Tuner Tuesday Gold Digger: 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

What is the tipping point in modifying a car? It seems a delicate line which is easily crossed; one that once tripped over pushes the car in question into a free fall from object of desire to ridicule. Obviously, if someone opens up a J.C. Whitney catalog and orders all of the accessories available for their Monte Carlo, it’ll be a bit of a laugh. But what about when the ingredients are all top-dollar, high quality units? Let’s take this 911 for an example and break down the components: at it’s base, this is a 1977 911S Targa, or was. Now, by itself that’s an increasingly valuable commodity – so, it’s a good basis, right? Now it wears an updated 993 wardrobe; they’re a hot commodity, too. And who doesn’t love a cabriolet? Okay, so that’s a lot of people. But some people like them, right? How about the motor, a Ruf modified twin-plug turbo? Wow, put those names together today and you’ve got yourself a retirement plan. And while not the purview of these pages, if you haven’t been following auctions anything with the name Boyd Coddington attached to it has some serious value as well since his death. There has even been a spike in value of classic Recaro seats, and right now brown tones are still totally in vogue. So, with all of these individual bits added together, this car should be worth millions, right?

If you need a reminder that 1970s Porsches weren’t always worth a lot of money, look no further.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet…ish on eBay

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Leaves Nothing Stock: 1984 Audi Coupe GT 20V

If the M6 I just wrote up was full of non-original details, it’s hard to find anything that came from the factory on this Audi Coupe GT. Much of that I can appreciate, as I myself have fully modified a Coupe GT from stock form. It’s a chassis often overlooked because of the layout; on paper, just like a 911 the Coupe GT shouldn’t work. It’s front drive with an open differential and a very forward weight bias; unlike nearly all the Volkswagens, the engine in the GT in longitudinally laid out. That’s because it effectively was a front drive Quattro platform; many of the details of the front drive GTs are shared with their Quattro cousins. The configuration leaves a giant inline-5 cylinder motor hanging fully in front of the axle line, and the motor which promised the power of a 6 with the economy of a 4 was really the opposite. Yet, as with the 911, something magical was born from this recipe; not only did enthusiasts love the GT, but indeed even automotive experts said the 2-door Audi was more than the sum of its parts. GTs dance through corners with a poise that isn’t shared with the Volkswagen GTis, for example. They’re stunningly composed over long trips too, both spacious and at home cruising on the highway. And, importantly, they looked different than just any 2-door sedan; the angular delight of the Giugiaro design translated well into the narrow body. But just like the GTi and the E30, the platform had room for improvement; stiffen up the suspension and add power and it punches well above its weight class:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT 20V on eBay

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337-off: 2002 Volkswagen GTis

Let’s discount, just for a moment, the reputation of the fourth generation water-cooled, front engined platform from Volkswagen. Yes, they’re known for not having the best build quality, and they were a bit pudgy. The electrics were sketchy and Volkswagen’s venerable 1.8T, which found its way into nearly every VAG product in the late 90s and early 00s, is certainly not without fault. But in many ways, the Mk.4 platform offered some exciting options for the Volkswagen faithful. First, the introduction of the turbocharged engine into the platform redefined the possibilities of the hot hatch. It was available not only in the top-spec GTi, but you could get a 4-door 1.8T, too – a first for Volkswagen, who had offered hot 4-door hatches in Europe but not the U.S. previously. Then, in 2002, Volkswagen upped its game even more with the introduction of the 25th Anniversary Edition in Europe. “But the GTi didn’t come out until 1983” U.S. fans said, forgetting that 1977 was the launch year of the 1.6 original in Europe. It seemed, for some time, that the U.S. would get snubbed again. After all, it wouldn’t be very smart for them to offer a 25th Anniversary Edition of a car that didn’t exist here, and “19th Anniversary” doesn’t have the same ring. But then, at the New York Auto Show in 2002, Volkswagen surprised U.S. fans by offering the near-identical package to them. The name was the GTi 337 Edition; the name harkened back to the original project code for the Golf GTi. Beefed up with 180 horsepower, a 6-speed manual, an awesome set of Recaro seats, aero tweaks and with some awesome shot-peened BBS RC wheels, it was an instant hit. Volkswagen sold 1,500 of these models to U.S. fans, and then when they had sold out, recreated the magic in 2003 with colorful options in the 20th Anniversary Edition. Today we’re looking at the 337 though, and I’ve found three for sale in varying states. 13 years on, are these hot hatches still appealing?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen GTi 337 on eBay

