The low mileage 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC we featured back in March has reappeared. As I prepare for another trip back to Europe in a few days, one thing I enjoy is getting to see all the vehicles we are denied here in the US. A car that sticks out in my mind lately is the Volkswagen Scirocco. Perhaps Volkswagen might reconsider sending this sports coupe back to the US with the falling value of the Euro, but it seems unlikely. The last sports coupe we would see from Volkswagen would be the car we see here. Whether its the earlier G60 or later SLC, good examples are in short supply these days. This particular car has triggered a bidding frenzy, so it should be a good car to watch to see where the market currently stands for the VR6 engined Corrado.
Month: June 2015
In my ongoing quest to get into a newer BMW, one car that keeps popping up is the 1 series E82 Coupe. The reason why is pretty simple; value. I love cars with the M badge, but it’s sometimes hard to justify the premium, and looking through the E46 market is a bit like one of those Sarah McLachlin-soundtracked mistreated animal commercials. Too many have suffered heavy modifications, mistreatment, and the number of salvage titles must exceed any other specific model – it’s simply amazing. In contrast, many of the 135is are just leaving their first owners as they begin to head into the used car market, meaning there are plenty of examples in good shape, with good owner history and with lower miles. Still, the E82 doesn’t really get me warm and fuzzy; I once described it as a E46 M3 that was in the middle of a 3-car pileup and then repaired by a high-school autobody shop as a project. It just doesn’t look quite right to my eyes, with the bending rocker accentuating the short wheelbase, while the “I’m somewhat surprised” look of the too-large and too-upright headlights begs for some internet meme action. However, once in a while one catches my eye and strikes me as a compelling alternative to a M3. With the twin-turbocharged N54 under the hood coupled to a manual transmission, you got the same feel as the E46 M. Couple that with some attractive visual changes from BMW specialist Hartge along with a bump in power, and suddenly you have a much neater package:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 135i Hartge on eBay
Sometimes, enough just isn’t enough. The Maybach perhaps personifies that statement better than any other single car produced by Mercedes-Benz. The W221 S-Class certainly is no slouch, even with the smallest motor fitted. But, someone at Mercedes-Benz said it wasn’t enough, so they fit it with a 5.5 liter V12 twin-turbo motor producing 500 horsepower. But then, that wasn’t enough, so they made an AMG version with a M275 6.0 liter twin-turbo V12 which produced 604 horsepower and a mind-bending 738 lb-ft of torque. Insane, right? Well, then someone at Mercedes-Benz said that wasn’t enough, either, and they fit those W221 internals into the even less pedestrian Maybach 57S. In the past few years, Mercedes-Benz has been known for their nutty excess, but even this was really over the top. So over the top, in fact, that very few people bought them – in 2010, despite a budding luxury car market world-wide, Maybach only sold a reported 157 examples of their version of ultimate luxury worldwide, and in 2012 closed down all-together. But some people did buy them, and for them, of course, the standard Maybach wasn’t enough. So off to RENNtech this particular example went for their “package 1” which involves a reflashed computer and new intercooler pump. Sound mild? The result is 670 horsepower and 840 lb-ft of torque:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Maybach 57S RENNtech on eBay
Let’s continue looking at the 3.2 Carrera and again here we will look at one that comes in a wonderful light metallic paint. In this case we have an Iris Blue Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Indiana, with 48,908 miles on it. While many of my recent posts of a 911SC or 3.2 Carrera have been concerned with searching for reasonable value this one surely will straddle a middle ground. As a pre-G50 Carrera this one at least comes from one of the model years where value typically resides, but having traveled fewer than 50K miles it should garner plenty of attention. A mileage premium, of course, is much tougher to deal with as it can restrict one’s ability to enjoy such a fine car and as such many would exclude a car like this one from consideration. At least amongst those trying to balance value with pleasure. For others, who would view this 911 as a potential investment it has a lot to offer and perhaps might even be had without having to reach too deeply into one’s pockets. That’s more or less where the 3.2 Carrera resides these days. Excellent examples command serious attention, but there will always be a few out there that provide a nice balance of attractiveness, performance, and reasonable cost.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay
I always considered the C36 AMG a car with a lot of untapped potential. This was a rather innocuous looking machine for being the first AMG car to emerge from the factory after Mercedes absorbed the tuning firm. It appeared right around the same time as the BMW E36 M3. These were cars aimed at two different markets, with the M3 being offered initially only as a coupe. But when the sedan appeared later on, the choice was clear for those who wanted to row their own in a super saloon. Sure, the later C43 and C55 AMG offered V8 grunt, but they were still automatic only.
GCFSB’s own Dan Crouch just purchased a C43 AMG and has been enjoying every minute. However, we were contemplating just how bad this thing would have been with a 5 or 6-speed manual. Likewise, the earlier C36 AMG might have been loved just a little bit more with that third pedal. However, with 5,200 produced, the C36 AMG is a dark horse in the Mercedes-Benz performance portfolio and a great choice for those seeking a bit of brute force enveloped in formal attire.