1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

Last week I checked out a cherry 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD that was had a few small issues, but I felt was worth the money. Sadly, it looks like the seller cut the auction short so we didn’t find out what the final selling price was. Today, I ran across another 300CD, but this one is a few years older and a little different. This 1979 up for sale in California uses the non-turbo OM617, which is a fine enough engine in itself, doesn’t have any rust and by some kind of miracle, has a functioning air condition. It also has a nice touch with the European headlights and the best part? It has quite the attractive price tag.

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

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1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

More questions. Always more questions. We know the basics about this 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and by that I mean we can see what it is and we know the mileage. But the seller has provided little else in the way of description so we are otherwise left in the dark. In many cases I’d move on from such a 911, especially with such a high asking price, but there is something about this color combination I find so incredibly striking that I had to have a closer look. A Carrera with a blue exterior over a white/linen interior isn’t something incredibly rare so either the lighting is enhancing everything here or this is a paint-to-sample blue that is working beautifully with that very light-colored interior. This is where the lack of description from the seller really lets us down, but at least on the surface I do like what I see here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

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1999 Volkswagen Caravelle Westfalia Syncro TDi

For decades, I’ve had a pipe dream of taking a Westy van cross-country. When I was a teenager, a family member had a late 80s Vanagon Westfalia, and we went on a camping trip in it. It was great! And while I’m certain time has diminished the drawbacks of our method of transport on that trip, the knowledge of that isn’t enough extinguish my desire.

Unfortunately for me, it seems like I’m not alone. #VanLife has pushed the value of these clever boxes on wheels up substantially. Clean T3 campers regularly hit the market in the same territory as late 70s 911s. Even the replacement T4 Eurovan Weekender – which just has a bed, and none of the real camping gear the earlier Westfalias had – command a substantial premium over a non-pop-top T4. By far, the Volkswagen vans are the most expensive products from their catalog.

So you can imagine that if we get a rare Euro version of the T4 over here, it’ll probably be worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Volkswagen Caravelle Westfalia Syncro TDi on eBay

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1989 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel

The Jetta Diesel wasn’t a big seller in the U.S. early on as oil-burners fell out of favor in the mid-80s. Up through 1987, you had your choice of the 1.6 liter diesels with or without turbochargers, producing 68 and 52 horsepower, respectively. For 1988, both disappeared, yet oddly there was a run of ’89-’90 Jettas that reintroduced the 1.6 ME diesel prior to the launch of the new EcoDiesel model. While the diesel had been able to be selected in higher “GL” trim level earlier, the ’89-’90s were base model only and are fairly rare to find. But today a nice ’89 example has popped up for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 400SEL

There is something to be said about understated cars. Look at the current offerings around the automotive world and it seems like every single car has to be edgy and aggressive just to move the needle a little. Hell, look at the new Toyota Camry. This was a car that was the almost the literal definition of conservative and blending in, but now it has so many hard edges and design quirks that you’d think the designers at Toyota have gone crazy. It isn’t just the Camry, it is almost every other new car out there as well. A new Honda Accord? Random lines and curves going everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything really incorrect or bad about these cars, they are actually quite good cars, but subdued they are not. Sign of the times, I suppose.

That brings me to today’s car: the Mercedes-Benz W140 and this specific 400SEL up for sale in Canada. I’ve looked at more W140s that I can remember right now but this one has me looking at it a little differently for some reason. Maybe it is the Smoke Silver Metallic paint with the contrasting lower molding, but everything on the exterior of this car (outside of the hood star) just functions without any drama. The way that Mercedes shaped the end of the hood to cover up the wipers for less drag and a cleaner look. Even the taillights are molded the way they are because Mercedes studied how this specific design was easier to see as opposed to just a flat surface. All this is just the tip of the iceberg with the W140. I guess they didn’t spend a billion dollars to develop this car for nothing.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 400SEL on eBay

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1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera

