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Month: May 2015

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1971 Volkswagen 411

It seemed that Volkswagen was undergoing a bit of an identity crisis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With the perennial Beetle getting a bit long in the tooth, VW was seeking a way to go from strength to strength in the sales race with a new model. How to go about that, however, was anything but clear. The Type 4, or 411 as it was known, was VW’s largest passenger car so far, available in a two or four door form with a fastback style or as a 3-door Variant. Just over 100,000 of these 411s were sold in a four year span in the US. That’s far from a sales flop but pales in comparison to the almighty Beetle. By 1974, the Passat, or Dasher as it was known in the US, would arrive on the scene and thus would begin the slow march towards the end of air-cooled engine production.

It’s rare to spot a 411 on the roads these days in any kind of condition, but this one for sale in New Hampshire has escaped the ravages of New England winters and Father Time. Rarely do you see one this good come up for sale.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Volkswagen 411 on eBay

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1998 Mercedes Benz C43 AMG

Ah the late 1990’s, what a great time to be alive. I was in middle school, enjoying things like playing Quake II and Goldeneye 007, perhaps the occasional R rated movie if the right person was taking tickets at the local two plex. The US economy was booming thanks to a rapidly expanding industry related to a little thing called “the world wide web” and there were a whole lot of folks out there with disposable income who had no idea how to spend it. Like any good automaker, the folks at Mercedes-Benz worried about these youngsters with more money than sense and set about finding a way to capitalize on their new found wealth. The result was a juiced up W202 C-Class, the first car to be completely assembled by AMG and the first to feature a Mercedes Benz V8. The C43 AMG would set the stage for the next generation of AMG vehicles and without this car who knows if we’d have ever gotten the glorious C63 AMG.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes Benz C43 AMG on


Classic Benz Style? The 30K Decision: 1984 280SL 5-speed v. 1964 220SEB 4-Speed

While for a few generations it’s been fairly predictable that newer used Mercedes-Benz models are cheaper than the older, well kept models, there’s been an interesting turn in the market over the past 6 months. We are witnessing a trend of ever increasing prices on all the 1980s iron, but really specifically in the Mercedes-Benz world the R107 is on the rise fastest of all. In a 5 month period, Hagerty has re-assessed its evaluation of the model’s worth, with most models doubling or tripling in value seemingly overnight. What was, in 2014, a $10,000 – $15,000 example will be on the market for double that today, or more. Is the R107 the next E30, or is this simply a demand spike that recognizes some of the best built and engineered Benz models produced? Well, it certainly does beg the question – if you were going to spend $30,000 on a R107, what other classic Mercedes-Benz models would fall into that range. For comparison, I lined up a lovely W111 coupe to consider – nearly the same miles, condition and asking price, and both are Euro-spec manuals. Which would be your choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 4-speed on eBay


1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 2S

There are always going to be cars that will grab my attention more than others and this is one of those cars. The design of the 993 is such that I have always loved the wider bodied versions over the narrow bodies. Make that wider-body a Carrera 2S, rather than the 4S, and I’m going to take notice a little more. From there we venture into more subjective territory. The C2S itself has garnered widespread appreciation for many of the same reasons I am so fond of them: they have the wider Turbo rear, but have retained the traditional 911 rear-drive layout. What strikes me about this one is the aero package. I have always been a whale tail fan on the 911, but the tail on the 993 Turbo never quite sat right with me. The modified version of that tail that came as part of the aero kit for the standard Carrera moves the design back in the direction of the original tea tray of the 930 and I find it to be a much more appealing design. It isn’t the proper whale tail, which for the 993 I only recall being available as one of the options on the Carrera RS, but it still works some great magic on the 993’s body. I’ll admit this feature is more subjective than some others, but overall I am really drawn to this 911: an Arena Red 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 2S, located in Tennessee, with 77,300 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 2S on eBay