2004 Audi TT 225 quattro Roadster

Like the Audi Cabriolet which preceded its introduction, the TT Roadster lives in a strange no man’s land; traditional Audi folks usually aren’t very interested in them, and those from outside of Camp VierRinge (who generally hate Audis to start with) really dislike the TT. Most decry its lack of sport car attributes and claim it’s just a poseur for hairdressers and trophy wives.

That’s a shame, really. The 8N chassis might not make for an M3 killer, but it was a serious step up from the Cabriolet if you enjoy canyon carving. First off, it came with more power – in any configuration. While the B4 had droned on with the reliable but not powerful or exciting 2.8 liter V6, the 8N got turbo power from one of two 1.8T motors initially. Later in the run, as with the R32 they added the 3.2 liter VR6, and yes – you could get that in convertible. Unfortunately in the first gen TTs, the big horsepower came at a cost – it was a bit nose heavy and only available with the admittedly trick but also complicated dual-clutch DSG box here. So, if you’re really in need of the 6-cylinder powerplant, your better bet is to look towards the second generation TT; better driving dynamics were mated with the option for a 6-speed manual there.

But all is not lost on the first gen, because the 225 quattro is the real gem of the lineup. And, it’s quite affordable, all things considered. Towards the end of the run, they were heavily optioned up and even available in some wild colors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi TT 225 quattro Roadster on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz SLK usually doesn’t get a lot of love from enthusiasts and I totally understand why. The first generation was a competition with the BMW Z3 to see how cheap they can build a small roadster made completely of flimsy plastic. Speaking of those two cars, it brought back fond memories of playing Need for Speed: High Stakes on my computer back in 1999. I blame that game as well as Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit for my European car addiction. But back to the SLK and the lack of second-hand attention these attract. The second generation R171 was a big improvement over the first generation, but the front end clip had a strange pig nose look that turned off a lot of people. The interiors were still a bit disappointing with lots of plastic and sub-par materials from what you’d expect from a proper Mercedes roadster.

Now in the tradition of post-2000 Mercedes, they sent this car off to AMG to make it fast and make it expensive. What came back was a little Mercedes with big everything. Big engine, big wheels, big brakes and of course quad exhaust tips. Mercedes stuck with the tried and true 5.4 liter V8 M113 that made 360 horsepower and 380 lb·ft of torque. Keep in mind this is in a car that weighs a little under 3,400 pounds. Mercedes officially said this little SLK will get to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds but some magazines had these hitting them in the 4.5 range. Now that some of these AMGs are hitting their teenage years, what should you expect to pay for one of these mini-rockets? Lets find out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG on eBay

Year: 2005
Model: SLK55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 125,280 mi
Price: $14,990 Buy It Now

2005 Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG for sale!
Very well kept
Clean title
Fully loaded with options
Vehicle has been fully serviced and tuned up recently
All services have been completed accordingly
All original Mercedes Benz books/manuals are included as well as both keys

Services completed within the last month;
1. Valve cover gasket replaced
2. Replaced all 16 spark plugs
3. Replaced ignition wire set
4. Replaced two breather hoses
5. Full synthetic oil change
6. Replaced hardtop cylinder/fluid
7. Replaced Engine air filter set
8. Replaced AC cabin filter
9. Replaced serpentine belt
10. Replaced front left lower control arm
11. Replaced transmission fluid
12. Replaced four tires with original Mercedes Benz Pirelli Pzero Nero A/S tires
13. Performed four-wheel alignment

Please feel free to email/call me with any questions or concerns!

This specific 2005 looks to be one of the better 12-year old Mercedes you could buy. It looks very clean and most importantly has a ton of recent maintenance and repairs that puts my mind at ease if I was in the market for the R171. Inside, you can see the interior isn’t the greatest thing ever, but it’s clean and functional. The red inserts on the seats and door cards is a little odd, but isn’t not the worst color combination with the blue exterior paint.

The price for the SLK55 is a mere $14,990 which in my opinion is a ton of value for Mitsubishi Mirage money. This was a $65,000 car new which isn’t surprising to anyone if you are here reading this, but I think the real question is where is the bottom for these cars? Will eventually these hit $10,000 or lower? I’m not sure where the end will be since we are entering a territory where there is a flood of AMG cars out there that all a dozen or more years old. If you were thinking about a SLK55, these cars are pretty robust outside of issues with the power hardtop which can get expensive very fast if something goes fast. Otherwise, if you want a little roadster that is very fast but not all that practical, a SLK55 AMG could be a great buy.

