In early 1986, three models of the Golf were available in the US; the basic, no-frills Westmoreland model, the upgraded ‘Wolfsburg’ model with aero headlights, an upgraded stereo, wider body moldings, nicer cloth, and wheel trim rings, or you had to make the not unsubstantial jump in price to the GTI model. Replacing the basic 85 horsepower 1.8 was a high-compression HT 100 horsepower unit. It didn’t sound like a lot, but that did represent a roughly 20% gain in power. Signature red-striped trim announced that this was the performance variant of the hatchback, and you also got 4-wheel discs as a first in the U.S. range. Those brakes hid behind carry-over “Avus” (Snowflake) wheels, though instead of the machine/dark gray finish the A1 had, they were now all silver and with “Volkswagen” imprinted on flush covers. Sometimes GTIs were equipped with “Montreal” (Bottlecap) alloys which were also shared with the Jetta GLI. Application seems somewhat indiscriminate. The GTI also had an upgraded suspension with front and rear sway bars and a close-ratio 5-speed manual as the only transmission. Of course, the interior was also upgraded with a leather-wrapped steering wheel borrowed from earlier GTIs, a multi-function display and specially-trimmed cloth sport seats.
In all, it was a substantial upgrade over the standard Golf, and you could of course further opt to include a sunroof, air conditioning, power steering, and a nice radio. Early U.S. Mk.2 GTIs were only available in Mars Red, Diamond Silver Metallic, black, or Alpine White as seen here. Today’s example has a few mods but stays true to the simple formula:
I’ve covered quite a few of the special Audi R8s brought to our market, but most have been color-based and focused on the second generation. But before it bowed out, Audi offered a hotted-up performance version of the 5.2 model:
2010 Audi R8 5.2 V10 quattro Coupe
It was called the GT, and Audi only built 333 of them – a scant 90 of which were directed to the US market. Performance was increased thanks to 35 more horsepower for a total of 560, and weight was down over 200 lbs thanks to lightweight glass, panels, and seats. Audi ditched the magnetic ride damping system as well, opting instead for adjustable coilovers. Add in some aero and carbon-fiber bits, and this limited ride was pretty impressive – and expensive, with a sticker price of over $200,000. One is up for sale, and worth a look – and yeah, it’s a pretty cool color, too!
Long live the W123, may it ride forever. It probably will too, if not for one eternal enemy that we’ll get into in a moment. There seems to be no mechanical limit to these machines as long as a reasonable amount of effort is put into regular maintenance and repairs. A few weeks ago we saw a 1979 300TD with over 782,000 miles sell for nearly $10,000, and that probably wasn’t even nearing the end of it’s life.
Today, we have the trust 240D with the OM616 paired with the basic 4-speed manual gearbox. There is no much to go wrong with this, except maybe the clock turns fast than you are able to accelerate. This example is finished in English Red, which is more like bring orange, but none the less a great color. The catch? Well, I wish it was easier to fix.
Well, we knew this day would come sooner or later. The 996 Porsche 911 Turbo is now selling for over $100,000. A few weeks ago we saw a 2005 sell for $104,000, which surely shocked a few people who follow the 996 Turbo market. Yes, that car probably sold for more than what is it worth, but it was a very rare Turbo S coupe with low miles, a handful of modifications, and good service history. A Rising tides lifts all boats? Not so fast. There are always market outliers, and usually for good reason. This 2004 911 Turbo with the X50 Performance Package up for sale in Miami sure seems like it wants to be one of the outliers as well.
Sometimes you see a car and say “Remember when they made that?” I had a brief moment when I saw this 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. Of course I remembered the car, but with only 175 of them in the US, it’s not like you see them for sale often. This thing is every way bonkers in the power department as sinister as it looks with 661 horsepower with 738 pound-feet of torque. Also bonkers, the price tag of nearly $300,000. Pricessurprisingly dipped pretty hard considering they only produced 350 for the entire world, but now it seems like now is the time to snatch one up as the death of the V12 is near.
This example up for sale in Miami comes in with just under 11,000 miles and looks every bit the part. Prepare to pay though, as prices are getting stronger.
Back in 2020 I looked at a late ’80 924 from the end of Series 1 production.
1980 Porsche 924 Turbo
A nice example, it had a rolled odometer but was in nice shape overall and had an asking price of just under $12k. That probably seems like a lot for a 924, and indeed – it is; you can get later and arguably better (in some ways) 944 models for the same price. But put it up against some of its contemporaries in the same price category; the Scirocco, the GTI, the BMW 320i, and the late Mercedes-Benz C107 models, and to me the 931 compares pretty favorably. If you’re looking for a fun package for not a ton of money, they seem like a worthy option. Today I found a late Series 2 car in a rare shade, so let’s take a look:
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…
Back in January, I took a look at a GT Package 996 with very low mileage in great condition and with the IMS bearing done; in short, there was little to complain about, except for the asking price at $43,000:
2001 Porsche 911 Carrera GT Package
Well, I’m back with another 996.1; this time, is a C4 with the factory Aerokit bits in Speed Yellow. Mileage is even lower this time around, yes the IMS bearing is done, and it’s got some great BBS wheels. What does that do for the asking price? Hold on to your wallet…
BMW’s attempt to offer a Golf-fighting hatchback didn’t end with the E36 generation; at least, not in the rest of the world. That’s because after the E36/5 bowed out, the company introduced the E46/5 Compact model in 2000. As with the RoW prior model, several engine options were available with 4,6, and diesel powerplants; unlike the one-engine-only US E36 model, though, it never came to North America. Style was substantially more radical than the E36; notably, the front end had a completely unique set of headlights not shared with any other BMW design. Love it or hate it, it helped the /5 stand apart. The same was true out back, where there were jewel-style tail lights that almost looked more as though they belonged on a Lexus. BMW wasn’t done out back though, because the chopped rear end held a multi-link suspension rather than the E30 setup used on the E36 model. You could get some slick options on the E46/5 too, like the SMG sequential gearbox. Today’s example has an upgraded motor, the M Sport body kit, some great looking sport seats, and it’s in North America:
Probably one of my most interesting and joyful cars to write about in my handful of years was this 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. The short history was it was delivered new to King Idris of Libya shortly before a coup d’etat by the infamous Muammar Gaddafi. Somehow the car made it out of Libya and spent time in Japan and later came to California where it was acquired by the seller in 2011. It underwent over a $150,000 worth of work to get it into condition it is, and that is the last I heard of it in 2018.
Well, it looks like the car didn’t go into hiding as it was featured in Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, then recently went up for bid on Bring a Trailer as a premium listing from the same seller. After the dust settled, someone named MalibuScott became the new owner for $300,000 all in. Truth be told, I thought that was a very nice price for the new owner. Looking at the amount of time and money that went into this car, I don’t see a big profit for the seller unless he got this for a song when it was sitting. Fun to see this one come up again, and maybe not the last we’ve heard from it.
The below post originally appeared on our site October 31, 2018: