1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE

Who says you can’t go home again? It seems like now more than ever the demand for nostalgic cars is thriving. Not just the really good stuff, but seemingly average cars that are extremely clean literally have people flowing in waves to check out and ultimately buy. Maybe because the 1980s and 1990s seemed like a simpler time, or because cars from that era literally were simpler. Combine that with the cars we lusted after growing up suddenly become available again and we don’t want to let this time pass us by. That leads me to an example of that, a 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE with just 18,000 miles. Either you grew up in one of these or wanted to grow up in one of these, the want for them is now strong even though it is a seemingly nondescript car in every way. Maybe that is a good thing?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE on eBay

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1980 Volkswagen Jürgens AutoVilla

Last week I looked at the oddball LT28 Westfalia Sven Hedin camper. While it was affordable relative to some crazy VW Camper pricing, at the end of the day it wasn’t a really great example. Somewhat surprisingly, another Sven Hedin popped high-topped up immediately after I wrote up the post. Our reader Daniel spotted it, and not only was it cheaper than the one I featured, it was in much better condition. But it’s not the only offbeat VW Van to appear at that time.

I also noticed what seems to look like a more traditional American-style mini-camper, and I was curious. What it is is a T3 conversion by Jürgens in South Africa. Called the “Mighty Mini Motorised Home” in period literature, starting in the 1970s the company basically strapped what looked like a tow-behind caravan onto the chassis and cab of a T2. Although I couldn’t find much information outside of the brochure, there are a few fan groups devoted to the T2 model. According to that site, Jürgens began production in 1973 and when the T2 was phased out, production moved to the T3. The new T3 chassis offered more space in the back, so the AutoVilla grew to accommodate a double bed over the cab and a bathroom. All this space meant weight, and the already underpowered 2.0 inline-4 apparently struggled to meet the company’s definition of “motorised”, never mind “mighty”. But these South African campers inspired Wilhelm Karmann (yes, THAT Karmann), who liscenced the design and began building the equally ungainly Volkswagen Karmann Gipsy. Karmann even built a few syncro models of the Gipsy. Needless to say, neither the Karmann Gipsy nor the original Jürgens AutoVilla made it to the U.S., but there’s one for sale now in North Carolina:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Jürgens AutoVilla on eBay

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2019 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring

Last week I took a look at a very rare Porsche 911 Speedster that seemed to have a little bit of a color crisis. Seriously, after we posted the car the dealer literally altered the color of the car. That car now looks like Voodoo Blue, and I am not sure why. Either way, its not a good look for an official Porsche dealer to be altering or photoshopping the colors of cars for sale. Wanting to wash my hands from all this, I’d thought I’d check out another 991.2 that we actually know what the color is.

This 2019 GT3 Touring up for sale in Australia is painted in a classic 356 color called Meissen Blue. Judging by my fantastic Googling, this isn’t the first time someone has selected paint-to-sample Meissen Blue on a modern 911 or even a 991 GT3. I think the color is wonderful, and apparently do a lot of other people who earn significantly more than I do. Outside of this fantastic paint color, this is a GT3 Touring after all which means a bunch of other custom options that costs a bunch of money.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring at Classic Throttle Shop Australia

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1986 Hartge H28

Though not as familiar as Alpina, Hartge was another tuner who took BMWs to a higher level. Starting in the early 1970s, they similarly modified cars with higher output motors, special suspension and body kits, and even eventually their own wheel line. In 1985 Hartge was granted special production status in Germany, but their volume never approached that of their rivals. As a result, it’s a bit of a special treat anytime a fully modified Hartge turns up.

The E30 Hartge range was fairly similar to Alpina’s C and B range, with designations associated with their engine displacement. From the 170 horsepower H23 to the 210 horsepower H27, tuned versions of the M20 were employed – some with unique individual throttle bodies, bespoke exhaust manifolds and camshafts, and other trick items. But Hartge also stuck the M30 in the chassis, creating this car – the H28 – and an even more potent H35. The H28 was rated at 210 horsepower – a 70 horsepower upgrade from the stock 323i on which the car was based – and also was met with upgraded suspension, differential, wheels and tires, brakes and body kit. Like Alpina, you could buy many of these parts piecemeal from authorized sellers, making fully modified factory Hartges quite rare:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Hartge H28 on eBay

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M5r. October: Ex-Reggie Jackson 1991 BMW M5

Until quite recently, the best value in the classic BMW M market was the E34 M5. First off, if you’ve never seen a used advertisement for a second-generation M5, you might have missed that these supreme sedans were the last of the handbuilt M models. If you hate movies, you might have missed that a M5 was also an unsung hero in the cult classic Ronin, even if it couldn’t get away from a Citroen and the S8 was more memorable. If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that its father – the original M5 – is a lot more expensive today than it was a decade ago.