– Andrew

2001 Audi TT Roadster 225 quattro with 42,000 Miles

In 1993, my father purchased a W113 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster. It was green with black MB Tex and do you know what? It looked, and felt, old. At that point, it was a 22 year old car that had been mostly forgotten by the enthusiast world. After all, the dated W113’s replacement – the oh so 80s even though it was from the 70s R107 – had just gone out of production, itself replaced by the thoroughly modern R129. I loved the R129 at the time, and the W113 seemed like a dinosaur by comparison. But my father loved the look of the W113, and so for the then princely sum of mid-teens he purchased a relatively clean, reasonably low mileage and (almost) fully functional Mercedes-Benz SL.

Fast forward the best part of two and a half decades, and the SL market has gone completely bonkers, awakening to the fact that the W113 was (and still is) a beautiful, classic and elegant design. I’m not even sure you could buy a non-functional, rusty wreck of a W113 for the same price my father paid in 1993 – and an expensive restoration would await you.

Why do I mention this?

Currently, almost no one has time to even consider the 8N chassis Audi TT. It’s old, with the last of the first generation produced 12 years ago and its replacement – the 8J – has also fully completed a production cycle. It doesn’t have the super wiz-bang computers, million horsepower engines, or cut-your-hand-on-the-front-end styling of the new models. A fair amount lay in a state of disrepair; crashed, thrashed and trashed to a point where they’re nearly given away – quite seriously, there’s one near me for $1,500. But find a good one, and I think now is the prime time to grab a clean TT that will be a future collectable. This Roadster 225 quattro 6-speed with only 42,000 miles suits the bill perfectly:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi TT Roadster 225 quattro on eBay

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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To all our American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! To all our readers outside the United States, sorry you have to work today but hopefully today’s car makes up for it. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL that was produced from 1954 to 1963, mainly because of it’s distinctive gullwing doors and blistering performance. When the SLS launched in 2010 it not only wowed people with its design but with it’s power that launched this car to 60 mph in the mid-three second range.

Of course like the original 300SL, a roadster would soon follow for the SLS, which is what today’s car in California is. I like to think of the roadster versions of the 300SL and SLS like when Michael Jordan quit basketball and went to play minor league baseball. Jordan built his legacy and fame in basketball so much that you literally had tens of thousands of people following him around just to watch him strike out in Birmingham, Alabama. That’s what happened with these cars – you take away the gullwing doors and it’s just another Mercedes roadster, just like Jordan was just another minor league baseball player. But it’s the past reputation, along with how great a driver’s car they were in the first place, that kept these models in demand and values on par with the original. Go check out values for a 300SL Roadster, they are usually in the $1,000,000 to $1,400,000 range, right where the gullwing cars are. The same is happening with the SLS, with the Roadster prices side by side with comparable Gullwing cars. Logic would say the whole point of this car was the doors and it would carry a premium over the Roadster, but I think that would be true if Mercedes-Benz mailed it in on the rest of the car — which they clearly didn’t.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster on eBay

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2002 BMW Z8

A few weeks back I was sitting outside enjoying a beverage and some fantastic fall weather when a Z8 drove by. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I will readily admit that I wasn’t a fan of the Z8’s styling when it debuted. I’m not sure exactly why, but it’s purposeful blending of vintage and modern didn’t appeal to me in my early 20s. But it’s aged incredibly well, i.e. not at all, and as I’ve aged I have now come to appreciate these machines much more. I’m fortunate enough to live in the vicinity of a Silver one and while I don’t see it frequently I do cross its path from time to time. And I’m glad I do. With around 2,500 sold in the States you’re not likely to see one often and as with most limited-production cars prices are high, but there’s really a lot to love about these BMWs. The performance ain’t too shabby either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z8 on eBay

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1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Roadster

