Coupe Week Feature Listing: 1988 BMW M6

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I think it’s fair to say that there are quite a few of our readership that came of age in the 1980s, and the cars from that era hold a special appreciation in our minds; this author included. As we work our way through our celebration of “Coupe Week”, I went bank into my memory banks a bit. Growing up flipping through car magazines every month, I studied and memorized the horsepower figures, the 0-60 times and scrutinized the driving impressions of every single car, but there were some that caught my attention. Admittedly, in the early 1980s I had a predisposition to the Porsche 928. It looked so futuristic, and with its big aluminum V8 the performance figures seemed otherworldly to someone who grew up with Toyota Tercels and learned to drive on a early ’60s Beetle with no clutch. But towards the late 1980s, a car came to my attention that I had largely ignored up to that point; the E24 BMW. Sure, they were good looking 2-doors, but to a young man power was everything and the 928 was top trump. But then my father sold his RT1100 BMW motorcycle and bought something the family could enjoy; a 1982 633CSi. My appreciation for the BMW instantly grew. The long hood and delicate A and C pillars were a symphony of design; the sharply angled nose and BBS Mahle wheels hinted at a connection to motorsports. Inside, I still remember the smell of the luxurious leather and the sound of the M30 heading its way up the tach. Solidly in “Camp 6” now, my new favorite car was the fastest version of the E24 that was available to U.S. customers – the M6.

Later on, my father’s priorities changed slightly and heading to the track more, he opted to get into a 1988 BMW M5. But as much as I respected and liked that car, the M6 still had my fascination. I still remember the first time I got to drive one; I detailed the car for a friend of the family. It was not my car to drive with reckless abandon, but still I was able to revel in the growl of the S38, the directness of the steering, the way the transmission seemed to perfectly slot into each gear. It was driving bliss and I felt invincible. Unfortunately, at that time M6s commanded a strong premium over the M5 and M3, and all were far outside of my income bracket. Fast forward to today, and the M6 has become perhaps the best performance bargain from BMW in the 1980s; find a good example, and they’re sure not to disappoint still:

Click for details: 1988 BMW 635CSi at Sun Valley Auto Club

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Coupe Week Tuner Tuesday: Alpina B2S 3.0CSL and 3.0CS Alpina Tribute

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and when it comes to Alpina cars there certainly have been a lot of enthusiasts who are eager to copy the legends. Part of that is the great look that Alpina achieved, but also worth considering that Alpina models – especially early ones – command a premium that rivals some of the most exclusive models put out by the factory. Today, then, in honor of Coupe Week I have two E9 models. The first is a real-deal and rare 3.0CSL, but even then a special CSL; this one is an early carburetor model which was modified in period by Alpina to B2S spec. I then have an end-of-run U.S. spec 3.0CS that tries to imitate that look. These two cars obviously aren’t in contention with each other – but is the imitation good enough to warrant looking at?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina B2S on classicheros.co.uk

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE Brabus

Last week around this time, I wrote up a 850 horsepower Brabus-modified E63 Estate. In the realm of nutty cars, it would be certainly barred from coming near any schools for fear of anaphylaxis of the entire student body. It was also the best part of a third of a million dollars, more money than most of America will ever dream of having at one time and even in New England, an amount that would get you a nice home. But in that post, our reader Craig posted a link to a much more affordable option; a W124 300TE Estate modified by Brabus for sale in Germany. Does it scratch the itch or do you need an EpiPen?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE Brabus on eBay.de

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Motorsports Monday: Ex-Joest 1978 Porsche 935

Even though they don’t generally get the big headlines, arguably the Porsche 934 and 935 were the most important car in developing the racing history and reputation of Porsche. While the 356 and early 911s were certainly notable, it was in the mid-1970s with the introduction of turbocharged 911 in 935 form that Porsche developed a sizable following of independents who raced the all-conquering Turbos. In turn, it was these race successes that convinced enthusiasts that the Porsche 930 was THE car to have. The 935 was, in many ways, a development of the earlier 934. Wide flares coupled with wheels and brakes from the prototype category 917 and 936 gave a purposeful and classic look. While the roofline and doors remained effectively the same as the production cars, few other details matched what you could buy at the dealer. One of the biggest developments was the aerodynamic “Slantnose” developed with help from Kremer; it would become the signature look for not only the 935s but also the most expensive versions of the 930 in the 1980s. The 935 also helped breach the gap in between the 917 program and the start of the 956/962; while the 936s were the direct transference between the two, it would be the 935 that would carry the Porsche flag around the world. Amongst the notable wins for the 935 were around 150 international victories including all-out victory at Le Mans in 1979 and multiple wins at both Sebring and Daytona. All of the top-tier racers of the day drove them, and top teams that still race today cut their teeth on the 935, such as todays example run by Reinhold Joest:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Porsche 935 Kremer K1 on racecarsdirect

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Coupe Week Motorsports Monday: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3

There’s something that is inherently appealing to me about the idea of a aluminum V8 engine swapped into a Porsche 944. Sure, you could argue that just buying a 928 would scratch that particular itch, and in many ways you’d be right. But say you want extra power and cheaper operating costs? These are things that the Porsche 928 doesn’t particularly excel at, coupled with the more complicated and fragile electronics of the 944’s big brother. The smaller, lighter 944 then seems to be a natural choice; with near perfect weight distribution and bits that swap in easily from the higher-horsepower Turbo model, you can have a track-ready sleeper for about the same price as a decently sorted 928 – but choose the right engine, and you’ll have much more motivation at your call. In the case of this 1987 944, that choice would be the all-aluminum 6.2 liter V8 from the new Corvette – the LS3, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.ft. of torque right out of the box:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3 on eBay

