Site Updates and new “SOLD” Category

Good morning GCFSB fans!

Some astute readers may have noticed a change to the page yesterday. We introduced a new “SOLD” category with a link directly to all the cars that have recently sold in the header:

Each listing should contain an update with what we found was the sold price highlighted and hyperlinked to the auction/sale format. This was done because it’s frankly difficult to stay on top of updating all of the cars that sell to the archives. The archives will remain, but this allows us to update you with what has recently sold in real time. It also allows us to easily make adjustments if the buyer falls through and the car is relisted; something that was not as easy with the last format. We do our best to keep on top of these sales, but if you note that a car sold before we do (or if it is relisted!), please feel free to chime in on the comments section of each post. We love to hear from you and your opinions on the cars, whether you think we’re right or wrong!

As always, thank you for following our site and we look forward to the next ‘find’!


Editor’s Corner: 2016 Retrospective

*Website analytics corrected:  1.9m pageviews and 500k viewers in 2016! -dc

As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I thought it would be a great opportunity to reflect on German Cars for Sale; where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

Collectively, we published 1,151 articles in 2016. January 5, 2016 represented our highest traffic on the site to date, with 1.9 million pageviews and nearly 500,000 distinct readers! We’ve steadily grown our social media presence, and as of writing are on the cusp of eclipsing 28,000 followers on Facebook.

In May, we welcomed two new authors into our fray. Andrew and Craig both showed their merit with impressive Mercedes-Benz knowledge, but also enjoyed taking a peek at Audis and BMWs. Andrew’s favorite article was the Betsey Johnson pink interiored 280SL.

#FailFriday: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

Craig enjoyed memories of his W201 with this similar 1991 190E 2.6.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

Rob continued to fill us in on all modes of flat-6 Porsches,but his favorite was a gorgeous 1974 911 Carrera 2.7.

1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7

And for me? I had quite a few favorites, as it turned out. But I think if I chose just one, I’d probably choose the European-spec 1985 Audi Coupe Quattro RE2500 tuned by GTi Engineering.

Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Audi Coupe Quattro RE2500

One of the more surprising cars we covered this year was the neat single BMW Individual example of the already rare E36 M3 Canadian Edition. Beyond the unique Giallo color and European specification, the low miles and pristine condition really stood out. But what was really amazing was that the near $65,000 price tag was realized, perhaps signaling a new collectability level of the chassis.

1994 BMW M3 Canadian Edition Individual

I also moved into a new partnership this year with The Truth About Cars, thanks to some strong encouragement from one of our readership. While my articles probably haven’t been the most popular or talked about over there, it’s been a very interesting and challenging departure from what we do here at GCFSB. One of my favorite (and least popular!) articles was about the Mercedes-Benz C107 racing efforts. Though out of the realm of interest over there, I thought you might enjoy checking it out.

We said goodbye to our self-service classifieds, and are in the process of revising our current Feature Listing for 2017. But the big change coming soon will be a new layout for the site; much needed as there hasn’t been a major change since we launched in June, 2008. 6,361 posts later, it’s time for change; but we can take a last look back at how things used to be – check out the price on that M3!

1988 BMW e30 M3: Alpine White on BBS, How Can You Go Wrong?

Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our fans and visitors to the site. Without you, none of this would be possible. While we enjoy surfing the web for interesting cars, it’s the interaction with our readership that really makes the site rewarding. We continue to encourage you to chime in and comment on our features, whether you agree with us or not.

Thank you to all our contributors, followers, comments and cars; here’s hoping for a bright 2017 for all of you!


Mystic Fiver: 2006 BMW 530xi Touring

Well, it’s been a few weeks so I suppose that it’s time to introduce the newest addition to the GCFSB fleet. My wife and I spent months searching for a potential replacement to her Subaru Outback. She had bought the Subbie new in 2006, and under warranty it had been a great car. However, once out of warranty it had been problematic; unable to go much more than 10,000 miles without eating a wheel bearing, dumping oil all over the exhaust or any other number of various maladies. The “big one” was the timing belt service at 103,500 miles; already pricey on Subarus, it became obvious as we got close that the 2.5 liter boxer was suffering from the notorious head gasket failure. A $800 job soon became a $2,800 job. As my wife pointed out, those are the types of repairs you’d expect on a nicer German car, but not ones you’d associate with the stars of Pleiades. How Subaru has managed to maintain a reputation for quality is beyond me, and with prices of new Outbacks well into the $30,000 range, suddenly the gap to some of the German cars wasn’t so outrageous.

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Wednesday Wheels: 2003 BMW M3 ZCP BBS

Hard to believe because it seems like yesterday and I still have to pinch myself when I see it sitting in the garage, but I’m entering my 5th month of BMW M3 ownership. As I covered in the introduction back in December 2015, the new-to-me pride and joy is a 2003.5 M3 in Phoneix Yellow Metallic. There was only one change I wanted to make – the addition of the ZCP Competition Package 19″ BBS wheels, and the solution ended up coming to me unexpectedly quickly.

