Alpina mania continues unabated on these pages. And why not? Rather than hastily assembled montages of aftermarket accessories or tasteless timepieces of a bygone era, Alpinas were artfully crafted bits of perfection. They were intended to be, and often were, as good as a BMW could get. The market has recognized this in their value, which when correctly presented far outstrips that of a normal – or even special – model from Munich. But that’s led to a variety of half-baked, poorly presented or just plain questionable examples that pop up on a regular basis. Is today’s ultra-rare C1 2.3/1 a case of the former, or the latter?
In a very small subset of enthusiasts, early Audi chassis are nearly as legendary as the BMW E30. Robust, well built and refined, Audi over-engineered most of its small chassis starting with the B2 because it was the platform that launched the legendary turbocharged Quattro. While the normally aspirated versions lacked the punch of their bigger brothers and the acceleration curves could be somewhat laughable, they still offered plenty of entertainment when driven hard. I have a video of my Coupe GT at Watkins Glen – heading up the long uphill straight, we’re shouting out numbers as they barely increase from 95-100 before flinging the car with nary a touch of the brakes into the bus stop, maniacal laughs abounding as we leap the turtles.
Clearly, though rare the small Audis are always prime for more power, and converting those earlier cars to turbocharged Quattro specs – or later RS2 replicas – has been popular since they were sold new. Today’s example, though, has different and more modern motivation than the familiar inline-5 under the hood – but they don’t get much better than this presentation and build:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi Sport 90 quattro 1.8T on Motorgeek…
Alpina values might be as hard to follow as those in the 911 world. As with all proper marque-specific tuners in the German world, there’s a fair amount of attention being levied upon the Buchloe firm, and some models are demanding outrageous premiums; for example, recently one of the ultra-rare B6 3.5S models sold for a simply staggering 200,000 Euros.
Does it follow, then, that all E30 Alpinas are outrageous money? Some asking prices would seem to equate that, but the asking prices have often failed to be recognized. Take, for example, the 1984 C1 2.3/1 current for sale on eBay. I looked at this car the best part of a year ago when the asking price was an eye-watering $99,000. I suggested that if you were willing to pay that amount for that example, men in white coats may be locking you up. It seems that most agreed with me, as the car has moved to a new dealer and is still languishing, now with a
more reasonable still insane $67,500 asking price.
So, when a more potent version of the Alpina C series pops up with an actually realistic price, we should take note. But should we click the Buy It Now immediately?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Alpina C2 2.5 on eBay…
Market speculation about M values is nothing new. Indeed, head back to the launch of the U.S. M5 and you’ll find evidence immediately. In Europe, the M5 launched for the 1985 market year and was so successful, BMW announced in 1986 they’d bring 500 of the M5s over. They immediately were all spoken for, and consequently when the production actually started in 1987, BMW made more – not a lot more, mind you, but the 1,340 produced for North America was nearly triple what was originally forecast.
Consequently, owners who felt the collector value of their M5 had been dashed by this glut of examples sued the company in 1991. Further, the model was relatively abandoned by all but the most devoted enthusiasts in the 1990s for bigger, badder and faster modern sedans. But today it’s back with a vengeance, with clean examples fetching more than what they were priced at new. It therefore makes a little bit of sense that someone would have gone through all of the trouble to mimeograph the transformative super-sedan’s blueprint onto a lesser example:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 525i on eBay…
In 1986, to commemorate the 100th year of the automobile, Audi released a series of designs to celebrate the occasion. The consisted of a series of interior and exterior color combinations which were unique to the Coupe GT, 4000CS, 4000CS quattro and 5000CS sedan. Each car had a different interior (with the exception of the GT/4000CS quattro, which both received ‘Mouton’ red leather) and were available in limited quantities and limited exterior color choices.
Their name, appropriately, was Commemorative Design.
Despite that, the Audi enthusiast world at large insists on calling these cars the ‘CE’ – Commemorative Edition – models, rather than ‘CD’ for the appropriate Commemorative Design. Perhaps this stems from some confusion with the Canadian market, where the 5000CS model was marketed as the 5000CD. Does it matter? Not at all.
