1976 Mercedes-Benz 250

Recently I had a chance to catch up with a friend, who since I had last seen him had purchased a classic Mercedes-Benz. After months of getting it polished up and running right, his 250 was proudly on display at an event that he drove hours to get to. I got to go for a ride in it, and immediately the smells, sounds, and experience of a classic Mercedes-Benz all flooded back; there really is something special about these cars.

The 250 was one of the six-cylinder models on offer as part of the 1.9 million produced in the W114/W115 series. Designed by the legendary Paul Bracq, the W114/W115 is a handsome design that channels all the right classic Mercedes-Benz qualities. It really does look like a scaled-down 600. Though the overall production number is really high, numbers in the six-cylinder configuration are much lower; today’s car should be a W114.611, which was produced between 1973–1976 and was powered by a 2.8-liter M130. About 11,500 were made in this run, and this model year was the end of the run for the W114 – as ’77 saw the W123 introduced. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 250 on eBay

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1965 BMW 2000C

Stepping even a bit further back in BMW’s timeline, today we have a Neue Klasse Coupe. The E120 was an evolution of the Bertone 3200CS design from the early 1960s, but BMW’s design head – one very famous Mr. Wilhelm Hofmeister – certainly added his own distinctive flair. However, he wasn’t alone – some of the most famous car designers from the period had influence – from the aforementioned Bertone, Giugiaro, and of course Michelotti (designer of the 700 series as well) all had a hand.

While the lines looked exotic, underneath the chassis and drivetrain were borrowed straight from the more pedestrian Neue Klasse sedans. Power came from the venerable 2.0 inline-4 M10 fed by twin Solex carbs. The CS had the higher compression (9.3:1) 120 horsepower version, while the C and CA made due with 100. This was still a huge step for BMW, who lacked the capability to produce the complex body structure on its normal assembly lines. As a result, like its successors the E9 and early E24 models, the 2000C, CA and CS Coupes would be produced by Karmann in Osnabrück. A total of approximately 13,691 were produced between its 1965 launch and the takeover of the 2800CS introduction in 1968.

So, they’re old, a bit quirky-looking by BMW standards, and rare. That certainly makes for the potential for a collector car! Let’s check out this first-year 2000C:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 BMW 2000C on eBay

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2013 BMW M3 Coupe Individual Java Green

I wonder where the E9x series cars will trend over the short-term future. If you look at the E46 as the rough equivalent of the Porsche 993 – last of the “classic” formula – then where does that leave the E9x? Perhaps it’s more like the 997; modern, but not too modern. Fast, but not too fast. Good to look at, but also not so shouty that you stand out in the crowd.

Well, at least most of the time that’s the case – but not with today’s car. This is actually the second time I’ve looked at one of the rare E92 coupes painted by BMW Individual in Java Green:

Green with Envy: 2013 BMW M3 Individual Java Green

Though it looks the same, today’s car is one of the other claimed 11 made for North America. What will it cost you today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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1988 BMW 535iS

While the first-generation 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. But the same was not true of the M535i. That model was sold as a more affordable alternative to the M5; 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 E28 .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, an M Technic steering wheel, 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 M5.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535iS on eBay

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2002 Audi S8

The D2 Audi S8 is one of the very rare models from the company that not only excites fans within the marque, but indeed automotive enthusiasts in general. That’s pretty strange for a sedan that most non-enthusiasts would probably not give a second thought to; it’s not a rakish coupe, it doesn’t have a million horsepower, and it doesn’t even have very modern tech. But thanks to a very notable movie appearance and its understated good looks as well as solid performance, the S8 is still a car that draws universal praise.

Some 20 years old now, these models are on the verge of being considered “antique” in many states. Yet they still look pretty modern, the clean design hiding its age well – especially considering that at in eight months it will be 30 years since the ASF hit the show circuit. Let’s take a look at this Brilliant Black ’02 up for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on eBay

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1992 Audi 100CS quattro Avant

Though it was instantly recognizable as an Audi, the all-new-for-’92 C4 bore little resemblance to the boxy C3 it replaced. Fluid lines and curves dominated the design, while new running gear and motors made a splash in performance. The C4 continued to stress Audi’s pioneering aerodynamic tradition, but the result this time was a car which seemed far less top-heavy than the chassis it replaced. It looked more trim even if it was a bit bigger than the outgoing model.

