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Month: November 2022

1977 Aquila

Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right.

You might not have heard of the Aquila before, and that wouldn’t be a huge surprise – there are just a claimed 137 total that were built in the late 1970s. Like many kit cars, they are based on a pretty standard Volkswagen Beetle platform, but the styling borrowed heavily from Paul Bracq’s BMW Turbo concept – though many assume it was supposed to be the M1. These are far more rare that the M1, though. Does that make it more desirable? Well…no, not really. But it’s still pretty neat to find one! Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Aquila on eBay

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2004 Mercedes-Benz C240 4MATIC Wagon

Nobody circles the wagons like the … Mercedes-Benz wagons. I’m sure you know what I’m trying to get at here. In all seriousness, if you want resale value, go ahead and grab yourself a wagon from basically any generation. It’s even true of today’s bottom-of-the-barrel offering, the W203 C240 4MATIC wagon. I’ve ranted for years about how the W203 was a real low point for Mercedes-Benz in the modern era with its utterly bland styling, horrifically cheap interior, and lackluster powertrains. The wagon doesn’t alter that formula, but at least you have the utility of all that extra space. As you can probably tell, this is not an attractive color combination. Travertine beige over Java vinyl. Don’t let the fancy name of “Java” fool you either, it’s just beige.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C240 4MATIC Wagon on eBay

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1988 BMW M5

The M5 might not have been the original super sedan. It wasn’t even the first hot 5-series. But just like the GTI is synonymous with the hot-hatch segment, the M5 became the standard by which all other super-sedans were judged the moment it rolled onto the scene in 1985. Power seemed other-worldly; 280 plus horsepower from the race-derived M88/3 hunkered down with beefy suspension upgrades and huge (for the time) alloy wheels linked with a limited-slip differential. At a time when “fast” cars had 180 horsepower, BMW’s first M-offering in the sedan range might as well have been a space ship.

BMW promised limited production for the U.S. market, too – and, indeed, only 1,239 were produced for the U.S. with the slightly de-tuned S38. Unfortunately, that was 700 more than BMW had promised to make, and that led to a lawsuit. It also wasn’t very long before the M5’s power reign was eclipsed; first by its replacement E34 model, by then the whole range of new V8 models emerging on the market, from the 1992 Audi V8 quattro to the 500E. Values quickly fell as these old-looking (even when new) boxy rockets fell out of favor, and they remained there for quite some time.

But recently there’s grown a much greater appreciation for all things 80s M, and though the E30 has grabbed the headlines as the market star, outside of the M1 it is the E28 M5 that was brought here in fewest numbers. Even fewer have survived, and finding clean, lower mile examples can be tough. This one appears to tick the right boxes:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay on eBay

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2018 Volkswagen GTI S 4-Door

Seems like I’ve been on the hunt for “perfection” over the past few listings, and a lot of it comes down to the package and colors. That’s no different today. This 2018 GTI is an “S” model 4-door. All three trim lines in the ’18 GTI had the same powertrain; the 2.0T inline-four rated at 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Jumping up to the SE got you a sunroof and some driver-assistance features, while the Autobahn got you more tech as well. But the base spec was a nice trim, even if you lost the sunroof. And one other reason that it was nice was the interior; the Tartan inserts and cloth seats have always been my favorite on these, and they’re not an option as you moved up to the leather-clad top models. As a bonus, this one is also my favorite color of the time – Great Falls Green – and is a manual. With moderate mileage and a few mods, is it a hit or miss?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 Volkswagen GTI S 4-Door on eBay

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2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Judging by everything we know and learned over the past 60 or so years, the first-generation Porsche Cayenne should not be a vehicle that is aging well. It is built on the Volkswagen Group E platform shared with the Touareg and Audi Q7, which are vehicles you recommend to your worst enemy because you know they are disasters when used. The Cayenne wasn’t immune either with faults like cracked plastic coolant pipes, driveshaft carrier bearings that like to turn into dust, and if you are really unlucky, cylinder bore scoring. Still, enthusiasts are paying very good money for the Turbo examples along with today’s trim, the Cayenne GTS.

This 2009 Cayenne GTS up for sale in Georgia looks incredible from the photos and you’d think it was a low mileage example that was rarely driven. Nope. 204,000 miles. Wait until you see the amount of work that was needed to keep this one perfect.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS on eBay

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