I don’t think we need much of an excuse to look at a clean Audi S8. But in case you haven’t been paying attention, the D2 S8 is one of my very favorite Audi models. It’s also one that I haven’t owned, and at some point I’d very much like to change that. Unfortunately for me, time continues to march on and I feel as though every day the chances of finding a very nice S8 that is the perfect fit for me becomes more remote.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great ones that come up for sale, though, and today’s example certainly appears to be ticking the right boxes. From the last year of production, this is one of the 100 Ming Blue over Platinum models brought to the U.S.. Since only 300 made it here in total, any 2003 is worth a look, but this one is especially nice – and, shockingly affordable:
I feature a lot of Porsches and generally feel I have a pretty good handle on the various 911 models and editions that have been produced. At one point or another I have featured pretty much all of them. There are exceptions, there are always exceptions. Here is one that I did not know existed: a 1976 Porsche 911S Signature Edition. To be honest, I don’t know exactly what the Signature Edition is supposed to commemorate. Or perhaps it isn’t supposed to commemorate anything given that I can’t find anything out about it. It is called the Signature Edition because each of the 200 examples produced has Ferry Porsche’s signature on the steering wheel. Maybe one day he just felt like signing a steering wheel and, behold, the Signature Edition was born.
The details that set apart the Signature Edition aren’t limited to a steering wheel. You got a special Platinum Metallic exterior with color-matched cookie cutter wheels. But the interior is where these 911s really stand out. It’s a tan leatherette with black dash along with tweed seat inserts and door panels. Even that signed wheel was a contrasting tan and black (and also very ugly). With its mix of beiges and browns the Signature Edition is perhaps the most ’70s version of an car I can imagine. I won’t call it a pretty car by any means, but let’s call it period correct. That sounds better.
No, this isn’t a typo. This is a 1995 Mercedes-Benz E200 — in Chicago. Even stranger, this is a right-hand drive car from Great Britain. Why and how did it end up in Chicago? I have no idea. Just to refresh, the 200E/E200 was the base model of the W124 that came with either the M102 or M111 inline-4 engine. This car has the later M111 that produced 134 horsepower and 140 lb·ft of torque. Not a powerhouse by any means, but enough to get you moving. The E200 also came with a cool cloth interior with those rad 90s patterns that everyone loves so much now. But as you might have noticed, this is not a stock E200.
If you’ve been reading these pages long enough you’ll know that I love a bright red interior. You might also recall that for me a white exterior is a color for which I have a very love/hate relationship. I think it can work incredibly well on some cars and look incredibly boring on others. In both cases, what I like about these colors comes down to contrast. It is not the individual color itself that I enjoy, but rather the way in which it complements other colors. I can think of few better examples of this than the presentation of this Grand Prix White 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe with Lipstick Red interior and just 26,842 miles on it.
The interior is about as bright as they come on a Porsche. Contrasted with the Grand Prix White exterior it stands out in sharp focus. It’s ostentatious, but because the exterior is white I don’t find it garish. It brings some excitement to the car in a way that the much more standard black interior simply could not do and it enhances that white exterior. Overall, this is really nice looking 930 whose color combination is quite befitting of the car’s dynamic capabilities.
Update 11/13/18: This 912 Soft-window Targa sold for $50,217.99.
I began my post on a recent 993 Turbo S by stating, “this is everything.” In a very different way my reaction to this Golden Green 1967 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa is similar. For pure lust the Turbo S certainly wins the day, but some of the allure of that car was in the details and that is where the overlap lies with this 912. There is enough here to pore over that interested parties could spend hours simply looking through these pictures.
We’ll begin with the color. Golden Green is not a color I’ve seen before. It only was available for a couple years in the ’60s and generally isn’t one that we come across among the many PTS 911s that have been produced since. It is sort of in the vein of Lindgrün (also called Chartreuse) that was produced in the ’70s though Golden Green doesn’t look as bright to me. As the name suggests it possesses a yellow/gold hue to its non-metallic green. That golden hue allows it to change kind of dramatically from sun to shade. The pictures here do a pretty good job of capturing that transformation. This is said to be the only Soft-window Targa produced in 1967 in this color with only 4 others made in 1968. So it’s very rare. I don’t know how many Coupes might also exist, but as I said this is the first I have seen it so I’m guessing there aren’t many.
The other part of this is the Soft-window Targa itself, Porsche’s answer to what they thought would be the death of the open-roofed car. Such tragedies never befell the car industry and the soft rear window eventually was replaced with the glass rear with which we’re all very familiar on 911 Targas even to this day. But the SWT is an interesting design and interesting engineering answer to a potential problem. They make for great historical models and given their short production run are quite rare in themselves. So there’s a good bit going on here and the seller has provided quite a few pictures to document this Targa’s condition. Add to all of that it is up for auction without reserve.
