2012 Buick Regal GS

For years, I often wondered when Ford and General Motors would see the light and realize that some of their European offerings would work well here in the US market. Not only would a strategy such as this save development costs but it would be a boon for enthusiasts not enamored by the usual condominium-sized SUVs and rental fleet mid-sized sedans which are the bread and butter of US manufacturers. With the restructuring of GM and demise of Saturn, Buick was the de facto brand to foist Opels on the North American scene, albeit rebadged as Buicks. The first example of this was the resurrection of the Regal nameplate, a rebadged Opel Insignia. I’ve driven the 2.4 liter version with a 6 speed automatic and have to say, I came away impressed. It drove a bit like a slightly more refined Volkswagen Passat. It was by no means underpowered and you can tell this wasn’t your typical American car, as its German heritage shined through in both fit and finish and ride quality. Now Buick has introduced a hot version of the Regal for 2012, the GS. After laying eyes on this car at the Washington, DC Auto Show, I was impressed. While we are not getting the turbocharged, all-wheel drive V6 version of the Opel Insignia OPC, the GS packs a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine good for 270 horsepower, albeit without all-wheel drive. Also included in the package is an available 6 speed manual transmission, Brembo brake calipers and a tuned suspension package.

2012 Buick Regal GS on eBay

This 2012 Buick Regal GS is in absolutely perfect condition and nearly new, showing less than 500 miles on the odometer (It will be driven between now and the end of the auction). There is no body damage and no mechanical faults that we are aware of. The original owners manual, window sticker, and all other documents from the original sale will be included in the sale. Original MSRP – $38,490.00

Below is a list of factory equipment followed by options

Factory Equipment:

5 YR / 100,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty
4 YR / 50,000 Mile Bumper to Bumper Warranty
2.0L HO Turbo Ecotech DOHC 4-Cylinder w/ VVT
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Interactive Drive Control System w/ Sport & GS Modes
Hiper Strut Front Suspension
Antilock Brake System, 4 Wheel Disc
Brembo Front Brakes
Stabilitrack-Stability Control System w/ Traction Control
Airbags
Daytime Running Lamps
Rear Child Seat Anchors
Rear DR Locks, Child Security
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Regal GS Bodywork
Wheels 19” Alloy
Power Dual Heated Mirrors
HID Headlamps
Regal GS Interior
Power Outlets (2) 12V
8-Way Adj. Driver Seat; 4 Way Lumbar
8-Way Adj. Passenger Seat; 4 Way Lumbar
Dual Climate A/C
Air Filtration System
Bluetooth
Cruise Control
Front Heated Seats
Carpeted Mats
Driver Information Center
Leather Wrap Steering Wheel
Passive Entry; Push Start
Power Windows & Locks
Rear Park Assist
Remote Keyless Entry
Steering Column; Tilt & Telescopic
Steering Wheel Controls
Universal Garage Door Opener
AM/FM/XM Stereo CD Player
USB Port
Premium 9-Speaker System
Front Parking Assist

Options

AM/FM/Stereo w/ CD & MP3 Playback + NAVIGATION w/7” Color Touch Screen
Power Sunroof
20” Polished Alloy Wheels
Carbon Black Metallic
All Weather Mats (Front & Rear)

Modifications:

Tinted Glass (5% sides and rear; 35% on windshield)

I’m glad to see this seller isn’t price gouging like some people do with recently introduced models. I think black works well and gives the GS a more sinister look when combined with the polished 19” wheels. While it may be front wheel drive, if I was in the market for an entry level luxury sedan, I would choose this over a C class, 3 series or Acura TL, simply because you don’t see as many of these on the road and frankly, the styling is more cohesive than any of the aforementioned choices. There is one problem with the Buick Regal GS, other than the lack of rear or all-wheel drive. The Cadillac ATS will be on sale this summer and available with the same 270 horsepower four cylinder engine and choice of 6 speed manual or automatic driving the rear wheels or all four wheels. Plus the styling is even better in my opinion than the Regal. Still, I can’t help but applaud Buick for offering such a cool car. Ten years ago, I would have never guessed their product lineup would have been transformed this much.

