1983 Volkswagen GTi

1983 Volkswagen GTi

Way before “i” stood for everything ‘intelligent’ from your phone to your (no joke) pet, adding the 9th letter of the alphabet to your German car meant something equally as forward thinking in the 1970s and 1980s – injection. Unless, of course, you were talking about ‘e’ in a few cases, where the German word for injection – Einspritzung – came into play (I’m looking at you, Mercedes-Benz. And, occasionally BMW, for no apparent reason).

But I digress.

Adding fuel injection to your motor in the 1970s was pretty close to rocket science, since in the 1960s only the most exotic and high performance cars available had it. So when Volkswagen dropped a fuel injected 1.6 liter inline-4 pumping out an astonishing for the period 110 horsepower in 1975, it’s no wonder it was a revolution. Consider, for a moment, that the 1975 Corvette – with its gargantuan, gas-guzzling 5.7 liter V8 – managed to produce only 165 horsepower. Today’s base Corvette produces about 455 horsepower, meaning that the same relation would make today’s GTI a 300 horsepower hot hatch. Which, ironically in R form, it pretty much is! Still, it was the formula of the original that made this the hottest commodity on the market. It would be eight long years until the GTI debuted in the U.S. market. When it did, it had been turned down slightly and injection was no longer solely the domain of the GTI. Still, it was a potent and popular package, with attractive Guigiaro-penned looks and plenty of practicality. Some 34 years on from launch, the looks still capture the imagination of many who owned (or longed to own) one of these transformative hatches:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

Best in the World? 2008 Audi RS4 with 771 Miles

Best in the World? 2008 Audi RS4 with 771 Miles

You’ve all seen it before – the ‘Lazy Listing’. Often times it’s as if the seller is only partially motivated (or not at all motivated) to sell the car. Information is missing, incorrect or not related to the car at hand. The presentation is sloppy, and so are the photos. Sometimes it’s a ‘feeler’, or an ad with an absurd price no one would contemplate paying.

Usually, as is the case here, it’s multiples of these items combined into one. And while generally speaking it’s easy to dismiss and look away from these auctions, today’s car is a special case that makes you sit up and take notice. That’s because in the past ten years this RS4 hasn’t traveled out of the break-in period, or likely its third tank of gas.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi RS4 on eBay

Labor of Love: 1991 BMW 318iS

Labor of Love: 1991 BMW 318iS

You don’t have to cast a very wide net to find a modified E30 BMW. Though they’ve been out of production for the U.S. market for some 25 years, they’re still a massively popular choice for enthusiasts – so much so, that they’re a bit ubiquitous and border on cliché.

As a result, we’ve seen our share of modified E30s on these pages with varying results. But today’s example really is something special. It’s not the first time I’ve heard an E30 be referred to as the cleanest, best built car in the country. I clicked the link with my normal base-level of E30 skepticism.

It’ll be way, way overpriced for what it is. Lipstick on a pig. I’d prefer a stock one” rolled through my head.

You see, if I told you the value on a 318iS was such that it justified a full disassembly and restoration, you’d likely laugh. There could not possibly be a return on that investment, right? And on top of that, a resto-mod in a non-original color in a market which has highly prized only completely original, low mileage and stock examples to date?

Naysayers, bear witness.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 318iS on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1995 Porsche 911RS Carrera Cup/3.8 RSR

Motorsports Monday: 1995 Porsche 911RS Carrera Cup/3.8 RSR

Race cars, by definition, don’t lead a pampered life. Often they’re tossed around, crashed, bashed, and driven hard when wet. They are infrequently all-original, as many go through multiple changes in rules (even within a single season) and need to evolve to remain current. Also infrequently do they stay with one owner, changing hands multiple times as the years pass more quickly than laps. Then, a generation on, they’re no longer competitive and shelved in favor of the newest, greatest and latest track weapon. In short, they’re pretty much a collector’s nightmare.

