Tuner Tuesday: 1986 BMW 325i Koenig Specials Widebody

Far, far on the other end of the tuning spectrum from the Dinan M5 of this morning are the ‘all show, no go’ scene cars. Built to resemble wildly flared racers, cars from manufacturers like DP Motorsports, Gemballa and Strosek are at best polarizing cars. At worst, they’re like the plot line to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex; kill your father, marry your mother and have your sister-daughters, then stab your eyes out and live in a cave. But the Rex himself must certainly be defined as Walter Koenig, with his widebody, Testarossa-straked creations. While usually we see Mercedes-Benz and Porsche versions of Koenig modified cars, today we get a rare glimpse of what he’d do to a E30. And, only a glimpse…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325i Koenig Specials on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1993 Audi S4 Widebody

Virtually every week we feature some of the best and most memorable tuner cars in the German sphere in this time slot. Yet, while it’s rare to see the exact same configuration, it’s fairly predictable what will appear – AMG, Alpina, Hartge and Ruf. Sure, occasionally we’ll get a neat Brabus or something else rare, but infrequently do we get to take an in-depth look at an Audi. There are some notable tuners for the off beat brand, especially as its popularity has blossomed over the past decade. But older cars? Well, not only are they hard to find, but clean modded examples are moreso. It is interesting given that the C4 was such a popular and strong platform, but what was built around it was not a single tuning firm but rather a community of unique one-offs, now avidly supported by the internet fora and the next generation of electronic fuel injection modifications. They’ve managed to take the original S cars to the next level. Recently, it was an original S4 that set the world speed record for a sedan, besting 242 m.p.h. from a custom build. Others have developed monster power levels of their own, such as this impressive example that is claimed to churn out 500 wheel horse power:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 Widebody on quattroworld.com

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

s-l1600

When it comes to cars of the 1980s, some may drool over the side strakes of the Ferrari Testatossa or the scissor doors of the Lamborghini Countach, but one of my favorite styling themes to emerge from this decade was the widebody look. Popularized on cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo, other vehicles adapted this design cue to mixed reviews. One of my favorites though was the widebody Mercedes-Benz C126 AMG coupe. This 1990 560SEC AMG Widebody for sale in San Diego is the stuff dreams are made of for me, looking mean as ever on those color matched AMG Monoblock alloy wheels. The wheels aren’t the only thing that is mean, though, as the asking price is sure to scare off the casual punter.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Porsche 911 Targa Rauh-Welt Begriff

As Rob said in his recent 964 Carrera 4 Widebody post, the flared variants of the middle generation 911 can be polarizing. Even more polarizing are the extra-widebody Nakai-san Rauh-Welt Begriff creations. That Akira Nakai is an artist is unquestioned, but whether his creations are genius or blasphemous depend on your definition of art I would suppose. Nakai takes the stock 911 and turns it up to 11, with custom molded, hand crafted flares and widening the lines of the 911 to outrageous proportions. Fitted with giant wheels, lowered suspensions and custom front and rear bumpers, they are the embodiment of the Japanese tuning scene but with a decidedly European feel. Indeed, you don’t need to look far into Porsche’s own developments to find the inspiration for these models from Stuttgart’s own work. Indeed, many of Nakai’s works look a lot like the 964 Turbo S Le Mans racer and later 993 GT2 race car, with their giant gold BBS wheels, huge spoiler, vents and wide flares. Personally, I think that Nakai does an exceptional job mimicking the best of the 911 race car design whilst simultaneously introducing his own style. That becomes more obvious when you see a non-Coupe RWB such as today’s Targa model – I believe the first open-air RWB I’ve seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Targa RWB on Cats Exotics

Continue reading

1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody

I’m going to begin this post somewhat counter-intuitively: of the various 911s Porsche has produced the 964 is the only model where I prefer the style of the narrow-bodied car over the widebody. I find the proportions of the narrow-body 964 to be excellently balanced and while a wider rear does give it a more aggressive stance I actually find the narrow-body to look more purposeful, in the sense of more poised and dynamic. With that said, I don’t dislike the widebody 964, in fact they can be fantastic looking variants, and their relative rarity makes them a valuable commodity and consistently of interest to those in search of a good 964. While the Carrera 4 itself served as the debut model for the 964 when it was released in 1989 it was not until the final model year, 1994, that Porsche added those wider rear fenders. These were, in a sense, a prelude to the Carrera 4S and Carrera 2S made available for the first time for the 993 and the 964 C4 Widebody most definitely is a special car. As with most special cars, prices are not cheap, but rare models have shown quite well on the market and stand a good chance of continuing on those lines. Here we have what looks like a very well cared for 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, located in Washington, with 81,800 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

