1999 BMW M Roadster

The Z3 was, from its inception, an unappreciated car in my opinion. It was initially criticized for not having enough power from the 1.9 inline-4 cylinder – even James Bond barely drove his for 30 seconds when he got it, then promptly gave it away to an unfit American in a symbolic British taunting of the Germans. They still haven’t gotten over the fact that the Axis powers do roadsters better than they did. When the Z3 did gain power, first with the addition of the M52 and then finally on US shores with a full-fledged M motor, criticism shifted to the “dated” rear suspension and BMW’s grab at the E30 parts bin. Subsequently, both the E30 and E36 have been lauded by enthusiasts as great handling cars, but the Z3 remains a bit of an outsider for most. As a result, for not a huge outlay you can seat yourself in a powerful, rear drive roadster capable of crossing the deserts of the Middle East (when properly equipped and supported by the BBC’s budget). Most of these roadsters were outfitted in typically sedate German tones, but a few were specified in brighter shades, like today’s ultra-low mileage Dakar Yellow 1999:

Year: 1999
Model: M Roadster
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 3,402 mi
Price: $26,990

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M Roadster at Enthusiast Auto Group

Dakar Yellow and Black Leather Interior, Black Soft Top, 1-Collector Owned & Pampered, S52 M Roadster! This car is All Original in Every Way! Factory Options Include Power Seats, Power Convertible Top, Heated Seats, Cruise Control, Harman Kardon Audio, CD43 In-Dash CD Player, and Power Everything! Like New All-Original Paint with No Imperfections! The interior is also very nice without flaw! This Dakar Yellow / Black Leather color combination is very rare! Meticulously maintained with oil changes every year, brake fluid every 2 years and coolant flushes every 5 years. This car is truly a time capsule! Enthusiast Auto will be completing our Comprehensive Pre-Purchase Inspection and performing the Work Order ensuring the integrity of collectible Roadster. Complete Car with All Keys, Books, + Manuals, Black Leather Tonneau Cover and BMW Full Car Cover. Clean Vehicle History Report with No Issues – No Complaints! This car will impress the pickiest of collectors! Always stored in a climate controlled garage under a BMW car cover. Please Call or email to obtain a Pre-Purchase Inspection Report, Build Sheet, Condition Related Details, Vehicle History and 50+ Detailed Photos; 513.554.1BMW


While I know the yellow isn’t to everyone’s liking, it’s certainly unique and not something you see every day. To me, certain colors define the car, and Dakar seems to suit this shape well; it is stylish, eye catching, and yet has an understated aggressiveness that accentuates the car. If you’re going to get one of these cars, why not be shouty about it? Not understated at all are the original alloys, combining a hyper silver look with that outrageous offset. They’re a perfect reminder that at heart, this is a German muscle car. Like the American muscle cars, there is a devoted following to these Ms, and they even have a website that neatly tracks production numbers; if you’re curious, this is one of 95 1999s in this spec and certainly the one in best condition.

Most earlier M Roadsters are priced in the mid-teens considering the mileage and the non-S54 power plant. This car is an obvious exception; although I think the dealer is asking very high, this is a effectively a brand new M Roadster and likely the lowest mileage example anywhere. The S52 cars aren’t as desirable right now, but the reality is that with the top down you can get 95 plus percent of the same smiles out of this car. While I don’t think the Z3 design has aged nearly as well as the Audi TT has, this car is a much better performance value. Pick one of these up, drive for a few years on the weekends and through the summer and fall, and more likely than not you’ll be able to break even or perhaps turn a profit if your timing is right. If you ever wanted an investment-grade M, this might be the right one to buy. My bet is that the odd colored cars like this one will be the ones setting the market in just a few years.


1987 Audi Coupe GT “Special Build”

Since I’ve come aboard GCFSB.com, I’ve really wanted to write up an Audi Coupe GT. In fact, long before I started writing for the blog, I wanted people to appreciate these cars more. Perhaps it’s because I’ve owned a long string of Coupes, or perhaps it’s because not many people even know what they are. I missed the white 87 Special Build Paul wrote up later in the month. I found this particularly disappointing since I love the Alpine White Coupe GTs, especially the CE 1986 and SB 1987.5 with their color matched trim. Still, I always keep my eye out for another, so I was greatly excited to see a clean Tornado Red 1985 pop up on eBay – only to see that Paul had grabbed that one too! Not dissuaded, I challenged him to a “Coupe-off” and found another white 1987 Coupe GT Special Build on eBay. Now, I’ve owned two Oceanic Blue coupes (85 and 86), a 85 Zermatt Silver, a 86 Tornado Red one, and my current Black 1986 GT, but I’ve still always wanted one of the triple Alpine White models, and even more so one of the last of the run, a Special Build 1987:

Year: 1987
Model: Coupe GT “Special Build”
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 200,720 mi
Price: Reserve auction, $2,000 opening bid

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on eBay

This is a survivor, pretty much original except for front, adjustable coil over springs with shocks and the Momo steering wheel but the original parts also come with. Runs great and looks distinctive! Of 1,600 Special Build editions built, about 850 were imported to the USA. They use some of the heavier 5000 drive train pieces like the inner CV joint and transmission. This is the successsor to the famous ralley cars that ran all wheel drive with a turbo 2.2 engine. Advantage here is much more reliable and economical. (You don’t really intend to ralley, do you?) The GT Coupes were voted among the best handeling cars of their time and still do pretty well with modern tires. Original Ronal 14″ wheels white powder coat makes them easy to keep clean.

