2008 Porsche Boxster S

 

I’m not sure if there is a more under appreciated and oft maligned sports car than the Porsche Boxster. I was quite fond of the original generation, even had a 1:18 scale Maisto model of the original concept version that would become the 986. I think what drew me to the car was the obvious design nod to the Porsche 550 Spyder, which is art on wheels as far as I’m concerned. The majority of people would say the Boxster is just the opposite. They still look at it as the poor man’s Porsche or the divorcee mobile or the car you get bait & switched into by a shady dealership when by some divine miracle, you make a hole in one at the tournament with a WIN A PORSCHE gimmick. Look it up, that kind of thing has totally happened.

I actually think that’s a good thing because it leaves plenty of these cars out there for those of us who know better than to be swayed by public opinion. The Boxster isn’t without its faults but that can be said of all Porsches right up to the very tip top models that like to catch on fire just for the hell of it. The Boxster is a great choice of vehicle for anyone who just loves to drive.  First one I got to pilot was a 2013 base model with the excellent 6spd manual transmission, top down on the freeway in the middle of December on a cloudy day in Los Angeles. I remember everything about that experience vividly and I think that’s a true testament to just how good of a machine these are.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche Boxster S on Cars.com

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium

Were I not the sucker for a V8 soundtrack that I am, I would probably already have owned or currently own one of these cars. Like the M-Sport BMWs, the S-Line Audis can be looked at as the more wallet friendly alternative to their non hyphenated name siblings. While vehicles wearing the roundel are often offer a more dynamic driving experience, Audis are no slouch in the fun department and still offer the quiet kind of luxury that I prefer.

In terms of rolling incognito the A4 S-Line Titanium is perhaps the very definition of the term. The charcoal Ronal wheels aren’t for everyone but I’ve always liked them, so long as they wear a tire with a protective lip. These wheels are prone to curb damage and I’ve seen some badly chewed up ones over the years. Aside from the wheels only a few other cosmetic changes will clue an informed individual into the fact that this is an extra special A4. Blacked out window trim, grille surround and piano black interior trim are all that really separate the Titanium from a run of the mill S-Line. As for the S-Line package, that adds a lower ride height, 3 spoke steering wheel (aka. the one you want) and some S-Line badges that are easily removed, as you see here. The result is a real sleeper that has the potential to be an outright monster given the massive aftermarket part availability for the 2.0T A4. If it was me, I’d leave this thing alone except for an ECU flash to get just that little bit of extra juice for those times when the power hungry side of my personality kicks in.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium On AutoTrader

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Wagon Week: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

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When I think roadtrip vehicle, my mind immediately goes to the frugal and capable Jetta TDI. When driven carefully, they can far exceed their standard MPG ratings while swallowing tons of gear. All this with class-leading comfort and style in the interior. My main gripe is the unattractive front end, but in my dreams I just throw a TDI Cup front end on it, creating a seriously good-looking wagon. This 2009 Sportwagen has a lot of positives – low mileage, 6-speed manual, panoramic roof and premium sound are all boxes I’d want ticked. The glaring downside is the rebuilt title, which we know is always a big liability. A full inspection could suss out if the driver’s-side collision really was minor and if everything is good to go. Rebuilt titles mean low resale values – maybe not ideal if you sell it in the future, but if everything checks out it creates an insane deal on an ultimate roadtrip machine.

Click for details: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI on eBay

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1983 911 SC Targa

Another day, another crisp SC Targa found down in Florida. This one is a real head turner as it is covered in rather rare Schwarz Metallic paint. The ad says it can appear Slate Grey in certain light, black or even brown at other times. I think I saw  a 911 with this paint a few years back at a meet but didn’t realize it was so special at the time. Also could have been my eyes playing tricks on me, hard tellin no knowin I suppose.

Anyhow, I thought this ’79 Targa deserved some attention as it features not only a unique exterior but a very clean, very pretty Cork interior. This is certainly among my favorite color combinations for a 911, I think it works particularly well on this era. The leather on the dash and on the front seats is new and the Targa top has been reupholstered with OEM material as well. From a visual stand point this vehicle appears to need nothing and the mechanical side of the equation also seems to be balanced. Brand new tie rods and steering rack boots were recently installed, the seller notes that the A/C squeals at bit at start up but from what I’ve read that’s both rather common on these cars. Whether or not it is an easy fix is beyond me but if it was my car, I would keep the A/C off and the top popped to keep cool.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911 SC Targa On eBay

