It’s with some confusion that I write this post. There are several reasons for that, but it boils down to really two things; I keep seeing this car, and I don’t understand why it’s for sale. In general, S6 Avants aren’t really often seen. I don’t think that anyone who knows C5 Audis would consider Aqua Blue Pearl Effect to be a particularly common color. Find one with the Alcantara Recaro seats and it’s likely down to single digits. And to narrow that down even further, 6-speed converted S6 Avants pop up from time to time, yet generally aren’t often seen. But combine all of those things and there only has to be one, right? Well, wrong – as there appear to have been no less than two identical 6-speed converted Aqua Blue Pearl Effect 2003 S6 Avants for sale on the West Coast over the past two years. And what is even more confusing is that they keep coming up for sale. The first one appeared in January 2014 and was stock with 95,000 miles and on offer for just below $16,000. It was back in March 2015, now with 105,000 miles and on offer for $500 less. So in September when a nearly identical one popped up for $16,500, you’d presume it was the same, right? Well, wrong – this one has more miles and is highly modified. But at its base is the same Aqua Blue Pearl Effect with Alcantara and a 6-speed swap. As strange as that is, what perplexes me even more every time one of these or their S8 cousins come up for sale, though, is why anyone would go through all the trouble of the manual conversion only to sell the car shortly after:
Month: October 2015
I’ve focused heavily on the now-importable forbidden fruit of Volkswagen recently, but the models VW kept from us tend more towards the funky instead of the fast. One of the tastiest BMW offerings that never came across the Atlantic is the “Italian M3,” or E30 320is. As a reminder, these were standard E30 chassis heavily upgraded with M parts, including the M3’s S14 but with a shorter stroke to circumvent Italy and Portugal’s heavy taxes on engines over 2000cc. It produced almost as much power as the M3 with a little less torque, and the same Getrag dog-leg gearbox ensured a powertrain experience as close to the all-conquering M3 as any. The suspension setup was similar as well, but an M-Tech II bodykit provided a much more subtle, gentleman-racer look compared to the E30’s legendary box flares. Carter featured one of the few in the US (and one of 2,542 in the world) a while back. It was for sale by the oft-derided Enthusiast Auto Group, well known for snagging low-mileage examples of rare BMWs and proceeding to ask exorbitant amount of money for them. That car with 50k miles was left on the auction block despite a high bid of $29k. It was also pretty much all-original, which is not the case here.
This 320is has had quite a few owners, starting with 3 in Italy, two in Germany (including the current seller), and 8 years with one in the UK. The British owner spent heavily to elevate his 320is to a true track weapon with an FIA M3 roll cage, race seats and 4-point harnesses, and a fully upgraded suspension. Other OEM+ items like E30 M3 rear brakes, E36 M3 chain tensioner, and M Coupe differential cover complete a package that is well thought-out and is surely an exceptional performer on road and track. In an effort to make it more streetable, the Recaros and roll cage are supplemented by by a custom rear seat-delete parcel shelf. It’s racy for sure, but none of it looks so extreme that it couldn’t be enjoyed regularly on the road. The exterior follows a similar path with jagged M-stripes crossing the beautiful Delphin grey. They’re vinyl, so you can take them off if you want to return to its original sleeper status. With the performance parts it’s packing and the rollcage peaking out of the back windows, I’d leave them on to proclaim BMW Motorsport for all to see. It will be in Germany until early next year which complicates the sale a little, but if the rare and unique 320is is your style, I’d say it’s worth getting in touch with Norbert to see what you can work out.
Click for details: 1988 BMW 320is on eBay
For a car as rare as the 993 Turbo S we do seem to be coming across a decent number of them right now. The one we see here certainly qualifies as one of the more interesting color palettes and even at the insane prices we see for these it should attract a good deal of interest. Here we have a Cobalt Blue Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, located in Washington, with Midnight Blue leather interior and yellow accents with 17,917 miles on it. The blue on blue look is something I have grown accustomed to seeing on the 911. I’m far less accustom to the yellow accents we see in this interior, which certainly make a bold statement and help break up an otherwise monochromatic appearance to the car as a whole. I’m not sure what sparked the choice of yellow – perhaps it is as simple as matching the brake calipers of the Turbo S – and I’m equally as unsure of what I think about it. Thankfully the use of yellow was fairly restrained. I have no reservations about the exterior color choice: Cobalt Blue simply is fantastic and here on a Turbo S it looks both aggressive and alluring. With 424 hp the Turbo S are fantastically quick cars that bring with them a high level of refinement and luxury. While perhaps lacking some of the insanity of the 964 Turbo S, especially the lightened 3.3 liter version, there is little to find at fault with the 993 and the overall shape is about as good as it gets. This is the final evolution of the air-cooled 911 design and when I look at that shape I quickly understand the disappointment felt by 911 enthusiasts upon the release of the 996.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay
Through the 1980s, Audi was known for doing things a bit differently than everyone else. In the 90s, they struggled to redefine their imagine into a new, progressive lineup with the aluminum heavy A8 while still appealing to their target market with cars like the S4 and S6. But in the 2000s Audi underwent a major change; the acquisition of luxury brands into the VAG fold meant Audi moved in a new direction. Increasingly, it was the interiors of Audis that were making headlines. First, the TT did a retro-modern take on a sports coupe. But the real money was in the luxury car market, and with the D3 and C6, Audi narrowed the gap between the newcomers and the established luxury brands like Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. The cabin layouts grew increasingly tech-heavy, but also filled with supple leather and the dash had beautiful inlays of warm woods. Like a Scandinavian ski resort, they pampered their guests with modern designs in slick packaging. Move on to the D4 Audi, and the change in engine lineups in addition to the further revised cockpit meant you now had the setting and motivation to shock your Wall Street business partners. Today’s 4.0T, for example, comes stock with 414 horsepower and 443 lb.ft of torque – good enough to launch the Audi from 0-60 in under 5 seconds. Yes, you read that right. The massive bank vault-esque A8L will hustle from a standstill in 4.6 seconds. What’s perhaps more amazing about that is that within the A8 lineup, that’s actually third from the fastest model, with the massive W12 and S8 models both being a few ticks quicker. What an insane world we live in. Speaking of outrageous, massive luxury and speed cost, and when you consider this Audi Exclusive model, you’ve racked up charges close to $160,000 by the time you’ve signed on the dotted line….
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2015 Audi A8L 4.0T on eBay
With a new generation of Porsche’s evergreen sports car, the 911, upon us, now is a good time to look back at a more simple time, when the basic 911 was normally aspirated and air-cooled. This 993 for sale in Arizona is not a low-mileage collector car, but one that has certainly seen some action over two decades but looking no worse for wear. A new 911 will run you almost $90,000. For half of that ask, why not go vintage?