The Special Build came in 3 colors with the trim including the spoiler and wheels matching body color; white, black and red. They have a heavy duty 5 speed transaxle, four wheel disc brakes, digital dash which incorporates a computer read out of mileage, range, etc. The 5 cylinder 2.3 ltr. NG high compression engine has multi-port electronic fuel injection and a larger throttle body that gives 130 H.P. from the factory. Audi started using this in the new of the lines in 1988. I regularly get 26 +mpg on the highway, but I tend to drive a little fast.

New are the battery and starter. The tires have less than 1000 miles on them and are performance 195x60x14″ BFG G Force Super Speed.tires. I installed new front wheel bearings and strut bearigns when I converted to the coil over front shocks a couple of years ago, so they are virtually new, too.

No obvious rust, dents or scratches; although he car is 25 years old and has been used so there are a few very minor chips and things. Original paint still shines. I had the front of the hood repaired to remove rust on teh front edge 3 years ago. Seats are fine, clean and with little apparent wear. Dash is not cracked. All instruments and controls work except for the right side window, the malfunction is in the counsel switch, I think. Check out Forutitude website for more information.


I’ll be honest – I think I’m over telling everyone what a great car the Coupe GT is. I’m tired of dragging out the old magazine reviews where it was one of the ten best cars and proclaimed the best handling GT car. I’m tired of telling people that it’s an affordable classic. I’m through explaining why a stock Coupe GT will beat a stock U.S. spec Quattro around a track without four wheel drive or a turbo. I’m not even sure why I’ve defended Audi’s honor, considering they barely acknowledge this car existed. From now on, I’m going to agree with all of the typical Audi commenters, so let me sum this up in a few sentences.

“It’s got 200,000 miles. Who would buy a car with 200,000 miles? It’s sure to break before you even buy it, and then repeatedly every time you look at it. All Audis are horrible. It will cost you the best part of a million dollars to own this car for anything more than a month. It’s sure to rust away to nothing by the end of the week. A good friend of mine once owned an Audi, and after it raped him and killed most of his family, it stole his identity and charged up a storm in Eastern Europe. This car would be great with a quattro conversion. What, no turbo? The RS4 is the only Audi worth looking at.”

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, about this car. It’s one of the rarest of the Audi Coupe GTs. The 87 Special Build cars are indeed special and were the highest performance version of the car, and it’s more than capable of holding it’s own against most of its contemporaries. It appears to be in great shape and cared for, minus the one poorly placed political sticker that may be hiding something. I’ve owned enough of these to know the window “switch” issue could be diagnosed quickly – pop out the ashtray, wiggle the switches out of place and swap the switches to find out if it’s the harder to replace regulator, or perhaps the wires broke in the door. Otherwise, it looks like this car is ready to be a fun driver. I bought my current car with 192,000 miles on it 15 years ago, and it’s still running strong. Although there is little dealer and manufacturer support, there is an avid community to back these cars up and keep them running. Parts are reasonably cheap, they look good, get respectable mileage, and are fun to drive. But please, keep thinking they’re horrible and don’t buy them up, because I’ve seen what happened to the E30, and I’d like to be able to afford one of these Special Builds one day.


Tuner Tuesday – 1986 Audi Quattro Treser Roadster

Not satisfied with the already exotic Audi Quattro he had helped to create, Walter Treser went on a mission to take the Quattro to the next step. His cars featured bespoke TRX wheels (the largest available to the mass market at the time), upgraded 250 horsepower engines (more boost – that could never go wrong!), and perhaps the largest chin spoiler fitted to any road car ever. Seriously, this is the Jay Leno of cars. Treser also revised the interior, rear spoiler and rear bumper cover, and for the exclusivity of one of these gems, he upgraded the price tag substantially. For some, even the Treser Quattro wasn’t enough, and for 39 lucky and wealthy individuals who just had to take it to the next level, Walter cooked up one of the stranger conversions ever done to an Audi at that point; he chopped the top and made a folding hardtop. The Treser Roadster marketed for the equivalent of around $125,000 in 1986. Rare doesn’t begin to describe these cars, but every once in a while one pops up for sale, like today’s Pearlesant White Treser in Germany :


Year: 1986
Model: Treser Quattro Roadster
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 112,000 km (69,593 mi)
Price: €34,999 Buy It Now ($46,666 today)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Quattro Treser Roadster on Ebay.de

