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Author: Andrew

1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SE

Having recently written up a number of performance oriented vehicles I thought it might be a good idea to switch it up and do something different. I’ve had my eye on this super cruiser down in Naples, FL for some time now and honestly I’m surprised that it hasn’t sold already. The W126 is an absolutely timeless chassis, an 80s icon known around the world for its luxuriousness and durability. This example is finished in rare Glacier White paint over Dove Grey leather which cranks the Euro luxo-barge vibe up to 11. Personally I love it, more often than not you see these in black or grey, both of which are handsome but I much prefer this look.

This being an ’85, it represents the end of the first cycle of the W126 run in the States. The 3.8L V8 isn’t the most exciting power plant fitted to chassis, I’d have to give that honor to the M117 5.6L V8 found in the 560 SE that we didn’t get. Still, it is a capable motor that was able to move the hefty 380 SE up to a comfortable cruising speed with ease and isn’t that really the purpose of a car such as this? In a way I enjoy the fact that this was the only choice for U.S. buyers who wanted more performance than the 300 SD offered with its oil burning inline 5. Made things simple, you either got a diesel W126 because you truly didn’t need the power or you got a gas W126 because you did. Sure a whole lot of people snapped up grey market W126 cars during the 80’s and enthusiasts of my generation have benefited from the availability of federalized 500 SE and 560 SE models but clean ones are few and far between. So when you come across a clean example of a 380 SE like this one, it might be time to start arranging travel to Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380 SE on Cars.com

1 Comment

1990 BMW 325i M-Tech II

Right out of the gate I have to say there are a few things that I really don’t care for on this car. The M badge on the trunk is obnoxious, I do not like the current marketing gimmick of slapping the “fastest letter in the world” all over BMW models and it’s even tackier on a classic E30. I don’t know if the seller thinks it is a clever or what but with these classics I believe that only an M engine justifies an M badge. Also, AC Schnitzer wheels have never been my thing, not even as a winter set. In my opinion chubby little wheels are not a good look on any car but especially here. An E30 needs OEM basket weaves or some generation of M3 wheel to maintain the classic look. However those are both personal cosmetic dislikes, both easily remedied, so I find it easy to look past them and see the potential in this example of a unique E30.

After all, there is a whole lot to like here. The Recaro cloth seats look immaculate and I can tell you from personal experience that they’re very, very comfortable. The M-Tech II wheel is one of my favorite BMW wheels of all time, great thickness, perfectly cut out thumb rests and visually pleasing unlike the monster airbag wheels that followed. The M-Tech II tiller does come in two different sizes, 365mm and 385mm respectively. I’ve only gotten my hands on the smaller of the two but I can’t imagine the larger one being a better option. The seller doesn’t note which wheel he put in so that’s something I’d want to find out early on. Outside the car looks pretty darn clean for living up in the great white north. Again I’d need more information as far as the car’s life story is concerned but overall it looks like it has lived on easy street. Of course looks can be deceiving, especially with these cars so serious homework would have to be done to determine if this car is worth your time. As you’ll see in the gallery at the bottom of the page, the dash is cracked so that’s something that’ll need attention rather quickly and there’s also no A/C, a deal breaker for a Southern California resident like myself. However if you don’t need cold air on your face and couldn’t care less about a visible fault line in front of your eyes all the time, then perhaps this E30 is for you.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 325i M-Tech II on Kijiji

15 Comments

2008 Porsche Boxster S

 

I’m not sure if there is a more under appreciated and oft maligned sports car than the Porsche Boxster. I was quite fond of the original generation, even had a 1:18 scale Maisto model of the original concept version that would become the 986. I think what drew me to the car was the obvious design nod to the Porsche 550 Spyder, which is art on wheels as far as I’m concerned. The majority of people would say the Boxster is just the opposite. They still look at it as the poor man’s Porsche or the divorcee mobile or the car you get bait & switched into by a shady dealership when by some divine miracle, you make a hole in one at the tournament with a WIN A PORSCHE gimmick. Look it up, that kind of thing has totally happened.

I actually think that’s a good thing because it leaves plenty of these cars out there for those of us who know better than to be swayed by public opinion. The Boxster isn’t without its faults but that can be said of all Porsches right up to the very tip top models that like to catch on fire just for the hell of it. The Boxster is a great choice of vehicle for anyone who just loves to drive.  First one I got to pilot was a 2013 base model with the excellent 6spd manual transmission, top down on the freeway in the middle of December on a cloudy day in Los Angeles. I remember everything about that experience vividly and I think that’s a true testament to just how good of a machine these are.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche Boxster S on Cars.com

5 Comments

2009 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Funny how the passage of time works when it comes to the automotive world. It seems like just yesterday that I looked at the C63 AMG as a completely unattainable car, the kind of ride that only Euro club bros with frosted tips and too much of dad’s money to spend would be be able to afford. However, thanks to our old friend depreciation, the smallest AMG worth owning is under the $30k mark, good news for those of us without a Scrooge McDuck vault of money to swim in.

$30k is the high mark for what I would consider a reasonable amount of money to spend on a car give or take a couple grand. These days you can get a whole lot of car in this price range, 1st gen Cayman S, E90/92 M3 and of course this lil hot rod from Stuttgart that houses a hand built motor. While I’ve long been a bigger fan of the M3 because of the availability of a 3rd pedal, a C63 AMG sedan always turns my head when one rolls by. Sadly they’re often piloted by people who should probably have the keys taken away, for their safety and the well being of the car. This example down in Texas has made it 86,199 miles, still looks quite fresh and I hope someone with a real appreciation and respect for the powertrain takes it home.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG on Cars.com

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium

Were I not the sucker for a V8 soundtrack that I am, I would probably already have owned or currently own one of these cars. Like the M-Sport BMWs, the S-Line Audis can be looked at as the more wallet friendly alternative to their non hyphenated name siblings. While vehicles wearing the roundel are often offer a more dynamic driving experience, Audis are no slouch in the fun department and still offer the quiet kind of luxury that I prefer.

In terms of rolling incognito the A4 S-Line Titanium is perhaps the very definition of the term. The charcoal Ronal wheels aren’t for everyone but I’ve always liked them, so long as they wear a tire with a protective lip. These wheels are prone to curb damage and I’ve seen some badly chewed up ones over the years. Aside from the wheels only a few other cosmetic changes will clue an informed individual into the fact that this is an extra special A4. Blacked out window trim, grille surround and piano black interior trim are all that really separate the Titanium from a run of the mill S-Line. As for the S-Line package, that adds a lower ride height, 3 spoke steering wheel (aka. the one you want) and some S-Line badges that are easily removed, as you see here. The result is a real sleeper that has the potential to be an outright monster given the massive aftermarket part availability for the 2.0T A4. If it was me, I’d leave this thing alone except for an ECU flash to get just that little bit of extra juice for those times when the power hungry side of my personality kicks in.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium On AutoTrader

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