The hunt for the affordable 911 continues, and I really have to say I for one like the early 996s. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but the narrow-body simple design on the early 996 has aged pretty well overall – and these still draw my eye today. That’s helped when they’re an unusual color and equipped with the Aerokit bodywork, which is what we see here – in this case, this example is Mirage Metallic. It’s an usual silver that seems similar to BMW’s Cashmere, with lovely hints of gold undertone. I really like it! This one isn’t done though, as you’ll also find it only has 45k miles and yes, the IMS has been done. Let’s check it out!
For those who aren’t immediately familiar with iDing Power, you’re forgiven.
The M3 GTR launched in 1994, and the United States did (technically) see it in the form of the Prototype Technology Group-run team in IMSA race series. The same year in Japan, iDing Power revealed the plans for their turned-up E36 M3. They had acquired an early production second generation model; production started for the E36 M3 in February, 1992 – and the particular example you see here was produced on February 3, 1993. iDing then added a plethora of unique touches, from upgraded suspension, wheels and brakes, special interior items, and some body modifications. By “some”, of course it’s hard to look past the W201 190E-Evo inspired rear wing and massive tacked-on flares. iDing also took the S50B30 European motor, rated at 286 horsepower stock, and modified it to a claimed 330 horsepower. iDing widebodies are pretty rare finds, with a claimed 17 produced.
Today’s car we’ve seen before; I wrote it up back in 2017 when it was still in Japan. It was also the prototype test car, apparently, and is highlighted on the company’s history page.
Tuner Tuesday: 1993 BMW M3 iDing Power S3
Well, it’s traveled across the sea to Wyoming and an additional 1,500 miles since we last saw it, and it can now be yours again…for a price.
Following up on the M760i, it seems relevant to look at an M535i. There’s a huge disparity in the “M” branded models between the E24 and E28. While the M6 and M5 co-existed in the United States market, they did not in Europe. This left the M635CSi to be the equivalent of the M6, as the latter was only marketed in North America and Japan. But the same was not true of the M535i. This model was sold as a more affordable alternative to the M5 in Europe: most of the look of the Motorsports model but without the bigger bills associated with the more exotic double overhead cam 24 valve M88/3. Instead, you got a 3.4 liter M30 under the hood just like the rest of the .35 models. The recipe was a success, selling around 10,000 examples in several different markets – but never in the U.S..
Instead, the U.S. market received the 535iS model. The iS model was specific to the North American market and gave you the look of the U.S.-bound M5, with deeper front and rear spoilers, M-crafted sport suspension and sport seats. It, too, was quite popular – between 1987 and 1988, just over 6,000 examples sold in the United States alone, and of those, a little more than half were the preferred manual variant. One of the nice aspects of the 535iS was that if you enjoyed colors other than black you were able to order the lesser model in any shade you wanted, unlike the North American M5.
Today I found an M535i that popped up in…well, shall we say an unusual setting. Let’s take a look:
The Type 34 Karmann Ghia was a sales failure – it was too expensive – costing about 50% more than a normal Type 14 Ghia. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t a very good looking failure. While the underpinnings were shared with its less exotic 1500 cousins, the upscale Karmann Ghia was aimed squarely at making peasants feel like landed gentry and certainly looked the part. Sweeping character lines ran the length of the car, giving it its signature ‘razor’ nickname. Added to the upscale look in terms of desirability today is rarity. Never imported to the United States, Type 34 production only achieved about 42,500 units – less than 10% of the total number of the more popular and familiar Type 14 Karmann Ghia. Today’s light green example is great to see:
One of the more
captivating baffling options in the used performance wagon market must surely be the C5 Audi Allroad. Despite the reputation for 100% metaphysical certitude that they’ll fail – probably catastrophically, they’re fan favorites. Often as a retort to internet commentaries that they’re not reliable, actual owners will chime in, demanding respect and steadfastly assuring the audience that the Allroad’s reputation is undeserved.
‘It’s been 100% reliable!’ they’ll insist.
