We’re going to finish off Motorsports Monday with a hybrid. Not a hybrid in the sense you are probably thinking, but a Swedish/German creation with looks to strike fear in the eyes of who come across it on the street and track. The Volvo Amazon was the face of Volvo in the 1960s, and even a few performance models appeared, such as the 122S and 123GT. This custom build for sale in Sweden, however, pushes the performance envelope to the extreme, with a BMW V8 under the hood producing close to 700 horsepower mated to a Nissan 5-speed manual transmission. Add in a full roll cage, Sparco racing seats and digital dashboard, this is one way to stand out from the crowd on the starting grid.
Month: August 2015
This past weekend, I went out to Coventry Motorcar to sample some of the cars. My wife and I took out a nearly new RS5; it was impressive for sure. Then we took out the twin-turbo V12 CL65 AMG that was chipped; with well over 700 horsepower and enough torque to bump-start a Saturn V rocket, the throttle pedal simple corresponded to a large amount of giggling every time I dipped into it. But the car that we drove that stood out was the less powerful, older BMW M3. It was an E46; getting on a decade older than the RS5 – and obviously the technology has increased in leaps and bounds, as the Audi has near infinite adjustments for every aspect of the car. But driving dynamics? The M3 showed why it was, and still is, the benchmark that all other cars are compared to. It was thoroughly composed down the road, and slipping inside you felt instantly at home. A throaty shout announced each touch of the throttle, growing in vigor to a scream as the motor worked its way up the tach. On the go, it felt more composed than the Audi; amazing as it sounds, the Audi felt like it was trying to convince you it was fast. The BMW felt relaxed and at ease; it was like Usain Bolt showing up at a power walker’s evening workout. It just felt natural. When I got back to the shop, the manager said “if you liked that, wait until you drive the 2011”.
Move up to the E92 chassis, and the lack of technology that the E46 employed was remedied. Check out the option list on this particular example, and you’ll find everything conceivable and probably more than you need. The Premium Package gives you the power to move your seat, open your garage, fold your mirrors in tight spaces, navigate to those spaces thanks to the compass in the mirror, and connect your phone to the car. Premium 2 gives you an even better sound system than standard and Sputnik sending soundwaves to it. Then there’s the Convenience Package, which means you don’t need the keys to start the car, you don’t need to know exactly where the trunk is when you’re backing up, Magellan in your dash so you don’t need to remember how to get anywhere, voice command so you don’t need to use your hands, and traffic warning updates so that you can seek alternate routes. When you start to explore those detours, you’ll find the S65 V8 to be even more useful than normal thanks to the addition of the dual clutch transmission and Competition Package, which upgrades the wheels, suspension, and brakes. It transforms from simply a means of transport to a happiness generator, making you smile with each sweep through a corner and stomp on both the throttle and brakes. And on your mountain excursion to avoid the traffic jam the car alerted you to, it’s got the Cold Weather package as well to make sure you tush stays warm. The only thing this car doesn’t do is wipe your bottom after you go to the bathroom, but head to a race track and it’ll still embarrass supercars with its driving dynamics and otherworldly abilities. It is, quite simply, the best sports coupe you could buy:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW M3 on German Cars For Sale Blog
Ah, the Porsche 911SC Targa, the car my father owned when I was a kid and my first experience in a Porsche of any type. Those early experiences have made these a long-time favorite of mine even if other models now capture my attention more or elicit greater excitement. But for that basic 911 experience this is still the model to which I frequently return and I always enjoy coming across interesting examples. The one we see here fits that bill well: a Petrol Blue Metallic 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Alabama, with 65,095 miles on it. My own first car, though not a Porsche, was of a similar color to this Targa and it’s always been a part of the color spectrum I’ve enjoyed. As a metallic shade these colors show particularly well under direct light and I think the images here bear that out. With pretty low mileage for its age this looks to be an excellent 911SC and one that should turn some heads any time it finds its way onto the streets.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay
Technically, this post could be filed under “Motorsports Monday.” The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 was the contemporary of the E30 M3 we saw in Carter’s post earlier today, a darling of the DTM, or German Production Cars Championship, started in 1984. Originally intended for rallying purposes, the Cosworth tuned W201 190E was deemed a bit uncompetitive for such an event by the boffins at Mercedes, so they went to the track with it, instead. As a result, a homologated version was released to the public shortly thereafter. While this particular 190E 2.3-16 for sale in Philadelphia has low miles, it has a number of issues that need to be addressed. Still, the rarity of these special W201s make this a car worth saving.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on Craigslist Philadelphia
If you were to believe the history of Motorsports as told by some E30 enthusiasts, nothing would have existed before the M3 and nothing can compare since. Sure, the M3 was an impressive car and had a long and illustrious career, and in terms of a single type of racing it won more than any other single model has. But was it more dominant than the Porsche 956/962, for example? 8 overall wins at Le Mans is certainly quite impressive in a life that spanned over a decade. Or how about the all-conquering Lancia Delta, which won the WRC Championship for 6 years straight? Or Ferrari’s successive and evolutionary F2002, F2003GA, and F2004 – one of the most dominant streaks in Formula 1 history – the F2004 won 15 out of 18 races and nearly all of the track records it set that year still stand over a decade later. While I’d agree that it doesn’t diminish from the achievement of the E30, I’d argue that it’s not the most impressive achievement in Motorsports history. Still, that winning heritage paid dividends for BMW in the sales and reputation department, and the E30 M3 has become a rocketship still heading towards its apogee. $90,000 for an E30 used to sound laughable, but suddenly it’s the market reality for the limited and low mileage examples. Even track-dog M3s are experiencing a resurgence in value; which raises the question – would you rather have the legend of the M3 or something of racing pedigree from the same generation but with a much higher performance envelope?