On the fly, the 100’s new motivation was a revelation. The 2.8 liter V6 replaced the 2.3 liter inline-5, and though horsepower was only 172 and torque 184, both figures represented a nearly 30% gain over the 5-pot. New, too, was a 4-speed automatic transmission. And while the inside looked little different from the last of the C3, only switchgear was shared and the C4 brought a host of new safety and convenience features to the large-chassis Audi.

Strange, though, was the re-appearance of Audi’s earlier naming convention in the US. Back in the early days of the 5000, Audi had used the “S” and “CS” monikers to denote turbo and quattro models at times (but, again being Audi, inconsistently). Well, the S and CS were back after a four-year hiatus. Base model 100 came with steel wheels, while the “S” model stepped you up in options and gave you alloys. But outside of the 20V turbo S4 model, the 100 to get was still the 100CS, which was the most loaded and gave you the option for Audi’s quattro drivetrain. Fully loaded, they were around $35,000 – not cheap, but also not the most expensive in class, and were still pretty unique in offering all-wheel drive. But like the C3, the front-drive 100/100S/100CS outsold the quattro model by a fair margin and are more common to find still kicking today. Audi claims they traded just 2,230 of the new 100CS quattro in 1992, only portion of which were wagons, so let’s take a peek at this Avant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi 100CS quattro Avant on eBay

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1995 BMW M3 Coupe

It seems fairly appropriate to take a peek at a particularly vibrant shade given the holiday, and the perfect choice would of course be BMW’s Daytona Violet. Like many of the other BMW ‘Easter Egg’ colors, it’s polarizing – you either hate it or you love it. I fall firmly into the latter camp, and though for a long time I hoped to own an Avus Blue M3 coupe, I’ve since changed my mind and decided that were I ever to own an E36, it must be full of purple passion.

About a year ago I looked at a pretty nice example, which was riding the wave of E36 popularity into the $20k price range. That has not abated since, with examples trading well over that amount – a Dakar Yellow ’95 with 92k miles just sold for $33,500 plus fees, for example. Today’s Daytona coupe has just 65k miles, manual Vader sport seats, and is claimed to have a relatively fresh mechanical overhaul. What does that add up to?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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1991 Audi V8 quattro Evolution

Evolution. That word sparks joy for a whole sect of automotive enthusiasts, whether they be of the Japanese Lancer-loving type or in the 90s German realm. It was in that time that we had Evolution models delivered from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi to homolgate equipment to use in the DTM. While the M3 and 190E 2.3-16 took most of the laurels, a fair amount of DTM fans forget that it was the V8 quattro – replete with wood trim – that took the 1990 ( Hans-Joachim Stuck) and 1991 (Frank Biela) crowns before its flat-plane crankshaft was deemed illegal.

In 1991 Audi introduced an Evolution model, which sprouted adjustable front and rear spoilers. That was pretty much the only dynamic change, but these Evolution models were also equipped with 17″ Bolero wheels for good measure. A claimed 500 were produced, but good luck finding them – they are more elusive than essentially every other Audi model in the modern era. One turned up for sale in Berlin, though – and despite the DTM laurels and Evolution nameplate, they’re surprisingly affordable:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 quattro Evolution on Mobile.de

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC Euro-Spec

The SLC is really one of those cars that most of the time I ignore, but occasionally a really neat one pops up and grabs my attention. Sometimes that’s a cool 5.0 WRC homologation model, but I also like the base cars in European specification:

1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC Euro-Spec

Today we have another of these Euro models to consider, though this one decidedly looks more a child of the early 70s than the previous few I’ve looked at:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC Euro-Spec on eBay

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2002 Audi Allroad quattro 2.7T

Audi’s C5 allroad wasn’t the first tall all-wheel drive wagon to hit the market; AMC claimed that crown with the Eagle well before Audi’s Quattro even hit the market. But it somehow defined the luxury do-anything segment and was unique in the German marques; Audi brought massive amounts of computational power, height-adjustable air suspension, a wide-body flare kit, twin-turbocharged power and even a manual gearbox. It was awesome. It was popular. But, it broke so much that even MacGyver was left stranded.

Still, find a nice one and these offer a lot for relatively short money. They’re quick, comfortable, and capable. As long as you’re willing to do some wrenching and order lifetime warranty parts from FCP Euro, they can be made reasonably reliable. And there is still a pretty avid community of supporters, though truth told nice examples are dwindling in number.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi Allroad quattro 2.7T on eBay

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