-Paul

1975 Opel Manta B Irmscher GT/E

The folks over at BringATrailer caught this on Craigslist the same day I caught it on eBay.

This is not a usual site here in the states. The Manta B is not as identifiable to those who might casually be familiar with the Opel brand in the U.S. as say the Opel GT is, but to those more in the know it is unmistakably Opel. The Manta B is a neat looking car. Kind of like a time travel backwards breeding of Sierra Cosworth and BMW 6 series in terms of looks, though styling supposedly was based on the Chevy Monza if you believe wikipedia.

The cars received some attention in rally circles with some pretty hefty outputs coming from under the hood.

This particular car has what I presume is a bored out stock 2.0 liter to 2.2, which I would guess is putting out a little north of 100 horsepower coming from the dual carb setup. The car looks great with some tuning parts by Irmscher including body kit and exhaust work. The swept rear wing is a very distinguished look. It is also hard not to dig that plaid interior, which is in need of some repair. I also could do without the overhead speaker setup. Wouldn’t you rather listen to the engine as you rowed the gears anyway?

The car has 55,000 miles and the seller is asking $15,000 or best offer. That is a pretty hefty sum for a car that elsewhere in the world isn’t really rare, but when you have a pretty one of a kind vehicle stateside you can ask what you want. Too bad Buick didn’t continue to sell these like they did earlier Opels.

I wish the seller would include more description about the driving experience. I suspect some tail happy driving can be had with this. Lots of other neat cars in the background of the photos.

1975 Opel Manta B Irmscher on eBay

~Evan

1969 Opel Kadett B Rallye

Not a whole of description on this Opel, but it looks like a neat little car. The Opel Kadett Rallye featured a 1.9 liter engine and a bit over 100 horsepower. Not really scorching performance, but with the manual transmission I’m sure spirited driving is possible.

This car features the extra rally lights, head work, new paint, clutch, shocks, brakes, bushings.

Judging from the nearly identical Kadett in the background it looks like the seller has found a niche in restoring these to daily driver status. The paint scheme is very time specific and can be a bit hard to get used to for those not really into the green/brown/yellow color.

65,000 miles on the car and bidding is up at $2,500 with the reserve not met. Perfect for the Opel fan that wants more room than the GT provides.

1969 Opel Kadett Rallye on eBay

~Evan

2011 Opel Insignia

Even though it’s a brand of which most Americans are unaware, Opel has had a long history in the United States. First being sold under their own badge through Buick dealers in the 1960s and 1970s, Cadillac tried their hand at rebadging the Opel Omega as their compact executive entry, the Catera. While the Catera was a huge improvement over Cadillac’s last attempt at a small car, the Cimarron, fewer than 100,000 were produced during its lifespan from 1997 through 2001.

Saturn was the next division to grab the Opel torch, offering the L series, followed by the Aura, midsized sedans based on the Opel Vectra chassis. It also offered rebadged versions of the GT (Sky) and Astra, before the divisions untimely demise in 2010. Now Opel products have found their way back stateside by Buick dealers yet again, as the Regal has returned, this time a rebadged Insignia, which was the Vectra’s replacement.

I’ve always wondered how hard it would be to simply rebadge the Regal back to its Opel roots. Apparently some industrious owner went ahead and answered that question outside of Chicago, offering up the remainder of their lease on a 2011 Regal (Insignia).

2011 Opel Insignia on eBay

The owner is going back to Europe, and no longer needs it. Very unique car -over $15,000 invested, including suspension and wheels.

The car gets endless attention, as it is the only one like it in America. Winning bidder must have good credit and is responsible for arranging swap thru ALLY. Lease transfer can be done only after this auction is paid for in full. This car has everything including Bluetooth, XM, DVD player, etc. Gets 30MPG on regural unleaded. Payment $440/month with $14k buyout in 08/14.