The two most desirable of this run were the Coupe GT and 4000CS quattro examples with red leather interiors, especially in Alpine White. Though mechanically no different than the standard models, they always make the collective pants of the B2 community a bit tighter when they pop up for sale. However, this particular one might be close to ‘Not Safe For Work’ level, as in addition to the color scheme it’s got a turned up 2.2 liter 20V turbo under the hood. Is this B2 perfection?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 4000CS quattro Commemorative Design 20V Turbo on eBay…
This might be the best 911 Speedster I’ve ever seen. That this wonderful Speedster wears Ruf badging probably should not surprise us though in some ways it is sort of a surprising Ruf vehicle. It shows all of the terrific attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Ruf and its Ferrari paint helps make clear it is not your standard 911 Speedster. We aren’t told how many miles it’s traveled in total in its life, but it’s said to be restored and has seen under 2K miles since that restoration. The overall condition appears excellent.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Ruf Speedster on Ruf Automobile
Model: 911 Speedster
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 2,300 km (~ 1429 mi) since restoration
Great condition – fully restored
Date of first registration: January 1993
Mileage after restoration: ca. 2.300 km
3,6 Liter 6-Cylinder Boxerengine
184 kW (250 HP) at 6.100 rpm
310 Nm at 4.800 rpm
Manual 6-Speed Transmission
Rear wheel drive
Exteriorcolour: Ferrari Rosso Mugello red
Interiorcolour/-material: Black leather, red stitching
Black roof top
Red CarpetHeadlight washing system
Lightweight door covers
Radio incl. navigation system
Sport bucket seats
Sport steering wheel
Seat back painted in exterior colour
RUF 18“ Classic Aluminium wheels
For sale on behalf of customer
Please contact us at 0049 (0) 8265-911 911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While I wouldn’t say I’ve done an exhaustive search, my searching has come up with little information about this Speedster other than the basic details seen in the ad text here. Aesthetically, it’s received a full interior treatment that looks fantastic alongside its Rosso Mugello exterior and sports 18″ Ruf wheels. Mechanically, the standard 5-speed has been swapped for a 6-speed manual transmission and it now has a sport suspension, presumably developed by Ruf.…
Rightly or wrongly, the Audi TT has been accused of being a pretend sports car. Usually that criticism is lumped onto the chassis by the regurgitating internet generation; masters of all they have never experienced. Get in to a second generation TT, and you’ll be amazed at how they drive – I promise. But the first gen? Based on the same platform as the Mk.4 Golf, the 8N certainly isn’t as sporty as its replacement, but it’s still a very competent sports coupe. In 225 or 3.2 VR6 form, it’s plenty potent, too. But for some people that just isn’t enough:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi TT quattro 2.5 on eBay…
Frequently I see Volkswagen swaps. Infrequently do I think they’re well carried out. There are a myriad of reasons why this might be the case, but often it seems that the details, the aesthetics, or the excuses are too questionable. However, once in a while one pops up that really is pretty well pulled off.
Now, to be clear, I always have a love/hate relationship with swapped cars. On the one hand, I love the creativity, the devotion to the brand, the attention to detail – the individuality that shines through. It’s a general love of cars that can be expressed in so many different directions that makes the hobby refreshing. If we all had tan Camrii, what would be the point? But the hate also shines through, as in this case we lost one of the acknowledged VW greats; a late model 2.0 16V GTI. Was this swap executed well enough to excuse such an exacting high cost?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 3.2 VR6 on eBay…
The E21. By far, it is the 3-series we feature least frequently (barring new models). In U.S. trim, it is also by far the least sporting 3-series. But don’t throw the baby BMW out with the bath water, because it’s still a classic BMW, it looks nice and it’s quite affordable relative to some other hyperbolic models.
For one, I really like the E21. I’ve even enjoyed driving a few. Of course, never once did I think when driving one “You know what this needs? A M60 V8.” And certainly, even in the very unlikely scenario that idea sprang into my head, there’s no way I would have said “Right, now, off to Dinan to bump it out to 4.6 liters!”
But, if nothing else, this Golf Yellow example of an extreme E21 dispels the myth that they’re all underpowered?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 320i Dinan 4.6 on eBay…
A few weeks ago, I wrote a “Roll the Dice” article about a European specification 380SE with a host of period AMG bits. However, there was no supporting documentation that the car was actually an AMG car and, notably, several items were incorrect. The verdict was that without that documentation, it was probably overpriced for what it was. Today I’m back with another white “AMG” – this time, a pre-merger R129 500SL. Again, we get little documentation on what is reportedly a Japanese-specification 500SL with AMG bits. Is it worth a roll of the dice this time?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay…
Odds are that there are quite a few people who still don’t know that the narrow-body, non-turbocharged Type 85 Coupe Quattro existed at all. Move outside of the U.S. market, though, and the Coupe GT could be opted with the all-wheel drive underpinnings of the 90 (4000) quattro, resulting in the WRC-winning look without the Porsche 911 price tag. But while generally fans of the B2 chassis can’t be dissuaded that it might just be the best Audi product ever, the reality of owning one of these trustworthy steeds was that they were pretty slow. Dependable, tossable, still fun to drive – but slow. On top of that, the aftermarket industry for the inline-5 was pretty weak. There were some products out there; I had an original Abt header, for example, and you could buy a Schrick cam or briefly a neato Jamex air intake. But the real way to gain power was to swap in a turbocharged inline-5, right? Well, apparently no one told the folks at GTi Engineering in Brackley that:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe Quattro RE2500 on eBay…
It’s hard to say which is more popular – S50/52 swaps into E30s or VR6s into everything Volkswagen. But there’s a reason they’re so popular; they’re relatively cheap and they work. Can you achieve VR-power levels in a 9A 16V? Sure. Will it cost you and be a pretty compromised road motor? Yes, so suddenly the appeal of the ubiquitous VR-swap makes a bunch of sense. The results here turn what was a butch looking but relatively slow 8 valve GTI into a performance machine. That’s helped by a dose of performance parts including a trick Schrick intake, but it’s the supercharger that will really motivate you here. With over 100% more power the ride should be exhilarating!
