the sand when everything changed. But I can’t blame them nor should anyone else. Evolution is a thing with cars and if you don’t, you’ll be eaten alive by competitors. Suddenly your legacy buyers who have owned your cars for 25 years have jumped shipped for Lexus.

But the good thing is that you can always go home. And for a lot of people, the W124 is home. It was the perfect mix of old school Mercedes but you still got modern features. For some, the W124 coupe is that perfect home feeling.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on Hemmings

Model: 300CE
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 184,000 mi
Price: $6,500 or Best Offer

This 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE has 184k miles and is powered by a 3.0L 6 cylinder engine with automatic transmission. The W124-based coupe is mechanically sound and ready for a cross-country trip, with no rust. Recent maintenance includes a 4-wheel alignment, new front brakes, new front window switch, new full exhaust and oil change. The car was purchased new in California and is on owner 4. The car has a detailed mileage history and has been well kept over its lifetime.

Detailed Videos Available Here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtiAsXmWVVyIXwKyZ5KSqDCWdNO3LuJKV

The 300CE coupe was based on the W124 E-Class and has a slightly shorter wheelbase than its sedan sibling. This car’s Dark Gray exterior paint is set off by its light gray body cladding that was recently repainted to factory spec for over $4k. The car’s window tint was a factory option. There is no rust.

The original windshield is free of chips, cracks or scratches. The tires are Yokohama with about 2K miles on them and 80% tread remaining. This car has the correct 15-hole 6.5” x 15” wheels, with the correct offset which are in factory condition. One small crack in the front bumper is shown in the photos and the sunroof needs new rails quoted at $650. Personal inspection of this car is welcome and encouraged by the seller.

All exterior lighting, including headlights, turn signals, parking lights and taillights reportedly work as they should. The car starts easily, runs well and the transmission operates smoothly. The four-wheel disc brakes are in good condition and the car stops well and straight. The struts and shocks were recently replaced in full and are ready to be driven. Mercedes four-speed automatics of this era start out in second gear when the selector is in “Drive,” first gear when the selector is in “3.”

The gray leather upholstery is in good condition, including the floor carpeting. The leather seats show some wear, but there are no holes, tears or split seams. The telescoping steering column works properly, along with all interior lighting and instruments; all latches and locks operate as they should, including the power door locks and headlight wipers.

The dash is free of cracks and the console wood is in good condition, adding that the door panels and headliner are clean and the tilt up/sliding power sunroof and its air deflector need new rails which is quoted at $650 to replace. The front and rear seatbelts work. In the area where the seat belts retract, the triangle-shaped trim pieces are in good condition. All weatherstripping is intact. The A/C currently blows cold and heats hot. No issues at all.

The odometer reads 183,798 miles and is well documented and correct; the service records support the mileage. The speedo goes up to 160 mph, but the rated top speed is 140 mph. The third brake light housing is fully functioning. The original Becker headunit comes with 10-disc trunk mounted Sony CD Player – fully functioning, a great throwback feature. The stereo sounds nice and the power antenna works as it should. The rear headrests have a feature that flops them back for better rear visibility; the vacuum-operated control switch reportedly works. Automatic temperature controls work for heat; high, auto and low fan speeds work.

The 3.0L DOHC fuel-injected inline six-cylinder M103 engine is rated at 179 hp @5700 rpm and torque of 188 ft•lbf @4400 rpm; the curb weight is listed at 3,594 lbs. The engine is original and is in great condition.

The underside is rust-free, with no evidence of rust repairs. The suspension has coil springs and telescopic shocks in front and five-link independent suspension in the rear. All components on this car are said to operate as they should, as do the 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS. The exhaust system was recently replaced with original Mercedes-Benz exhaust from another W124 by my mechanic, but it’s tight and sounds stock. Much better than before!

The original owners manual, maintenance booklet and owner’s recent service’s are included, as are the jack and Mercedes tool kit. Two keys are included. Along with the factory spare, there is a bike rack, car cover. Receipts for all recent repairs will come with the car. Past and recent receipts show mileage consistently and support the 184,xxx miles shown on the odometer. The seller has put around 10k on it and wouldn’t hesitate driving it across the country, and says that a new buyer could drive it home. This car had a $54,880 MSRP when new and was one of 2,318 imported to the U.S. that year. This one is sold with a clear California title.

Detailed Videos Available Here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtiAsXmWVVyIXwKyZ5KSqDCWdNO3LuJKV

Details
– A/C works well and blows cold, heat is hot
– All power windows and power etc all work
– Interior is in good condition and has been well cared for over 27 years
– $4k Paint Job in Original Mercedes Color done 1.5 years ago
– Rust-free California car
– Straight frame, no issues
– Exterior has no dents or dings, there is a small crack on the lower side of the left bumper (shown in photos)
– No accidents
– Best 2-tone color around!
– Very cool cruiser
– Recently replaced all shocks, struts
– Front brake pads just redo
– All services records from my ownership come with
– 2 keys and owners manual
– car cover included
– bike rack included
– 10 disc CD changer in trunk
– Original Becker Headunit
– Chrome wheels like new
– Tires in great condition
Notes
– Sunroof needs new rails – $650

Mileage: 184k
Current Uses: Weekend Cruiser, Covered in Secure Parking Garage
No Accidents, 4 Owners, California Car

Many have said that this CE-Class of cars represents the last old-guard, engineers-in-charge, cost-no-object Benzes, and I won’t disagree. I have driven and taken care of this car with the ultimate care and I am looking to pass it on to the next person with the same thought.

Detailed Videos Available Here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtiAsXmWVVyIXwKyZ5KSqDCWdNO3LuJKV

Price: $6,500 negotiable

The seller does a great job of explaining everything to you on this 1990 300CE. It’s well maintained and ready for a new owner without too much fuss. The miles are a little on the higher side but that is nothing to scare you away with the tried and true M104. This is a great color combination and the chrome wheels are a nice touch. At $6,500, you probably aren’t going to lose any more in long-term with this car. In my opinion, clean C124s starting to become desirable and it is pretty clear these aren’t going to get any cheaper. This is a car you can enjoy on an everyday basis without too much worry and have that older Mercedes feeling but still cruise with piece of mind that you’ll be comfortable.

– Andrew

Eye of the Survivor: 1983 BMW 528e

It’s funny how priorities change. A decade ago, I would not have given a second look to a 528e. Growing up with a E28 M5 in the garage created both an appreciation for the E28 and the dichotomous dismissal of lower range vehicles. Sure, the M5-look 535is was cool, and alongside the M5 we even had a very nice ’85 535i that was a pretty good driver. But below that? No, I seldom gave the 533i, 528e or even 524td a second look on the road. Today, though? Even if it’s not a performance car by most standards, a survivor 528e is certainly worth a second look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 528e on eBay

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