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Author: Carter

1977 BMW 530i

Being an Audi fan, I’m aware of what a bad reputation can do to cars. In the 1970s, Audi gained a reputation for unreliability and poor electronics; perhaps justified, considering the many stories that people have about early Audi 100 ownership. However, it’s a haunting reputation that nearly 40 years on they’re still trying to shake. It looked as if by the early 2000s they had done so, but now a generation on, the cars from the Y2K generation have their own problems and have bred more discontent generally from enthusiasts on the outside looking in. The result is that it’s damn near impossible to find a nice condition Audi from the 1970s, and in just a few years we’ll see the same thing with 2000s Audis, too.

Where am I going with this, considering this is a listing for a BMW? Well, the early E12s had their own problems, but notably that was an issue in the US. That’s because to meet US market regulations, the E12 was made slower and more ugly. Large 5 m.p.h. bumpers were fitted, and compression on the M30 was dropped to meet lower fuel standards. Additionally, to burn off hydrocarbons to meet emissions regulations, the 530i was fitted with thermal reactor manifolds. They did as their name suggested, though the reaction unfortunately many times was with the internals of the engine – warping heads and frying valves. It was a debacle that spelled the death of the 530i, reborn as the 528i in 1979. Coupled with rust issues that this generation BMW had, it’s now quite hard to find an original U.S. spec 530i. Yet here’s a lovely one for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 530i on eBay

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2004 Volkswagen R32 HPA Twin Turbo with 5,400 Miles

Back in May I took a look at what certainly must be the most valuable 2000s Volkswagen in the marketplace today – the R32:

2004 Volkswagen R32

Like 911SCs, the prices on these continue to boggle the mind for me. Neat cars, certainly. Worth what a new GTI costs for a worn example? That’s a hard sell, at least for me. Yet plenty are selling in the $20k-$30k range, and some have even hit double that amount if they have low mileage. That’s what we have today – this R32 has just 5,400 miles. That puts it in line to hit the high-end of the market, and you can guess where it is priced as a result. However, it also has a lot of mods – does that have an impact on value?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

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2001 Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8T

When it came to the Mk.4, as they had in the prior generations Volkswagen offered you two flavors of GTI. In 2001, this was represented as the GLS and the GLX. The GLX had the throaty 2.8L VR6, while the GLS made due with the 1.8T. It was still a punchy package, though; with 150 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. While that was down on grunt to the VR6, you could easily chip the 1.8T and make up the deficit. That’s what a lot did, and consequently it’s pretty hard to find a car like today’s example – here we have a stock Mojave Beige Metallic GTI GLS that has under 60,000 miles. If you want one, it’s definitely one of the best out there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8T on eBay

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Euro 1983 BMW 745i 5-Speed

The E23 has always been a design which to me has been quite polarizing. As with the E12 and E24, Paul Bracq was heavily involved in the final design and it shows – in many ways, the E23 looks like a cross between the two that was scaled up 10%. The results of that in my mind weren’t always good. Growing up, my father had both E24s and E28s, clean looking, well proportioned designs, and when I first saw an E23 I remember thinking it looked a bit ungainly. In U.S. specification, the bumpers were too big and the wheels were too small, resulting in a car which appeared heavy, sagging and sad. When he’s really upset, my son manages to invert his lip and stick it out, tears streaming down his cheeks. It’s a look which nearly mimics the U.S. spec front end of the E23 I now recognize. However, in European trim the E23 made more sense – it looked lighter, smaller and better proportioned. While not as stately as the W116, it certainly looked a fair bit sportier outside and more modern. Couple those European-market looks with the potent performance of the M106 and sprinkle in some sport seats and a 5-speed manual from an E28, and there’s a lot to like here – though today’s car is pretty firmly in “project” status:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Euro 1983 BMW 745i 5-Speed on eBay

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1991 Audi Coupe Quattro

From the end of B4 production with the Cabriolet back to the beginning of US B3 models, let’s take a look at this 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro. It hasn’t been long since we saw one; back in May I took a look at another ’91:

1991 Audi Coupe Quattro

Though rare new and much more infrequently seen today, these are still floating out there – a testament both to their build quality and how devoted their owners have been.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Link to 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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