1996 BMW 850Ci

The E31 was BMW’s first real attempt at integrating lots of computer designs and controls into one of their road cars. The clean-sheet design resulted in a 2-door grand tourer that shared some visual similarities with the great M1, but stood apart as a more practical cruiser. Unlike the E24, the windows could fully drop, revealing a graceful pillarless design to match the sweeping greenhouse. The sharp nose amazingly hid an even larger motor than its predecessor; in fact, it was basically two conjoined M20s. That configuration certainly has some drawbacks, but there was no denying that the 850i had serious presence and credentials with the M70 V12 kicking out 300 horsepower.

However, BMW softened the character of what potentially could have been a screamer. Many were outfit with 16″ wheels for a better ride and tied to an automatic transmission. This was truly a GT car, and not the supercar slayer that BMW teased with its M8 Concept. That vision ultimately became the manual-only 850CSi, but upgrades later in the run saw the introduction of the V8 840Ci and the revised M73 5.4 liter V12 in the 850Ci. This one is a bit special, having run through the hands of BMW’s Individual department before being sent to Mexico:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW 850Ci on eBay

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2007 Volkswagen GTI Fahrenheit Edition

So we just looked at the Fahrenheit Edition appearance package on the Jetta, and by an interesting coincidence a GTI popped up. The package was more or less the same between the two cars, though the GTI was Magma Orange instead of Imola Yellow. Otherwise, you got the same wheels, interior package, and performance. Similar to the Jetta, this particular car is claimed to have lived with one owner from new, and it’s racked up a lot of use – even more miles than were on the last example. But this one is a lot cleaner, has a bunch of recent maintenance, and (for better or worse) is fitted with the DSG gearbox. What does that do to price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Volkswagen GTI Fahrenheit Edition on eBay

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2008 BMW M3 Racing Dynamics RS46

If the 2016 M3 I just looked at was relatively understated as M3s go, today’s E92 is…not. It’s not a wild color like the last Dakar Yellow E92 I took a peek at back in January, but what this loses in exterior pizazz with its sedate yet attractive Alpine White exterior it more than makes up for in mods. That’s because this car is one of a claimed 12 that were produced by Racing Dynamics with a full suite of modifications, including a body kit, special seats and interior trim, upgraded brakes, suspension, and wheels, and…oh yeah, they punched the motor out to 4.6 liters, resulting in a claimed 525 naturally aspirated horsepower. Yikes! Even more yikes? The pricetag…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 Racing Dynamics RDS6 on eBay

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2016 BMW M3

I really think the next few years is going to be interesting for the E9x and F8x M market. The fourth generation were already on the rise over the last few years, but the combination of the recent G-Series launch coupled with M market mania means that the recent ones have been retaining very strong asking prices. I’ve looked at a few F-Series Ms recently and the details mostly don’t change – but if you’re interested in the basics, I looked at a few Yas Marinas back in January:

Double Take: 2018 BMW M3 and 2015 M4 Convertible

Today I want to take a peek at a 2016 M3 sedan in an unusual, but subtle, tone:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2016 BMW M3 on eBay

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1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RSR IROC

The year was 1973, and maverick racer Roger Penske had an idea. He commissioned Porsche to build him 15 identical 911 Carrera 3.0 RSRs, each one in a unique shade, and then created the International Race of Champions – IROC for short – comprised of F1, NASCAR, Can-Am, and IndyCar stars at their peak to come together in equal equipment and see just who was best. Four races were run in total between 73-74, with some of the biggest names in the history of motorsport competing wheel-to-wheel in the vividly-toned 911s. Names like Denny Hulme, Richard Petty, Peter Revson, and upstart Mark Donohue piloted against Formula 1 1972 champion Emerson Fittipaldi, who drove the Sahara Beige car you see here. This chassis went on to be raced and modified by a few subsequent owners, and was restored back to its original configuration in the mid 2000s. Now, it can be yours – for a price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RSR IROC on eBay

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1986 Porsche 911 Turbo

911 mania continues, with more highly original examples turning up seemingly every day – balanced by highly modified, purists-be-damned examples like we have here. Today’s Porsche started life as a ’86 930 Turbo coupe that was heavily modified by Rob Ida Concepts. It’s got RSR-style modifications and is finished in 356-spec Aquamarine, and a host of suspension, wheel, and engine mods back up the racey look. Is this your ideal resto-mod 911?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