I’ve driven the new Regal with the 2.4 non turbo engine and the 6 speed automatic, which is what powers this car. I was impressed by how refined it was for a four cylinder, having plenty of pickup off the line and being geared well to deal with most traffic situations. You could instantly tell you were in a German car from the minute you climbed behind the wheel, and it had a feeling of quality about it that kind of split the middle between a Volkswagen and a Mercedes.

The lease payment for this particular vehicle seems on the high side, so I’d question what the original purchase price of this car was originally. Still, if you just have to have an Opel stateside, you don’t have a lot of options when it comes to a new car. I guess it just matters if you can deal with driving a car with a Buick badge on it or not. If not, there are plenty of lease deals on 3 series BMWs and C class Mercedes-Benzes that undercut $440 a month.

-Paul

1971 Opel GT for summer

Nothing too fancy here just a fun summer car. This particular one struck my interest as the seller lists that he has owned 32 Opel GTs and this one is one of the best. The car has 114,000 miles and price currently sits at $6,000 with the reserve not met. This German mini corvette looks like an honest daily driver example.

From the seller:

Interior:
-All new carpeting
-All new seats
-New Headliner (minute tear, unnoticeable)
-Dash has been re-covered
-New shifter boot
-Original Opel GT Radio
-All Gauges work except the clock
-Interior dome light even works when door is opened
-Steering wheel has typical cracking near spokes
-Rear trunk area is also new (same for rear deck where speaker is)
-Driver side door map pocket is torn
-Other than the few imperfections mentioned, the interior is BRAND NEW!

Exterior:
-Undercarriage is perfect (no rust at all!)
-Suspension is tight (no squeaks or rattles)
-Original Opel GT rims (like new) with new tires
-All lights and lenses are original Hella
-Front bumper is near mint no dings or dents (chrome sparkles!)
-All body lines are how they should be
-Small, 1/2″ rust spot on the very bottom of the left rear fender flare
-Also, a small bubble on the right rear fender flare
-Other than a few small scratches and chips that have been touched up, the paint is nearly flawless
-Car was professionally painted Chevy Red with base coat and clear coat
-Windshield has not a single chip in it and gasket border has been replaced (same for rear window)
-All chrome trim around windows are in near perfect condition
-All emblems are brand new
-I’m sure I’m missing a few things, but one look at the photos tells the tale

Engine and Drive Train:
-39,000 miles on rebuilt motor
-Clutch pressure plate and throwout bearing are both new
-Brand new brakes all around
-Rebuilt Weber 32/36 DGEV carburetor with original air filter setup
-All gas vent lines have been replaced (no gas smell in car)
-Headlights have been re-wired
-New resonator and pipe
-New battery
-New alternator
-New belt
-Recent tuneup
-Car was just inspected last month

~Evan

2001 Cadillac Catera (Opel Omega) with low mileage

OK, so while this car isn’t wearing a German badge, most people will recognize this car for what it is, a rebadged version of Opel’s executive class vehicle, the Omega. Still reeling from the failed experiment that was the Cimmaron (itself a rebadged Chevrolet Cavalier), Cadillac sought to offer something more sophisticated for it’s entry level sedan and sourced the Omega from it’s German subsidiary. Named the Catera, it was markedly different from Cadillacs of the time, offering rear wheel drive and very un-Cadillac looks. Here is a clean, low mileage late model example of the baby Caddy that paved the way to the CTS.

We are proud to present this STUNNING 2001 Cadillac Catera for sale. Garage kept with 47k actual miles. Fully loaded with power sunroof, dual power seats, xenon lights, Onstar, Bose stereo, and more. Made in Germany. Four new Pirelli tires. Never smoked in. Well maintained with books and records. Showroom condition.

The Catera isn’t the most exciting piece of German iron, but well maintained examples are becoming less and less common and when found, could provide a refreshing alternative to the smaller offerings from Mercedes and Lexus. For a shade under $7,000, this could be quite the dark horse in the value for money game.

