1974 BMW 3.0 CS – One Owner

The amazing vintage BMWs keep coming out of the woodwork this week. Here we have an excellent example of a classic E9 coupe, more commonly referred to as the 3.0 CS. 1974 represents the second to last year of production for the coupe, the E24 633 CSi being the successor.

A few words from the seller:

The 1974 is quite rare being only 1 of 2694 total vehicles produced, with less than 375 imported to U.S. This particular Car spent it’s life in New Jersey, where it was meticulously maintained and cared for by its first owner. It was rarely, if ever driven in inclement conditions. This vehicle was restored inside and out. Updates include a repaint in its original color, and brand new front seat leather. Still some minor work to do for the motivated, but car in great shape now for weekend driving and/or local shows.

The one thing that turns me off about this car is, you guessed it, the crash bumpers. While effective, they are out of balance with the delicate roofline of this car and spoil the looks. Bumpers aside, however, this E9 coupe effectively straddles the line between collectible and modern classic and is a vehicle you could use every day, guilt free.

-Paul

1985 BMW 325e with Incredible History

Following on to the restored 318is that Aaron’s found, here is an improbable find. An E30 with just over 19,000 original miles. Yes, 19,000 miles.

The 325e had a short stroke version of BMW’s M20 inline six. This 2.7 liter “eta” (stands for efficiency in Greek) engine produces 121 horsepower. This was 29 horsepower shy of the more performance oriented 323i. This was the largest powerplant available in the E30 short of the uncommon 333i, which was only sold in South Africa. A more restrictive head, four main bearings instead of seven for less friction as well as a 5,000 RPM redline were hallmarks of the more efficient E30 BMW. By the end of 1988, the 325e would disappear from the lineup. The 318is would take over as the choice for those seeking efficiency, with a revised 1.8 liter, twin cam four cylinder engine.

1985 BMW 325e For Sale on Hemmings

The seller explains:

The first owner, Michael Hargrave was an insurance agent in Denver, Colorado and he bought the car new at Murray Motors (BMW dealer in Denver). Paddock Imports began maintaining the car when it went off warranty. Mr. Hargrave would cancel appointments for oil changes if it was raining outside, because he didn’t want the car to be driven in rain. The first owner respectfully requested that after Paddock Imports were done working on his car, and that a test drive was warranted, that he be present and in the car for the test drive–a little crazy for sure, but he loved this car. Mr. Hargrave sold the car to the 2nd owner, Jeff Hatcher who is a long time BMW enthusiast.

The body & paint is Absolutely perfect! The paint is a rare color, Antelope Beige. There isn’t a single ding, scratch, or nick on any portion of this car. The paint is thick and lustrous and has no spider webbing, orange peeling, or oxidation, it is just perfect. The interior also looks brand new! The dash doesn’t have a single crack or warp anywhere. Rare sport seats have been treated with Lexol monthly for over 20 years. Interior still smells new!! The dials, gear selector, knobs, etc. still look brand new. The steering wheel looks brand new. Headliner is perfect. Carpets are perfect. The wheels don’t have a single nick on any of them. The glass is perfect all original BMW glass and no chips anywhere. Mechanical: Recently tuned up and running great. Timing belt was replaced. Runs perfect. Not a single leak anywhere. Suspension: stock and tight as a drum. AC/Heat: both work perfectly. Ice cold in summer (even in the Las Vegas 110 degree heat) and blazing hot in winter. If you add this car to your collection, you will without a doubt have the lowest mileage and nicest E30 in existence, with the exception of a few in the BMW museum perhaps.

The E30 3 series has always held a special place in my heart because my first car was a 1988 325is. Although this one isn’t the hot version, this car is sure to be a great addition to anyone’s collection, or as a reliable, solid daily driver. If they still made new E30 BMWs today, I’m convinced people would still buy them. Just ask the man who owned one.

-Paul

1979 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC

The car we see below represents one of the rarest post-war Mercedes-Benzes to be produced. They were manufactured to homologate the 450SLC for rally purposes. Fewer than 100 cars were imported into the United States as gray market cars during production. A few more were brought into the US during the 1980s as a one time “personal” exemption.

The 450 SLC 5.0 was introduced in 1978 and it differed from the stock 450SLC in that its hood and trunk lids were crafted from aluminum. Also included were front and rear spoilers which resulted in better aerodynamics and a higher top speed of 142 mph. This model was also the first application of the aluminum/silicon alloy V8 engines. Lighter in weight than the standard 4.5 V8, it produced 240 (DIN) horsepower (over 300 HP in today’s SAE HP terms). In 1980, the 500SLC replaced the 450SLC 5.0. A four speed automatic replaced the previous three speed box and a smaller diameter steering wheel came standard. With only 1,154 units produced, this was the rarest of all SLC models.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC on Hemmings

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The seller explains:

With maybe 4 roadworthy examples left in the US, this special run rust free/dent free coupe is ready to go for historic racing, rallies or car shows. Aluminum hood and trunk deck, limited slip differential, working A/C, sunroof, fresh interior and recent paint this car is ready to enjoy or re-market to Mercedes collector and “double your money!”

While this is hardly a concours quality car, $11,500 seems very reasonable considering the rarity and pedigree of this particular model. Much like it’s ancestor, the 300SL Gullwing, this is a Mercedes-Benz that brought racing technology to the street.