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTI on eBay…
Here at GCFSB, we feature a lot of cars. Since I started writing for this site, I’ve composed some 1,773 articles, a fair amount of which cover more than one car. So it would be easy to forget that you’d already seen a car. That would especially be the case if a fair amount of time had passed since you last saw it and it was a relatively plain-jane looking model.
Enter this 1989 535i in Cirrus Blue Metallic. Outside of Hartge wheels, it’s pretty unassuming. That is, except for the “Dinan” badge on the left side of the trunk.
It’s that Dinan badge which unlocks a world of performance that otherwise is the domain of M models, and this sleeper package with low reported miles seems to be a pretty compelling alternative. Immediately, I recognized this car but knew it had been a bit since I last saw it. Since it was originally featured in March of 2014, very little has changed – the seller utilized the same photos and much of the same description from the original ad, disappointingly. He reports about 500 more miles in two and a half years, and unsurprisingly the price has dropped little. The auction is no reserve with an $11,250 starting bid – only about $750 less than the original ask. As the market on E34s really hasn’t improved greatly since then outside of some exceptional M5s, I’d wager this automatic 535i – even with the Dinan provenance – will have trouble this time around, too.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site March 11, 2014:…
Modified cars from the 1980s enjoy are and interesting exercise in dichotomy. Take AMG, for example – add the flares, wide wheels, hunkered down suspension and turned up engine to a W126 and the asking price increases from a standard model by a factor of ten. What is strange about the AMG model, though, is that enthusiasts of the Affalterbach company accept licensed installers as proper original builds. Such is not the case when it comes to tuners like Alpina, Hartge and Ruf; generally speaking, in those cases the only “true” original examples came from the manufacturer’s facilities in Germany. In these cases, examples that are properly sorted and original can be worth double, triple or even quadruple what an identically modified car from a licensed installer in the U.S. would be worth. On top of that, AMG continues to be a bit of an aberration in the tuner realm since most other period modified examples of Porsches, BMWs, and Audis are worth less than a pristine stock example. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, since generally speaking, companies such as Alpina and Ruf put out equally good looking products when compared to AMG, and properly modified were just as luxurious and just as fast. Nevertheless, a tastefully modified example like this period Ruf-modified 1987 Porsche 930 just doesn’t seem to draw the same attention as a AMG 560SEC Widebody 6.0 would, for example. Let’s take a look at what a reported $75,000 in mods got you in the late 1980s:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 on eBay…
We’re all pretty familiar with Ruf’s long history of producing automobiles derived from a Porsche chassis. Their ethos falls similarly in line with Porsche itself, though with everything turned up a notch (or in some cases many notches). Whether they are Ruf-modified Porsches or possess an actual Ruf VIN, these cars combine the best of high performance and refinement. One of the cars we see most frequently is the BTR, which used the 3.2 Carrera as the basis for producing a variant of the 911 Turbo. The successor to that model, generally called the BTR2, was produced for the 993 and is the car we see here. They could use most any configuration of the 993, whether the rear-drive Carrera 2 or the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 (though I’ve even come across one based off of a Turbo S) as their base and from there received the typical Ruf treatment that provided a single turbocharger, modified suspension and braking, and a redesigned interior with integrated roll cage. Since either the Carrera 2 or Carrera 4 could provide a base, Ruf was providing either an alternative to the 993 Turbo in its all-wheel drive configuration or a toned down version of the GT2 with rear drive. The example we see here began life as a Carrera 4S prior to being shipped off to Pfaffenhausen for its conversion and features a fairly interesting interior showing off what seems to be a cross between houndstooth and tartan inserts. I’m not sure what we’d call that, but it’s quite eye catching!