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Month: March 2022

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1984 Audi 4000S quattro

The 1984 Audi 4000S quattro is a bit of a unique beast. Though it appeared for all intents and purposes identical to the 4000S Limited Edition from the same year, underneath the two shared little in common. Indeed, when you lifted the covers much more of the quattro model was shared with its bigger brother, the exotic Quattro – the so-called ‘Ur-Quattro’ by fans. Herein lies part of where things get confusing in Audi history, since the actual development mules for the boxflared rally wonder utilized the 4000 (née 80). You could make a pretty convincing argument that the small sedan was the original, but that’s neither here or there at this point and is generally semantics (though, it’s occasionally nice to splash the waters of reality on enthusiast’s ill-informed fires of unshakable belief). Whoever was technically first, there’s no denying that the 4000/80 model brought the idea of permanent all-wheel drive to a much more affordable market of rally-bred enthusiasts who eagerly snapped up the roughly 4,500 examples of the first year model. Radical-looking changes came for the 1985 model year with a thorough refresh, and there are those who love both generations with equal aplomb. Admittedly, I’m a fan of the post-’85 models, sometimes referred to as the ‘sloped grill’ cars. But you don’t have to go far to find fans of the more square ’84 model. One reader of ours tasked me with the goal a few years back of keeping an eye out for a clean ’84. Easy, right? Not so fast!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 4000S quattro on eBay

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 is still in that area of the market where “project” examples can be found for reasonable money, but a really nice one with low miles can easily reach two to three times those of lesser examples. A $30,000 example? Probably very close to a complete turn-key car without any issues at all. A $10,000 example? Start ordering parts. What lies in between is where you can either score or strike out majorly. Today’s examples up for sale in New Jersey has potential, but I have some questions.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 on eBay

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2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

For many, the Porsche GTS trim level is the “do it all” choice of their lineup. Plenty of sportiness and special feel without Turbo or GT sacrifices on ride quality and, of course, price. A GTS is something you can get away with using 365 days a year if the weather permits it, no matter if it’s the trim you choose for the Boxster, Cayman, 911, Panamera, or even the Macan and Cayenne. For me, the 911 GTS is the sweet spot given how unforgiving the GT3 can ride on less-than-perfect roads and is the smart buy, as it can save you tens of thousands on the purchase price over a GT model. I say that in an absolute ideal scenario because today’s car, a 2016 GTS up for sale in Portland, maybe doesn’t save you all that much.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS on eBay

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2000 BMW M5

To this point, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the E39 M5 referred to as the “first of the robot-builts”. Sound ridiculous? So does dismissing a car because it was produced in mass quantities. While the original run of 4- and 6-cylinder M-cars got the trend rolling, there are quite a few who’d argue that the recipe of the super-saloon was better achieved in the third generation M5 rather than the first two. It was still very understated, yet with nearly 400 horsepower and instant torque it was quite a bit faster than the prior generations had been. It retained the ability to demolish back roads, keep up with super cars, and bath its occupants in luxury. Despite not being assembled ‘by hand’, it was also the last of the “analogue” M5s, with limited computer intervention and interface. And, they only came as manuals. This certainly sounds like a recipe for success.

It was. BMW sold nearly 10,000 E39 M5s in North America – triple the combined total of the E28 and E34 models. So there should be a lot of really great examples out there to consider, and there are. Today’s car has moderate mileage and comes from early in the production run, but it still looks great and won’t cost you an arm and a leg – both of which you’ll need, since it doesn’t drive or shift itself:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M5 on eBay

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1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

I recently looked at a string of Corrados – from a crazy supercharged SLC to a G60 model, with a bit of European 16V thrown in for good measure.

But your best bet if you really want one of these in terms of driving experience and collectibility is probably a mostly stock VR6. If you’re willing to accept one with more miles, they really don’t need to break the bank, either. Let’s check out this 1992 model. ’92 was an interesting year for the Corrado in the US, as it was the last of the G60 and introduced the VR6. Both had BBS wheels, but the G60’s had a nice stepped lip, while the SLCs were more flush. Since they had different bolt patterns, they’re not interchangeable, but I’ve always thought the G60’s wheels looked a bit better than the ones we see here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay

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