Treser Roadster
Build date 12/86
Timing belt replaced 300km ago.
Air conditioning disinfected, renewed dryer, and filled with CFC – free refrigerant 300km ago.
– Hydraulic top (which is currently not fuctioning due to burst line) will be repaired for the Buy It Now amount!
– 250 hp Motor
– Electric windows
– Treser Front spoiler
– Treser Rear spoiler
– TRX wheels with 250 tires (Super Rare!)
– Treser widened fenders
– Black leather ( Treser heated seats, Treser dashboard and door cards )
– CD player and Radio with equalizer, multiple amps and speakers as originally delivered !! )
– Treser Cockpit
– Treser Sport suspension
– New muffler (2000 km)
– Central locking
– Tinted glass
– Pearlesant White Metallic
Price 34,999 Euro
Any questions: 01712129070
Trades accepted
Car is located in Hamburg, Germany


If you had to have the ultimate non-Sport Quattro in the 1980s, this was your car. It is over the top in nearly every way. It certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste, but many of the modified cars from the 1980s weren’t. As Rick James said, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug.” Compared to some of the modified Porsches and Mercedes, the Treser cars were downright pedestrian and civilized; but next to the original, this car looks outrageous. Interestingly, I think this car ends up looking more Japanese than German, but to the right buyer, I doubt that would matter.

The car’s condition appears to be good and it’s not surprising that the top is not functioning, but the seller has promised to fix prior to the sale at full amount. Still, like older modified cars, there is a lot to go wrong here, so be prepared for plenty of visits to the mechanic to sort it out. Like the TRX wheeled BMWs, plan on getting different wheels and saving those original Tresers for show only. The driver’s side headlight seems to be at an odd angle, but that could be an easy fix; Pearlesant White is so difficult to color match and that bumper is so rare, I doubt it saw an impact that wouldn’t show in the photos.

Even among the die-hard Audi aficionados, the Treser cars are polarizing. $46,600 is top dollar for a Quattro that isn’t a sport, but these cars are so rare it’s hard to put a value on it. There are very few originals left, and even fewer in Pearlesant white. In comparison to some of the rare convertible Mercedes and Porsches from the 1980s, this isn’t outlandish money, and the Quattro values have steadily been on the rise over the past decade. As a 1986, it’s eligible for import to the U.S. without too much difficulty, so the question is – will you be the only one in the U.S. with one of these cars?


2001 Audi S4 Avant (RS4 Conversion) – REVISIT

It appears that the general consensus that the original B5 RS4 we featured from 2Bennett was well overpriced, and that even the replicas were on the high side considering the value of a real RS4 in Europe. As if on cue, the black RS4 replica that Paul wrote up in early July is still available at a new lower price of $28,000. While some of the modifications might not to everyone’s taste (I’m looking at you, black wheels), with a 30% price drop we think this car is now more in line with the market. It sure seems like a lot of fast Audi wagon for the money invested and represents only a fraction of what the owner put into it. Ski season is approaching – and with this car you can approach it even more rapidly!


2001 Audi S4 Avant RS4 Conversion – REVISIT

The below post originally appeared on our site July 8, 2013:

Some might say the Audi RS4 Avant had the unfortunate task of following on to the remarkable RS2 Avant, but that always seem to be the case when following on to the original formula. Nevertheless, the RS4 was another 375 bhp tower of power available in Avant form only. US customers would have to wait until the B7 RS4 arrived in 2006 as a sedan and later (for one year only) as a Cabriolet in 2008. This hasn’t stopped Avant enthusiast stateside from trying to get their hands on one. RS4 Avant recreations are a popular way of getting around the whole importation hassles. This RS4 Avant clone for sale in Colorado is one mean looking estate sure to please the Quattro enthusiast.


Year: 2001
Model: S4 (RS4 Conversion)
Engine: 2.7 liter biturbo V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 9,500 miles
Price: $28,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant with RS4 Conversion on eBay

I am selling my project car, a 2001.5 Audi S4 that has been converted to RS4 body and interior and new engine tuned to RS4 stock specs. The car is available now for the BIN price BUT will be re listed on Aug 1st 2013 for a 24 hr auction with NO RESERVE. The car was bought in 2010 from the third owner in Kentucky (2nd owner was auction). I bought the car with 102K on it and drove it to 140K before any major work was done. After reading and learning about the problems this car runs into at high miles I decided to invest some serious time and money into it.

A shop in Denver had a Audi Euro code AGB motor in the crate for sale on craigslist that I purchased. This was a complete engine with turbos, clutch, all sensors and vacuum lines. I pulled off the stock K03 turbos and replaced with brand new K04’s, swapped the intake manifold with a updated one, (crate motor was assembled in 99), installed new Bosch starter and alternator, new driveline belt, tensioners, ect. When I bought the car it was a automatic transmission. I converted it to a manual while doing the engine swap.

