Some people like to upgrade their cars with aftermarket parts or parts from other vehicles from the same manufacturer. Usually it’s a small part or maybe a set of wheels that satisfies their itch. Other people go a little bigger with maybe custom body work and paint. Then way on another level, we have what was done with this 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600 in Russia. It’s impressive enough to have a Mercedes tweaked by legendary tuner Brabus, that this car is, but it’s a whole other ball of wax once you see what is hiding inside this car and the special surprise hiding in the trunk. Here is a hint: It isn’t subwoofers.
I wish that I had better news for you. I’d love to say that I’d found some hidden gem no one else had discovered, and that it could be yours for a song. Today is not that day. Instead, what we unfortunately have is another case of mistaken identity. To add a bit of insult to injury, it would seem that it’s quite intentional.
Back in May of 2017, I looked at two E32 BMWs. Both were modified, non-original examples. One was a 5-speed 735i sporting some Racing Dynamics bits, and the other was a clean and low-mileage 750iL that had undergone a full cosmetic Alpina B12 5.0 makeover.
Outstanding E32 Face Off: 1988 BMW 735i and 750iL
Kudos to the then seller, it was accurately represented. It looked great but needed to be cleaned up a bit, but despite low mileage and all the original Alpina goodies, it sold for pretty budget price – just a bit over $5,000.
Well, it’s back. It’s cleaner, better photographed and there are also some clever changes and omissions in the current advertisement that have apparently sold bidders on a bill of goods that I’m pretty confident the car can’t write:
Yesterday I featured a regular 993. It was very pretty. Today we’re going to take that design and turn everything up. The performance, the look,…, the price. But I have to say this one isn’t any less pretty than the other one. It’s a heck a lot more aggressive looking though.
The 993 Turbo already does great things with the 993’s lines. With a couple of small tweaks by RUF it looks even better. We all know RUF GmbH. In the tuner world they may be the most well known name around. For Porsches they are certainly the most highly regarded. Unlike some Porsche tuners that followed more in the footsteps of Porsche’s racing designs, RUF stuck mostly with subtle modifications to its road cars. The uninitiated might not have even known the car had been modified. While few Porsches could ever qualify as sleepers, a RUF almost could, assuming that others mistook it for a “regular” Porsche.
For the 993 RUF gave us the Turbo R: 490 twin-turbocharged horses directed to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. That’s 82 more hp than a standard 993TT and still 66 hp more than the Turbo S. Heck it’s even well up on power compared to the GT2 all while retaining a healthy does of civility. And here’s one such beast for sale!
This 911 began life as an Arctic Silver 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo before undergoing a conversion to the RUF Turbo R. At 37,500 the mileage is quite low, the condition looks great, and it’s said to come with its paperwork.
We last got to look at a modified E30 through the disappointing realization that finally after years of trying to sell with different dealers, the car listed as an Alpina C2 2.5 was just a very convincing replica. But as noted, the car was clean and wore a lot of really expensive Alpina bits – so while the price tag of $22,800 seemed high for a replica, it was in some ways amazingly justified.
So what happens when the car in question is a real Alpina? We find out when we look at an actual Alpina C2. The asking price in that case was nearly double at $39,500. And when you factor in that the C2 is one of the less desirable E30 Alpinas out there, that’s drawn into sharper contrast.
So here we are again with another Alpina to consider, but it’s not alone. One of our readers spotted a Hartge H26 – an even more rare to see variant of modified 1980s E30. And to kick the rarity up a few notches, both are 4-doors instead of the usual 2-door sedans. So how do they compare in terms of pricing, and are these cars all that they seem?
Back in February, I took a look at very hot item in the marketplace – a clean, European-spec BMW E30 modified by Alpina.
Or, at least that was what was claimed.
Further research pointed out some problems. I found it to be a car I looked at two years ago in 2015, then listed as a 1986 C2 2.5. The VIN was transposed incorrectly, but the stranger item was that the year was wrong. Stranger still was that a tremendous amount of the car didn’t seem to work. Yet it was a lot of Alpina for the money even as an automatic, as it was relatively clean and priced well below other similar E30 Alpina asks.
