For generations, we in the United States have been unjustly denied the most versatile of the fast BMWs – the M5 Touring. From its genesis in the E34 Touring through its evolution to V10-powered monster E60, the M5 Touring has remained one of the most desirable unobtainable German cars to U.S. enthusiasts. However, U.S. fans shouldn’t feel too discriminated against, because the fan favorite E28, E39 and even the new F10 have no touring option – anywhere. What is a lover of fast BMWs with 2.2 children and a dog to do? Well, you could take your E39 Touring to Dinan, who would be more than happy to turn the wick up for you:
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Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!
I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those
crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package. Specify it in Montana Green, and you’ve got the crowds drooling. Then someone goes and does this:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60 on eBay
Pretty much everyone knows that Volkswagen enthusiasts are a special breed, but even within Volkswagen enthusiasts there are some really devoted fans of a particular sub-model. One such example of this is the Golf Harlequin, seemingly a joke by Volkswagen dealers to get rid of excess body panels. In truth, it’s one of the really neat exercises by a major that reinforces my belief that Volkswagen just does things differently than most other manufacturers. Seriously, could you imagine Mercedes-Benz shipping a bunch of S-Classes out to dealers in different colors and telling them to swap body panels around? The Harlequin Golf was and remains a neat page in Volkswagen history that generally brings a smile to VW fans. So, it’s no surprise that the Harlequins are very sought after, even if they appear all in one color because the dealer was lazy – no joke! But are they sought after enough to warrant a replica?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf on eBay
Well, this one has been brewing for a bit in my head. As I’ve watched E28 and E34 M5 prices climbing and the plateau after falling of E39 prices, the two are in general available for about the same amount of money. One is a well-acknowledged classic – the original super sedan, a well balanced combination of 4-door versatility with a race-bred high-revving inline-6. The second nearly never happened, and seemingly was an afterthought compared to the earlier examples – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well thought out. The E39 is one of the best performance bargains going not only amongst BMWs, but in cars in general – with 400 horsepower from a thundering V8, it took the M5 to a new level of performance and demanded the same of its competitors. So, here we have M5 v. M5; a generation gap, a performance gap, but both as performance icons of their respective times and generally accepted as collectable going forward. Which is the one you’d choose? Let’s start with the original: