1985 Volkswagen Scirocco

Like the Rabbit Pickup from a few days ago, today’s Scirocco won’t win you a trophy in preservation-class at your local Euro show. But will it draw attention? Absolutely. The Scirocco 2 may not have been the landmark design the original Giugiaro-designed first generation was, nor was it as pretty, arguably. It was interesting that Volkswagen chose to farm the design to Karmann rather than pay for Italdesign’s follow up, because that resulted in the Scirocco’s competition. The Isuzu Piazza (Impulse) took the Italian’s lines to a new level with cleaner execution, cool wheels that looked ready for a auto show, plus you got the automotive equivalent of Thor’s hammer to impress your friends with trim levels like the “Turbo RS” and “Handling by Lotus”. Show up at a party in a Impulse Turbo while one of your friends drove a Scirocco, and you’d go home with the girl and Simple Minds playing in the background.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that easy. And honestly even if the Scirocco was a little underpowered and had clunky bumpers and poor headlight execution here, it still was a compelling choice. This car fixes some of the second generation’s problems, too – Euro bumpers and headlights slim it down, the removal of the rear spoiler tidies up the design a surprising amount, and under the hood lies more motivation in a trusty ABA 2.0:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Honorable Mention Roundup

The “Honorable Mention” post from last week seemed to be a popular choice, so I’m back this week with another selection of cars we didn’t get a chance to get to. We’ve got one from each major manufacturer this time around which makes for an interesting and diverse group. Which is the one that deserved a better look this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

1987 BMW 535is

When I was a young driver, I was lucky enough to have a few mid 1980s BMWs in the family. My father had collected an assortment of some of the best; a 1982 633CSi, a 1985 635CSi, a 1988 M5 and a 1988 735i 5-speed. Of course, driving each of these cars, I felt in some measure invincible. Considering I had learned to drive on a 1984 Toyota pickup, these leather-lined inline-6 monsters might as well have been Ferrari Enzos. And as if an invitation to dip into that speed, the later 6 and 7 had factory hard-wired radar detectors. Not only was I at the wheel of a car capable of Saturn V levels of thrust, but it was also invisible. My cloaking device engaged, I’d speed down the roads; in hindsight, the who scene was probably similar to the pinnacle of the storyline in The Hunt For Red October as a torpedo closed in on the submarine. I’d stomp on the binders as soon as those beeps registered what was surely an entire squad of police setting up a roadblock for me. Oddly, they all seemed to occur around stores with automatic doors. Even more oddly, there never seemed to be any police there. And especially vexing was the total lack of response when you would drive past an actual police car. At first, I assumed they just had their systems off. I mean, why would BMW install a system in their car that didn’t work? But as the number of actual police speed that the radar detector picked up remained shocking close to zero, I began to be suspicious that this system had actually been installed merely to annoy me. I still get a chuckle every time I see them in older BMWs, such as this 1987 535is:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 535is on eBay

10K Friday: A44ordable Audis – 5000CS quattro Avant v. 5000S quattro v. V8 quattro v. 100 quattro

The Type 44 Audi was an impressive advance for German automobiles, a huge leap forward for Audi in a new marketplace – but also nearly the cause of its demise. It was an aerodynamic, futuristic sedan when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed to be producing cars stuck in the 1970s. It was the blueprint for most modern luxury sedans from not only German companies, but many of the advances were copied by the Japanese, Italians and Americans for their large sedans. Yet, by 1990 Audi nearly pulled out of the American market thanks to some creative journalism from 60 Minutes, who in their effort to prove Audi was at fault for some unintended acceleration cases nearly killed off the company entirely. In part as a result of their efforts, it’s become quite rare to find clean examples of them today – but it’s also because they were such good, long-lived and solidly built machines that few have lower miles today. While I recent featured a few 20V turbocharged examples in the 20V Turbo comparison, today we’ll look at a few of the lesser appreciated examples, starting with a clean 5000CS quattro Avant in Canada:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 5000CS Quattro Avant on Hemmings