Here is a list of all things done/parts used when project began. All new when installed and now has 9500 miles on it:

Audi crate motor

Borg Warner K04’s

Bosch Starter and alternator

Bosch EV14 injectors

OEM RS4 motor mounts and tranny mounts

RS4 Airbox

Bosch RS4 MAF converted to Hitachi

Bosch platinum plugs

New oil temp/level sensor (was not on euro motor)

Other mods:

3″ catless downpipes to Borla exhaust (used)

2 Vast stage 3 tuned ecu’s, 1 for high altitude

RS4 Y pipe, accordion hose ect

Aftermarket inlet pipes for K04’s

AWE RS4 style side mount intercoolers with carbon shrouds

Deatschwerks high flow fuel pump

Transmission details:

Rebuilt C90 OE1 (work done by Gbox Race Transmissions in Boulder CO)

New reverse light switch

RS4 clutch, DM flywheel, pilot bearing and pressure plate

OEM slave cylinder

New axles

Other new parts installed:

Bilstien PSS9 coilovers- http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/audi-suspension-kit-s4-48-086165

FCP Groton complete front suspention kit- http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/audi-volkswagen-suspension-kit-passat-a4-a6-s4-13-piece-4d0498998

After completing the driveline I got bored pretty quickly and started searching Germany and the UK for a RS4 body.

OEM RS4 body

Front and rear seats, stearing wheel, shift knob and gauge cluster

The body was installed, taken off for prep, primed, blocked then painted Brilliant black then re installed. The body/paint has less then 2k on it. I do have (not installed) OEM euro tailgate that will come with the car. All final body work was done at Apex in Denver (Porsche restoring shop).

Other stuff…

RS4 handles

S4 blue carbon weave trim

OEM RS4 side mirrors

RS4 aluminum window trim (not complete set)

Brand new front windshield

iforged senacas 19×10 with brand new Hankook evo tires

Porsche 18Z 6 piston front brakes with 350 mm rotors completely rebuilt with new crossovers, bleeder valves, seals and dustboots (less then 2K on brakes), powder coated red

Pioneer Avic D3 touch screen nav with bluetooth, CD and DVD player

Nearly all driveline parts are genuine Audi OEM parts for reliabilty reasons. My goal/s were to build a fun/reliable car and restore to like new condition. And when you drive it thats what it feels like! I was not trying to build a race car. The car has never been tracked or beat on. I live off of I70 in the mountains of Colorado and I only really get on it when getting on the highway on ramps. It was dynoed last month at Bluewater in Denver @ 390hp with 440 torque. This was plenty for me. The car was completly looked over at 3zero3 motorsports in Denver and then again at Elk mountain AUDI in Glenwood springs. It passed both their inspections on all work done. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer as soon as I can.

I really looked into importing a genuine RS4 but it truely did not make sense to spend 40+ K on a high mile RS4. After shipping, importing, paper work, DOT inspections, smogging, ect it was just to much for me to justify. Or you can but a genuine a 60K miles one that is already imported here http://www.2bennett.com/body_audis_for_sale.html for $75K

Here is a link to my Flickr to see detailed work done. I will have more things/photos listed for Aug 1st auction http://www.flickr.com/photos/01vailshred/


It’s hard to say how many enthusiasts have undertaken a conversion similar to this, but it’s certainly not that many. The amount of genuine RS4s on US soil is less than that. So either way, if you want one of these fast Avants, they won’t come cheap. For those not initiated to the RS4, the asking price will certainly be high, but until the first examples of these become legal to import under the 25 year rule, it will keep values strong. An enthusiast build at this price is certainly not for everyone, but for the die hard Audi RS enthusiast, a car like this hits the spot.


Motorsport Monday – 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR replica

In the 1970s, Porsche was on a racing high. It seemed wherever they went and whatever they produced, they won. The focus on motorsport and development through racing lead to some notable production based racers and crossover technology. In 1973 Porsche released the legendary 911 Carrera RS, a homologated race car that could be road registered. Through 1974 it received many upgrades that made it more competitive as a race car, but ultimately the factory saw an opportunity to take even the hard-edged RS to the next level. Thus was born the 911 Carrera RSR, the Rennest of the RennSport models. Running 917 wheels and brakes with lightened panels resulting in a sub-2,000lb curb weight and a 3.0 flat six pushing 330 horsepower, these cars were formidable racers that competed against tube frame F1 engined cars – and won. Highly sought after but with less than 60 produced, finding one to buy is both a pricey and difficult proposition. However, many of the pieces are available to make a recreation, just as today’s example is:

Year: 1974
Model: 911 Carrera RSR
Engine: 3.8 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: $150,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR replica on Race-Cars.com

