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1957 Heinkel Kabine 200

It’s always fun to take a look at something different – and bubble cars certainly are different. I’ve previously looked at several different German variants, including one that looked quite similar to today’s Heinkel – the Trojan 200:

1963 Trojan 200

The similar looks were for good reason; the Trojan was a licensed copy of today’s car, the original Kabine. There were three Kabine variants made; the Type 153 with a 174cc four-stroke air-cooled single, and two versions of the Type 200, which had a 204cc motor in ’56 and a 198cc motor from ’57-’58. This is the latter of that group, and while it’s perhaps not the most exciting, or fastest, or most practical, or prettiest, or even…well, really it’s not a car, it’s still cool to see:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Heinkel Kabine 200 on eBay

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1963 Trojan 200

I’ve previously talked about the chaos in post-War Germany, and the many attempts to ‘right the ship’ with efficient, economical, and affordable microcars, some of which were also imported to other countries. The car that springs to mind when you say this is, of course, the Isetta though ironically it was the one on the list that didn’t originate in Germany. There was also several DKWs, NSUs, and the Fuldamobil:

1955 Fuldamobil NFW 200

Airplane manufacturers got in on the action, too, with Messerschmitt trying their hand at automobiles:

1963 Messerschmitt KR201 Roadster

Trojan, though, doesn’t sound very German, does it? Well, that’s because it’s not. But like the Isetta, this was a car that was actually produced under license in another country – England in this case. The base car here is actually a Heinkel Kabine that was lightly revised after its initial production run in the late 1950s.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1963 Trojan 200 on eBay

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1995 BMW 850CSi Individual Daytona Violet

You can say that all examples of a model are the same regardless of color, and I will respect that as you opinion. But let’s be honest, they’re not. Pull up to a stop light in a black M3 and sure, some will take notice. Pull up to a light in a Phoenix Yellow Metallic example, and – love it or hate it – you’ll get attention. Which brings us to today’s car…one of the ultra-rare 850CSis originally imported to the United States.

Though they’re all the same specification, of the 225 imported here, one is a bit special. That’s because it was ordered through BMW’s Individual program in Daytona Violet over Lotus White and Daytona Violet leather. I think I’m in love!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi Individual on eBay

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1998 BMW M3 Sedan

So the E30 M3 is probably out of your league, and clean examples of the E46 generation are getting more expensive by the day. The solution is still the E36. The Internet will make arguments all day long about how this car isn’t as special as the ones that came before and after, but the reality is that it’s still a M3. And you could make a compelling argument that it did (and still does) a better job of bringing sports car performance to a practical package that’s affordable to almost everyone. The S52 3.2 liter inline-6 doesn’t sound as great on paper as the race-derived S14, but it had two more peak horsepower than that strung out four. More telling was torque; 236 lb.ft at 3,800 rpms versus the Sport Evolution’s 177 lb.ft at 4,700 rpms. Yes, it was heavier; the curb weight of the M3 Sedan you see here was about 3,200 lbs. But the additional power made up for it, and the results should be no surprise. 0-60 was dealt with over 1/2 a second quicker than the Sport, a gap that was maintained right through the quarter mile.

And practicality? It’s no contest, really. Not only is the E36 safer, but the E36 added 4-doors to the recipe. Not to mention the costs to keep one running – check out the price of a S14 rebuild today, for example. Owning a legend often doesn’t come cheap, and in this case you the current bid on this 48,000 mile 1998 M3 is cheaper than what a proper rebuild of the race motor will cost you.

Then there’s the driving experience. Downgraded ///motor be damned, these cars are absolutely stellar to drive. I’ve driven each of the first three generations of M3 on track in anger, and the second doesn’t give up much to the bookends. It’s not as toss-able as the original nor as powerful as the third, but overall it’s right there. The steering is near telepathic, the shifting precise, the power band broad. It’s a deceptively good car and deserves far better than the treatment it’s currently getting, which is to mostly be ignored in the marketplace:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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