1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 ‘Hammer Tribute’

Last week I checked out a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL that was styled after the legendary ”Hammer” from AMG. Notice I said styled and not another word because it was exactly that, styled. It looked amazing, as most people agreed, but under the hood was the stock 5.0 liter M117 V8 that wasn’t touched by AMG. Today, we have a different kind of tribute car that still isn’t the real thing, but has a lot more power over stock and still looks just as good.

This is a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe with a 3.6 liter M104 inline-6 engine from AMG swapped in. To go even further, this car has fenders from the legendary W124 500E grafted onto it for that extra wide look that every loves. And just one more thing while I’m at it, it has a 5-speed manual transmission too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 ‘Hammer Tribute’ on San Francisco Craigslist

Capitalizing on an Air-Cooling Market? 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Clubsport Tribute – REVISIT

Generally, I try to stay away from regurgitating material. However, once in a while a special car that makes me look back comes along, and today’s 911 Carrera RS Clubsport replica was certainly worthy of such devotion of time. The build was exhaustive and utilized factory parts throughout. The result? Stunning, to say the least! But, of course, since I originally wrote this car up nearly 3 years to the day ago, the air-cooled market has both soared, and for most models, gently cooled. The cars that remain at the top have been extraordinary examples such as the ultra-limited RS, turbo and truly special examples of the early and late air-cooled cars.

Where does a tribute car factor into this? Well, that’s tough to judge. That the car didn’t sell at its original $145,000 asking price is somewhat telling. However, three years on the car is now valued by the same seller at double the original asking price – now, $285,000. Before you punch your computer screen and throw insults vicariously through your keyboard, let’s put that into perspective. The last factory RS Clubsport we looked at stickered nearly $100,000 more than this car. Another, closer visually to the look of this car equipped with the spoilers and Speedline wheels, was asking nearly $300,000 more than this tribute. Still, it’s going to take just the right person who likes the looks but doesn’t care about the authenticity to stomach the mortgage payment for this ’95.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 911 RS Clubsport Replica on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 3, 2013:

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

1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE ‘Red Pig’ Tribute

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The 1971 Mercedes–Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG is one of my favorite cars ever. The ‘Red Pig’ entered 1971 24-hour race at Spa as the over-weight underdog. To everyone’s surprise, it finished 1st in it’s class and second overall thanks to the madmen at AMG who took the already impressive M100 engine and pushed it to 428 horsepower and 448 lb-ft. This example for sale in California isn’t the famous Rote Sau, but it is a very nice tribute that will have you yelling ”Sooie!”

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Audi Quattro WRC Tribute

In general I like to reserve the Motorsports Monday posts for actual track-flavored cars, but occasionally one comes along that is worth a look even if it’s more of a poseur than pole position. Of course calling any original Quattro a poseur isn’t particularly fair. Out of the box these cars were effectively Group A race cars with some luxury goods fit to them. But the owner of this particular Quattro took the next step in their “restoration” of this 1984 car, modifying the boxflared wonder to look like its fire-spitting WRC brethren. Does it pull it off?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

Cosworth-off: Real v. Replicas

Is there a better known name across multiple marques than Cosworth? From the DFV formula one engine to Can-Am, Touring Cars to Rally, I can’t think of a more versatile or storied engine supplier. Just the other day, Paul took a look at an expensive and questions asked 1986 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth, and that got me thinking about some listings I’ve run across. Today, then, I have an interesting question and two very different cars that share one word – Cosworth. Both are legends in their own right and both are rare to see in the U.S.; and each for each model I have a valuable original and a replica. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16V Evolution II on eBay

1993 BMW DTM M3 Tribute – REVISIT

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This completely redone 318is – replete with M3 parts including S52B32 engine and widebody kit – is back on eBay. It’s clearly taken a lot of work and isn’t a bad looking car (I’d say the wheels are the most glaring ugliness), but the seller is clearly determined to get his $30k out of it, as the price is exactly the same as when it was for sale 3 months ago. It’s a cool car, but unfortunately another example that one man’s expensive project does not make another man’s highly-valued dream car.

Click for details: 1993 BMW 318is/M3 on eBay

The below post appeared on our site August 31, 2014

Motorsports Monday: 1977 Porsche 911S RS Tribute

Like the M3 from earlier, the Carrera RS has been a model that is the dream of many Porsche enthusiasts and the subject of many replicas. Some are merely cosmetic, others go for wild and exacting recreations. But the value of 911s has progressed to the point where something interesting is happening; track cars now make a viable option to convert back to street cars. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see the same thing occur with the E30 M3 market where tracked out original M3s get converted back to street cars. But this later 911S has been given the RS treatment by notable builder Musante Motorsports. I had the pleasure to work with Chris Musante before his business was fully off the ground; his attention to detail and knowledge of building Porsche air-cooled motors is certainly top of the field, and an early 911 that Chris just rebuilt recently won the Lime Rock Vintage Festival show. It’s no surprise then that this 1977 model that Musante Motorsports built looks awesome:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 911 RS Tribute on eBay

1981 Porsche 924 GTR Tribute

For some times, I had grandiose plans for a derelict 924S that my father had. Source a 931 bell housing, mate it up to a spare Audi 4.2 V8 I had, slap on a Carrera GT body kit, strip it out and stiffen it up and Viola! Instant track weapon on a budget. I had planned it out pretty well, but the timing just never came together quite right, so eventually it went by the wayside. I’ve since seen a few tribute Carrera GTs pop up and even a GTR over in Europe, and every time it makes me think “what if…”; today is no exception. As I came upon this posting, a sly smile crept across my face and thought about it all over again. Today’s example doesn’t follow the plan I had though; it takes an early European-spec 924 2.0 and swaps on the super-wide GTR panels with some crazy Compomotive wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 GTR Tribute on eBay

1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Tribute

I often wonder if you need the real article, especially when discussing rare automobiles. I can think of a few cases where having the replica wouldn’t bother me very much; generally, they’re replicas of rare cars that are just hard or very expensive to come by. For example, I’d love to own a 917K or LH, but first off it will never happen due to monetary considerations, and secondly if I did own it, I’d be afraid to take it anywhere and drive it in anger. But Race Car Replicas make a pretty convincing replica of the 917 that can be had for around $60,000, and to me the look is good enough that I can deal with it not being the real item. The same goes for Daytona Coupes, some rare Ferraris and even some factory-built replicas; Audi’s Auto Union Type C streamliner comes to mind. But what about road cars? If they’re rare, difficult to come by or expensive to keep running, I think the case can be made that a replica is just fine, especially when executed well:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Tribute on eBay