Ground Up-Scratch built from a 1974 coupe,no expense spared to build this new,classic and fast RSR.Over $190k invested.Only 25 race hours on the car.Build sheet and extensive photos available.
Performance Data
• Weight: 2035 lbs
• Engine Builder: Porsche
• Manufacturer: Porsche
• Type: 911 RSR
• Displacement: 3.8L
• Horsepower: 402
• Torque: 279
• Heads: Camfer
• Connecting Rods: Carrillo RSR
• Pistons: 3.8 Supercup
• Camshaft: Ultra Race Cams
• Clutch: RSR
• Pressure Plate: RSR
• Flywheel: RSR
• Total Time: 10 race hours
Fuel System
• Fuel Cell
• Manufacturer: ATL
• Age: new
• Capacity: 17g
Oil/Water System
• Oil Cooler: 935
• Manfacturer: Porsche
• Type: G50
• Gears: 6
• Shifter: Hargett
• Trans Cooler: 935
Rear End
• Differential: Torque Diff
• Construction: steel/fiberglass
• Condition: excellent
• Front Suspension: 935 RSR strut monoball billet
• Rear Suspension: 930 set up
• Shocks: JRZ 1231 3 way
• Wheels: Penta/BBS 917 11.3×16 14×16
• Tires: Hoosier
• $10k of spares


Looking at those rear wheels should qualify as a religious experience. It’s a stark reminder that this was a time when there were no computers to control wheelspin, slip angles, and brake lockup. Determined to prove to the world that a 30/70 weight bias would work, Porsche put massive flares which just barely contained those nearly square wheels and a giant rear spoiler – the origin of the loved 80s “Whale Tail” spoiler that would adorn so many Turbos. This car has been faithfully re-created where necessary and important, but upgraded in all of the right areas – the G50 transmission is a great addition, and who wouldn’t need 20 percent more power and modern rubber to keep it planted? Read through most advertisements and run across the phrase “no expense spared” and they’re usually suspect, but in this case it’s hard not to believe. The car looks amazingly good and shockingly clean for a race car – check out that engine bay! I even love that they used a correct 1974 chassis as a basis, since many replicas use an easier to obtain newer car retrofitted with earlier panels.

At $150,000, this isn’t a car for everyone. It won’t be as fast as newer Cup Cars around a track. It won’t be easy to drive. It won’t even be cheap to run. However, this is very much the case of you couldn’t build it for the sale price. You could run $50,000 building the proper engine alone! What appeals to me about a car like this, though, is that it has a presence about it that the newer cars just can’t replicate. Pull up anywhere with this and you’re guaranteed to have a crowd. Then, take a moment to consider what it would cost to own a real one; the last that came up for sale was Emerson Fittipaldi’s IROC racer in the $800,000 range. In 2012, the 2.1 turbo RSR “Baby” sold for $3.25 Million. And the reality is, at that price would you really even want to drive (never mind race) one of those irreplaceable cars? Not likely. This then, is the way to have your cake and eat it too – look like a million bucks, have a million thrills, and don’t be (too) afraid to write it all off. To me, that’s a deal – now, anyone know what organs I can live without that would generate $150,000?


2005 Dinan S3 BMW M3

When I wrote up yesterday’s 2002 Dinan S3-R M3, I wanted to find an equivalent model to it for sale for value comparison. Naturally, I think the best counterpoint would be a lower mile late build E46 M3 equipped with the ZHP competition package, the hardest-edged M3 available without modification in the U.S.. To my surprise, I found an even better comparison; a ZCP equipped M3 with enough modifications to get a Dinan registration, but without the supercharger and suspension rework of the S3-R. Today’s example looks ready to race in Imola Red:

Year: 2005
Model: Dinan S M3
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed SMG semi-automatic
Mileage: 39,003 miles
Price: $35,991 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 BMW M3 Dinan S on Ebay

2005 BMW M3 Coupe w/ $20K in DINAN upgrades!
1 Owner! – Low Miles! – Never Raced! – Creme Puff!

Call Laurel BMW Sales – 630.537.0311

Over $20,000 in DINAN upgrades include:
— Performance Exhaust
— Air Package
— Throttle Bodies
— 3.9 Rear End
— Additional Oil Cooler
— Water and Oil Guages
— Stainless Stainless Steel Brake Lines
— Stiffener Braces front and rear
— Cam Shaft
Dinan Registered
VIN:   WBSBL93495PN62120
  Chassis Number:   PN62120
  Line Make:   01 – BMW 
  Model Year:   2005
  AG Model Code/Desc:   BL93 – M3
  NA Model Code/Desc:   0537 – M3   

Exterior Color Code:   405  (Imola Red)
  Interior Trim Code:   N5SW (Black Leather)
  MSRP:   $59,740.00   

Vehicle Production Date:   2005/02
  Motor Type:   S54 
  Platform/Engineering Series:   E46   

   Original Options
   0ZCP  Competition Package 
  01CA  CO2 relevant vehicles
   0403  Moonroof
   0459  Power front seats 
  0473  Center armrest
   0494  Heated front seats  
 0508  Park Distance Control
   0521  Rain sensor and auto headlight
   0522  Xenon headlights
   0640  Phone preparation 
  0650  In-dash CD player
   0676  Hi-fi sound system 
  0692  CD changer preparation
   0793  SMG-Sequential Manual Gearbox  


The ZCP Competition Package on the M3 added some nice details, but in my eye the best of those is by far the wheels. Those BBS 19” wheels transform the car’s look to be both prettier and more aggressive at the same time. There are some modifications to add some power – the exhaust sounds great, the throttle bodies add a few horsepower, and the 3.91 rear end gives you a bit better acceleration, but to me these modifications don’t really alter the M3’s basic characteristics, unlike the supercharger addition in the S3-R. Imola Red fits the character of the M3 well and is one of the prettier reds available on any car, although I still don’t understand why anyone would spec a car with black leather. This car with caramel leather, or better yet Imola leather, would just put it over the top in my opinion. As is, though, the car presents very well and looks to be in fabulous shape.