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RS-spec: 1995 Audi S2 Avant

While in the U.S. the S6 Avant got all of the Audi accolades in 1995, in Europe several fast Audi wagons had been offered for some time. First of the new 20 valve turbo generation was the 200 Avant, just like in the U.S.; after that, though, the lines diverged. With the start of the C4, Audi offered the S4 in two configurations, sedan which was shared with the U.S. market, and Avant form which never came here. Additionally, there were two engine configurations; you could also get the 4.2 V8 and a 6-speed manual in your S4. When it came to the renamed S6, Audi upped those options with the addition of an automatic and the hotter “S6 Plus” version of the V8 wagon. But there was also another wagon available; the B4 based S2 Avant. The S2 came in three variants; the Coupe which many are familiar with, the quite rare sedan version, and the slightly less familiar Avant which didn’t come to the U.S.. I say slightly less familiar, because the S2 Avant was the notable base for one of the greatest wagons the world has ever seen – the iconic Porsche-built RS2. The RS2 was a fitting replacement for the equally iconic Sport Quattro, but the RS2 offered better road manners, more versatility and if anything was a bit quicker overall. It should be no surprise that, like the Sport Quattro, the limited run RS2 spawned a series of imitators who mimicked everything from the motor to the outside styling:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi S2 Avant on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Ruf BTR Slantnose

One of the great things about this blog is that we keep a pretty good inventory of rare cars written up, so that when one looks familiar we can go back and check it out. This doesn’t always work, as occasionally we forget that we’ve written one up, such as the S6 Avant I managed to write up twice. However, both of today’s tuner cars appeared on these pages before in one form or another, and I managed to track both down. Later we’ll look at an Alpina B11 3.5 that was seen here five years ago, but with 332 made it was still a bit surprising that the same one popped up for sale. When it came to today’s Ruf BTR Slantnose – one of only five made – I was sure we’d seen it before, and I was somewhat right…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Ruf BTR Slantnose on eBay

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Coupe Week Double Take: 1977 and 1978 Volkswagen Sciroccos

Just because you want to partake in Coupe Week doesn’t mean that you have to have the deepest pockets. For a modest investment, you can get top-notch designer styling mated to a reliable and economical engine that’s still fun to drive. That’s certainly what Volkswagen sought to achieve with the introduction of its Giugiaro-styled Scirocco. While based upon the pedestrian mechanicals of the sibling Golf/Rabbit, the Scirocco capitalized on a sportier look but was backed up by a substantial racing program undertaken by Volkswagen to promote the car. Despite good looks and a devoted following though, the Scirocco unfortunately has fallen a victim to time, the tin worm and low residual value, meaning few remain in pristine shape unlike the more expensive coupes from Stuttgart and Munich. So it was a special treat when two of our readers sent in dueling 1978 and 1977 Sciroccos this week; one original and one rebuilt. Which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco on The Samba

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1989 BMW 325ix

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This 325ix was rebuilt as a present for the seller’s father, but apparently Dad wanted an SUV instead. I’m guessing it was a sort of homespun “Pimp My Ride” judging by the looks of it – take the old E30 and pretty much redo it top to bottom, with some extra flair added for good measure. I already know the flair is going to be polarizing, but there’s enough good stuff in here to keep it out of the “Friday Fail” column for me. Wherever you think it lands on the taste scale, there’s no question that a lot of effort was put into giving this 325ix a new life.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325ix on eBay

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1984 Volkswagen GTi – REVISIT

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The 1984 GTi with a cool G60/turbo engine setup and some great Recaros and BBSs is back up for sale a little over a month after I first wrote it up. With some details fixed like the corner lights and some better photos, you can see some of the work that needs to be completed to finish out this GTi – something that’s much more realistic now that the price has dropped a substantial $2,500 to a nice round $6,000. I think it should go this time around!