Of course, the recipe to actually make it reliable involves major reworking of the engine and suspension. And, sometimes the electronics, too. On top of that, it turns out that various people’s definition of ‘reliable’ varies greatly – especially for Audi owners. Basically, to be deemed ‘unreliable’, an Audi must first assassinate a major public figure, then make a Star Wars reboot featuring only Jar-Jar Binks, then kneel during the National Anthem (easy to do, as most have failed suspension on at least one corner), perhaps call someone the wrong personal pronoun, and finally do the action sequence out of a Michael Bay Transformer movie when you turn the key. If, and only if, those conditions are met will fanatics finally fail to reply to the assertion that the Allroad just isn’t a reliable car.
But, it’s cool. And so you probably want one, even though you know it’ll bankrupt you. So the smart way to buy an Allroad is to not buy an Allroad – you should buy an S6 Avant, and in particular, this S6 Avant.
There aren’t many times that you can say that the cheapest of a given thing is still unbelievably impressive. That, though, is the case with the M760i xDrive. In 2017, this was the least expensive V12-engined car you could buy. That didn’t make it cheap at a nearly $160,000 base price, and it also didn’t mean BMW skimped on options – or, by any means, power. The M760i has a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12, after all, and it makes 601 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with the ultra-quick-shifting ZF 8-speed auto and xDrive, this car is quick for a sports car – never mind a luxury apartment. Despite weighing in at over 5,000 lbs, the car can scoot to 60 in 3.4 seconds and do the standing quarter mile in 11.7 at over 120 mph. Unreal. Now, you can rail against BMW’s use of the M badge everywhere not M, but if there’s one car that might be deserving of it, it’s this one. Performance was, of course, also only part of the story, as this car also has every option you could pretty much want in a luxury sedan. And predictably, despite being just a few years old the values on these have quickly fallen:
Back in June I took a look at the roadgoing version of the CSL ‘Batmobile’ – well, at least a replica of one:
1971 BMW 2800CS ‘Batmobile’ Replica
I talked about the race exploits of the FIA and Touring racing cars, and today we’re looking at a replica version of one of those.
The E21 generally remains the affordable classic in the 1970s to 1980s BMW range, being undervalued when compared to many of the E10s and E30s. It has all the right ingredients for the BMW faithful, too – especially in little six European trim. The 323i looked like a scaled down 6-series and it effectively was, but that doesn’t make it in any way unattractive. Alpina, too, had their had in this model, producing no less than seven variants in a short run. The most popular is the bad boy B6 2.8, but there was a lesser known M20 powered C1 2.3, too. With 170 horsepower and all the right Alpina details, it’s begging for the attention that it deserves:
I have to say the fascination with BMW wagons and their ensuing high prices sometimes perplexes me, as Audi offered a sporty, manual, all-wheel drive Avant that is great looking, reliable and long-lived and will make you feel pretty special. That’s especially so when it’s optioned in one of the more rare shades available on the B5; today’s example is Cactus Green Mica. It looks great offset by Celebration wheels, and it’s got a lot of recent maintenance – so let’s take a look!
Okay, it might look odd, and not like much…but, this is genesis if you are a BMW fan.
BMW’s first car was actually not of their making; it was the 3/15 it inherited with the acquisition of Dixi, itself a reorganization of Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, in 1928. The Dixi 3/15 was, in fact, a licensed copy of the Austin 7 – and while BMW renamed the car the 3/15 DA-2 in 1929, that is pretty much all they did. However, in 1932 BMW launched its first full-fledged car design. While it looked quite similar to the outgoing 3/15, the exterior of the 3/20 belied many changes under the skin.
The new 3/20 had a different chassis underneath, and though the body looked very similar to the 3/15 it was now assembled by Daimler-Benz in Sindelfingen. The front suspension was carried over from the 3/15 (meaning it was in large part Austin parts), as was the engine – though it was upgraded to generate 20 horsepower, with a net taxable horsepower of 3 (hence the name 3/20). BMW fiddled with the rear suspension, and added a transverse leaf-spring swing axle. Like the 3/15, these were built in Eisenach – which would go on later to built the ‘EMW‘s I talked about back in June. Production of the 3/20 lasted only three years until 1934, when it was replaced by the heavily revised 309, the first car to sport BMW’s famous kidney grille design.
These are quite rare cars to find at all, but one popped up for sale so let’s take a look!