1997 Mercedes Benz SL600

As you hopefully know, it is Fathers Day and I thought it would be fun to take a stab at finding the ultimate “dad car.” Many vehicles crossed my mind, the majority of them were Mercedes, a few BMWs and Audis as well, but there’s just something so grown up and bossy about a Benz that it makes the brand feel paternal. My own father isn’t particularly fond of the three pointed star marquee, so it is not with him in mind that I chose this car. He’s like me, a fan of hatchbacks, sleepers and rally bred machines, not the brash hardware like the SL600. However, I have no doubt he’d enjoy the soundtrack courtesy of the 48 valve V12 because who the heck wouldn’t? There may even be a chance he’d be swayed, as I was, into lusting after this car as it has a Vortech V2 Supercharger stuck on it, pushing the horsepower figure up over 400. My father was the one who taught me horsepower isn’t everything but I’ll be damned if the man doesn’t love it just as much as I do. It’s the torque that’s really impressive with these cars and all 420 lb-ft of it is needed to move the 4,445 lb chassis. Just goes to show that in a big ‘ol silver rocket ship with a removable top is where a motor like this belongs and few do this style of car better than the folks at Mercedes Benz.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes Benz SL600 on Cars.com

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1990 BMW 325i Touring

Here we have a BMW 325i Touring imported from Japan to Canada with the intention of doing a full restoration. The seller states other projects have now taken over his time and he has to let the car go. Perhaps this is the case, it very often is but perhaps the seller also decided the juice was not worth the squeeze. The car needs a dash replacement due to it being cracked, the front passenger seat is badly ripped, one dent is mentioned and though I’m sure there are others and as you can see in the picture above there is a rust hole just in front of the drivers door. Now most of these issues are not major ones that’ll drain your wallet but those kinds of things will happen down the road.

The seller notes that the odometer has stopped working and the car has roughly 102,000 miles on it. That’s relatively low compared to most of the E30 Tourings I come across and yet many of those are in better condition. Makes me wonder what kind of life this car lived prior to arriving in Canada. Also the seller doesn’t mention inclusion of extensive service records or any kind of recent work which leads me to believe that that aforementioned bigger issues will indeed be popping up in the not so distant future. And yet, I’m still intrigued by this car because after all, it’s a Japan Spec E30 Touring in Lazurblau Metallic with a grey cloth interior!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 325i Touring on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

So long as I am contributing to GCFSB I will never pass up the chance to do a post on a 964 911, especially a black on with the mono block wheels. This is due partially in part to the fact that as I’ve learned more about classic 911’s I’ve become increasingly fond of the 964 as it is largely the first modern 911. Additionally black 964 911’s remind me of the bad guy’s car in the original Beethoven movie and that was the first time I ever saw a Porsche on the big screen. The movie producers were probably trying to make some kind of statement by having a dog killing scumbag drive a black Porsche but that was lost on me, all I saw was a car that I liked. I’ve gone through phases of swearing that 3.2 Carreras and SCs are the “one’s I’d go for” but at this point it has become clear that given my current living situation and driving habits, the 964 would make the most sense. Unfortunately for me, many other Porsche enthusiasts feel the same way and the popularity of these cars is higher than ever. Still, the occasional deal pops up and I think it’s fair to say that despite not ideal mileage, this example is one of those deals.

Click for details: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 on eBay

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2012 Audi TT RS

 

If this was my car and I was the kind of person who went in for vanity plates I’d get COPMGNT because that’s what it is. A regular Audi TT isn’t exactly a head turner and the TT S doesn’t demand attention either. Both are fine looking cars but not nearly as fine as the fully hotted up RS version. Yes, I know the differences are subtle but the wider body, 19″ wheels, mesh grille and killer rear valance give the TT body the aggressive look I think it always should have had. Like many of the reviews say, the TT RS is more R8 than TT and I often debate which I’d rather have. I always end up landing on the R8 because gated manual. 

Speaking on manuals, the TT RS we got here in America only came with 3 pedals. Think about that for a second, a modern sports car in America with no automatic option only 3 years ago. If they were smart enough to do it then, why oh why can’t they be smart enough to offer an S3 with a stick now? Sorry to get off topic, sore subject as I’d go in for an S3 with a stick in a heartbeat, but I digress. Audi got a lot of things right with the TT RS, excellent 6spd manual, howling 2.5L inline-5 pushing out 360hp and 343 lb-ft in a 3,312 package. The car was quick, balanced and apparently had minimal understeer for an Audi. I would absolutely love to drive one of these but as they’re actually rather rare, the likelihood of that happening in the near future is slim to none. If you happen to own one of these cars and live in the greater Los Angeles area, please, let me drive your car?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi TT RS on eBAY

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1989 BMW 325is

These days, it’s a struggle to find a clean E30 of any kind, let alone a 325is. So many of these cars have been stanced, track prepped or otherwise changed from their original setup that often times I wonder how many unmolested ones there are left. Though it might look it, this example isn’t completely stock but the modifications are the right kind so it’s ok in this case. How could you complain about a Dinan exhaust and engine chip, Koni adjustable shocks and upgraded HID headlights? I know some regular readers won’t particularly love the addition of an Alpine stereo unit or McIntosh amplifier/EQ, but at least they are quality components. Besides, stereo work is easy to undo and return to stock if you wish to do so, personally I’d consider swapping the head unit for a more period correct looking one that was still good enough to make use of the amp/EQ.

On the mechanical front the seller notes that much of the work associated with high mileage E30s has already been done. Clutch and top end engine work were done 27k miles ago, tires, brake pads, rotors, timing belt and more was done recently. Cosmetically, the car appears to be in great shape but I’d need many more pictures to have a truly informed opinion. In fact, if there is one major negative here it’s that the seller only posted five pictures, none of which are particularly good. Quality wise they’re okay, but with a car of this age you really want to see multiple angles both inside and out. The ad says the carpet is the only bit of the interior that shows wear. Well I’d like to see that so show me, don’t tell me!

I still don’t understand how people think they’re going to be able to attract serious buyers with such little visual information. I’ve been burned a couple times recently by sellers who take vague pictures and swear the car is near mint condition. So I take the time to go look at it and it turns out that there’s a wide variety of what constitutes “mint condition“. I don’t think this is one of those sellers who is just trying to get a face to face with you, I just think they were lazy with the picture taking. These cars photograph well even when they’re in shit condition so if you’ve got a nice on on your hands you owe it to the car and yourself to take at least ten to fifteen pictures of the damn thing. Ok, rant over.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325is on BMWCCA

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1992 Mercedes Benz 500E

 

Every time I come across a clean 500E it gets the wheels turning in the ‘ol noggin. I find myself wondering if this early 90s tribute to the automotive gods would work as a daily driver. As much as I tell myself I could get by with a sporty coupe, in the end I know my active lifestyle and willingness to shuttle friends around would have me yearning for an extra set of doors. Once I start that internal dialogue I quickly get on the line of thinking that if I’m going to have four doors then I might as well have hatch to access the cargo area. On top of the practical angle there’s the cosmetic angle. Most of the cars I’m a fan of look better as a wagon, rarely does a sedan hold my gaze the way a slick long roof does and it is for that reason that I will always write up a crisp 500E when I come across one.

I have a special place in my heart reserved for these cars, they’re really unlike anything else that I have on my bucket list of cars. The E34 M5 is about as close as it comes for the era but it’s a BMW and BMWs are were focused on the driver’s experience above all. The 500E isn’t short on driver engagement but one only need look at the heavily bolstered rear bucket seats to see this car was designed to keep everyone comfortable during a proper Bahnstorming. I love a good solo mission up to the canyons where it’s just the car and myself but I also enjoy being the wheelman on a night out with some friends. It’s a different kind of energy in the car for sure but I think it can be equally as enjoyable, provided your friends don’t suck, If they do then riding around in a modern classic like the 500E will surely be lost on them but I know mine would appreciate it, especially when the 5.0L V8 is doing its best Wilhelm Scream impersonation.These days 322hp can be found in many a four door but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that utilizes it with such emotion and grace. Talk to anyone who has owned a 500E and I’m sure they’ll tell you that the car begs for frequent visits to triple digit speeds and will get there without little effort. The question is, would you drop $13,944 for that experience?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes Benz 500E on AutoTrader

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2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet

Of the three Audi B7 S4 body styles, the cabriolet was always the least appealing in my eyes. I never really cared for the B7 sedan much either as the B7 Avant is pretty much perfect but I still thought it was more appealing than the drop top, until recently. Having now owned a B7 S4 Avant I know the strengths and weaknesses of the car, I understand it’s purpose and oddly enough I think the vibe of the car is well suited for a convertible option.

The great thing about an S4, particularly the B7 generation, is that the cars don’t look particularly fast. They’re pretty run of the mill in terms of the styling save for a few details here and there. That’s what I’ve always loved about them and what made driving the Avant so much fun. Just as nobody expects the inquisition, nobody expects for a V8 to be shoehorned into such a small car, let alone a wagon. I think the same can be said of a convertible even though losing the roof is a quick way to attract more attention. Still, the B7 S4 cabrio is conservatively styled and no one will likely give you a second glance until you go roaring by them with the 4.2L V8 at full throttle. The motor is what makes this car desirable, especially since this is at the very end of the B7 manufacturing run. These 2009 M/Y S4 cabrios were the last cars of the generation to use these motors since the sedan and avant ended their run in 2008. This should add some piece of mind for a potential buyer because the later production S4s had a much lower rate of timing chain failure resulting in drainage of the wallet or fiery death. This particular example has just 54k on the clock, further adding to my belief that it’s a good buy for someone looking to enjoy the wind in their hair at a rather high rate of speed.