-NR

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 2, 2014:

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Volkswagen projects slowly left my mind as I got more into classic M-cars, but the concept of interchangeable parts and endless custom possibilities made VWs take the place of sheep each night through many of my early car-loving years. A 1984 GTI with a nice swap has always been high on the dream list, and the G60 provides a solid platform that’s a little more contemporaneous and fitting than the VR6 or 1.8T ideas. Despite unassuming aesthetics, this GTI G60 has had the full workover with revised running gear, a turbocharger instead of the normal super, and some desirable exterior items. The “needs” items are few but give the impression this is a project he needs to get rid of, and projects can be a hard thing to transfer.

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Year: 1984
Model: GTI
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: Unknown
Price: $6,000 Buy It Now

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Up for sale is my recently built 1984 GTi with Turbo G60 setup.

1984 GTi
61,099 miles/ Odometer not working. Unsure of actual mileage.
No rust
New brakes all around w/ stainless braided lines & new hard lines
Raceland coilovers
Eurosport rear strut bar
New control arms and bushings
New gas tank

Engine:
55k original mile G60 with mild rebuild. All new seals.
All new belts, hoses, etc.
T3 turbo
ATP manifold
Custom intercooler
Custom 2.5″ downpipe
Custom 2.5″ exhaust
Bahnbrenner tune
Sachs heavy duty clutch
ABA alternator

Interior:
New headliner
MOMO steering wheel
New accordion shift boot with golf ball knob
16v Recaro seats
Boost gauge

Exterior:
Cabriolet tail lights w/ plate filler
Smoked corners (Not pictured) & bumper lenses
Euro bumpers
Flag mirrors
15×7 BBS RS wheels, freshly refinished w/ 195/45 Federal tires w/ less than 1k miles

The bad:
Cracked windshield
Gauge cluster is ok minus fuel gauge and odometer.
Some missing interior pieces

This car is turn key and ready to go. I drive it daily during nice weather and it’s reliable and a blast to drive.
All work professionally done within last 3 months with many receipts and references available.

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If the windshield, gauge cluster, and interior pieces were taken care of, I think he’d be getting plenty of bites at his asking price. Unfortunately, those otherwise easily dealt-with items make me question the rest of the car, turning this into another example of a price too close to the money in it as opposed to the money it’s worth. On the other end, if the rest of the work is as good as he claims, it could be a showstealer with a little bit of effort.

-NR

Tuner Tuesday: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco Sidewinder II Turbo

If the Mk.1 Scirocco is already a rare car to see, finding a period modified one is even more rare – especially when it comes to a well known example, such as the New Dimensions turbocharged example we see here. On top of being a fairly rare car already, this particular example is also one of the even more rare “Sidewinder II” editions that came out in 1978. What did the Sidewinder II get you? Well, according to this letter to dealers from Volkswagen, the Sidewinder got a special air dam, special seats, speedometer backing, decals, and black trim. I love, too, how Volkswagen likened the pose of the rattlesnake to the engine layout in the Scirocco; reaching, considering the 71 horsepower accelerated the “sports” coupe to 60 m.p.h. in a semi-leisurely 11.6 seconds. To fix that, this New Dimensions example has a 1.8 turbocharged motor fitted along with some fairly rare parts:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco Sidewinder on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1974 BMW 2002Ti

There are some pretty distinct tuning periods, such that you can generally peg the time frame that a car was modified if it was “cutting edge”. For example, when I saw this 2002Ti pop up on eBay, I immediately thought it was a late 80s/early 90s modification. Most of that, to be fair, came from the dated wheels, but the boxy styling, attempt to update the grill and paint scheme just said to me that M.C. Hammer may have been playing in the background when this car was revised. And like early modified cars and even more recent examples, dated mods sometimes make a bit of a mess – and this car certainly looks dated to me. Despite that I think there’s still a lot to like here; the base is a clean 2002Ti, the box-flares aren’t horrible and inside there are some great Recaros and a Zender wheel. What would you do with the rest?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002Ti on eBay

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