If you’ll pardon the strange introduction, this is not the car I was originally going to feature. I was going to feature one of my favorite color combinations on any Porsche (though we typically only see it on the 356): Slate Grey over a Red interior. That listing was removed so it was time to find something else. But it made me search for another Roadster and while this one isn’t quite as awesome of a combination, damn does it look good. Here we have a restored Ivory 1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Roadster again with a Red interior. These colors possess a pretty stark contrast with one another, but work quite well. And there are so many little hand wrought details on these cars that we can pore over for hours. When such details find themselves on the lines of the 356 Roadster then the appeal jumps up all the more. The Roadster was Porsche’s replacement for the Convertible D, which in turn had replaced the Speedster as the pared down version of the 356 Cabriolet. The Speedster it seems was a little too spartan, especially with regard to the windshield, so the Convertible D and Roadster added a little back to the car. Though by modern standards any 356 still remains very spartan.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Roadster on Hemmings Motor News

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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL600 Silver Arrow

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There exists a divided community of R129 Mercedes-Benz owners. On one hand there are those who feel that the V12 is necessary to make the car feel special and unique enough to be maximally enjoyable on rare driving occasions. On the other are more sensibly minded owners who prefer the cost-effectiveness and balance of the V8. I won’t interject my $0.02 into that discourse, but I will say that few R129 owners will disagree that a Silver Arrow SL600 is a very rare and desirable machine.

The Silver Arrow was a special edition of the R129 SL offered only in 2002, the final year of production. Only available in North America, Mercedes sold 1,550 Silver Arrow R129’s. Of these 1,550, only 100 were SL600’s. Featured here is one of those very few 600’s. I cannot recall the last time that one was publicly listed for sale, but having followed the R129 market closely since 2009, I can only recall ever seeing maybe one or two listed in online marketplaces.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL600 Silver Arrow on eBay

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

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Not much needs to be said when we feature a 300SL, whether it be Gullwing or Roadster. Both extremely stunning in their own right, these are cars that don’t require any explaining or justifying now that examples are regularly selling for over $1,000,000. But today’s car actually comes in just slightly under the seven-figure mark. This W198 isn’t a barn find or a basket case either. So let’s check out this beautiful 1957 roadster for sale in California and find out why it’s so “cheap”.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on Hemmings

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

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Those of you regular readers of GCFSB probably know that I mostly write about Porsche 928’s. Today I have something different, albeit quite similar. Much like the 928, the SL55 is ostensibly a grand tourer and is powered by a V8 of the same displacement as the 928 GTS. Both cars also share a very similar interior layout, with most of the controls located in a sloping and raised center console. Both cars are also beloved by Jeremy Clarkson, who spoke favorably of the 928 in one of the final episodes of Top Gear, and who personally owned an SL55. Describing his SL as a swiss army knife, Clarkson pointed out that the SL can act as a grand touring car if so desired, but can also be turned into a roadster in 16 seconds thanks to a retractable hardtop.

This Designo Graphite 2005 SL55 stood out to me for multiple reasons. The beautiful Designo color combination and interior upgrades, the unique Alphard wheels, and the low mileage differentiate this SL55 from the others currently on the market. The Designo options on this car would have likely added an extra $8,000 onto the $120,000 base price for the SL55. Such options would include a full leather interior (dash, door panels, rear storage compartment, roll bar, and top lid), alcantara headliner, suppler leather on the seats, and black birdseye maple wood trim. This was a huge improvement over the mostly MB Tex and vinyl interior on a standard SL55. Basically, it is a combination of the higher quality finishes available on the SL600 with the more flashy design of the SL55, a win-win in my opinion.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG at Greater Chicago Motors

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2008 Audi TT Roadster 3.2 quattro

VAG’s decisions on who would be able to shift their own gears have always been a bit confusing, but the period of the 3.2 VR6 is really where this came to a head for U.S. customers. In 2004, Volkswagen brought their hottest Golf (finally!) to our market, featuring the singing VR6 in 6-speed manual only form with the R32. Great, but Audi offered the same platform in slinkier TT 3.2 Quattro form. However, fans of manual shifting were overlooked as Audi opted to bring the top TT here only with DSG. This carried over to the A3 model range, where you could get a 3.2 quattro but only with the DSG box. When it came to the next generation, VAG opted to change this formula. As it had been a fan favorite, you’d assume that the R32 would retain the same layout. But no, Volkswagen removed the manual option and the Mk.5 based R32 became DSG-only. So that would hold true in the bigger budget, typically more tech-heavy TT too, right? Wrong, as in the 2nd generation, Audi finally opted to allow buyers to select a manual in either Coupe or Roadster form:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi TT Roadster 3.2 quattro on New London Craigslist

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