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2008 BMW M3

Four doors, three pedals and eight cylinders. Is there a more exciting combination for an enthusiast when it comes to a daily driver? Honestly I can’t think of one and of the small group of modern cars to offer this configuration, I’d say the E90 M3 is the top dog. In this modern age of turbocharged everything, it is highly unlikely that we’ll ever see another car like this one. A useable back seat and trunk mated with a 4.0L V8 already sounds old school and we’re only seven years on from when the car was initially offered. When BMW announced the whole M3/M4 plan and the news that the new cars would have a turbocharged six-cylinder, I wasn’t surprised. It’s just how things are going these days. The sports car market is completely over-saturated with vehicles that will surely delight their drivers but will they offer the same visceral connection as their predecessors? I don’t think so but ultimately that is for each of us to decide on our own. What I can say with absolute confidence is that the E90 M3 market is rapidly moving in a very wallet friendly direction, great news for those of us who prefer a screaming V8 soundtrack to the artificially enhanced aural experience of a boosted inline-6.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 on Cars.com

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1978 Porsche 911 SC Targa

Over the past couple of years my affinity for the Targa 911 models has grown considerably. I’m sure that their position as the “value” model in the classic 911 market has something to do with that as I usually expect a reasonable price tag when I see Targa in the title of a listing. Of course, we’re getting to a point where even these models are commanding a premium due to the insanity spreading across the rest of the lineup. Honestly, I don’t think getting a Targa is settling as much as some 911 enthusiasts would have you think. In fact I’m quite fond of these models these days precisely because they’ve long been the odd man out within vaunted 911 family. Convertible 911s (with the exception of the Slantnose) have never been my thing and never will be, so the Targa is that nice middle ground where I can still get a bit of open air motoring without sacrificing that classic shape I lust after.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 911 SC Targa

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2009 Audi S5

As depreciation continues to work its wonderful magic, there are a number of excellent cars falling into the sub $30k range which is the cap of what I consider to be reasonable at this point in my life. If you’ve got $30k to spend on a car then then the field is wide open, E90 M3s, 987 Caymans and the B8 S5 are all options. At that price point they’re most likely not the garage queen you dream of but clean, mechanically solid examples with relatively low miles are out there. I think this particular car is one of those examples, and with just under 70k on the clock it looks to have been well cared for. I guess that’s what starting life as a corporate fleet vehicle in California will do for a car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Audi S5 On eBay

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Wagon Week: 2002 BMW 525i Touring

Walking home from work the other day, I spotted an E39 Touring on the street, which happened to be a 525i with a 5-speed manual. It was completely stock, resplendent in a dark blue metallic and I thought “has BMW ever had a more pleasing design than this Touring?” Even with lower mileage, these E39 Tourings are used car bargains nowadays, if you have the nerve and wherewithal to maintain them properly. This 525i Touring 5-speed manual for sale in Massachusetts is originally a California car and looks to have lived a well-cared for 150,000 miles.

Year: 2002
Model: 525i Touring
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 153,092 mi
Price: $7,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW 525i Touring on BMW CCA Classifieds

After eight great years (I’m the second owner), it’s time for me to move on and hand over this beauty to someone who will continue taking good care of it and enjoing driving it as much as I did. Relevant info: Exterior: Titanium silver Interior: Gray leather Options: ZPP, ZSP, PDC, Xenon Birth certificate (look here for the complete option list): http://www.bmwarchiv.de/vin/gd50411.pdf

Mods: – Autodim mirror (wasn’t available on 525s at that time) – Seat heater retrofit for driver’s seat (passenger seat is wired, but has no heating pads) – Euro armrest with slide and storage – Euro taillights with clear blinkers (works great with silver color – just look at the photos) – Euro mirror glass driver side – Bluetooth TCU retrofit for handsfree phone calls (complete OEM functionality, including voice dial). – No mechanical mods. First owner had it from April 2003 to September 2005. The car lived in Carlsbad, CA. I bought it sight unseen (well, I had some photos actually), flew there to pick it up, put it on a truck to Boston, and then drove it daily for eight years. I’m selling it only because I felt I needed a change, so I moved to an X5 a couple of weeks ago.

This two owner car has me thinking: at what point does mileage become a concern? Sure, the E39 isn’t the most simple of vehicles when it comes to mechanicals and electrics, but I’d hesitate just to throw something like this away when it got old, especially given the cosmetics of this particular car. Who knows how much longer manual transmission wagons will be around, as every year that passes the third pedal becomes more of a oddity than a common option.

-Paul

2012 911 Carrera 4 GTS

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For the last of 997 generation cars, Porsche pulled out all of the stops to make this the most technologically advanced 911 yet. Some of the new gadgets include car features an optional stop/start feature that shuts the engine down at stops, electro-mechanical power steering, and the optional 7-speed PDK dual clutch gearbox, which this seller passed on in favor of the 6-speed manual (good call).