If you want a recession-proof 1980s investment automobile, you want an E30 M3 or any original 911, right? Well, while that might be a smart idea, there’s consistently been one car that’s been worth even more than those market stars; make that the 3-pointed star. When I was a young man in 1987, Road & Track ran a top speed competition between some poster pinups. At that time, I was a super fan of the Porsche 959 in particular, and I was pretty confident before opening the magazine that the technological wonder from Stuttgart would thoroughly outperform the competition, which included a Lamborghini Countach, a Ferrari Testarossa and twin-turbo GTO, a few modified 911s and…a Mercedes-Benz sedan? Yes, it was that test in that magazine that cemented two names into my brain; one was the stunning and surprise winner of the competition, the illustrious “Yellowbird” Ruf CTR which bested Porsche’s own supercar by an amazing 13 miles an hour, and the boxy E-class from Affalterbach – faster than the pinup Lamborghini Countach and million-dollar GTO and just bested by the Miami-Vice superstar Testarossa. Though I don’t know for sure, I’d wager that single test did more for the reputations of Ruf and AMG than any other single article or event. Since that time, the AMG products from Affalterbach have enjoyed a near-legendary status amongst German car fans, but even amongst them there are special models – the 6.0 “Hammers” and the W124 and W126 Widebody models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E AMG Widebody

If you want a fast tuner small sedan from the 1980s, you basically have two options: Alpina is the go-to favorite, and if you’re a bit different you find a Hartge. That’s it, really, because while companies like Abt modified Audi 80/4000s and occasionally you might run across a Callaway Turbo Jetta GLi, there just wasn’t much else out there. For Mercedes-Benz, you could of course buy their in-house tuned Cosworth 190E, but AMG seemed to focus on the larger W124 and W126 chassis instead of the W201. That is, of course, except for their 911-fast 190E 3.2 and 3.4 – cars seldom seen. Before we go any farther, this isn’t one of those mega-motored cars, from everything I can tell. What it appears to be, though, is a clean and tidy looking 190E in a quite rare color with some pretty awesome period AMG details; in this case, the ultra-rare widebody kit from Affalterbach:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E AMG on Craigslist

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody

I was watching a very interesting piece about mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders last night; a trend which started in the 1980s, some people have been thrown into jail quite literally for the rest of their lives for being involved – even in a minor role – in the war on drugs. In drew into sharp contrast the dichotomous nature of the 1980s, where as a society we declared that drugs were a horrible thing while simultaneously celebrating a community of music, art and even Wall Street that was built around them. In some aspects, one can see that dichotomy in some of the tuner cars from the 1980s, and I think that the mega Mercedes-Benz products are a great example. Starchy, upright and conservative, Mercedes-Benz used to be the standard by which engineering was measured; the automotive bar for luxury automobiles. Yet, at the same time, various tuners took them and turned them into monsters; lowering the suspension, fitting giant wheels and motors, they transformed the conservative Republican into a Punk Rock idol. Some of these creations are more celebrated than others; AMG, for example, has a near faultless reputation which is backed even by Mercedes-Benz themselves, who decided to buy them later in life. Others are…well, not so highly regarded, such as the numerous Koenig specials that were created from otherwise unassuming ’80s Benzs:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody on Autoscout24.it

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1994 Porsche 911 Speedster Strosek Turbo S Widebody

I’m going to segue for just a moment to a pop culture phenomena – Keeping Up With The Kardashians. You see, you can sit around all you’d like and say that it’s horrible television – or indeed, that television in and of itself is horrible. You can say it’s exploitation or reverse exploitation. You can say that Kris and Caitruce are atrocious parents. Yet, one thing is for certain; there is money associated with the name and the program, and people apparently really want to watch and partake in them. They want to smell and look like the Kardashians, they want to know about their love and sex lives, they want to see fat Rob going out in public. In short, people want to see the train wreck in progress, and the Kardashians are brilliantly cashing in all the way. Like it or not, Kim Kardashian has repeatedly been the highest paid reality star in the world and makes not just millions, but tens of millions of dollars for her exploits. Clearly, they’re doing something right – or so horribly wrong, people can’t help but bear witness.

Enter Strosek. Strosek has a reputation. That reputation is for creating…well, monstrosities out of seemingly innocent and well meaning Porsches. And yet, they’re not alone. There is Rinspeed, who similarly custom-destroy cars on a regular basis. Then there were other crazy tuners, such as Konig, who tried to turn everything into a Ferrari Testarossa…badly. But Strosek had a unique talent for really creating horribly ugly versions of desirable cars. Yet, they must be doing something right – first off, people actually went to Strosek and bought the cars. Yes, I know that’s amazing, but not only that – they paid Strosek a lot of money to build them. And here we are, talking about them over two decades on. They made an impact, and like a train derailing at high speed, we are helpless but to watch the carnage that ensues from the moment the paperwork is signed until something like this custom widebody Speedster emerges from their works:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Speedster Strosek Turbo S Widebody on eBay

Continue reading

1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody Coupe

For the 964’s final model year Porsche gave us a few interesting new variants from which to choose. One of those was looking both forward and backward, drawing upon previous models and hinting at models that would come later. The car in question, which we see here, was the 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody Coupe. While the Carrera 4 itself first was introduced upon the 964’s debut, it originally came in the narrow-bodied design that was standard to any naturally-aspirated 964. Porsche, who had long produced wide-bodied 911s, had a few lingering Turbo chassis available and for the ’94 model year used those to produce a limited edition Turbo Look Carrera 4. The Turbo Look wasn’t a new idea as the 3.2 Carrera had provided a similar design through the M491 option package, and future 911 models would share the similar layout of the 964 Widebody under the guise of the Carrera 4S. These 964s are almost like an experiment taking previous ideas and trying them out in ways that would signal future directions. They aren’t the quickest 964s out there, but their look has garnered them quite an affectionate following among 911 fans.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody Coupe on eBay

Continue reading