Both the 2002 Dinan S3-R M3 and this car are priced right at the top of the E46 market. One of the long term benefits of not having the supercharger is less wear on the transmission (in my mind, a big benefit with the SMG) and perhaps a less expensive engine rebuild/replacement if you owned it long enough. To me, that’s probably a good enough trade off for the loss of acceleration. I don’t think the Dinan registration helps the value short or long term on this vehicle, but I also don’t really think the modifications detract from the value and are pretty easily reversible if you wanted to revert to stock specification. Which would you rather have?


2002 Dinan S3-R BMW M3

Tuner cars can be the stuff of dreams when they’re done right, and the subject of nightmares when gone wrong. Many tuners bolt of ton of parts onto a car, slap some stickers on it, and to be damned with what happens in 10,000 miles – they’ll be onto the next photo shoot. Some select tuners, though, are so good at their craft that the German factories recognize their work as up to their standards. Most of these tuners reside in Germany, but a few have popped up in the United States. Dinan is one such company, good enough at their craft to be recognized by the factory and have the modifications available directly from the dealerships. To be that good requires massive trial and development which comes at a serious cost – fully spec out a Dinan S3-R, and you more than doubled the original list price. The results were as impressive as the list price – 460 horsepower pumping out of the 3.2 M3 inline-6 put the M3 into 911 Turbo speed territory. Today you can pick up one of these rare rockets for about a third of the original asking price – such as today’s Topaz Blue 2002 model:

Year: 2002
Model: S3-R M3
Engine: 3.2 liter supercharged inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed SMG semi-automatic
Mileage: 55,993 miles
Price: $37,950

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Dinan S3-R at Park Place Ltd.

About this Vehicle
This 2002 BMW M3 is a full Dinan S3-R E46 in Topaz Blue with over $68,000 in Dinan upgrades on top of the original $56,195 MSRP. The S3-R package adds to the famed S54 inline-6 an intercooled supercharger, high-flow throttle bodies, cold air intake and free-flow exhaust, pumping out 462hp and 328lb-ft of twist. In addition to the engine upgrades, this E46 also has a Dinan Stage 3 suspension (JRZ remote adjustable damping, lowering springs, camber plates, 27mm front anti-roll bar) and is set off by gorgeous, lightweight 19-inch forged Dinan wheels backed by a Dinan/Brembo brake kit and 3.91 differential. Other upgrades include LED tail lamps, Bluetooth and 6-disc CD changer in addition to factory Premium and Cold Weather packs, harman/kardon audio and adjustable lumbar support. Included with this M3 is a meticulously organized and categorized binder of information and records for every upgrade and service work performed, as well as a spare key, owners books, CarFax and 71-point inspection.

Options and Equipment
BMW LED Tail Lamps
Lightweight 19-Inch Dinan Wheels
Optional Topaz Blue Metallic Finish
Power Sunroof
Yokohama Avan Tires
AM/FM radio
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirrors
Automatic climate control
Black Nappa Leather Interior
Cruise Control
Dinan E46 Floor Mats
Dinan Pedals
harman/kardon Premium Audio
Heated Front Seats
Keyless Entry
M Sport Seats
M Sport Steering Wheel
On-Board Computer
PlainTalk Bluetooth Kit
Power Windows
Premium Package
Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
$68K in Dinan Performance Upgrades
Auto Head Lamp Control
BMW Battery Charger
Dinan 3.91 Limited Slip Differential
Dinan Brembo Brakes
Dinan Cold Air Intake
Dinan Free Flow Exhaust
Dinan High Flow Throttle Bodies
Dinan JRZ Supsension
Dinan Stage V Software
Dinan-Tuned Supercharged 3.2L I6 Engine
New Dinan Radiator at 49623 Miles
New Dinan Supercharger at 48864 Miles
Park Distance Control
Rain-Sensing Wipers
Traction control w/Dynamic Stability Control/M-variable differential lock


You read that right – $68,000 in modifications on a $56,000 car. It’s hard to imagine anyone would tick all of the option boxes as that puts you into some rarified pricing, but a few brave individuals with deep pockets did. The build sheet reads like a racer’s Christmas wish list. While some cars can really look over the top, Dinan has stuck with an understated look – from the outside, it’s just about impossible to tell that this car has nearly 50% more power than a stock model. The Dinan alloys are very pretty and suit the design well, and Topaz Blue is one of the more rare colors to find on the E46 M3. The car appears to be well cared for and in fantastic shape.