This one checks a lot of boxes. I won’t call it perfect and there’s certainly some questions, but the car itself as it presents here should prove quite desirable. Here we have a 1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera. I’m not 100% sure on the exact color since we aren’t told what it is, but I think it’s Signal Green. That’s a great start in and of itself since I love these early Turbos and that’s a great color for any Porsche. The interior is a fairly standard black interior, though it is fitted with sport seats. If you’re looking for one of Porsche’s very unique tartan or pascha interiors from this period, then this one won’t fit that bill, but a standard black interior isn’t bad either and everything looks in good shape. I should point out that this 930 has been fully restored; we aren’t looking at an entirely original example, but that restoration looks to have been of high quality. So while this isn’t one of those rare as-it-left-the-factory examples it still shows as an example that will transport you back to the days of its original production. We can only hope it’ll drive as good as it looks.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera on eBay

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El Jettamino: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup

Although I’ve espoused my love of wagons and their do-everything nature, the reality is that I live in the suburbs and there are certainly some times (read: pretty often, actually) that I could use a pickup truck. But, if I’m completely honest, I’ve previously owned a big Chevrolet 2500HD pickup and I’m still not convinced that I’m a pickup kind of guy. Worse still, have you priced a pickup out lately? HOLY MACKEREL. A base Silverado starts at almost $30,000 and if you want things like…seats, and/or wheels, you’ll quickly need more than $40,000. When I see $40,000 asks on a pickup which a) I know will be rusting in 5 years no matter what I do and b) because it’s a GM, will almost certainly break, I get pretty annoyed. Worse still, the “Heartbeat of America” isn’t built in America. I know. I live right by the port where they all come in on a boat. Beside the steady stream of Fiats, Volkswagens, Porsches and Alfa Romeos, there’s a long line of Chevrolet and GMC pickups being driven into the United States for the first time.

So how about a pickup that’s a bit more my speed? Built in America with tons of European flare by utilizing recycled Audi/Volkswagen products, there’s always the Smyth Pickup:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup on eBay

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1989 Porsche 944S2 ROW

Although the United States is one of the most important market for its sales, the 944S2 is a case where a majority of the cars sold were “Rest of World” examples. Total S2 production was 19,945 units, and of those about 6,036 came to North America. When you compare that to the 944 Turbo, 25,107 were built with 14,235 sold in the United States alone. Typically, the European versions of the 80s cars we look at had more power, but that was not the case for the S2. The M44.41 was a world engine, meaning it was only available with catalyst and rated at 207 horsepower (211 according to Porsche, although that’s the motor’s PS rating rather than HP). So what did a “ROW” 944S2 get you? Well, the shorter and lighter rear bumper treatment for one, side indicators just ahead of the rub strips, and in front you got integrated dual fog lights/driving lights rather than the fog/dummy setup on U.S. cars. In the case of this particular ’89, you also got the option for a really neat Studio cloth interior:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944S2 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1983 BMW 528i

As ’80s-All-Things-M-Mania’ has continued, getting into a clean E28 M5 is increasingly difficult – and expensive. Decently clean original M5s now start around $30,000 and can head up from there, with really exceptional examples selling for $50,000 or more. Didn’t this used to be the “cheap” M? Those days have passed and don’t show signs of returning soon.

What’s an enthusiast to do? Well, you could build your own. It’s not cheap or easy, but hey – if you’re in it to win it, why not see if you can source all the parts yourself? Or (and this is a much better option…) you buy one that has already been converted to M-specs. To maximize your investment, look for one with a rare set of parts attached, and preferably in European guise. Luckily, today we don’t have to look too far:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 528i on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 3.2 AMG

Update: The 300TE didn’t sell at the high bid of $48,000 but is now relisted by the seller with a Buy It Now of $55,000.

Of the hundreds of Mercedes-Benz I end up looking at a week, you wouldn’t believe how many sellers claim some kind of AMG connection to them. Sometimes they are as simple as someone throwing an AMG badges on the trunk lid (usually crooked), to some kind of dubious bodywork with an AMG logo stamped on it, all the way to just having nothing to do with AMG at all but throwing the association out there because the car is kind of sporty. Very rarely, actually almost never, do I come across a real pre-acquisition AMG car that has all the documentation along with all the parts still actually on the car. Well, never say never, because today we have one of those cars.

This 1991 300TE was built by AMG for subsidiarity AMG Japan as a M103 3.2 liter car with all the goodies, both inside and out. It has all the paperwork and maintenance records you could want. The best part? It’s already in the United States. The not-so best part? It is going to be really expensive.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 3.2 AMG on eBay

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