When BMW upped its game in the E36 chassis with the introduction of the M3, specialty tuner Alpina answered with the B3 3.0 and later 3.2 in step with BMW. The successor of the slightly less powerful B6 model, the B3 kept many of the same improvements to the E36 chassis – unique stabilizers, springs and shocks, and larger brakes. Inside the B3 received the normal Alpina-style shift knob, steering wheel and seats, and in their typical style Alpina provided unique front and rear spoilers along with their own badging. Of course, the package was rounded out by some of the best looking wheels ever fit to a BMW. While the B3 was down on power to the European M3 3.2, it wasn’t really much slower – again in typical Alpina fashion, the car was tuned to make the most of the power that was available rather than just provide a shockingly high output number. A reported 1,000 of these ultra-exclusive B3s were produced, with about 2/3rds of those being the earlier 3.0 model, and in four different configurations – Coupe, Cabriolet, Touring and Sedan. This is one of the 741 3.0s made of which 339 were sedans, and it poses the interesting question – would you rather have this or the European-spec M3 I just looked at?
Month: October 2019
All of a sudden we are in the middle of October and soon little Spider-Mans with coats on will be banging on your door wondering where the free candy is at. That means convertible season is all but over for most of America. That is, like my father used to yell at me for, unless you are one of those crazy people who puts the top down and blasts the heat which in turn is like trying to heat the whole neighborhood. The other scenario is of course if you live somewhere that doesn’t get snow then go ahead and enjoy your top down weather until the turkey is in the oven. That brings me to today’s car, a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL320.
The SL320 and the pre-facelift 300SL have always stood deep in the shadow of big brothers V8 and V12 R129s and rightfully so. They are were just powerful enough that the car wasn’t a total dog, and usually they were low on standard features. Mercedes figured this out after eight long years with the inline-six SL and finally killed it off in the US after the 1998 model year. This leaves this example in Greenwich, Connecticut, a place where a four garage costs nearly $600,000, in rare company. The even better part about this car is that it had a pile of repairs and maintenance just competed. The thing is, is the price worthy of the little brother SL?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL320 on eBay
I have a soft spot for the Bavaria. It’s not because it’s the best looking BMW from the 1970s, nor the fastest. It’s not the most collectable, either – but as a result, the Bavaria might just be the rarest of the 1970s BMWs. To me, I can appreciate this coming from a background of loving Audis – most of which are quite rare today. The look of the Bavaria is even very similar to the Audi 100, and like the 100 very few examples are left kicking around. Also like the Audi 100, people will always be glad to see it, and I’m sure many have stories involving Bavarias. As with the old Audis, it’ll be a mix of people who smile and immediately start to tell you their wonderful BMW story and the balance of the masses who simply ask “What is that?” But the Bavaria was nonetheless an important move for BMW, taking on the larger executive market with an upscale big-body 4-door and that famous M30 power:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 BMW Bavaria on eBay
To many, there is no higher predator on the Porsche 911 food chain than the 1997 Turbo S. It was everything all packed into a single car. Only 182 examples made it to the US and they were all very expensive as you might of guessed. Most had a sticker price of over $150,000 in 1997, which in 2019 money is north of $240,000. After your tax and all that good stuff, you are out the door at nearly a quarter of a million dollars. That was more than a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta at the time, but its apples and oranges and you can see where values for both of these cars are at today. This example up for sale in Ohio is finished in Glacier White over Cashmere Beige leather interior and has just 7,700 miles on the odometer. The price? This or a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay
Last month I looked at a Mercedes-Benz W140 Coupe in a 1999 CL500 that not only looked great, but had a really reasonable asking price as well. Needless to say, it didn’t last all that long as someone else must of saw the value in it. Today, I wanted to go even further up market and check out a very low-mile 1996 S600 Coupe up for sale in New Jersey. Just as a refresher, Mercedes produced just over 8,500 of the V12-powered 600SEC/S600 Coupe/CL600 models for worldwide sale over an eight-year production period so they are relatively rare compared to the 36,000 examples of the V12 sedan. To find one with just 36,000 miles as this one has isn’t an easy task. However, that certainly means you are going to pay a premium. A big one.