Now, the price is admittedly pretty steep, but the performance level puts you into another level entirely. The big question is would you pay the best part of $40,000 for a 11 year old tuner car? The price compares similarly to B7 RS4 or late build Competition Package E46 M3s with low mileage. Is this the car to buy? I guess that depends on your goals buying a used M3. Want to slap a bunch of modifications onto an E46 M3? This is a better way to do it, because it’s got all of the right and well developed modifications. Want a more reliable mostly stock M3? Than no, this isn’t the car for you. You could easily drop $10,000 – $15,000 into a $20,000 plus M3, and not have a car that is as nice as this. But most people looking to modify the car look for lower priced examples, and most people looking to collect or drive long-term look for more stock examples. I’d be worried that the SMG wouldn’t be up to the task of dealing with the power long term. The future will tell if collectors will be pining after Dinans like they currently do for clean Alpinas and Rufs. What do you think – is the S3-R worth the purchase price?


1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

I still remember my first drive in my father’s 1989 944 Turbo S. Being a young adult who had been into cars for quite some time, I had read all of the magazine articles about the 944 and knew it by the numbers. Still, it was a special feeling traveling down the road, one that transformed me into a bit of a megalomaniac. I had traveled almost exactly 1/3 of a mile before I decided that I was a driving God and would show everyone just how good I was. Ahead on the road was a merge intersection requiring you to come to a stop before entering traffic. “No problem,” I thought, “I’m in a Porsche Turbo.” As an infinitesimally small gap in traffic opened, I popped the clutch, squeezed the steering wheel, mashed the throttle and squinted to bear the brunt of the impending acceleration I was sure was going to come. It didn’t.

In disbelief, I looked down to make sure the car was still running, then panic washed through me as I turned my attention to the rear view mirror and the rapidly approaching Camry with its high beams and horn blazing. I had just enough time to utter “Oh, Shi…” when BOOM – I was sure I had been rear ended. The 944 squatted, grunted, and like a scalded cat with Tabasco splashed on its nether regions, I rocketed away from the Camry like the hero I thought I was. That was my trial by fire in the 944 Turbo, one of the many Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde forced induction cars built in the 1980s. Not as uncommon or sought after as some of its equivalents like the M3 or Audi Quattro, the 944 Turbo remains a solid value for exotic level German performance. Today’s example is a sharp looking excellent condition Guards Red 1986:

Year: 1986
Model: 944 Turbo
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 42,000 miles
Price: $15,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on Ebay

This is a 944 Turbo, never raced, has Porsche Certificate of authenticity, as well as full documented maintenance history. As the most recent owner I have replaced the clutch, clutch master cylinder, clutch slave cylinder, water pump, thermostat, turbo water pump, power steering pump, muffler, sound and heat barrier under the hood, and hydraulic steering rack. Interior leather is in mint condition. The dash has no cracks. Hood has been re-painted to fix rock dings, but the rest of the car is ORIGINAL paint from 1986 in excellent condition. The tires are in very good condition. Car has been always been covered and garaged.


Finding unmodified low mileage 944 Turbos is pretty difficult. There are plenty of beaten cars available for under $6,000 and more needing attention between $6,000 – $10,000. This example strays a bit from stock with what appear to be non-stock Fuchs alloys; either they’re refinished originals (they should be black) or are from another car and replaced the original silver “phone dials”. Either way, they’re a nice change from the standard fare on these cars without looking out of place. Otherwise, the car appears to be original. The seller notes that the front has had paint work due to rock chips, and there is plenty of maintenance mentioned; chief among which is the infamous clutch replacement, a noted bear of a repair on these cars. Interestingly, my father’s car recently had the steering rack and lines replaced as well, and that was no simple or inexpensive process. Having these and other failure points covered certainly takes away some of the worry of ownership of a car of this caliber – now you can save your money to pay the speeding tickets.

$15,000 is bordering on decent Turbo S money, but you’re not likely to get into a Turbo S with similar miles and maintenance for that amount. While at the high end for a non-S model, it’s still a lot of car for the money, especially in comparison to the values that 911s, E30s, and even clean Audi Quattros are bringing these days. These cars are stellar performance machines if kept in the power band, are noted as one of the best handling chassis of the 1980s, yet will return 30 mpg on the highway and are comfortable cruisers with hatchback practicality. It’s surprising that more people don’t snap them up for a great weekend and occasional car. Now’s your chance!


1998 Porsche 911 Turbo Ruf Conversion – Revisit

If you felt that the 1998 Porsche 911 Turbo Ruf Conversion we featured last month was too pricey, it remains available and the seller has now lowered the car’s price $6,000 to $68,888. There were a lot of people interested in looking this car when we originally posted it, and now it’s a little more attainable. Sure seems like a pretty good deal for a lot of car!


1998 Porsche 911 Turbo Ruf Conversion – REVISIT

The below post originally appeared on our site July 22, 2013:

Last week, we reviewed a beautiful white 1998 993 Twin Turbo converted to Ruf Turbo R specifications. They say lightning never strikes twice, but Ruf has never been one to listen to convention or limitations. Surely the most elite of the German tuners, Ruf automobiles demand a premium over their already expensive Porsche cousins. However, there is a difference in the market between a car with an original Ruf build certificate and one that has been converted by the owner. This example looks cracking in silver, and like the white car is not an original Ruf car but a converted example.