But over the past decade a growing appreciation for vintage motorsport means there is increasing attention focused on ex-factory race models. And, even though the air has cooled slightly on the Porsche market, it’s still at a pretty astronomic level. Put those two factors together with a low production period racer, and even though it’s far from original condition, it’s the recipe for enthusiast’s dreams and an asking price high enough to make small African nation dictator’s son feel jealous.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 911RS Carrera Cup/3.8 RSR on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport 2.5

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport 2.5

Though ultimately not as well known as Alpina, AC Schnitzer replaced the more famous brand a the defacto factory race team in the late 1970s and 1980s. To capitalize on their success at the race track (including the successful campaigns in the DTM), in 1987 AC Schnitzer launched their first brand-specific model based upon the new E32. That was followed by a more sporty E30-based model, dubbed the ACS3 Sport in 1989. It was available based upon either a normal 3-series, or those with a bunch of dough could opt to allow Schnitzer to modify their prized M3. And modify it did; subtle changes outside included revised mirrors, a light change to the rear end and a single-wiper conversion to really channel the DTM spirit. Wheels were either 17″ multi-piece Schnitzer design, or the ever-popular BBS RS model in 16″x8 or 9. As Alpina did, Schnitzer included their own steering wheel (4 options available), a numbered plaque, bespoke suspension 20mm lower than the standard ride height, and a unique rectangular-tipped exhaust. However, the real treat was the full 2.5 conversion, which really packed some extra power in the S14. Schnitzer brought the total displacement to 2,431 cc – just shy of the 2,467 BMW themselves would produce in the 1990 Sport Evolution. Coupled with a revised DME, the S3 Sport 2.5 produced an impressive 245 horsepower. They are exceedingly rare to come across, but our reader Daniel spotted this fully converted 1988 example for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 AC Schnitzer S3 2.5 at Garage Current

Motorsports Monday: 1971 Porsche 911 RSR Martini Racing Tribute – REVISIT

Motorsports Monday: 1971 Porsche 911 RSR Martini Racing Tribute – REVISIT

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On the verge of three years ago I took a look at a neat 911 Carrera RSR tribute. Rather than take the typical path of copying the IROC cars, the builder of this particular car chose the “Mary Stuart” Martini Racing example to clone. The car was named because the wrap around rear duck-tail spoiler reminded some of the high collars which were the vogue during Mary, Queen of Scots’ reign. With its unique tail offsetting those iconic colors, it is certainly an attention getter. However, the seller has now attempted to shift this car more or less continually since 2013 – first at an asking price of $165,000, then dropping in 2014 to $135,000, and now back up to $165,000 presumably to try to capitalize on the current 911 market. It is without a doubt a neat build and unique execution, so even though it’s unlikely to trade this time around again I thought it was worth another look:

The below post originally appeared on our site September 9, 2013:

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I think Martini Racing colors are just awesome. Some people insist everything looks better in “Gulf Blue”, but for me, it’s those Martini stripes that made some of the best looking race cars (and in a very few cases, even improved road cars). Case in point is today’s example; perhaps one of the strangest downforce attempts of the 1970s on a Porsche – the Mary Stuart tailed Martini Racing RSR. While a neat design in some ways, it certainly looks odd from other angles. Today’s 1971 911 is a recreation of the original, but you can’t deny that it looks fantastic in the proper Martini Racing colors of the 1973 RSR:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 911 RSR Martini Racing replica on Ebay

Worth Restoration? 1988 BMW 735i 5-speed

Worth Restoration? 1988 BMW 735i 5-speed

In recent posts, we’ve both talked about the expense of maintaining an old German luxo-barge and, at the same time, the joy of getting to experience their technical prowess. I mentioned in the Alpina B12 5.0 post that I was lucky enough to experience an E32 5-speed upstream of most of the major repairs they would need if you held onto them long enough. Seemingly in response, suddenly a wave of neat 5-speed E32s appeared. But is the allure of the 5-speed status worth overcoming some obstacles to ownership?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i 5-speed on eBay

End of the Run: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 16v and 1992 Volkswagen GTi

End of the Run: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 16v and 1992 Volkswagen GTi