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1979 BMW 520 Dinan 3.9

An interesting conversation erupted in Andrew’s post about the 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport yesterday. Andrew suggested that the E39 was not only the best looking 5-series, but perhaps the best looking sedan ever produced. I think for many that opinion will depend on the generation that they grew up in; for example, I bet you could find some folks who would contend that the early fourth generation Lincoln Continental (early 60s) or even the Bugatti Royale was better looking. But taking a break from arguing the best looking ever, how about within the 5-series? There are a lot of E28 fans out there, our own author Nate being one since he owns a M5. I grew up with a ’88 M5 in the family, too – but for me the E28, while a definitive and landmark step for BMW, was not as “pretty” as the E12 which preceded it. That’s especially true of the early E12s, but in terms of motivation there aren’t many that can match the punch of the later M5 and 540i models. To solve that problem, one owner took the pretty look of a 1979 Euro-market 520i but ditched the M20 inline-6, replacing it with a Dinan built 3.9 M30 with accompanying upgrades. The result is certainly impressive:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 520 on eBay

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“Beginning and End” Drop Top Double Take – BMW M3 Duo

Could the M3 market get hotter? I bet it can, because there are a massive amount of enthusiasts who follow and lust after the cars, this author included. But in my general searches for cars this week popped up one of the more strange ads that I’ve seen in some time; it was an advertisement celebrating the beginning and end of M3 production, but in convertible form. And it was for not one, but two M3s – an E30 and a E93. Now, frankly right now it doesn’t really matter what type of E30 you come up with, there’s someone who wants it. But the convertibles, though more limited production than the coupes, are a bit of a different market. In short, they’re desirable, but for a different reason than the motorsport heritage that started the M brand. 2013 saw the death of what we associated with M3; a naturally aspirated 2-door overachiever that in many ways defined the market for small performance sedans. Is this listing a fitting tribute to the legend or just an attempt to capitalize on M3-mania?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 and 2013 BMW M3 Convertibles on eBay

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10K Friday Practical Performance Edition: R32 v. S4 v. 330xi v. E500 Estate v. Cayenne Turbo

Edit: Thanks to several readers for pointing out several details that prove this Cayenne is a Turbo, but not a Turbo S. Only 450 horsepower, then!

It’s been a few weeks since my last 10K Friday entry, and I wanted to get something together for the impending snow New England is once again expecting. To remind us of the terms of the comparison, I’m looking for themed cars around $10,000 (give or take, we’ll see later). I try to generally find the newest cars possible, figuring that for many these will be a daily driver. In this case, I was looking for performance all-wheel drive cars that offered year round practicality with a touch of sport. So lining up the best I could find from Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche gives us an interesting amount of diversity for your hard-earned dollars. Today we have two sedans, a hatchback, a wagon and a S.U.V. to contemplated; which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

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1992 Audi S4

It goes without saying that we’re one of many sites that looks towards online auctions for what’s for sale daily. Indeed, prior to coming on board at GCFSB I pursued many of them every day and night to see what was out there. However, one of the things that drew me in to being a follower of this particular site was that the cars were cars that I could afford. Sure, from time to time the other sites run a bargain car or an affordable project, but largely it seems that the featured cars are firmly out of the grasp of someone with modest means. That’s not to take anything away from their concentration; I’m sure that amongst the devoted fans of other sites are plenty of well-heeled individuals, and similarly I’m sure that we’ve got some followers with much, much deeper pockets than I’ll ever have. Nevertheless, there is something that’s appealing about a quality car that can be had at a bargain, and looking at 1980s and early 1990s German cars affords us that opportunity, both literally and figuratively. The other aspect that I love is that coming of age, these cars were the cutting edge of technology – the cars that I read about in magazines but never dreamed I could possibly buy. One of my favorites then was the seeming underdog; the Audi S4. True, out of the box it was down on power to the M5 and 500E, but it was the most modern of the trio, and being the only turbocharged option there was a world of potential in the motor. It was, after all, the monster motor that had powered the legendary Group B cars in the 1980s and the IMSA cars into the 1990s. Couple that potential with a stout all-wheel drive system and a refined interior along with a sedate but handsome exterior, and you have one of the truly great sleepers:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi S4 on eBay

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Double Take: 1978 and 1987 Volkswagen Sciroccos – REVISIT

A few alumni from these pages popped up on eBay again, giving us the rare opportunity to compare two generations of Volkswagen Sciroccos for about the same money. The first is the original Scirocco; a 1978 example which has been thoroughly gone through and restored with some light modifications. The second is a second generation Scirocco in what appears to be all-original condition, but with total mileage unknown and a less desirable automatic. The last time the ’78 popped up, the auction ended at just over $7,000; strong money for an unoriginal car, but a witness to the large amount of work performed. The second was a no-sale, not surprising given the high opening bid price at $5,500. The recent sale of a first generation Scirocco with desirable modifications for over $22,000 has given some weight to these sporty coupes; will that sale help pull this ’78 up to a higher price than before? And the ’87 has been lowered to a “Buy It Now” of $4,500 – is that the right price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

The below posts originally appeared on our site October 29, 2013 and November 14, 2014:

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