Learn to cope: RHD 1988 BMW 325i Touring

If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the entire E30 scene. I think it’s a bit overplayed, over-hyped and over-priced. Granted, they’re nice cars, but even though they’re slower I’d take a clean 4000 Quattro or Coupe GT over a 325i any day. There are two exceptions, though; the E30 M3 is of course a favorite of mine but firmly out of reach in any meaningful condition. The other exception is the Touring model – I’d love it if Audi had made a B2 quattro Avant, but they didn’t. Sure, there’s the Quantum Syncro wagon, but park one next to this 1988 325i Touring and for me the clear winner in looks is the BMW. In fact, it’s so much better looking to me than a Quantum, even the steering wheel on the “right” side wouldn’t bother me:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325i Touring on eBay

Hidden Pearls Double Take: 1991 Audi V8 3.6 quattro 5-speed and 1994 V8 4.2 quattro

Like the closest counterparts, the BMW M3/M5 and the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 16v/500E, the Audi V8 quattro has long enjoyed a cult following. Unlike those other cars, though, finding a decent V8 quattro these days is quite tough. First, not many were imported – a few thousand may sound like a lot, but it’s less than the total number of E30 M3s imported, for example, by a long shot. By the time they got to their last production year, only a few hundred of the super-sedans were imported. Second, because they’re complicated, older cars that lost a lot of their value in the 1990s, many fell into states of disrepair. Over its short life, the Audi V8 underwent numerous changes; from the introductory options of automatic or manual, the 3.6 liter quad-cam all-aluminum V8 pumped a respectable 240 horsepower but by the end of the run the automatic-only 4.2 liter displacement bump resulted in nearly 280 horsepower. Sure, that’s small potatoes today, but outside of the limited Sport Quattro, these were the most powerful production Audis made before 1995. Today we’ll take a look at two of the more desirable models for different reasons – a 3.6 5-speed and a late 4.2 model, both Pearlesant White with Grey Connolly leather

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 3.6 quattro 5-speed on Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26 – REVISIT

The Euro-spec 1987 BMW 325i with period Hartge H26 modifications and M-Tech pieces is back up for sale on eBay. It’s not a huge surprise given the original quite high and optimistic asking price, but the new price is down 15% to $22,000. That’s still a lot of money for a non-M3 E30, but what price would you pay for this neat piece of kit?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site June 25, 2014:

1992 Audi V8 quattro 6-Speed

Fans of the Audi V8, rejoice! I know there are a few more than just me out there and we always love seeing a clean example of one of the best bits of Audi engineering in history. Sure, there are more significant Audi models, but the V8 certainly deserves to be amongst the top 5. Many view it as an overly complicated, underpowered car – and indeed, in 3.6 automatic form as it was originally received in the U.S., the V8 felt a bit flat. But let’s not forget that Audi reinvigorated what was already an aging chassis to make it feel remarkably fresh. They brought for the first time an automatic gearbox to all-wheel drive, opening an entirely new market share for Audi and making a real contender in the large executive market. But for motorsport fans, the real meat of the Audi V8 meal was the sporting potential of the manual models. It’s often overlooked, but the V8 was a remarkable performer, especially in manual 4.2 version. Today’s example doesn’t have that magical setup, but even in less powerful 3.6 form the car was plenty potent when tied to a 6-speed manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi V8 quattro 6-speed on mobile.de

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26

As with earlier’s AMG clone 300CE, this 1987 BMW 325i presents a bit of a problem. This particular car also visited a tuning shop in Germany, one that like Ruf and Alpina can be considered to produce its own cars. In this case, this car – had it been fully built and titled – would be considered a Hartge H26. But, also in this case, the car is not fully built and consequently not fully titled a Hartge. What you have, then, is a very good looking 325i sporting one of the less usual engines to see – the 2.6 inline-6 rated at about the same 190 horsepower as the early M3s. Now, perhaps it doesn’t matter to you that it’s not a full Hartge car – but it matters to the market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325i/Hartge H26 on eBay