There’s something that’s just so right about the 1990-1992 GTis. The bigger bumpers gave a chunkier, more menacing look than the 85-89 cars had, and the swap to the 4-headlight grill worked so well. More power and bigger, better BBS wheels made these the best GTis in the eyes of many VW faithful. By 1990, the GTi 16V had gotten fairly expensive so Volkswagen reintroduced a more budget-conscious 1.8 8 valve version. It wasn’t a total poseur, though – Volkswagen made an attempt to differentiate the entry level GTi from the standard Golf. With 105 horsepower on tap (5 more than the standard Golf) and a 5-speed close-ratio gearbox, they channeled a bit of the original A1 GTi even if they didn’t sing up high like the 16Vs did. There were other subtle differences between the 16V and 8V; externally, they looked very similar except that the 16Vs wore appropriate 16V insignia front and rear and on the slimmed down side moldings. The 16Vs also got the larger and wider BBS RM multi-piece wheels with wider flares, while the 8V model wore the 14″ “Teardrop” alloys that had previously been the signature of the 16V. Both now wore roof mounted antenna and integrated, color coded rear spoiler with 3rd brake lights and color coded mirrors, along with the aforementioned 4-headlight grill, deeper rocker panels and integrated foglights. The 16V got beefier Recaro Trophy seats, while the 8V was equipped with the standard sport seats. Both wore the same sport suspension. And, both models now had the passive restraint “running mouse” belts. Today we’ve got one of each to look at, so let’s start with the big brother:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 16V on Huntsville Craigslist

Now Legal for Import: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

Now Legal for Import: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

We’ve been taking a look at cars now eligible for importation to the US over the last week or so. We’ve had a good response to this new feature and plan to continue on with it from time to time. We’ve saved the best for last this week with one of the purest Porsche 911s of recent memory: the 911 Carrera RS. Right after Christmas, we took a look at a 1993 Carrera RS in my favorite Porsche color of Mint Green. The Carrera RS was deemed a bit too aggressive for US customers so we received the RS America instead. This 1992 Carrera RS for sale near Münster, Germany is not yet legal for import, but soon will be, albeit at a very steep cost.

Click for details: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS on Mobile.de

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Volkswagen Corrado 16V Turbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Volkswagen Corrado 16V Turbo

The promise of the all new Corrado was great, and on paper the specs sounded fantastic. A new and modern chassis was paired with a supercharged inline-4 and active aerodynamics. Volkswagen fans around the world united in collective salivation. But even at launch, Volkswagen was behind the 8 ball. Performance was lacking compared to the competition and the price for this attractive coupe was quite high, as generally all Volkswagens were at the time. Then the problems of running the G60 long term started to rear their heads. The G-Lader supercharger in particular was a finicky bit of kit, and coupled with notoriously poor Volkswagen electronics in the early 1990s these remained fan favorites, but also cars to stay away from – with many opting instead to get the more robust and better driving SLC model that was launched in 1992. Modern solutions have arisen to help the G60, including turbocharging instead of supercharging, but still there aren’t a glut of these cars left. Today’s example, though, certainly looks pretty spectacular and has gone the next level by swapping in a 2.0 16V from a Jetta GLi – and then turbocharging it!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Corrado 16V Turbo on Hartford Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday Forbidden Fruit: 2012 Audi RS3 Sportec RS550 and 2013 Audi A1 MTM

Tuner Tuesday Forbidden Fruit: 2012 Audi RS3 Sportec RS550 and 2013 Audi A1 MTM

I’ve been taking a look overseas over the past few days at a few older treats that never came here, so today we’ll look at a few newer Audi products that also were prohibited from U.S. shores. One of the biggest disappointments for many four ring enthusiasts was that the 8P RS3 model wasn’t imported here. Basically a 5-door TT-RS, it was a Golf R on even more steroids – but today’s example upped the power a full 200 more than stock to 550. Similarly, I have one of the 333 8X A1 quattro MTM models produced a few years ago, and while it doesn’t share the monster performance of the RS3 it’s sure an appealing package. Which would you love to have here on this Tuner Tuesday?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi RS3 Sportec RS550 on Classic Driver

1993 Porsche Carrera RS

1993 Porsche Carrera RS

The beginning of a new year is a great thing for car enthusiasts, as it means another year of tasty vehicles we can get our hands on that were never imported to the United States because of the No Fun Club (aka the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency). It will be another two years before this 1993 Porsche Carrera RS will be eligible for important to the US under the 25 year rule, but that date will be here before we know it. In the meantime, I’ll keep ogling at the Mint Green paintwork, my favorite of all 964 hues. The Carrera RS was a European market only 964, a lightweight special deemed a bit too hard edged for the US market. Nevertheless, 45 examples of a model similar to the Carrera RS were imported by Porsche for use in a proposed Porsche Carrera Cup series that never happened due to lack of sponsorship.

