2 E28s for the price of 1 on eBay

Hooniverse led me to this eBay ad, selling a 1984 533i with a Dinan turbo system.  I love E28s with their could-only-come-from-the-80s styling.  Whether it’s the best looking 5 series is a matter of personal preference, but the negative rake on the front and rear and the pronounced Hofmeister kink reek of good times with 80s junk bond money and listening to Genesis.  I can’t quite wrap my head around the Dinan work on this one… 400 hp out of a 533i?  Terrifying.  The bonus here is that if you bump into something, it comes with a running parts car!  I like the 535is a lot with its M5ish body kit, and free is a great price, even if it has an automatic.

The Dinan car looks to be in good condition inside and out, though the body kit from the 535is/M5 would make it much sexier without losing much of its sleeper status.  The engine bay is amazingly clean, though 183k miles on a turbo engine, even the solid M30, is a lot.   The 535is looks fine if a little rough, also having worked its way pretty far up the odometer.

This is not going to be a work-free purchase.  That doesn’t mean it’s a bad one; if you’re prepared/experienced for some E28 maintenance, this could be an awesome find.  I can’t help thinking the Dinan car would be better served if it were advertised by itself, as I spent more time confused by the weird 2-for-1 deal than in awe of a 400hp E28.  Also weird, though cool, is the option to choose what wheels come on the cars (go for the BBSs!).  Weirdness aside, they’re cool cars that could give someone a fun time, though they sit on eBay at $8,000 at time of writing with no bids and 2 days remaining.

-NR

1988 E30 M3 for sale on eBay

The holy grail.  As far as epic German cars go, few exceed the desirability of the E30 M3.  If you need to know why, please ask, but I’m guessing most of the readers here need no further introduction to my favorite car, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking for now.

I’ve seen this exact M3 on eBay before, and while it’s not some racer/tuner/showcar, I like it a lot (perhaps because it seems like such a driver).  M3s look good in any color, but I like them in the classic German racing white.  146k miles is ok but not great, as I’ve heard E30 M3s with more than 100k are asking for some serious service.  This one looks well taken care of though, with a lot of thorough mechanical attention and upgrades.  Apparently it needs a cat before it’s CA legal, but if you’re in a state with less stringent emissions standards (read: all of them), leaving the header-back exhaust is probably a good and loud option.  Of note is the price:  people go on and on about E30 M3s going for $20k and up, but perhaps this $12.5k Buy-It-Now represents a softening in the market.  Soft or not, these cars are established collectors items and this is a killer deal on the best car ever.

-NR

1987 VW Quantum for sale on eBay

I felt I was being a little too Bavarian-centric with my first posts, then all Porsches earlier this week, so I went looking for a good VW.  My oh my, did I choose the right day to look for Volkswagens!  Quantums are a rare breed in general.  The Passat progenitor had the simple lines of 80s VWs and was available with Syncro, the best named of all 4WD systems.  With Syncro it came with the Audi-sourced 5 cylinder.  Revered more for their capability than their looks, many of this generation are more 4WD beaters than clean machines.  This ECS Tuning Quantum bucks the trend and more, with a clean white exterior and a well-modified Ur-Quattro drivetrain conversion (!!!).

Some of the modifications from the listing:

THIS QUANTUM HAS HAD AN AUDI UR QUATTRO DRIVETRAIN CONVERSION.  DETAILS INCLUDE A SPECIAL BUILD HIGH COMPRESSION MC CODE AUDI SPORT 5-CYLINDER TURBO, AUDI SPORT INTERNALS, CUSTOM CRANKSHART, LARGER OIL PUMP AND COOLER, 411 GEARS WITH DUAL LOCKING DIFFS, SACHS RACING CLUTCH, NEW HYDRUALIC BRAKES, LARGER MASTER CYLINDER, WILLWOOD BRAKES WITH HAWK HPS PADS, POWDER COATER REAR CALIPERS, FULL GROUND CONTROL COIL OVER SET UP (POSSIBLY THE ONLY ONE IN THE US), ALL NEW POLY CONTROL ARMS, BATTERY RELOCATED TO REAR, BIGGER SECONDARY WATER PUMP, FULL STAINLESS EXHAUST (NO CAT), FULL STAINLESS DOWNPIPE FOR RS2 HYBRID KKK TURBO, RS2 HYBRID TURBO, CUSTOM SPORT QUATTRO WASTE GATE, CUSTOM BOOST PIPING, SEARCO INTERCOOLER, HKS SUPER SEQQUENTIAL BOV, AUDI SPORT CIS FUEL SYSTEM WITH ADJUSTABLE PRESSURE FOR DIFFERENT PUMPS, MIM 17 INCH WHEELS, ECLIPSE SOUND SYSTEM, BOOST GUAGE, MOMO STEERING WHEEL, AUDI SPORT INTAKE MANIFOLD, AUDI SPORT EXHAUST MANIFOLD (PORT MATCHED), HI REV VAVLE SPRINGS, CUSTOM HEAD WORK AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.