Year: 2009
Model: S4 Cabriolet
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 54,949 mi
Price: $28,980 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet on eBay

2009 Audi S4 quattro 2dr Convertible All Wheel Drive (4.2L 8cyl ) with Brilliant Black Exterior, Black Interior. Loaded with 4.2L V8 Engine, Automatic Transmission, Leather Seats, Power Front Seats, Heated Front Seats, Leather Steering Wheel Trim, Paddle Shifters, Audio Steering Wheel Controls, CD Audio System, Bose Premium Speakers, Navigation System, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Power Exterior Mirrors, Fog Lights, Xenon HID Headlights, 18 Inch Alloy Wheels and more.

VIN WUARL48H29K900001 / STOCK # (900001)

Though it shares nearly everything with it’s hardtop brethren, the S4 cabrio does have a few unique details. For one thing the seats are not branded Recaros but they do look to be similarly bolstered to the ones found in the sedan and Avant so that’s a minor difference. Also the entire dash is different from the sedan/Avant, sharing the round vents and deeply inset gauge cluster with the B6 cabrio. The rear of the car has taillights similar to the B6 as well but they look marginally better thanks to being a little less rounded off and the clear strip running along the bottom versus the square of a B6.

Other than those things, the B7 S4 cabrio is the same as the sedan and Avant, aside from having the ability to help get you way more Vitamin D than the other two, why get one? I’d still get the Avant over the cabrio everytime but what I now understand having owned one is these cars are first and foremost cruisers. Yes, they can excel at track or in the canyons provided they’ve been built out properly but I think they’re best enjoyed on long stretches of winding road. Given that this example is an automatic I think it’s even more so a city cruiser than a V8 powered sled begging to be driven hard. Some engines are best enjoyed in the most hardcore body they can be put in but I think that in this case, the 4.2 liter singing to you with the top down beats it doing so in the sedan, maybe even the avant…maybe.

Cheers,

-Andrew

2004 BMW 330i ZHP

It’s always a happy occasion when I come across a ZHP that has been well loved and remains unmolested. In fact I think these cars are more likely to have been left in their original state than an M3 simply because the folks that tended to opt for the ZHP were more “grown up”. All I mean by that is while the E36 3 series was in production there was no four door M3 option so if you were a family man who wanted a go fast BMW, this was your car.

The ZHP only got a 10hp increase over the regular 330i but reprogrammed engine management and a close ratio six speed manual made it feel quite zippy. It’s stiffer and slightly lower too but from what I’ve read the ride quality didn’t suffer and that’s a big plus. I’ve driven a couple of E46 M3s and while they’re fantastic for spirited driving, I don’t cruising around in them on city streets. In this era before adaptive suspension setups you had to decide whether you wanted a performance car that was tolerable in day to day life or a sporty car that was OK when you wanted to get after it a bit. The older I get the more I find myself thinking the latter is the right way to go and I think the 330i ZHP is a near perfect choice for the driver who might go to the track a few times a year but mostly enjoys a spirited canyon run.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP on Pelican Parts

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1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Cabriolet

Aside from the 500E I can’t think of another Mercedes from the 90s that I like more than the E320 ‘vert. All the reliability and practicality of the W124 mixed with the fun of having a convertible that can comfortably seat four adults, that’s a recipe for something really special. The only real knock against these cars is that the tops can wear out both mechanically and cosmetically but that’s true of many convertibles so I don’t think it’s fair to hold that against the car. If you’re in the market for a classic drop top you’ve already accepted that there may be some issues in exchange for bathing you and your passengers in sunlight on a regular basis.

Thankfully this beautiful example has been extremely well kept and the top looks wonderful in addition to operating properly. In fact the entire exterior looks wonderful, both in condition and aesthetically. The Azure Blue with blue top is classy as can be, contrasts wonderfully with the tan leather interior. I’ve always felt these cars had a distinctly nautical vibe regardless of what color they came in but it’s especially strong with this example. Perhaps it’s the fact that much like a boat you and 3 friends can go out and feel the wind in your hair, not always the case with convertibles. I can’t think of a car currently on the market that is both a drop top and legitimate four seater. Perhaps that’s why the E320 cabriolet is quickly becoming a much desired collectors car.

Year: 1995
Model: E320
Engine: 3.2 liter I-6
Transmission: 5 speed automatic
Mileage: 104,106
Price: $12,950 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Cabriolet on eBAY

You are looking at a very popular sporty luxury convertible. The vehicle has been made and assembled entirely in Germany, and consists only of Germany made parts! This vehicle has a good sport car feeling to it. Because it’s a 3.2L engine, it has nice performance to it. The midnight blue exterior color gives the car a certain kind of unique classy appeal.