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Realization of a Dream: 2003 BMW M3


To say this has been a long time coming would be an understatement. You see, a small BMW was very nearly my first car some 20 years ago. As a teenager, I had dreamed of driving behind the wheel of a Roundel through many high school classes and once out, I carefully searched for just the right car for my first foray into the Bavarian realm. I had a pretty well established background, too – having grown up with a ’82 633CSi, ’85 635CSi, M5 and 735i 5-speed in the family. But, being a teen, I was not particularly well versed nor was I actually careful about what I looked at. What came up was a somewhat green 2002tii, and without being able to drive it or knowing enough to look under it, I put a deposit on it. When a car-dealer friend of mine came along with me to pick it up, the door of the car we arrived it hadn’t fully shut before he said “Carter, walk away.” The tii was full of rot and while it probably could have been salvaged and would have made a neat car for someone, it was nowhere near my budget level. A few weeks later he turned up with a then-9 year old Audi 4000CS quattro for around the same amount at the BMW, and my two-decade love affair with the Ingolstadt firm began. But BMWs have always been in the front of my mind, and someday I promised that I’d buy one.
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Shifting Gears: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 3

Has it already been two months since my last update on the project 1987.5 Coupe GT? It seems hard to believe, but the date doesn’t lie. In that time there have been, predictably, some successes and some setbacks, coupled with a fair amount of waiting for both parts and diagnosing the problems. If you want a refresher, you can check out the introduction piece on the new-to-me 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT “Special Build”, or Part 2 when I finally got it running. Now, what’s next? Well, as it turns out, a whole lot….
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The Spark of Life: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 2

About a month has passed since my introduction piece on the new-to-me 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT “Special Build”, and since then a fair amount of work has occurred. There have been a few successes and a few setbacks; as with any project, some things were unexpected and have complicated matters slightly, but then this is a car that has been sitting outside for over a decade non-running – it was never going to be a cake walk. Still, I’m quite a few steps closer to it being a viable car again, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to update the readership as to just how well it is (or, isn’t) going.
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Wednesday Wheels Event Report: Sunday in the Park – Lime Rock Vintage Festival 2015


For those with a good memory, you may remember my posts about last year’s work on refinishing a set of BBSs. Well, the time had finally come and a killer deal on Dunlops from The Tire Rack presented itself, and I pulled the trigger. Stories of leaky RSs and my father’s experience with his vintage Euro M6 TRX RSs led me to look for a sealant to add; although I hadn’t pulled apart the wheels, there’s no denying that they’re the best part of 30 years old at this point and the original seal could be suspect. I picked up some GE metallic-colored silicone from Amazon, and about 10 minutes of work applying, smoothing the bead in between the sandwich of the 3 piece wheels and 24 hours of drying later the RSs were ready for rubber for the first time in a decade.

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Waking From A Coma: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 1

For those of you who follow the blog, my affinity for the Audi Coupe GT will come as no surprise. Few cars embody the “more than the sum of its parts” ideology better than the GT; a competent cruiser, fun to toss around corners, reliability and longevity all coupled with great and unique looks to create a package that was better than its peers. Previously, I’ve covered some of the history of my 1986 Coupe GT 20V; a unique car that’s been with me since 1998. Still running strong and delivering smiles, it is the third of four coupes that passed through my hands. It’s also an interesting example; a non-Commemorative Design car, it was one of the few 1986s delivered with a digital dashboard and in the rare shade of Oceanic Blue Metallic. I’ve also owned a Tornado Red, Graphite Metallic and another Oceanic Blue Metallic example – but there was one I always really wanted; a 1987.5 “Special Build” in Alpine White.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a friend with the subject line “Coupe for sale”. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to open up the email even though I was on vacation and not looking to buy a car. But the message inside was too intriguing to pass up; my friend told me he could get a whole car minus wheels and radio for free – did I want it? The questions went down the rabbit hole; what color was it? White. What year? 87. And, according to my friend, it looked very solid. With each answer, my hopes increased. I asked for pictures; worst case, I could grab some parts for it. The picture above was the first one I got; there it was, a 87.5. I could tell right away by the white spoiler, mirrors and window trim. The wheels were wrong, but as they were slated to stay with my friend that didn’t worry me. Inside, the interior looked remarkably clean and velour – more on that later. The downside to all of this? It was non-running and an automatic. Still, the images revealed a shocking number of NLA parts for the GTs that were just too good to pass up. The pictures showed a uncracked windshield (European order only these days), both front reflectors (NLA from Audi and trading for more in pristine shape than some whole cars), and the entire compliment of lower grills (also NLA from Audi and hard to find an entire set).

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Avant Time: 2004 Audi S4 Avant Cleanup

Recently I relayed to the group that a family member had bought a 2004 Audi S4 Avant 6-speed. It was with some excitement and trepidation that this car actually came into the family; after a long search through seemingly countless cars, my cousin finally found one that looked right. It was a silver over silver/black Alcantara 6-speed with just over 100,000 miles. 2004 isn’t the preferred year of the S4 Avant, nor does it have the reputation as being the most reliable Audi ever produced – but overall, it was priced right for what it was and he dived in. There were some exterior condition problems, though, and I offered my assistance with a detailed refresh; I thought it would help to show how you could take a reasonable but not exceptional example of a nice car and make it look pretty special. So, starting with a rather tired and tatty exterior, I dove in:

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