This really is an awesome car. Amazing drivetrain conversion, clean exterior, and only 72k miles. It could use some cleaner wheels and more tire (and ditch the nauseating hood pins), but hot damn. RS2 turbos? Wilwood brakes? Locking diffs? Forget that S4 fetish of mine; I want an RS2 Quantum!

1974 Carrera RS for sale in Sacramento

1974 Carrera RS for sale in Sacramento

Yesterday we looked at 1974 914 with the 911SC 3.0 motor in it. Today, we look at a 1974 911 with the 911SC 3.0 motor in it. Despite the same year and motor swap, this 911 RS strikes a completely different chord than the 914. The 914 was a mellow monster, with its unique shape and clean but subtle black theme. This 911 is about as loud as you can get. Velocity Yellow paint, 930 turbo flares, ducktail spoiler, and late-model Turbo Twist wheels scream that this is fast, mean, and unmistakably Porsche.

I prefer the black Fuchs and the long exhaust pipes seem like they’ll break off on a steep driveway, but this is a gorgeous car.  It’s obviously not a real RS (my 70s 911 variant knowledge is a work in progress so please feel free to help me out in the comments), but it’s a great conversion that looks the part inside and out and I’m sure is a blast to drive.

-NR

914 3.0 conversion for sale in Seattle

1974 914-6 Conversion for sale in Seattle

I tried to buy a 914 when I was 15 years old as a project car.  Great plan, until my parents found out.  Still, the dream of a street legal go-kart persists.  Usually my dreams focus around cheap non-Porsche engine swaps, as most 914s leave a bit to be desired in the power department.  Going the high class route would be doing a sweet swap with a more fortified Porsche engine, which is what we’ve found today.  The list of enhancements is exhaustive; I’ll leave it to the seller’s words:

Body-
Body completing stripped, fenders reworked, acid etch primed and painted DuPont Chroma Black. The job included both front and rear trunks, engine bay with engine removed and door jams. The cost for this work was over $10,000 in 1993.

Suspension and Drive train-
Frame strengthened through welding, 88 Carrera front suspension, Carrera torsion bars, new front struts, 911S front calipers, 19mm master cylinder, turbo tie rods, 16’ 911 hubs, Automotion front and rear bushings, Otto’s rear hub kit with 911 rear hubs and 914-6 stub axles, Ted Hulse rear shocks, 165lb progressive rear springs, GPR through frame rear sway bar, 16×6 front and 16×7 rear refinished Fuchs alloys.

Motor-
1981 911SC 3.0 liter motor, Dillavar head studs, heads reworked, 46 IDA PMO carburetors’, GPR Oil tank in right rear fender, DC Automotive 911 engine sheet metal, GT performance flywheel, Patrick Motorsports engine mounts, Permatune ignition, B&B stainless headers (no heat exchangers)

The car had 70,200 miles on it at the start of restoration and currently has 81,700, so it has travelled approximately 11,500 miles since the rebuild.

Exterior: Overall 8.5/10
Paint- DuPont Chroma Black- The paint on this is gorgeous. It has a deep and consistent shine with none of the orange peel they would have come with from new. There are no significant scratches or nicks but it is black so it will show even the slightest of imperfection.
Body- The body is very straight with not a single ding to be noted. There is no evidence that the car has been involved in any type of collision and overall panel fit and gap is very good.
Body Parts- All of the glass is good, the targa top and side sail panels are like new. All of the seals and gaskets and lights are likewise clean and correct. The only items that I think need some attention are the front and rear bumpers and trim. The 1974 914 featured the bumper overiders and the owner removed the overriders but left the holes in the bumpers. To really look great a set of 1973 bumpers should be installed. The top rubber bumper trim is likewise “rippled” and should be replaced as well, which would happen with a bumper swap.
Wheels- The car is sitting on a genuine original set of 16×6 and 16×7 Fuchs Wheels that are perfect, no peeling, no pitting, no curb damage. The tires are mismatched front to rear and while they have plenty of tread are older due to the cars low miles. Since this car offers such extraordinary performance a new set of tires should be fitted.

Rust- As any enthusiast knows rust is the bane of all 914’s. This particular car was completely stripped and treated during the restoration. The only notable rust I have found in on the driver’s side rear quarter panel just above the taillight is starting to bubble. The front and rear trunks looks pristine. The floor pans and jacking points are solid and the “hell hole” appears to be clean. I would welcome any prospective customer to put the car up on the rack because any 914 will have rust if you look hard enough, but this one looks real solid.