Year: 1998
Model: 911 Turbo (993)
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6 Twin Turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 75,704 miles
Price: $68,888 Buy it Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 911 Turbo Ruf Conversion on eBay

1998 Porsche 993 Twin Turbo Ruf, rare Ruf conversion with rear-wheel drive. Twin-turbo 3.6 motor, 6-speed manual transmission. Absolutely stunning! Over $60,000 invested, including –

Fresh 3.6 twin turbo w performance tuning
Rear-wheel drive conversion
Ruf front & rear bumpers (originals, not replicas)
Ruf 19″ wheels in Hypersilver
Ruf sport leather steering wheel (new)
Ruf gear shift (new)
Ruf floor mats
Ruf badging
Turbo “S” exhaust tips
Turbo “S” rear wing
Sports hardback seats
Muffler delete
Billstein PSS9 adjustable coilover suspension
Strut tower brace in carbon fiber
Upgraded sound system

We have receipts for the engine work done (over $30,000)

Condition –

Recent PPI done last month by Powertech in NJ (see attached report)
Perfect compression and no leaks
Excellent concours condition
Accident free
All books and manuals
Exterior is free of any scratches or rock chips
Runs and drives great
Driver seat has wear as expected (see pics)
Everything works as expected
Cold air conditioning
Clean Autocheck
Wheels are free of any curbing
Tires have over 50% tread

About us –

We specialize in pre-loved air-cooled Porsches. We ship world wide. We offer financing. We have a 100% feedback score for outstanding customer service. Serious inquiries call 2013100048.


While a “normal” 993 Twin Turbo will set you back around $60,000 to $70,000, the white lighting we showed last week was asking $110,000 despite not being an original Ruf. That’s a serious amount of “extra” over the standard car – so much so, that you could nearly buy two! However, the most valuable aspect of the Ruf cars is, and has always been, the motors they have developed. Unlike the white car, this silver example does not appear to have the valuable motor swap, but does sport the same suspension and body kit, along with a grab to the Porsche parts bag for the Turbo S rear wing. In comparison to the white car, then, this car is more of a replica without the motor.

For $35,000 dollars less, I feel like I could live with a few less horsepower, especially without the benefit of the all wheel drive saving me when I dipped a little too far into the loud pedal. Additionally, I think the silver flies (literally) a little lower on the radar, and I can’t express enough how glad I am that those beautiful Ruf alloys aren’t black. Sure, it has more miles on the clock, but it looks to be in just about perfect condition and without the more expensive motor, it’ll set you back less at the next servicing. To me, this is a slightly better value than the white car, with a price closer to the high end of the standard 993 TT market but with some nice looking upgrades. Without either being actual Ruf cars, I’d drive the silver one comfortable in both the fact that I had a fantastic looking, exceptionally fast car and $35,000 in the bank to help pay the bills.


2001 Audi S8

“We need something very fast – Audi S8”. The line from Ronin still gives me chills, and the driving footage of the big car power sliding through the cobblestone streets completely sold me. I decided shortly thereafter that I needed one of these S8s to help me navigate all of the sticky situations in my life, too. Of course, that car was the first run of the S8, not available for sale in the U.S. until 2001. When it did come here, the face lifted S8 surprisingly arrived with more power than the early European version in a strange turn of historical trends; but it also arrived without the 6 speed manual as an option. This dampened sales of the D2 S8 to enthusiasts and they remain a fairly rare sight on the roads today. Even more rare among with the 2001 S8s are the Racing Green Pearl Effect copies, like this Ronin-ready 2001 on eBay today:

Year: 2001
Model: S8
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 122,414 mi
Price: $8,480 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

2001 Audi S8 Quattro

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Like all Audis of this vintage, fears of repairs past 100,000 miles have pushed the values down quite a bit. That’s partly justified, as the A8s have a reputation for going through transmissions right around this mileage. The S8 doesn’t seem as prone to this transmission failure with the recalibrated ZF, but a rebuild or replacement should probably be on your radar if you are seriously looking. Otherwise, the motors are pretty reliable through 200,000 miles as long as properly serviced and there isn’t much worry about rusting with all of that aluminum there. This particular model has some of the few options that were available on the S8, like the solar roof and Alcantara package, but is missing the original Avus alloys, and the two missing side grills up front probably point towards an encounter with a curb at some point. The OZ wheels are high quality but look out of place in my opinion.

Still, at $8,500, this is just about bottom of the market for an S8, so there is some room for repairs in the budget. Seeing the car in green immediately makes me think of the Ronin car and renews my love affair with this model in general. It’s a low, sleek, fantastically imposing shape, and if you talk to those that own them, they absolutely love them. I’d personally hold out for one of the very rare 2003s (especially in the Avus Silver Pearl Effect), but surely for less than $10,000 someone wants to pretend they’re driving around Robert De Niro and Jean Reno for bit.