These 45 cars were sold without any advertisement, as Porsche was readying another lightweight model for the US market, the 911 RS America. Weighing in at just under 3,000 pounds, these 964s had a bit of weight saving features with just enough niceties included to appeal to the American motorist. However, for those who want the purest of 964 experiences, only a Carrera RS like this one for sale in France will do.

Click for details: 1993 Porsche Carrera RS on Classic Driver

2013 Audi TT RS

2013 Audi TT RS

There are two ways to look at the TT RS. Either it’s a very expensive and over complicated Golf, or it’s a really cheap Porsche. Which camp you fall in to probably relates back to your general feelings about Audi’s engineering and platforms, but the VAG group has done a masterful job of filling nearly every conceivable niche with a specific model which suits the needs of a seemingly minuscule group of buyers. Consider, for just a moment, the number of 911 variants that Porsche offers. Not including color and interior variations (and forget Porsche’s individual program for a second), there are 21 variants of the 911 for sale in the U.S. right now. 21. That’s nuts. But that’s about on par with what Volkswagen has done with the Golf – producing not only the many Golf models, but also the Golf-based Jetta, A3, S3, Q3, Tiguan, Touran, Passat, several European Skodas, Seats, and – of course – the Audi TT. But while there are hot versions of the Golf available in a few different flavors, Audi took the TT RS to the next level, replacing the typical 2.0T motor with a 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-5 that hearkened back to the great 1980s designs. Sure, the motor was now transverse, and you can complain about that all you’d like. But the performance of the TT RS is undeniable – 0-60 in 3.6 seconds (with the DSG box), nearly 1 g on the skidpad and seemingly endless acceleration up to 175 m.p.h. from the 360 horsepower 5-pot. And, all of this was available for around $60,000. You also got a revised exterior with go-faster grills and plenty of special looking accents both inside and out. With only around 1,000 imported, exclusivity was guaranteed and these TT RSs are fan favorites already that are likely to retain a strong value in the marketplace:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Audi TT RS on eBay

2013 Audi TT RS

2013 Audi TT RS

There aren’t too many cars that I look at today and think that down the road they’ll be viable used cars. I can look back at the previous tech-heavy generation cars for the trends of what will occur – take the BMW E31 for example. Sure, it’s a really neat looking car, and the lure of the V12 is made even more appealing since you could get a manual transmission. But then there are the horror stories of the 15 or more computers that it takes to run all of the electronic systems, and I wonder how people will keep them running in the future. That’s even more compounded when you look at newer models. For example, about a month ago I took a trip out to Coventry Motorcar and drove their modified CL65 AMG. It was when new, and still is today, an amazing car with every sort of electronic gizmo possible, from heated, cooled and massaging seats to the twin-turbo V12 under the hood. It’s as if Mercedes-Benz took a Brookstone catalog and attached it to a Saturn V rocket. But can you imagine maintaining that car as it creeps towards 120,000 miles? I certainly can’t, and it’s a feeling I have about nearly all new luxury German cars.

There are a few exceptions, even in my favorite brand of Audi. While I’m not a fan of most of the models they’ve come out with recently in general, there are a few special ones that I’d consider owning down the road. It’s not that I don’t like or admire the cars; the performance of the new generation motors is stunning and the interiors and exteriors are, I think, the best in the business. It’s that I just can’t contemplate how you’d keep a new S8 running down the road.…

Wednesday Wheels Event Report: Sunday in the Park – Lime Rock Vintage Festival 2015

Wednesday Wheels Event Report: Sunday in the Park – Lime Rock Vintage Festival 2015

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For those with a good memory, you may remember my posts about last year’s work on refinishing a set of BBSs. Well, the time had finally come and a killer deal on Dunlops from The Tire Rack presented itself, and I pulled the trigger. Stories of leaky RSs and my father’s experience with his vintage Euro M6 TRX RSs led me to look for a sealant to add; although I hadn’t pulled apart the wheels, there’s no denying that they’re the best part of 30 years old at this point and the original seal could be suspect. I picked up some GE metallic-colored silicone from Amazon, and about 10 minutes of work applying, smoothing the bead in between the sandwich of the 3 piece wheels and 24 hours of drying later the RSs were ready for rubber for the first time in a decade.…