Last week I took a look at a rather haggard 1999 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate in my never-ending quest for a daily driver when the snow starts flying. Reaction to this car was mixed and it ended up selling for $1,757. A fair price for the condition. In the comments on the S210 one of our readers (Thanks, Doug) pointed out that a really nice W124 Estate would be a much better option compared to the W210. Naturally, I took a look at the car and I can’t say I disagree. This 1995 E320 Estate up for sale in Virginia isn’t painted in the most desirable color and even has the love them or leave them chrome wheels, but I’m totally smitten for it.
While it hasn’t been particularly long since I looked at a B2 – either in Coupe GT or in 4000S form – it has been a bit since we saw a nice example of the fan-favorite 4000 quattro. In fact, it’s been over a year since I looked at the last late-build 4000CS quattro.
Such is the marketplace at this point. The newest example is on the verge of being 32 years old and, frankly, not many have lived glamorous lives. Despite this, they are resilient. I was reminded to the 4000CS quattro when I watched a recent Motorweek featuring the then-new 325ix. While admittedly the E30 packed more power than Audi’s traditional normally aspirated inline-5, to me the 4000 still holds greater appeal and was better in its execution of a reliable all-weather sedan. I won’t go through everything that made these cars special as I have done several times, but if you’re interested you can read about the early or late models by clicking.
Today, both the ix and quattro models are few and far-between. Audi originally sold about 4,000 each model year of the 4-year run of the democratized all-wheel drive system shared with its very rare Quattro brethren, but at a cut-rate price and with exceptionally low residual value (I bought mine at 9 years old with under 100,000 miles for only 10% of its original sticker price), there just aren’t a lot of good ones remaining. Here’s one:
The second-hand car market for almost-new Porsches is kind of amusing to me these days. On the one hand, you have the various GT cars – the GT3, GT3 RS, and GT2 RS. All of those have been selling for above MSRP and in the case of the GT2 RS the markup is high enough that you easily could buy yourself a second nearly-new 911 instead. They are amazing cars and prices will come down, but still.
On the other hand, you have pretty much every other Porsche on the market, which, like most any other car, goes through a decent bit of depreciation almost immediately. For instance, there is this Graphite Blue 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Texas, with Graphite Blue/Chalk leather interior. In truth, this one probably isn’t even a particularly good deal, but it is one that I like quite a bit. The Graphite Blue exterior is a fantastic color, I really like the interior contrast, it has the 7-speed manual transmission, and it’s a Targa. There’s a lot to like about this 911.
To be clear, I am in no way perplexed by these phenomena; I just find it amusing.
Have your eye on that G63 AMG 6X6 Brabus B700 but can’t swing the $1,895,000 price tag? I might have a solution for you. You are probably looking at the title and seeing 1999 G500 and looking at the photo not seeing a 1999 G500. I have an answer to that question as well. This W463 started life as your regular G500 and was transformed into a faux Brabus B700 6X6 by master craftsmen in Eastern Europe. You are probably chuckling when I say ”master craftsmen” and ”Eastern Europe” in the same sentence, but hear me out on this one.
As you might have noticed this G is not in Miami like the listing says, but is actually in the city of Lutsk in Western Ukraine parked outside of a khrushchyovka and a store that sells fertilizer. Mercedes made less than 100 6x6s in total and Brabus converted a handful to their B700-spec so it’s not you can just go grab a 6×6 body from the local parts department. Being a former resident of Ukraine, I reached out to this seller to ask a laundry list of questions as to how this 6×6 came to be. The seller said the entire body was custom fabricated by his team and all the carbon fiber pieces, including the giant fenders, were made custom by his factory that molds carbon fiber pieces. How he got all the specs and dimensions, he wouldn’t tell me. Simply ”its secret”. When I asked if Mercedes or Brabus contacted him, seeing as he somehow replicated one of their most exclusives vehicles ever that sold over $700,000, he replied that they had not, but he hopes to sell the 6×6 before they do. As for the mechanicals, it is a 6×6 system that fully functions and mentioned that while it is fun to drive, actually parking this monster is less than ideal. Oh yeah, we haven’t even talked about the interior yet.
I don’t spend a lot of time talking about air-cooled models on these pages, and that’s a huge gap in Volkswagen’s history. It’s also not so long ago that VW continued to crank out brand new Beetles alongside their water-cooled replacements. The proliferation paved the way not only for the water-cooled replacement models I tend to favor, but some pretty awesome air-cooled examples, too.
Of those my favorite certainly must be the Type 34. I dissected Volkswagen’s first attempt to move upscale in an article on The Truth About Cars last year:
Volkswagen’s Other Karmann Ghia: the Type 34
Basically, like the Phaeton, the Type 34 was a sales failure. It was too expensive – costing about 50% more than a normal Type 14 Ghia. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t a very good looking failure. While the underpinnings were shared with its less exotic 1500 cousins, the upscale Karmann Ghia was aimed squarely at making peasants feel like landed gentry and certainly looked the part. Sweeping character lines ran the length of the car, giving it its signature “razor” nickname. Added to the upscale look in terms of desirability today is rarity. Never imported to the United States, the Type 34 only achieved about 42,500 units – less than 10% of the total number of the more popular and familiar Type 14 Karmann Ghia. But we’re lucky to find one today in Michigan: