1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet Wolfsburg Edition

This car sold for $6,500.

In 1989, Volkswagen launched a series of six special Wolfsburg Edition cars. Probably the most famous of these is the Jetta GLI 16V, but there were special versions of the Fox, Vanagon, Golf GL, Jetta GL, and this car – the Cabriolet. Now, the 1989 Cabriolet Wolfsburg Edition is not to be confused with the earlier Wolfsburg Editions. For 1989, the special model was based on the ‘Bestseller’ trim. They were all finished in Star Blue Metallic with a dark blue top and equipped with 14″ ‘teardrop’ alloy wheels and striped seat upholstery that matched the GLI. They weren’t cheap, but they’re a pretty color combination that you don’t see every day:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet Wolfsburg Edition on eBay

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2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition

This car sold for $7,000.

I have to admit that when I initially heard the details of the 337 Edition GTI, I was very excited. To me, it seemed like Volkswagen had finally gotten the message and brought us a modern interpretation of the car that I loved, the 1990-1992 GTI 2.0 16V. After a period of low performance 4-cylinder variants, the pokey 1.8T was now pumping out 180 horsepower and matching torque – finally, the car had the go to match the show. While the VR6 had continued into the fourth generation GTI, the accompanying weight, luxury items and electronic throttle meant that while horsepower numbers went up, the seat of the pants kick and thrill that was the hallmark of the original and 16V GTI – and even the Mk.3 VR6 – had been replaced by a stout highway cruiser. As if to answer critics and revisit the original formula, in 2001 Volkswagen introduced a stripped down, turned up version of the GTi called the 25th Anniversary edition, celebrating the original 1976 launch. For me, it was a return to form for the original hot hatch with some great updates. Unfortunately, it wasn’t heading to the U.S., because of course we didn’t receive the GTI until the 1983 model year. But U.S. fans were taken care of too when the nearly identical GTI 337 was launched. Outside, it got some awesome shot-peened BBS RC wheels that looked stunning compared to the rather bland wheel styles that had adorned the GTI since the BBS RMs on the 16V. Behind those wheels were beefed up brakes and red calipers, because red is of course faster (or, slower in that case?). It also sported a new body kit that highlighted the lower stance – hunkering the GTi down over those great wheels. After a period of hidden tailpipes, a polished exhaust tip emerged from the rear valance – a nice change for sure! Inside, special details like brushed trim, red-stitched shift boot and special “Golf Ball” knob for the 6-speed manual and some awesome Recaro seats greeted you. And to keep weight down, no sunroof was offered. This was a sporty car that went like it looked for a change! Limited to 1,500 examples, it was an instant hit and apparently a good bet for a future collectable:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition on eBay

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E420

This car sold for an undisclosed offer below the $8,950 Buy It Now on June 24, 2021.

With basically all the attention paid to the E55 AMG when talking about the W210 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, I think sometimes we forget that there was another V8 in the family. Well, technically two V8s with the aging M119 in the E420 and the new kid on the block M113 with the facelift E430. Today, we have one of the best early E420s I think I’ve come across in a long time, and even better, it is painted in Viola Metallic. This won’t last long.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz E420 on eBay

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2004 Audi A4 1.8T quattro

This car sold for $3,700 on June 29, 2021.

Back in January I took a look at a late B5 1.8T quattro Avant:

2000 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant

Audi continued the recipe for sales success in the B6 generation, largely carrying over the drivetrain more or less unchanged from late B5s to early B6s. However, soon into the run a nice change appeared; the sixth cog in the gearbox, which had previously been reserved for the 3.0 model. Under the hood still lay the AWM 170 horsepower version of the venerable motor, and like the B5 you had your choice of nice options like the Sport and Cold Weather packages. Today’s sedan has combined all of those things, and it’s a nice shade to boot! Today it’s a surprisingly hard package to find:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A4 1.8T quattro on eBay

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1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

This car sold for $17,672 on June 28, 2021.

Just recently I looked at a very nice example of the last of the C4 S6 Avants offered in the US – the ‘95.5 model in Aluminum Silver Metallic:

1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

With “only” 132,000 miles on the odometer and looking pretty fresh, despite a few question marks I felt like it was a pretty reasonable asking price at $14k. Well, wouldn’t you know it? ANOTHER “low mileage” 1995.5 S6 Avant in Aluminum Silver Metallic has turned up for sale. What are the odds? What are the odds? Well, one in 32 according to this seller – but that was when they were new of course. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: on eBay

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2004 BMW M3 Coupe

Update: This car sold for an impressive $48,500 on May 30, 2021.

Okay, I know it hasn’t been very long since I took a look at a few M3 coupes in Phoenix Yellow Metallic:

Double Take: 2004 BMW M3 Coupes

But today I had to come back with another. Late PYM coupes are a rare thing, and this one is spec’d in a pretty interesting configuration. Unlike a majority of the PYM cars that were more or less fully loaded, this one has no sunroof, gray leather upholstery, no Park Distance Control, and manual seats. Unlike the last pair it’s a manual, and it has under 60,000 miles. You can guess what all of these factors add up to in today’s market…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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TT Double TTake: 2005 Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro and 2002 TT Roadster 225 quattro

The TT Roadster sold for $8,145 and the Coupe sold for $8,100.

Currently, almost no one has time to even consider the 8N chassis Audi TT. It’s old, with the last of the first generation produced 15 years ago and its replacement – the 8J – has also fully completed a production cycle. It doesn’t have the super wiz-bang computers, million horsepower engines, or cut-your-hand-on-the-front-end styling of the new models. A fair amount lay in a state of disrepair; crashed, thrashed and trashed to a point where they’re nearly given away – quite seriously, there’s one near me for $1,500. But find a good one, and I think now is the prime time to grab a clean TT that will be a future collectable – and BaT recently has sold a few low mileage examples at or over $20,000. Today’s duo of quattros aren’t nearly as clean or low mileage, but they’re also a lot cheaper. Which would you take?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro on eBay

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1988 Merkur XR4Ti

This Merkur sold for $4,350.

As enthusiasts, oddly we often lament new cars. Undoubtedly, newer models turn better, stop better and accelerate faster than most of the cars that they replace. They return better fuel economy, have more gears, and are generally more reliable. In a crash, they’ll save your life and some will even call the police for you. Impressive? Sure, without a doubt. But if I had a nickle for every time I heard how some enthusiast would rather have a brand new example of a car from their youth, I’d be a rich man. I’ve heard it from all sources; desire for a bullet-proof reliable new W126 S-Class, longing for a return of the real Quattro with locking differentials, dreams of finding a new E30 M3 or 3.2 Carrera. But if you’re a bit different, perhaps you’re one of the devoted Merkur fans.

Now, I know what you’re saying. Merkurs are Fords, and Fords are American. How about this – Ford Europe’s headquarters is in Cologne, Germany. And they produce a fair amount of cars in Germany even today. Since we consider the Volkswagens built in Chattanooga and Westmoreland, the BMWs built in Spartanburg, and the Mercedes-Benz models bolted together in Alabama, I think we can deviate for a moment into a hot Ford.

Audi and SAAB helped to mainstream turbocharging, and by the 1980s it was almost expected in performance circles. That culminated in a wave of ever increasing performance hot hatchbacks that completely changed our perception of speed. As newer, faster models emerged, the technology increasingly filtered its way into lower-spec models until the results of all of the turbocharging basically were acknowledged to be wrecking the world’s environment. I call it ‘Trickle-down Turbonomics’. The result? Ford launched a series of turbocharged hatchbacks and sedans in the 80s, including the Fiesta RS, the Mustang SVO, the turbocharged Thunderbird, and this car – the XR4Ti, the US version of the Ford Sierra.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Merkur XR4Ti on eBay

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1995.5 Audi S6 Avant


This S6 Avant sold for $8,182.52.

If you want in on the zenith of the BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche production – what many argue are the late 80s to mid 90s cars – you’re going to pay a lot of money for a prime example. But turn to Volkswagen and corporate partner Audi, and you’ll still be able to get into a legend for pennies on the dollar. Witness, the Audi S6 Avant.

I’ve previously covered just how special these cars are and to say that they’ve got a cult following is an Internet-breaking understatement. Seriously, tell an owner of one of these that he’s got just another car and you’re likely to end up with a bloody nose and an earfull of Ingolstadt. Yet prime condition S6 Avants are surprisingly hard to come by, in part because they were used heavily and more notably because so few came here originally. Here’s a great-looking black on black ‘95.5 to consider, though, and it’s no reserve to boot:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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1993 Volkswagen Caravelle syncro Diesel

Update 12/3/19: This Caravelle syncro sold for $11,600

It’s hard to fit into the regular lineup all of the various neat German vehicles from diverse brands, so admittedly I end up focusing on ones that really spark my interest. That leaves big gaps in coverage, and one such gaffe is certainly the Volkswagen T-series. The first three generations were based upon the Type 2 platform and rear-engine configuration, which left plenty of space for a slab-sided apartment on wheels. But Volkswagen continued the feat with the T4. The engine moved to the front and was water-cooled, transverse and in most applications driving the front wheels. But like the T3, the T4 was also available in syncro configuration with all-wheel drive.

However, while the T3’s viscous coupling sent power forward with twin locking differentials for each axle, the T4’s front-drive transverse layout meant that it needed to employ a system similar to the Golf platform. That meant a viscous coupling to transfer power rearward when slip was detected, with some T4s also having a manually locking rear differential to assist in really sticky situations. While not the go-anywhere mountain goat the T3 could be, it was a neat configuration not offered in the States. Further, you could get a plethora of engine choices at the same time the EuroVan was solely offered with the 2.5 inline-5 gas motor. Case in point is today’s 2.4 liter AAB. While not more powerful than the 2.5 gas motor, the 10 valve inline-5 diesel was a lot less thirsty and offered 77 horsepower and 121 lb.ft of torque at low revs. Here it’s hooked to a manual transmission and already imported to the U.S.:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Caravelle syncro on eBay

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