1JZ-Powered 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

When someone says “engine swap” on an old car, my mind automatically goes to a big V8 swap in an American muscle car. It certainly doesn’t go to today’s car.

What we have is a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL with a Toyota 1JZ-GTE turbocharged inline-six. Talk about an odd couple. The R107 is so far from the tuner-culture 1JZ that I’m really struggling to see who this appeals to. Toyota fans who want something classy? Or R107 fans who want easy power? Either way, I am extremely impressed with this build. Something I don’t say often.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1JZ-Powered 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon

When it comes to the old rule of Mercedes-Benz wagons are worth significantly more than their sedan counterparts, the AMG models are no exception. It is basically having your cake and eating it too, only this cake is really rare and extremely hard to find given they didn’t make many at all. Today’s car is a currently forbidden fruit as it isn’t 25-years-old yet, but the clock is ticking fast and it will be legal in no time. Say hello 1998 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon on eBay

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1967 BMW 1800

A few years ago I did a deep dive into the evolution of BMW’s early sedans:

1968 BMW 1800

The result of that evolution we looked at was the famous 2002, but before that model emerged there were several baby steps along the way. Today’s car is one of them; the 1800 sedan, and we also just looked at the 2000C recently. While this particular 1800 looks similar to the car I looked at back in 2020, it’s a year older and has quite a few mods. The market has also moved on substantially from 2020, so let’s see what the resulting asking price equates to:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 BMW 1800 on eBay

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2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Variant

I sold my 2002 Passat – the first of the B5.5s imported into this country – almost a year ago with the best part of 175,000 miles, and it had to undergo some resulting maintenance. Some was general maintenance; OEM coil packs, spark plugs, and filters throughout, but the person who bought the car also sunk some money into doing the clutch and timing belt before purchase.

In retrospect, he could have bought a whole other Passat for the amount just sunk into this one.

But in part it’s a testament to how great the B5.5 is. It’s comfortable, capable, fun to drive, and it was completely reliable the entire time I owned it. Part of that comes down to my particular example’s history – I had every receipt going back to day one and I bought it from an enthusiast who only had the dealership maintain it. But part of it also must be attributed to the stoutly built Passat itself.

It’s not unusual to see them kicking around with the best part of 300,000 miles these days. While nostalgic brand ambassadors insist it was the cars of yore that would run forever, the B5 seems on par with the best longevity of earlier Audi-chassis products like the B2. The other reality is that my Passat – built in 2001, so now 21 years old – still looks reasonably new. Though it’s not without idiosyncrasies it’s a pretty amazing car as “cheap” cars go.

Despite that, there was no denying that mileage is mileage, and today’s B5.5 has shockingly little.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Variant on eBay

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2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro 6-Speed

Back in 2021 I took a look at a bit of a rare package – it bordered on “didn’t know you could still get those” level. Strange, but true – manual gearboxes were being phased out of Audi’s lineup much more quickly than BMW. So it was a treat to find an A4 with a 6-speed manual:

2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro 6-Speed

As I explained in that post, by 2011 you could get the A4 in either Avant or sedan, front-drive or quattro, with only the 2.0T rated at 211 horsepower. Like the 2021 car, today’s example is also a manual and also has the 18″ Sport Package, which gave you eponymous 18″ wheels, sport suspension, and front sport seats. This one also has some go-fast goodies, and it still looks pretty modern for an 11-year-old car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro 6-Speed on eBay

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2022 Porsche 718 GT4

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That is something to keep in mind when specifying new cars. The manufacturer might give you basically unlimited customization in every color, but that doesn’t mean you should use them. Unfortunately for this 718 GT4, that seems to be the case here. Buckle up!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2022 Porsche 718 GT4 on eBay

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1997 Mercedes-Benz S600 Coupe

About a month ago I took a look at a 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG that you wouldn’t think to be all that rare, but was actually just one of about 750 cars for the model year. Keeping with the rare Mercedes-Benz coupe thing, I wanted to rewind the clock back to the mid-1990s and check out a car that is even rarer — the S600 Coupe. Towards the end of the W140 run, Mercedes really cut down production on the V12 cars for North America much more than you would think. This 1997 up for sale in Georgia is just one of 348 for the model year. The lesser S500 Coupe was nearly triple that number with 933 cars imported, while 3,510 S500 sedans were sold in 1997. Now that these are reaching full-on classic status, demand for them is high and so are prices for the low-mile cars.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600 Coupe on eBay

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2009 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

I’m a sucker for a smooth blue, and that is certainly what we have today in this 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera. This color, Aqua Blue, is a shade you don’t see often despite being an option on the 997.2 – and I’m not sure why. It certainly looks great and can pair up just fine with the tan, grey, and black leathers. Whatever is the case for why it was not ordered much, if you are looking for a deal because this is a base C2, it will not be found here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

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2013 Volkswagen Golf R

Following on the heels of the R32 from yesterday, one other issue I personally have with paying big money for a Mk.4 Golf is that you can get a newer, faster, and more practical model for around the same money – or much less. Take, for example, this 2013 Golf R.

In 2012 Volkswagen brought the U.S. the spiritual successor to the Golf Limited – the Mk. 6 Golf R. Gone was the VR6, replaced by the more potent and tunable 2.0T that could now be specified with a manual and all-wheel drive, and importantly in 4-door guise. Did I buy one? Nope, because this German wonder rang in at a shocking $36,000 with options. For a Golf, mind you. But once they started hitting the used market, to me they became more appealing. Unlike the R32, they dropped in price. And they still came in great colors, like today’s Rising Blue Metallic.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Volkswagen Golf R on eBay

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2004 Volkswagen R32

The Mk.4 GTI lineup got progressively better from its introduction through the early 2000s and culminated with the U.S. finally getting the Super Golf. All-wheel drive was nothing new to the hatchbacks, as they’d had it in the normal run starting in 1986 and it was offered pretty much straight until today. But for U.S. customers, models like the Golf Rallye, Golf Limited, and VR6 Syncro models were forbidden fruit until the fourth generation of Golfs.

In late 2003, the model with so much promise was finally added to the U.S. lineup. The underpinnings were shared with the Audi TT, which meant a transverse engine utilizing a Haldex hydraulic controller to drive the rear wheels. Power came from a double-overhead cam 24 valve narrow-angle VR6. Displacing 3189 cubic centimeters, it generated 237 horsepower and 236 lb.ft of torque and for the first generation it was mated solely to a 6-speed manual transaxle. Outwardly there were a few clues that it was more potent than the contemporary 20th Anniversary GTI; revised front and rear bumper covers with dual exhaust and gaping intakes. The wheels were the same 18″ OZ-made Aristo wheels from the 20th, but the calipers were painted blue and matched with rotors a full 1.3 inches larger than the GTI. As with the signature model for performance in the hot hatch category, the R32 received larger anti-roll bars and 1BE sport suspension, good for a 1″ drop. Tires were meaty 225-40-18 ZR-rated rubber. All of these things helped to keep the weight of the R32 in check, and there was plenty of that to manage. The addition of heavier-duty running gear, two more cylinders and all-wheel drive meant that the R weighed in a full 3,350 lbs – about two full-sized adults north of a GTI. It was more powerful, but it wasn’t really much quicker in a straight line. Of course, it had great torque and even greater noise, along with the mystique of being the head honcho around the VW scene. Consequently, the R32 has maintained near-cult status since new and examples still demand a serious premium over the rest of their contemporaries from Volkswagen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

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