There’s not much more I can say about the W123 Mercedes-Benz than I’ve already said here on GCFSB. A few words come to mind. Indestructible. Timeless. Reliable. This car was many things to many people. From motorists on the Sunset Strip who chose the 300CD coupe to the errant 200 series sedan you still see cruising unpaved roads in the far reaches of the African continent, these Mercedes made their mark. This 300D for sale in California is one of the early turbocharged five cylinder models and looks quite young despite clocking over 150,000 miles.
All posts tagged Turbo
There are days when I look at my Audi Coupe GT and think I did it all wrong. I stripped it out, made it hot and uncomfortable; too loud, too stiff, too track biased. It’s fun to drive in short bursts when it’s not hot, or cold, or raining, but there’s a bit of regret that I’m not able to drive and enjoy it more regularly. And it’s too black – it looks fantastic when it’s briefly clean, but every single scratch, nick, and scuff stand out like pimples on a teenager’s face before prom. But, you’d say, it’s a lowly Audi Coupe. Most people don’t even know what they are, and even 95% of those who do wouldn’t care if I made it however I wanted it to be. But what if I had a bigger budget? And, what if I was even more crazy?
I might have made something like this 911. It started life as a ’87 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Maybe. But then someone had an idea, a lot of drugs, and even more money. The result is an absolutely crazy 935-inspired 911 Turbo Slantnose Cabriolet that is so wildly awesome and horrible at the same time you’ll never unsee it:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet on eBay
It’s easy to overlook the importance to Porsche of the 924 model, but it was a significant and successful model – purists be damned. Not only did it make Porsche a viable company so that those precious air-cooled dinosaurs could be produced, but it laid the platform for many enthusiast favorites down the road both inside and outside of Germany. Of course, the most tangible benefit was the later 944 and 944 Turbo spawned from the bones of the 924, but highly prized models from other manufacturers were also influenced; the Mazda RX-7 was a blatant copy for example, but you can also see aspects of the 924 seep in to the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX designs later in the 1980s.
Like its similarly revolutionary big brother 928, for some time the market did not recognize the importance or the significance of these designs. But while the 928’s needle has begun to head up the tach, the lowly 924 remains an absolute budget bargain for classic Porsche fans. One model that has gained some appreciation of late is the 924 Turbo. Though the technology was relatively primitive compared to more recent turbocharged mills, the 931 packed a potent punch in the early 1980s. Even in detuned American-market form, the 924 Turbo had nearly 150 horsepower from the pedestrian but heavily revised Volkswagen 2.0 liter at the same time that a 5.0 liter Corvette hit the market with 180 lazy horses. The Turbo was upgraded over its relatively short life span too, and models like this 1980 came equipped with a sport package that included 16″ forged wheels, upgraded 4-wheel disc brakes and a sport suspension:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay
We’ve often lamented on these pages about when enthusiast cars used to be more affordable. Pick your poison; there were days you could buy a pretty sorted E30 M3 for under $10,000, a clean 911 in the teens, a pristine W113 Pagoda for under $20,000. At least for the foreseeable future, those days have left us, and enthusiasts on a modest budget need to pick and choose between the few remnants of a once vibrant sub-$10,000 market. I’ve spent a fair amount of time predicting and watching the ascension of the 944 turbo – the understated, underrated giant killer from Porsche. It’s been no surprise to see soaring values on clean 944 turbos, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that once again another classic has been priced out of sight. But if you’re willing to prioritize driving over shows, there are still some great deals to be had out there: