1991 BMW M5

While generally I find myself looking at C4 Audi S4/S6s and thinking they’re an amazing deal right now, it’s hard to not feel the same way about the E34 M5. If the E28 was the unloved M from the 1980s for some time, more recently we’ve seen a surge in E28 prices that are starting to pick the “original” super sedan up in price. In some cases, clean versions of the E28 M5 are now trading for more than their sister in a prettier dress that has traditionally carried more value, the M6. In even more rare cases, some have surpassed the values of the market-darling E30 M3. Where’s the M deal to be had now, then? Even if the driving experience was dulled slightly by some added weight and luxury with the E28’s successor, the E34, the retention of the great drivetrain coupled with some refined looks wasn’t all bad. In my opinion, the E34 is a very worthy replacement for the E28 – and a strong alternative to the S4/S6 market which is also beginning to tick up slightly. Check out this first year Brilliant Red example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

10K Friday Performance Edition: M3 v. 944 Turbo v. CLK500 v. S4 v. GTi

Well, I hope this will stir some interest, as I think this is a bit of an interesting comparison. What level of performance can you buy for $10,000 (give or take) these days? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options – and those options vary pretty seriously in their execution and packages; there’s a wagon and a sports car, two sedan-based coupes and a hatchback. Engines range from a 2 liter turbo to a V8, with a bit of everything in between. Yet, what appears to be a very strange comparison linked only by price is revealed to be much closer when you look at performance figures:

E36 M3: 240 hp, 0-60 6.0 seconds, 3,200 lbs
944 Turbo: 220 hp, 0-60 5.9 seconds, 2,900 lbs
CLK500: 302 hp, 0-60 5.7 seconds, 3,800 lbs
S4 Avant: 250 hp, 0-60 5.6 seconds, 3,700 lbs
GTi: 200 hp, 0-60 6.6 seconds, 3,200 lbs

The range is much closer than you’d expect – especially when you consider that these figures could easily be equaled in margin of error, driver skill and reaction time. In the twisties, the lower powered cars like the GTi catch up to the higher power CLK and S4. All are, in one way or another, practical choices. Some are destined (or already) classics, while others will likely fade away. So what would be your choice? Let’s start with an M3 we’ve already seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 on eBay

Motorsport Mondays: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan-built Racecar

Obviously we write up a lot of cars at this site, and we see our fair share of cars from dealers with a real gap in information provided that we’d like to see. Often times, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to which cars get no description or why; they can be a 300SL Gullwing for multiple millions of dollars right to a first generation GTi. Despite the range of value, one thing unites these cars; there are enthusiasts who love to see them, and buyers who would really like to know more about the car. Today’s car is no exception; a 1993 BMW 318i, this would generally be a forgotten charm right now. The E36, while a great car in its own right, isn’t in favor the way the E30 is and consequently larger engined variants are plentiful, and more importantly cheap. So what is interesting about this economy car turned racer? Well, it’s a claimed Dinan built car, and for a time in the 1990s BMW handed Dinan the keys to build some pretty wild semi-factory backed racers – so they’re well versed. But the mystery isn’t solved there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan Race Car on eBay

1982 Mercedes-Benz Unimog 416 Doka

My wife and I have recently had discussions about what is the perfect Providence commuter vehicle once again, with mixed results. You see, we’d like to own something nice and high performance such as a E46 BMW M3. But there are several things counting against that; first, driving a low slung, high performance car around the “streets” of Providence is akin to entering a Group C prototype into the Dakar Rally. Second, you gain attention of the wrong characters in the city. Third, you can never realize the performance of the car in a city setting. Sure, it looks great parked, but why go through the bother? My wife’s solution is something like the 250GD Nate wrote up yesterday. Indeed, it’s the first car she’s commented on in a long time in a positive manner. She likes the rugged simplicity of the G-Wagen, the understated aggression, and the upright, go anywhere, in your face attitude. “Just wait until tomorrow”, I said, “I have something even better”:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz Unimog 416 DOKA on eBay

1987 BMW M6

Want a classic 1980s BMW, a race-bred motor, and a car nearly guaranteed to appreciate over the coming years? The S38 powered M5 and M6 are the place to look right now, since the only other two options – the M1 and M3 – aren’t the best options right now. Traditionally, the M6 held higher values than the long-unappreciated M5; a great looking grand tourer, the M6 is certainly capable of keeping up with sports cars in a straight line and around curves. The other nice thing about the M6 was that unlike the E28 M5, it was available in many shades. Today’s example shows that off nicely in Cinnabar Red with Lotus White Nappa leather:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26