-Paul

1974 Opel Manta

Growing up, I would hear my father talk about the 1972 Opel Manta Rallye that he owned, complaining about issues with vapor lock but praising the car for it’s solidity and good looks. Opel Mantas are a very rare sight on US roads these days, and if you see one on the road, it would most likely be clapped out. This very original Manta, then, is more rare than the proverbial hen’s teeth.

The seller states:

There is only 45,500 miles on this classic sports coupe, a 1974 Opel Manta! Opel pursued a unique sales approach for their line in the U.S. Market causing only a few Opel models to be sold in the U.S. Opels were imported by GM and sold through Buick dealerships but not their own dealership network, so they were limited in what makes and models they could sell here.

This 4-cylinder automatic is in good running condition and has been maintained on a yearly basis (with all receipts and records of that maintenance available for inspection). This car is being sold because the owner is deceased. It was originally purchased it May 10, 1976 in Ohio with 15,800 miles on it. The owner then moved to Ames, Iowa to live with her sister in June 20, 1997 and the car had 40,433 miles on it at that time. On October 20, 1997, it was rust protected by Ziebart. On August 24, 1998 it had some body work done (don’t know specifics of what). It was then painted on May 28, 1999 and paint protected by Ziebart. It was maintained by a local garage during the subsequent years. It was in storage from fall 2008 until fall 2009 when I moved it to my house. I put a new battery in it and took it out a couple of months ago, August 2010, and have been driving it off and on. There are no engine noise or leaks and no tran noise or leaks. In addition, there are no other odd noises. The air conditioner fan works but I have not put any coolant in it. There is no rust on the outside however the jack points have some rust and behind the battery, the inner fender line has a rust hole.

The only thing that detracts from this car, is, you guessed it, the automatic transmission. Other than that, there’s a lot to like about this offering. There’s no telling what this car is valued at, as they are so rare in this country, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sold for over $5,000. With the introduction of the Buick Regal (aka Opel Insignia) to the US Market, this would be a great time to pick up this cult classic from GM’s German arm.

It was such a cult classic in Germany during the 70s and 80s, in fact, that a movie was produced in 1991 called “Manta Manta,” with the plot centering around modified, later generation Mantas. Here’s a video of the first five minutes of the movie:

-Paul

2008 Saturn (Opel) Astra

The Saturn Astra was one of those subcompacts that graced our shores far too briefly, as the unrest in the automotive world took Saturn away from us suddenly, leaving us without a GM division on these shores to absorb these captive imports. While the Astra was quite popular in Europe, they didn’t sell rapidly in the US, mainly due to the fact that dealers weren’t sure how to market them and the buying public unaware how much of a quantum leap this vehicle was over the horrendous and heinous Saturn Ion.

Here we have what is claimed to be the first Saturn Astra in the US switched back to Opel livery:

The seller states:

You are bidding on a customized 2008 Saturn / Opel Astra with 30,700 miles and a 5-speed manual transmission. This was the first Astra in the US to be converted to full Opel parts. Vehicle was bought new in 2008, and I’m the only owner.

A lot of time / love / parts importing went into this car, and the condition reflects that. I’ve never had any problems with the car, and it turns heads everywhere it goes. Average mileage over the past two and half years has been around 27-28 mpg. I have all the service / upgrade receipts as well, so as to keep track of the car’s history. Only reason I’m selling is I’m starting another project car, and I’d like to find a new home for this one to free up the monthly payments.

Vehicle still retains the original 60,000-mile / 5-year factory warranty, and has a dealer-installed MOGO tracking device in case of theft (helps lower insurance costs as well). The car has never been beaten on, as I’m respectful of vehicle maintenance; has only seen a few spirited canyon runs, and daily driving. AmsOil oil always used in oil changes. Interior and exterior has always been rigorously maintained using Einszett products.

If this car didn’t have the heavily modified sound system, I’d be a lot more enthusiastic about it. Still, it makes a compelling alternative to your typical Volkswagen GTI.

-Paul

German marques well represented in Watkins Glen.