Interior-
Overall the interior I would categorize as a 9.0/10. It is really amazing original condition

Seats: The seats are very well preserved. There is just one flaw I could find on the seats, and that is a slight cut on the passenger side bolster now more than 1” in length that hasn’t even split.
Carpet: The carpet is also darn close to perfect, I could find only one slight wear mark on the driver’s side floor close to the e-brake handle.
Dash: The dash pad is like new, no cracks.
Door panels and Headliner: They are all in excellent shape, no wear or sagging.
Electronics and gauges: EVERYTHING on this car works. Including all gauges, climate control fan, stereo, map light, etc. The only item worth noting is that with the B&B exhaust the heat exchangers were bypassed so there is no heat.
Trunk and accessories: Both the front and rear trunks were refinished when the car was restored so they are very clean. An OEM Porsche 993 inflatable spare has been fitted as the original 914 spare would not have worked with the 911 hubs.


$25k is a lot of money for a 914, but, as the seller states, it would probably take twice that to recreate.  I really like the thoroughness, as this is not just some engine swap but really an exploration of how awesome the 914 can be.  It looks great and has the juice to be a 911-beating handful.  Sure, budgeting may keep my 914 swap dreams cheap, but if I had the means, this would be high on my must-have Porsche list.

-NR

Clean E36 M3 Sedan near SF

The E36 M3 sedan is the first fast car I drove, and, like a first love, has stuck with me ever since.  Unleashing a couple of 16-year-olds in a Dinan M3 was perhaps a foolhardy move by my best friend’s dad, but luckily we kept it in good shape other than a few check-engine lights due to impatience with the M warm-up sequence.  It was a dream to drive; every pebble in the road gently communicated to the hands, every gearchange a satisfying snick, and every corner was our own railed rollercoaster.  E36s in general are fine, but the 4-door M3 has always struck me as markedly sexier than any of its generational brethren.  I tried to buy that Dinan a few years ago at $14k, but couldn’t make the finances work (luckily it’s being saved for my friend).  These days its not difficult to find them for under $10k, and this nicely modified 1997 sedan demonstrates the accessibility of clean examples.

1997 M3 Sedan for sale on Craigslist SF

I could do without the Supersprint DTM exhaust (Dinan’s looks almost stock but sounds perfect) and I’d raise the adjustable rear suspension just a little, but this is a very clean example with some nice, simple modification choices (I don’t know of a car that looks bad with BBS CHs).  157k miles is on the higher end, but at $9k it’s still a great value, and if the engine goes bad, spend some money swapping in a Euro S52 or S54 and you’ll still have a performance bargain.

Final Note: Thank god it’s a manual.  In my mind, automatic E36 M3s might as well be junked.

-NR

1988 BMW M5 with Provenance for sale on eBay

This is the first North American E28 M5.  Let that sink in.  The FIRST.  #1.  San Diego BMW dealer and racer Rug Cunningham took delivery in 1987 and put the original super sedan to good use soon after, racing in Mexico, Nevada, and some cross-country rallies.  Apparently it’s been towed around a lot, accumulating what the seller estimates to be over 80k(!) of its 170k miles just rolling behind an RV.  Cunningham’s transportation man bought it at Rug’s estate sale a few years back and is now selling it, full of history, documentation, and love.

The auction is just over $10k as I write this, reserve not met.  A few nice upgrades (BBS RS 211s, a police scanner…), extensive paperwork, and a great history make this a tasty example of the first Bavarian uber-sedan.  Mileage is scary at first, but if it has really only driven the estimated 85k miles under its own power, that number becomes less intimidating.  I don’t know how high the seller expects the provenance to drive the price, but if it stays in the low teens, this is an awesome chance at some BMW M history.

– Nate

2001 Audi S4 Avant 6-Speed

Nate is one of our new authors on the website and this is his first post. Please welcome him and leave a comment! -dc

All-wheel drive.  Twin-turbo V6.  Six-speed.  Wagon.

The B5 S4 Avant holds a special place in my dream stable.  Understated sexiness and a wide range of capabilities make other dream cars seem unnecessary.  A grocery getter?  Sure.  A backroad blaster?  Definitely.  Mountain monster?  Born for it.  The twin-turbo V6 means it’s lighter, more efficient, and more easily tuned than the B6/7 V8 or the newborn B8 with its supercharged 3.0.  Add in a rare 6-speed, and this 2001 S4 for sale on eBay is what dreams are made of.

This example looks clean and well-loved.  It’s no spring chicken; these cars are coming up on being a decade old and it has the miles to prove it, but it should still have plenty of love left to give.  Upgraded brakes and suspension are intelligent and prudent modifications.

There isn’t much else to say other than I wish this had been under the Christmas tree this year!

-Nate