The car spent most of its life in Florida!

There are no reported manufacturer’s defects on this vehicle. A never-smoked-in before beauty that looks great and smells clean.

The engine is very strong and provides the power you have come to expect from a Mercedes and runs extra smooth. The transmission has the Mercedes mark on it as well and shifts like on a new car, no skips or slips on shifts. The suspension feels very nimble and comfortable at the same time.  

The A/C works well and blows cold air!

All the electrical options appear to be in working order. As you can judge for yourself from the pictures – the interior is clean!   The check light of the diagnostic computer reads ok. The engine compartment is clean, and free of any leaks.

The power locks, windows, seats and moon roof all work and are in good condition. All the power controls and buttons work.

Like so many of these cars it appears to have lived a pampered life in Florida(of course) where it was probably used as a secondary vehicle, hence the low mileage of 104,106. The interior looks just as good as the exterior, I love that it still has the mobile phone in the center arm rest, little period correct details like that get me every time. The leather still looks fresh, no cracking or wear of any kind. After all these were incredibly well built cars from tip to tail so the detailed service records are really an added bonus here. Too often do I come across W124 Benzes that have been let go, their owners relying on the solid reputation to keep them going instead of going the preventative maintenance route. It’s nice to know that the previous owners really cherished the car and made sure it never wanted for anything.

Though currently located in Pennsylvania and photographed against a bland backdrop of northeast flora, it’s easy to envision yourself cruising through South Beach with a cigar in one hand and the other on the leg of some beautiful woman. Maybe she’s your wife, maybe not, it’s your fantasy not mine! $12,950 isn’t much to make at least part of that fantasy a reality and you’ll even have some money left over to buy some cubans. In many ways I think the E320 cabriolet is still very much a status symbol just not in the same way it was when it debuted. These days I think it lets people know that you’re an enthusaist, a saavy buyer of used cars, someone who knows a classic in the making when they see it. I really don’t think this car will run for its entire 19 day bidding period, not with this level of tidiness. If you like it, better act fast because the E320 cabrio secret is out and I think we’re going to see these things start rising in value considerably over the next couple of years.

Cheers,

-Andrew

2006 Porsche Boxster S

Whenever a luxury car pops up in a unique color combo I’m inclined to write it up. I figure that the majority of them were special ordered by people who really knew what they were looking for and therefore were well taken of. Whether this actually holds up cannot be determined without a proper inspection of the vehicle but it helps to sift through the thousands of listings I find. This Boxster S for sale in Philadelphia is one of the more eye catching examples I’ve come across recently, though I have a feeling the exterior color will be rather polarizing on this site.

I think the Cobalt Blue Metallic is an excellent choice for this car and the dark blue top contrasts well with it. As I’ve said before, the 19″ Carrera Sport wheels are my favorite option for this generation, I’d go so far as to say they’re some of the best factory wheels Porsche has ever offered. Under those wheels are brakes that offer excellent stopping power, 12.52″ up front and 11.77″ out back. I especially love how the red four piston calipers look with the Cobalt Blue, these little details are what makes this car so appealing to me. The whole package is sport and sophisticated, exactly what a Porsche should be in my opinion.

Year: 2006
Model: Boxster S
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6 speed manual
Mileage: 85,954
Price: $21,995

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche Boxster S on Cars.com

1 YEAR – PA – INSPECTION – 5 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – FULLY SERVICED – FREE CARFAX! This vehicle has been fully serviced and went through a complete PA inspection. FREE power train warranty is included and an extended 5 year warranty is available.

When I first saw this listing I was expecting the interior to be a lighter color like gray or beige, and I was surprised to find that it was black. While I don’t mind the choice, I think the overall look of the car is still great but I think it would be perfect if the interior was lighter, maybe even Terracotta brown. I used to be a huge fan of black interiors but recently I’ve found myself disenchanted with them, especially in sports cars. They seem cold and with a car like this one that already has a cool atheistic going I think some warmth coming from the inside would make for the ultimate package.

Other than not loving the interior, I have nothing negative to say about this car. I think the Boxster S is still massively under appreciated and remains an excellent value for anyone looking to have some serious fun behind the wheel. Driving a Cobalt Blue Boxster at the track might be cause for some snickering in your direction but that’s ok because you know how good it is and that’s really all that should matter. Besides, the majority of people who would tease you for driving a Boxster probably don’t get the intended purpose of the vehicle which is to keep your driving experience as pure as possible. 280hp will feel like plenty when you’re in a rhythm with the 6spd manual, especially with the top down. I’d say that when it comes to bang for your buck in the used Porsche market, the Boxster is hard to beat.

-Andrew