(Source: Faszination SL R/C 107, Copyright 2001 DaimlerChrysler Konzernarchiv)

-Paul

Front Engined, 2-door Porsches

Now that the unthinkable has happened and both four door sedan and SUV Porsche models exist, where do the older, front engined Porsches stand in the eyes of collectors these days?  Here’s two clean examples of two vastly different Porsches from the same era.

1987 Porsche 924 S

The 1987 Porsche 924 S represents the zenith of 924 development, as 1988 was the last year for the sports car originally designed to be Volkswagen’s flagship.  The 924 S does away with that one important piece that had purists refusing to consider it as a real Porsche: the engine.  VW stopped supplying Porsche engines for the 924 in 1984, and thus the 924 S with it’s detuned 944 engine was introduced.  This engine is good for 160 horsepower and is sure to be a great handler, as these front engined/rear drive four cylinders were renowned for their road manners.

The seller states:

PROS: A/C, Power steering, Power windows, Four-wheel disc brakes, Manual transmission, Alloy wheels, CD/MP3 Premium sound system, Leather seats, Tilt/removable sunroof, New Battery/New wipers, and Pirelli tires.  All the manuals, service records, and a full color dealer brochure on the model 924 are included.

CONS: There are two blemishes in paint: front right fender and rear left quarter panel, The plastic gear for sunroof needs replacement (20.00 part) still works though, Minor cracks in dash which are covered by premium dash cover, and the tires are in less than perfect condition.  Other than that car is showroom quality.

While Boxsters can be had all day for well under $20,000, at $6,500, this 924 S is a tasty, low cost means of entry in what could be one of Stuttgart’s most underrated models.  The fact that it is well documented, has a manual transmission and is a desirable color adds to the want factor.

1994 Porsche 928 GTS

The 928 GTS, much like the 924 S highlighted above, represents the end of the line for 928 production.  The GTS models were also rather rare, with only 645 produced in 1994, according to the 928 Registry.  This particular one presents well in white with the more common automatic transmission.

Level of equipment as detailed by the seller:

Power sunroof, full power seats left & right, AM/FM Radio w/ Cassette, 6 Disc CD Changer, Supple Leather, 10 Speaker HiFi Sound Package, Rear A/C.  Just passed 100 point inspection.

While close to $40,000 may seem high for an obscure, used Porsche, one should remember that these cars new cost around $80,000 before options and now, for less than half of that, you can own a clean mileage grand tourer for pre owned Boxter money.  It also pays to get the nicest 928 you can buy, as these neither cheap nor easy to repair.

-Paul

Clean, Low Mileage Mercedes W126 S Classes on eBay

Paul is another new author on the site and as you can tell his taste matches ours perfectly. Welcome aboard Paul!

All of a sudden, a glut of mint condition W126 have cropped up on eBay.  Spanning a production run from 1979 through 1992, these cars have attained a cult like status and clean examples are becoming more difficult to find as years pass.  Here are two different models, each with around 60,000 miles on the clock.  This equates to barely run in when it comes to what could be considered the most revered of all S Classes.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

Introduced in 1985, the 300SE offered the smooth, venerable M103 single cam inline-six in the short wheelbase package.  While this could be considered the entry level point of the S class range at the time, it is an optimal choice for those wanting a somewhat smaller, more efficient package while still offering all the bells and whistles that big Benzes are known for.  This particular example comes with a bevy of receipts, key for anyone considering one of these young classics.

The seller states:

The car has 60,000 miles and looks and drives like it has 10,000 miles. The paint is stunning. The interior leather is soft and supple. Smells rich and new.

The ivory over parchment leather color combination may not be optimal, there is no denying that this is a car that could last someone well into the next decade.


1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

This particular S class represents the last year for the W126 sedan.  This 420SEL is the long wheelbase model with the 4.2 liter V8, pumping out 221 horsepower in US catalyst guise.  The navy over blue leather is a more conservative color choice, however, the V8 engine will undoubtedly cost more to run in the long-term.  This can be attributed to not only fuel economy but maintenance items such as the timing chains.  If these are not looked after as needed they can prove to be a headache, both mechanically and financially.

The seller has this to say:

This Magnificent Low Mileage 420 SEL Is Simply Stunning In Every Detail. An Immaculate One Owner Vehicle That Is Sure To Please. This Beautiful Collector’s Dream Car Has Been Driven Only 2,000 Miles Per Year Since Purchased New!  A Local New Car Trade In That Comes Fully Equipped With All Power Including 4.2 Liter Fuel Injected V-8 Engine, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission, Four Wheel Disc-Brakes, Anti-Locking Braking System, Fully Independent Suspension, Power Sliding Sunroof, Wood Interior Trim, Leather Seating, Dual Power Seats With Drivers & Passengers Seat Memory, Electronically Ajustable Front Seat Headrest, Climate Controlled Air Conditioning, High Performance Sound System AM/FM/Cassette Audio System With Power Antenna Mast, Power Telescopic Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Power Windows And Locks, Power Passenger Side Mirror, Visor Vanity Mirrors, Fog Lamps, Anti-Theft Alarm System, And 15″ Forged Alloy Wheels.

These are both very splendid W126 sedans.  The vast amount of chrome, wood and leather in these cars takes a beating over the years and these two examples seem to have been well cared for.  On the other hand, they are not garage queens which is a good thing, as they have gotten the regular exercise they have needed.  Of the two, I am particularly fond of the short wheelbase SE model, as they are rarer in the US and a bit easier to handle around town due to the shorter length.  You don’t give up much in space and the bulletproof Mercedes inline six is guaranteed to crest a quarter of a million miles if cared for properly.

– Paul