As with earlier’s AMG clone 300CE, this 1987 BMW 325i presents a bit of a problem. This particular car also visited a tuning shop in Germany, one that like Ruf and Alpina can be considered to produce its own cars. In this case, this car – had it been fully built and titled – would be considered a Hartge H26. But, also in this case, the car is not fully built and consequently not fully titled a Hartge. What you have, then, is a very good looking 325i sporting one of the less usual engines to see – the 2.6 inline-6 rated at about the same 190 horsepower as the early M3s. Now, perhaps it doesn’t matter to you that it’s not a full Hartge car – but it matters to the market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26 on eBay

Motorsport Mondays: 1998 BMW M3 S38 Swap

Back in April, Nate wrote up an attractive E30 M3 S38 swap that was asking all the money for what was a non-original car. But we liked it, mostly because it was a well executed build and it took what would have been a tired S14 E30 and breathed new life into it. So what else does that great S38B36 look at home in? One of the complaints about the E36 in North America was that the M3 didn’t get a full-blown M motor as its predecessors and stablemates, but the builder of today’s track attack 1998 M3 has resolved that. Backdating the motor, this E36 is a rolling M appreciation billboard that will remind you what an incredible track car the E36 makes:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 on eBay

BMW M5 Double Take: “New” v. “Old” – 2001 or 1988?

Well, this one has been brewing for a bit in my head. As I’ve watched E28 and E34 M5 prices climbing and the plateau after falling of E39 prices, the two are in general available for about the same amount of money. One is a well-acknowledged classic – the original super sedan, a well balanced combination of 4-door versatility with a race-bred high-revving inline-6. The second nearly never happened, and seemingly was an afterthought compared to the earlier examples – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well thought out. The E39 is one of the best performance bargains going not only amongst BMWs, but in cars in general – with 400 horsepower from a thundering V8, it took the M5 to a new level of performance and demanded the same of its competitors. So, here we have M5 v. M5; a generation gap, a performance gap, but both as performance icons of their respective times and generally accepted as collectable going forward. Which is the one you’d choose? Let’s start with the original:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

1970 BMW 2800CS

“Restomod” is probably a word that’s overused and misappropriated often. I’d consider any car with period-correct or period-inspired modifications, updated to make it more fun to drive or more reliable, and cleaned up to look a bit more sporty while still retaining the essence of the car a “restomod”. Nothing important is taken away, but some of the shortcomings are improved upon – or, at least made more enjoyable. Looks wise, there isn’t much that you can do to improve the E9 BMW – it’s a timeless classic design, beautifully elegant and simple. I wrote up a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC on our sister site, Classic Italian Cars For Sale, and it’s amazing how similar the overall look of the two cars is. Yet, while you wouldn’t dream of resto-modding a $800,000 Ferrari the prospect of changing your E9 – especially when it’s not the most sought after model – suddenly becomes much easier. As such, I really think the seller of this E9 made a pretty design much prettier with some minor modifications, some nice period details and a bit more sport with a heart transplant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 BMW 2800CS on eBay

10K Black Friday: 1985 Porsche 944 v. 1983 BMW 633CSi

For a bit of a twist on the normal 10K Friday, today we’ve got 10K Black Friday – and while the deals are good it’s more the color I’m speaking of. The last time we have a 633CSi in the “Big Coupe-off” it lost pretty resoundingly to the 560SEC. Will today be the same as it comes up against a Porsche with half the engine of the 928 it faced last time? Time for you to decide who will win this showdown. Let’s start with the 1985 944:

Year: 1985
Model: 944
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 109,000 mi
Price: $ 9,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 944 on eBay

1985 ½ Porsche 944 former show car. Multi-time Porsche Club of America Street Class Concours winner. Beautiful black on black. Outfitted with Porsche 911 C2 three piece chrome wheels, 245 x 18 front and 255 x 18 rear tires. Alpine 175 watt stereo system. Leather sport seats. 109,000 Babied miles. Service history includes water pump, clutch, fly wheel, all seals, all belts, battery, brakes and rotors, restored rear upholstery, upgraded AC (requires charge). This is just a partial list. Service records available (meticulously serviced by PSH Ltd.). Consider the others then bid seriously for this one.

The car appears to look nice from the outside, but little detail is offered for the interior. Despite this, it’s clear it’s probably not currently a show car – but that’s okay with me, I think I’d prefer a driver anyway. With service records available and claimed recent maintenance, this could be a reasonable deal though I think the price is probably high. I’m also not a fan of the wheels, which are claimed to be C2 wheels but look to me to be RH Cup replicas.…