Yet the second generation M5, while considered a bit softer than the E28, was a potent sleeper nonetheless. And for me, it’s the ultimate M car; not because it’s the fastest, prettiest or most valuable; but because it expresses the ethos of what made BMW great. A Spartan warrior wolf in taxi-cab clothes, the M5 combined literal race-bred technology into an easily digestible package; it was a pleasure to drive fast or slow, it was reasonably reliable (and especially so considering the performance envelope), and yet unlike Porsche Turbos, Lotus Esprits, Chevrolet Corvettes or any other “sports” car that offered similar performance, it was a stealthy package – it was the adult choice. In 1991 if the M5 was graduating high school, it would have been Valedictorian and voted “most likely to succeed”, but it would have gotten my vote for “most athletic” and “prom king” as well – it’s that good. Despite these superlative qualities, a reputation second to none in terms of quality and driving experience, the E34 M5 is just now catching on in the marketplace – and values are reflecting that:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

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2004 Mercedes-Benz S600 Brabus T12

Mercedes-Benz turner Brabus is never one to pull any punches. When they go “all in” on a build, they don’t hold back and usually produce something that has so much power that it is almost useless in any kind of normal driving situation. Impressive outputs aren’t the end of the spec sheet, as they’ll usually throw some bumpers, wheels, and most importantly, brakes on the car as well. Most of the time you get a fairly conservative design in terms of tuner companies, but sometimes you get some stuff that really went off the deep end.

Today, as luck would have it, a 2004 S600 popped up for sale in Philadelphia with the Brabus T12 package on it. The W220 S600 was already a pretty powerful car with the M275 twin-turbo V12, but if you give Brabus a check for nearly $60,000, they’ll make it even better. How much better?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz S600 Brabus T12 on eBay

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2007 Porsche 911 Turbo

In terms of buying-in on a Porsche 911 Turbo, bring your checkbook. Don’t get be wrong, there are some deals out there on 996 Turbos if you want a high-mileage Tiptronic car, but most of the time you are going to start in the $40,000 range and only go up from there. If you are anti-996, and some people are, then 997 is going to be your best bet to get your twin-turbo kicks for under $100,000. As luck would have it, this is exactly what we have today with this 2007 up for sale in New York. Even better, it has has the 6-speed manual gearbox!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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1994 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

Until fairly recently, “collector-quality Volkswagen” was pretty much an oxymoron unless you were talking about some rare air-cooled packages like the T34 Ghia or a 23 window microbus. But an explosion of 1980s products means that we’ve seen Mk.1 Sciroccos and GTis break $20,000 or more, and even an odd Mk.2 GTi come close to the same amount. If you’re trying to break in to the 1980s collector scene for Volkswagens, you might be a little late to the party. Not much from the 1990s makes the same impression, save one car – the Corrado. Unlike pretty much every Volkswagen ever made, these expensive sport coupes were prized since new and generally have avoided the pitfalls of downstream VW owners who tend to neglect and abuse them. As a result, we regularly get to see all-original, pristine low mileage Corrados that always amaze me. So throw on some flannel and crank the Soundgarden, we’re taking a trip back in time to 1994:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay

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1982 BMW 635CSi

Quintessentially an 80s car (though designed in the 1970s), the BMW 6-series offered performance, elegance, presence and practicality to the 2-door luxury market. While the Mercedes-Benz SEC might have enjoyed a better reputation and the Audi Quattro was technically more exciting, the E24’s resilient staying power has meant that some 30 years after production wrapped these lovely coupes are still eye catching.

While the really nice 6’s to look out for the in the states are the late 635s, this one comes from fairly early in the run. But 1982 was an important year for the E24 – though, not in the States. European customers enjoyed the E28 chassis refinements and a new 635CSi emerged with the M30B34 rated at 219 horsepower. America would have to wait 3 more model years for the 635, and when it arrived it was nearly 40 horsepower down on its Euro counterpart. So this lovely ’82 Euro example not only has the better motor, it has the better bumpers too – and that’s not all:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 635CSi on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

As I get older and my head gains an alarming amount of grey hairs, my patience and desire for “projects” is growing thin. I have no problem working on cars, but my time seems to be sucked up by other things that aren’t getting covered in diesel fuel when changing a pre-filter. This is leads me away from saying things like “Oh, this car on Craigslist only needs $2,900 in parts and 10 hours of labor. I can swing that”. Instead, I’m finding myself just clicking the back button and not even considering cars that aren’t nearly turn-key.

Thankfully there are a handful of older cars out there that are still turn-key and need very little. This 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD up for sale in Oregon might just be one of those. It certainly looks like a time capsule both inside and out, as well as the most important area, under the hood. I wish this one wasn’t 3,000 miles away.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

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