Having just returned from my annual “business trip” to the Glenora Wine Cellars, formerly Zippo, U.S. Vintage Grand Prix and Racing Festival in Watkins Glen New York I thought it would be appropriate to give you a taste of some of the German metal out on display. In the next couple of days I’ll put up some posts of several of the German street and race cars that I came across for sale while cruising the garage and paddock. Over the course of the weekend I saw all the major marques we cover, except one, represented racing on the track and though there wasn’t one racing, an Opel GT was prowling the car corral. If you ever find yourself near the Fingerlakes region of New York early in September put this event on your calendar. It continues to be one of the largest vintage racing events in the country seeing between 400 and 500 of the finest and funkiest vintage and modern classic racers zooming around the birth place of road racing in America. Here is a  small look at a few of the German machines:

The fast included:

1. a legendary 2000 Audi R8 that turned the fastest time of all competitors with ease.
2. a pair of BMW CSL racers looking and sounding fantastic.
3. a pair of serious M powered Formula cars.
4. a new 2011 Mercedes SLS, parked next to an equally fast Ferrari 599, I overheard someone say both cars were for sale.
5. Speaking of fast and Ferrari, the Audi S4 pictured in this photo can be seen leading a Ferrari 355 challenge. When the rains came Sunday the Audi took control garnering a second place overall in its class race. Despite a fogged windshield, due to non functioning defroster, the Audi left the Ferrari far behind in a roar of turbo whine and quattro powered rain plumes.
6-7.Audi wasn’t the only German with a quest to beat up on Ferrari, note the badge on the rear of this mean sounding Mercedes 190E 2.3-16V. Unfortunately for this Merc it finished back in the pack unceremoniously being out driven by the likes of a 4 door Peugeot 505.

The funny included:
8-9. Some of the amusing Porsche badges on the Pirate Racing team.
10.a Mercedes 190E M sport.
11. a BMW 323i with a bumper sticker describing how it feels being out on the track.

The pretty included:

12. a nice looking BMW E28 M5
13. a cherry 500E with some contemporary German pals.

The doesn’t fit in any category:
14. a Vixen 21 BMW powered motorhome. These are extremely rare, 100 MPH RVs. Around 500 total were built and I suspect that combining the words high-speed and motorhome has resulted in far fewer surviving today. Ironically Jalopnik posted a picture of one just yesterday in a post about “Automotive Unicorns”. This one looked every bit like it came straight out of the movie Blade Runner. Very cool.

License Plates:
15-18.

~Evan

1972 Opel Admiral B

Until Cadillac rebadged the Opel Omega as a Catera, large Opels were obscure vehicles for most Americans. Introduced in 1969 to replace the Admiral A, the Admiral B was powered by an OHV 2.8 liter inline six, which could be optioned with fuel injection, making this the first Opel model to offer the technology. The large sedan soldiered on until 1977 when the Senator replaced both it and the similar Diplomat. This seller claims this is the only Admiral in the U.S. but has no proof to back it up. In any case, you will surely be the only one on your block, if not the state, to drive one of these large German sedans.

The seller states:

1972 Opel Admiral, imported from Germany. It’s been in the United States around a year. The car is original, no accidents, original paint. The car has 25,000 original miles. A few things were done to the car when we received it. New spark plugs, new spark plug wires, rotor, cap, brakes front and rear, brand new master cylinder, brand new Michelin tires. Also upgraded the stereo system and you can see on the pictures a complete exhaust system. Most of these parts were ordered directly from Germany. It has a few small rust spots.

So far there are a few bids but there is a reserve on the auction. Values on these kind of vehicles, especially outside of their home markets can be hard to put a finger on. This seller had listed this car at $19,000 a few days ago without a reserve, so it’s safe to say he is probably hoping to get over $10,000. While in good shape, there is a noticeable amount of rust that needs to be addressed and finding parts would not be an easy task stateside. For those who are brave, though, this would be a great conversation piece to show up in at the local classic car show.

-Paul