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Month: January 2023

2009 Smart Fortwo Brabus Cabriolet

Hey, talk about German cars that we never feature? The Smart is up there! From its phone-booth-on-wheels styling to the 1.0-liter 3-pot developed by Mitsubishi and linked to a 5-speed semi-automated gearbox (both introduced for the second generation); well, it’s an unusual car. Making things even more odd, German tuner Brabus threw their hat into the ring and turned up the power for the second generation – slightly – to just over 100 on the turbocharged variant. However, we didn’t get that here. So what did we get from the Brabus version? They also gave it some pretty cool double-staggered wheels, a sport suspension, a sport exhaust system, retuned shifting for the Getrag semi-automatic, and lightly revised styling. They were only available in silver or black, and they were not cheap. Out the door, the drop-top version would set you back over $21,000 plus fees. So what does one of these crazy A451s set you back today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Smart Fortwo Brabus Cabriolet on eBay

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1977 BMW 630CSi

A decade on from the takeover of Hans Glas GmbH, BMW put the Dingolfing production line and engineers to work on their new big coupe. This allowed them to build the design in-house, instead of subcontracting construction of the 2-door as they had with the E9 to Karmann. The E24 was released in 1976, and compared to the Glas V8 they had borrowed for their premium product in the late 1960s it was thoroughly modern. Paul Bracq penned the lines as he did for all BMWs of the period, and but while there was a strong family resemblance between the 3- ,5- ,6- and 7-series cars, the E24 was where the long, low lines and sweeping greenhouse worked the best.

While initially the car was introduced to the world with many of the items from the E9 carried over, the U.S. got a special one-off for its introduction year. The 630CSi was brought in 1977 with a D-Jetronic fuel-injected version of the M30B30 which itself had also seen duty in the E9. With slightly lower compression and emissions equipment fitted, it produced 176 horsepower and was shared with the contemporary 530i until 1978. But in late 1977, BMW yanked the 630 from the U.S., replacing it with the more powerful 633CSi.

While BMW’s sales between 1970 and 1977 had doubled (14,574 total vehicles to 28,766), the number of early 6s that made the journey was still relatively small. Couple that with thermal reactor failure that was the demise of many of the early U.S.-bound 3.0s, and of course the big nemesis of the 70s BMW – rust – and finding a lovely example of the early E24 here in the U.S. is quite difficult:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 630CSi on eBay

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2006 RUF Rt12 S

The name RUF has only become more legendary over the last few years, if that is even conceivable. Cars bearing the name of Alois that were built in Pfaffenhausen, Germany have exploded in value. Want to bear witness? Check out today’s car – an Rt12 rebuilt to S specification. It’s been a bit of an internet star on its own; I wrote the car up back in 2017, when there was less information about it. It had been owned by Ed Bolian, YouTuber extraordinaire, and the asking price was just over $200,000 with ~27,500 miles. The asking price dipped below the $200k mark before a 30k refurb was performed between 2018 and 2019, and 2022 it was offered for sale at the RM – Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction in March of this past year. The sale price? $434,000. Not done, it hit Bring a Trailer in August 2022, with bids ringing in at just below $400,000 with no sale. Now, it’s back up for sale on eBay. Along the way the wheels were refinished silver and the seats were redone with pepita inserts. That, plus the $30k in mechanical work, has resulted in quite the increase in the asking price…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 RUF Rt12 S on eBay

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