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For me, there is this constant back and forth between “They don’t make them like they used to” and “Newer cars can basically go forever with proper maintenance and repairs”. Today’s car falls in the latter half. Although I’m skeptical. Very skeptical. Why? In case you haven’t noticed the title, this is a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG with over 322,000 miles on the odometer. Yes, this 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged whale of a car that produces 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque has somehow racked up over 322,000 miles. According to the helpful Carfax, this car registered just over 29,000 miles in its first three years – a totally normal amount. Then the next five years saw the odometer jump to 200,000 miles. Six months later, 250,000 miles. That is 275 miles every single day for six months. How? Why?
“Give me crazy options, or give me death!”
That isn’t what Patrick Henry said during a speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention in 1775. It is however something I would say to a group of strangers on the internet when looking at Porsches. This 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 up for sale in Southern California isn’t your typical 991.2 GT3. I know saying a “typical 991.2 GT3” is a little bit of an oxymoron, but seeing the options on this car, you might understand what I mean. Not only is it finished in paint-to-sample Agate Gray, but the full bucket seats are finished in burgundy leather with hounds tooth inserts. It doesn’t stop there either.
For a much love as I give all the Porsche GT and Turbo cars, very rarely do I look at the standard 911 Carrera. Rightfully so as those headline-capturing GT and Turbo cars can basically go toe-to-toe with any car in the world and hold their own, but that certainly doesn’t make the base 911 any less good. This is especially true on the 991 chassis. The lowly base 911 is hardly that. It came in at a respectable 350 horsepower and a choice between the 7-speed PDK gearbox or a 7-speed traditional manual transaxle that was a world-first at the time. A 0-60 run needed just 4.4 seconds and this all could be done in a package tame enough to drive 365 days a year with no fuss. The price wasn’t cheap however as the base 991 started at $83,000. I wish I could put “started” in size 84 font as stuff you think would be standard can easily tack on another $10,000 without even realizing it. Got to have those 14-way sport seats, after all.
There area bunch of oxymorons in the automotive world. Reliable Fiat. Quality Maserati. Leak-free Land Rover. Inexpensive Porsche. Today, we have another one to add to the list: Restored G-Wagen.
Long before the housewives of the world used the G-Wagen as a grocery-getter and mall crawler, this box on wheels was a utilitarian masterpiece. It was meant to be used and abused, and for the first 21 years of production, they basically were. Then in 1990 when the W463 rolled onto the scene, they got very posh, very fast. However, if you still want that utilitarian experience, there are plenty of them out there. To no one’s surprise, people like to have their cake and eat it too. They want old, but they also want comfortable and luxury. That is exactly what this 1991 G230 is. Someone actually went through the trouble and expense of restoring a G-Wagen with a naturally-aspirated four cylinder that made 123 horsepower when new. I guess that is all you need when the speed limit on Nantucket is only 25 mph.