The last few C4 Avants we’ve looked at have been of the European flavor, so let’s head back to what was available to us. The S6 Avant launched with the host of C4 changes for the ’95 model year – smoothed out bumpers, color-coded trim, and sometimes (but not always) new cast Speedline Avus 16″ wheels. That model was again almost immediately replaced with the ‘95.5’ model, with a revised transaxle, closed headrests, the move from infrared remote locking, and the big one – the rear differential lock switched to electronic function, meaning it was utilizing the brakes rather than the manual differential lock that had existed for low-speed engagement since the end of the Type 44 production.

Regardless of how you feel about those minor changes, all of the C4 S6 Avants are pretty highly sought. A nice Magnolia example just traded on Bring a Trailer for $19,000 even though it likely had over 200,000 miles. Today let’s look at a more stock example with lower mileage:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe First Edition

Just like SUVs have proliferated the production runs everywhere, a new trend has also recently popped up in the German dealerships; multiple configurations of the same car. Go to BMW’s website, and you can configure 8 different SUVs of course, but then you also have the option for the sedan, coupe, and ‘Gran Coupe’ forms of several series. They range from the Mini-based 2-Series in front-drive (who’d have thunk it?) through the range-topping M8 Gran Coupe. And this particular M8 is the range-toppiest of the range toppers. The First Edition launched in 2020 to shout out the model’s premier, and if that weren’t enough, BMW Individual developed a special shade – Aurora Diamant Green Metallic – for the car. They didn’t stop there, as the trim was a special tone called Goldbronze, they had special yellow adaptive LED headlights, and inside you got special two-tone leather and enough M badges to make you feel extra….specialerer. These hit market just about a year ago quietly as the world came to a grinding halt, and finding pricing information on them is pretty tough – but the 400 that came to market certainly cost more than the ‘normal’ M8’s $143,000 sticker price. How about today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe First Edition on eBay

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1990 BMW 750iL

The late 80s and early 90s was a great time to be a fan of German cars, as each manufacturer advanced in leaps and bounds. Volkswagen had the succession of 16V, supercharged, and then VR6 engines. Porsche launched the supercar 959 and beefed up the 911, 944 Turbo and then 968, and the 928 GTS. Mercedes-Benz had the audacity to replace the stalwart R107 with the R129, launched the W124, W201, and finally the W140 and generally remained the benchmark of the world. Audi’s success with the Quattro proliferated the model range, and the company that dared to be different ended the 80s with the wild quad-cam all-wheel drive V8 quattro and introduced the S and RS model ranges in the 90s.

BMW was not to be outdone. While the M brand had its roots in the 70s, it was really the 80s where they stretched their legs; the introduction of the definitive sports sedan and coupes of the M3, M5, and M6 still have repercussions today. But they weren’t about to let the go-to W126 and the upstart V8 quattro have all the large-executive limelight. The E23 had been an interesting alternative all along, and it was quite advanced in many ways. But it was its successor, the E32, that really took BMW to the world stage in the large executive market. And the top-tier model was nothing to sneeze at. Gone was turbo power, and in its place BMW sistered two of their M20 inline-sixes together on a common crank, creating the M70 – a 5.0-liter V12 with an aluminum block and the best part of 300 horsepower. This was 1987, mind you, and that was still a pretty big number. Complex, expensive, and not without fault, the 750iL generated a lot of headlines and more than a few headaches for the other brands and its owners. Finding a clean one today can be tough, but this one with some period Racing Dynamics mods looks swell:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 750iL on eBay

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2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro 6-Speed

While it feel like most modern Audis have swapped to automatic-only configuration, there were some bright spots. The R8 and TT soldiered on for some time with manual options, as did the A3 and A4. The B8 A4 we see here comes from the year before the model’s refresh, but it carries some desirable options. By the time of the B8, engine options had diminished to the 2.0T rated at 211 horsepower, but you could have FrontTrak, quattro, or quattro Avant options in that time. The Avant couldn’t be had with a manual, but the sedan could, and there were several trim packages that dress up the appearance of the A4 as well. Today’s example has the 18″ Sport Package, which gave you (wait for it) 18″ wheels, sport suspension, and front sport seats, and it’s got the manual transmission option ticked.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro on eBay

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