The Carrera 4 GTS sports the 3.8 liter boxer 6 that, like the 911s before it, puts up very impressive numbers. The 911 makes the run to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with the help of 408bhp and 309 lb/ft of torque coupled to a 6-speed manual gearbox. While these numbers are impressive, in this day and age even sports cars aren’t immune from fuel economy scrutiny.  Luckily the GTS will go about 25 miles per gallon of fuel…not bad for an all out performer.

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Year: 2012
Model: Carrera 4 GTS
Engine: 3.8 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 1,300 miles
Price: $97,997

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS on Rennlist.com

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For sale by owner: 997 2012 911 GTS4 manual transmission coupe with only 1,300 miles.

Option list:

911 Carrera 4 GTS
Black
Black
Black Inter. Alcantara Seat
PASM Sport Suspension (-20mm)
Self-Dimming Mirrors
Heated Seats (Front)
GTS Sidestrips and Model Design
Bi-Xenon Headlights incl. PDLS
Sport Chrono Package Plus
Extend Navigation mod (PCM 3.0)
BOSE Surround Sound System
SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner

MSRP $118,655

Dealer installed accessories/options:
Full front wrap (3M) $2,500
Shipping in enclosed carrier $750

* Practically brand new, spotless inside and out.
* Has the iconic GTS wheels, and looks menacing in triple black.
* Highly optioned, has practically everything you could want in a 911.
* My loss is your gain; selling this and/or my Range Rover to keep just one car in the city.

Location: New York, NY 10001

Maintenance history: Break-in oil change will be performed at 2k miles, but likely to be sold before then. Only hand-washed, no machine/automatic washes.

Asking $97,997 or nearest reasonable offer.

No low-ballers please. Will be listed exclusively on Rennlist and Pelican first to hopefully attract private enthusiasts. If you’re in the market for a 911, this is the one you want.

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If I had the means, this is 100% the way I would outfit my brand new 911. When buying this car not so long ago, the seller checked off all of the right boxes on the order form. The triple black on this is stunning, throw in all wheel drive, and the all important 3rd pedal, this car is the way a non turbo Porsche should be.

At $97K this Porsche is priced up where a CPO car should be without all of the benefits of being dealer backed. That being said there is a bit of negotiation that will need to be done in order to get this beauty where it should be. But if you’re up to the challenge, this would make an amazing addition to any garage.

-Brian

2010 BMW 535xi Touring 6-speed

Longroofs are the perfect way to add a confused look on most people considering sports cars. “But how could a mom’s car be a good driver’s car?” “Wagons are slow.” Etc. Well, real car fans know some of the coolest sports cars in the world have been wagons. RS2/4/6? E63 Wagon? Who doesn’t want an M5 Touring (side note, I saw an M5 Touring with Antigua plates at a local gokart track. Foreign envy boiling)? Well, this isn’t quite an M5 Touring, but it’s about as good as we’ll get in the States. With a twin-turbo 3.0l inline-6 and all wheel drive, this almost sounds like one of those fancy-fast Audi wagons! The cherry on top is the rare 6-speed manual, an ever-increasingly refreshing sight these days. Edging this 535xi a little closer to M5ness is an M-Sport Package and Dinan goodies, including chip and exhaust pushing the N54 to over 380hp and 420lb-ft. Not bad for the most popular car in Silicon Valley soccer field parking lots.

2010 BMW 535xi Touring 6-Speed for sale on BMWCCA CLassifieds

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I think you would be very hard pressed to find another sport wagon–with the M-sport package, no less–fitted with a 6-speed manual in the US. This is a fully loaded car in immaculate condition. Additionally, the car has the Dinan Stage 3 engine tune and a custom fitted Dinan exhaust. Michelin Pilot Sports replace the standard run-flats. Immaculate condition. No dings. No wheel rash. Fully loaded, save for rear air bags. I have thoroughly enjoyed this car. It is special. Looking for the right home!

I was pretty surprised to see the potency of the Dinan upgrades (although Dinan only lists 2 stages and the ad says it’s “Stage 3”). Combined with the standard-yet-rare option boxes already ticked, this is a kickass wagon. I’ve heard these aren’t the most trouble-free BMWs, but if you’re looking for a modern car that is fun to drive anywhere and that can handle a family, it’s hard to deny the versatility and good choices present on this 535xi. $46k is a bit steep, but not out of line. Thank goodness it doesn’t have M5 fender vents.

-NR