Well, here we are some ten months later and it’s popped up in a new listing with a new seller. We’ve seen that before, so no big surprise there. As I started to look through the listing, though, I was struck by just how lazy it was. Okay, there were new photos, but none of them were detailed. The VIN is filled in with “1”s. Then I got to the text, which is a near-carbon copy of the last listing. I say near for two reasons – one, the current listing cut and paste the prior listing….twice. So, halfway through the details, you start all over again!
But perhaps that was done to distract you from the one detail which was added to this listing. Cleverly stuck in after the copying of the prior listing, just before all the fees you’ll need to pay, was a second change and the line which finally answers the questions about this car:
Note this is an Alpina clone with correct Alpina numbered engine.
That’s a pretty frustrating statement to bury in the end of the listing. The ad listing has, for the last several years, maintained how rare this car is and they’re just now getting around to admitting it’s not a real example?…
Edit 12/9/2017: With new photos, a new description and apparently a few things fixed, the current owner of this ‘346i’ that we looked almost exactly one year ago has it back up for sale in a reserve auction format. Last time it didn’t meet reserve at only $10,000. Will it clear the reserve this time around?
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?
Looking for a subtle performance sedan? Today’s not your day.
You probably haven’t heard of iDing Power, because odds are that if you’re reading this you don’t live in Japan. And even if you’re an afficiando of M3s, you’d probably dismiss this particular car as a M3 GTR replica for the street like I did. But this car is far more than that, and much more interesting.
The M3 GTR launched in 1994, and the United States did (technically) see it in the form of the Prototype Technology Group-run team in IMSA race series. The same year in Japan, iDing Power revealed the plans for their turned-up E36 M3. They had acquired an early production second generation model; production started for the E36 M3 in February, 1992 – and the particular example you see here was produced on February 3, 1993. iDing then added a plethora of unique touches, from upgraded suspension, wheels and brakes, special interior items, and some body modifications. By “some”, of course it’s hard to look past the W201 190E-Evo inspired rear wing and massive tacked-on flares. iDing also took the S50B30 European motor, rated at 286 horsepower stock, and modified it to a claimed 330 horsepower. iDing widebodies are pretty rare finds, but even among them this one is particularly special. With only 7,600 miles on the odometer, this example appears to be the original prototype and test car:
Continuing on today’s green theme and moving up the pecking order a few notches from the E12 duo from the other day, here we have something of a monster. Alpina offered E24 fans a special treat with a turned up turbocharged variant of the 635CSi that was good enough not only to rival BMW’s own M6/M635CSi, but indeed to better it.
The M88 was already a bit of legend before BMW offered derivatives in the /3 and catalyst-equipped S38. With 256-286 horsepower depending on tune, it was about as good as non-exotic normally aspirated motors got in the 1980s. But Alpina had always had a knack for outdoing the cars their creations were based upon, so in went the turbocharger. The result was impressive in any form; the Turbo Coupe/1 was good for 300 horsepower and could match the acceleration of the M cars. But matching wasn’t enough, so Alpina upped the power with the B7S. Now up to 3.4 liters and good for 320 plus horsepower and nearly 400 lb.ft of torque, it was a car which could rip your face off anytime, anywhere. Like all Alpinas, they were lovingly crafted and full of exquisite detail work and limited to only 30 examples:
I’ve featured a few of RAUH-Welt Begriff’s Porsche creations, but this one might be my favorite. It’s an interesting mix of old and new, borrowing its colors and interior aesthetic from vintage Porsche hues and fabrics, then wrapping that in a body that is anything but vintage 911. In addition, unlike many of RWB’s builds this one has the performance to complement the wildly aggressive design.
For this build they used a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe. The design remains unmistakably that of Akira Nakai with its swooping hand-formed curves, very wide fenders, and huge wing. Under the hood this is a very different beast with the standard 3.6 liter flat-six now built to 3.8 liter RSR specs. I’m always curious if such statements mean precisely what they say because I believe that would mean around 350 hp from this engine. At the very least we can assume there’s going to be a decent bit of extra power going to the rear wheels.
Last week I checked out a great SL73 AMG which the mad men at AMG took an already hearty 6.0 liter V12 and converted it to a 7.3 liter. Today we have another 7.3 liter 140 chassis, although this one was converted by another tuning house. This 1997 CL600 for sale in Hamburg, Germany was sent to well-known Brabus where it not only underwent the conversion to 7.3 liters, but gained some body work, wheels and giant brakes as well. Because of all this, the price tag steep. But you probably won’t believe how steep it really is.