1982 BMW 323i

Feeling blue that all of the affordable classic options are quickly becoming, well, not so affordable? There are still bastions of value if you’re willing to overlook the flash of the big names and instead just focus on a clever, unappreciated car. The E21 might just be the most unappreciated BMW ever brought to the United States, but most of that reputation is thanks to a relatively soft M10 engine allocation and one of the worst applications of federally mandated crash bumpers. Move on up to the M20 and the associated European trim and the story changes quite a bit. Suddenly, you have a 7/8ths scale M635CSi on a very affordable budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 323i on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC Zender

The C107 is to me a very strange car, yet I’m often compelled to look at them. They’re certainly not the prettiest or best proportioned Mercedes-Benz product and the attempt to make a Grand Touring coupe out of a roadster was perhaps a bit too ambitious. Yet sometimes I see one and am captivated by the look; long, low and with a tremendous amount of presence, the C107 demands attention even if it’s not the best looker. This is especially true of the European versions, which had the trifecta of being more powerful, a little bit lighter and were all-around better looking. Throw in some period wheels and a body kit from a respected tuner and the results can be great as shown by this first model year Euro example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC on eBay

Continue reading

1985 BMW 323i Baur TC

There was a period in the mid 1970s where it appeared that safety nannies like Ralph Nader were going to bring about the death of the convertible. Consider, for a moment, that in 1965 Americans bought nearly 500,000 4-seat convertibles – but by the late 1970s, Detriot had completely abandoned what had been a very successful market. Today, it’s German firms that are the leaders in convertibles sold in the U.S. – no surprise, really, when you consider the number that are available. From the Eos and Beetle to BMW’s 3,6 and Z series, along with plenty of Mercedes-Benz models and Audi’s TT, A3, A5 and R8, there’s no shortage currently of options with air above. Go back to the early 1980s, though, and there were really only two. You could pay a lot of money for a Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet, or you could pay a ridiculous amount of money for a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. In response, many aftermarket tuners offered to take the top off just about everything from the S-Class Mercedes to the Porsche 928. Baur was one such firm, offering a drop-top version of the 3-series before BMW did. Rare to find, there’s one that’s popped up for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 323i Baur TC on eBay

Continue reading

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another Wednesday Wheels Roundup! This time around I found some wheels I don’t remember previously seeing; and not just one set, but two sets of RW Macho wheels. One set is for Porsches 944 fitment, and the other is for BMW fitment. I also spotted a cool set of Rial wheels in Mercedes/Audi fitment, along with a rare set of Zender multi piece wheels. Lastly, there’s a not often seen set of of third generation BBS RA wheels in 4×100. They’re great looking wheels for 2nd and 3rd generation Volkswagen products and mimic the VR6 wheels offered on the Jetta GLX VR6. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Rial 15×7 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Continue reading

Back Again: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco

Is it April 1st yet? I thought it might be based upon the number of vehicles I’ve previously written up that are back up for sale this week. Sure enough, this is a Scirocco we’ve seen before more than once; last time back in early February as a revisit. Though it looked nice, that time around this Scirocco sported some BMW wheels and some not-hugely flattering photos. It sold for a touch over $6,100. Well, if you wanted it that time, the joke is on you – the car is back with some more fitting Rial wheels, a new set of photos, and a healthy price bump:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Continue reading

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

I have another few rare sets of wheels to check out this week, starting with some polarizing but cool Brabus wheels. They’re pricey but quite a way to set your Mercedes-Benz apart. There’s also a set of BBS RX wheels which remind me of some of the great designs gone by since BBS switched hands. This week I found another set of Rial wheels, this time slightly different with a large offset. There’s also a rare set of Volkswagen Votex wheels. And if you’re feeling ridiculously rich and have an early 911 that you want to have a race look, there’s a set of ultra-rich magnesium Minilites that is priced around the cost of most cars I look at. Enjoy!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Brabus Monoblock 2 17×8 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Continue reading

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

I have a bit of a mixed bag for you this week – from period Tuner wheels to some that are more meant for dreams and Christmas wishes. The Rial cross-spoke wheels aren’t normally what you’d think of when you think of basket weaves, but they’re period correct for your mid-1980s Audi or early 924. The Momo wheels aren’t everyone’s bag, but they were a period wheel that was a very expensive option – as were the 17″ Style 10 wheels if you’re looking for something a bit more OEM. Those Porsche Speedline Ruf wheels are some of the best looking every made, and I’ve always loved the wheels on the McLaren SLR – even if they’re solidly out of reach of even my entire car budget. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Rial Cross-Spoke Audi 80/90 15×7 4×108 Wheels on eBay

Continue reading

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Do you think you know Audi and Volkswagen products from the 1980s well? There are a lot of people who claim to, but it seems that at times even VAG didn’t know what it was producing. Take, for example, this 1986 Audi Coupe GT. Now, according to most sources for a long time, if you wanted to get the digital dashboard in a 1986 Audi Coupe GT, you had to get the “Commemorative Edition” GT which came only in white or graphite. Yet as the owner of what was originally a Oceanic Blue non-CE Audi GT with an original digital dashboard, I can attest that in fact cars outside of the normal production run were fitted with the somewhat quirky bit of 1980s fad technology. If you talk to most Audi folks, they stand firmly in two camps. The small camp says that the digital dash is really, really cool; the far larger camp sees it as a glitchy gimmick that seldom works properly and is hard to service. But having owned one for the best part of two decades now, I can say mine has never experienced much of an issue. It had neat features, such as the “shut off the entire dash” feature which left you only with a speed reading. I think I used it once, only to show someone that it existed. At startup, you could tell your friends that you had programmed the cover art to Ghost in the Machine by The Police into your dash. Much more fun, though, was the ability on the fly to switch the dash from English to Metric units; if you were alone on the highway with an unsuspecting passenger, you could flip the dash into metric and then brag about how you were going “150” with ease. Okay, maybe I was the only one who thought it was funny, but there really weren’t many advantages to the digital dash otherwise. Despite that a smattering of 1986 and 1987 (non-“Special Build”) cars, seemingly with no particular order or logic, were fitted with the Atari-esque bit of technology:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

Continue reading