2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Neiman Marcus

Remember when you used to order your entire vehicle from the Christmas catalog? Yeah, me either. But this is exactly what six very wealthy people did in 1999. In one of the strangest marketing moves I’ve seen, our friends at Europa International, the G-Wagen importer before Mercedes officially starting bringing in the G500 in 2002, partnered with luxury department store Neiman Marcus to sell a special edition G500 through their Christmas catalog. It was a three page spread (attached below) with a few photos and a paragraph of information all to hit you with the price tag: $160,000. For those keeping score at home, that is nearly $240,000 in today’s money. What did you get for all that dough? A G500 with a special two-tone interior and Swedish Birch wood trim.  Like I mentioned, they only managed to sell six of these. I am not sure if you ordered this and the G factory would build them or they only built six to sell. My guess is the former.

Today, one of these Neiman Marcus Gs is up for sale in the Atlanta area. This is one of two that I’ve ever even see photos of and luckily for the next owner of this G500, it has been cared for and loved over the past 17 years. Question is, are you willing to pay a pretty big premium for it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Neiman Marcus on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow

Last week on Christmas day I looked at a 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow that had a little bit of a mixed reaction. Even though it had only 70,000 miles and spent the majority of its life in Florida, the wood on the center console had some odd stuff going on with it. That is often the one minus of cars in the regions of no snow: you have to deal with the heat, along with the sun, that can wreak havoc on wood and leather. For the $17,000 asking price, you could probably find a better car or at least a better deal if you planned on driving it regularly. Today, I might have found that better deal. This Silver Arrow up for sale Atlanta, Georgia has 40,000 more miles but of course has some flaws to go along with those miles. The good news is the price is much cheaper than $17,000. How cheap?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow on eBay

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2001 Audi S8

The Audi S8 is, at its heart, just about the opposite of beige. Beige is neutral, calming, blends into its surroundings to the point where it becomes less a color and more a sickly feeling. None of those ideas represent the D2. It is beautifully sculpted and built, exhilarating to drive and listen to, distinctive in its presence. Yet, in many ways, it’s also a car not befitting the brilliant Solar Orange I just looked at. So perhaps the Melange Metallic of this 2001 is the perfect tone?

There’s something else odd about beige S8s. Amazingly, several of the best I’ve seen in recent years have been draped in blah. The Canvas Beige Metallic 2002 with a scant 13,000 miles was certainly one of, if not the best, used D2s on the market recently. I believe it’s the same car that recently sold on Bring A Trailer for $25,200 with 23,000 miles. Since there were only five imported in that color combination, the odds of there being another seem improbably low. Then there was the ’01 in Melange I looked at back in 2016. With 54,000 miles on the clock it looked near perfect. Well, here’s another Melange Metallic 2001 with 55,600 miles:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 190D with 2,200 miles

Last week I looked at one of my favorite and oddest Mercedes-Benz ever: the 190E Avantgarde Azzurro. It was an incredibly expensive car for its time at $40,500 ($72,000 in 2018 money), especially when you considered it was marketed towards younger buyers. As expensive as that car was, Mercedes offered a much more inexpensive option if you still wanted a new W201. How inexpensive? Nearly half the price at just $21,000. Of course you might have noticed I am talking about the 190D. This 190D up for sale in Poland has just 2,200 miles and in addition to being a time capsule, is probably the most bare bones and basic Mercedes I’ve looked at in a long time, if ever. The data card lists just six different build codes compared to the 20 for the Avantgarde Azzurro. Seriously, my manual-everything 1983 240D has more luxuries than this car. I hope the buyer for this car has lots of money and likes the sound of total silence, but that is what is going to take to own this car. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190D at Classic-Trader

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2009 Audi TTS Coupe

Recently I’ve written up a string of BMW 135is. A great car and likely future collector, the turbocharged E8x packs a mean punch and stands apart from the crowd, yet is just luxurious enough to make you feel quite special even when the throttle isn’t on the floor. But the BMW wasn’t without competition in the marketplace back in 2009. That competition emerged in the form of the new TTS package. Now, while Audi had made some pretty quick TTs up to that point, none had ever really been considered on par as a driver’s car with what typically emerged from Munich. But the new TTS shifted the balance of performance towards Ingolstadt:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Audi TTS Coupe on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Most of the time the cars I feature are really nice examples. Mostly because no one wants to look at junk, outside of a few exceptions, and the majority of the cars that are offered for sale to the masses are actually cars people want to buy. For every nice W124 Mercedes-Benz on eBay, there are a dozen of them sitting behind barbed-wire fences at Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots with one flat tire. Today’s car, a 1982 500SL, is in an interesting position. The model itself is always considered desirable and people generally like them, but this specific example needs a lot of love to get it back to its former glory. Given the price, compared to really nice ones, is it worth taking on as a project?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG Cabriolet

Here is something I don’t see all that often. This is a 1993 Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG Cabriolet. If you are asking yourself why you never see these cars, it is because they are incredibly rare. The W124 E36 is exactly what it sounds like, a W124 with a 3.6 liter M104 from AMG with some cool bumpers and wheels. For as German as Mercedes-Benz is, they are dreadful for publishing production records on cars that aren’t worth a million dollars. Although maybe they just aren’t very open with sharing their information either. From what I understand, under 200 W124 E36 AMG cars were produced during the last few years of the W124 production run in the sedan, coupe, cabriolet and estate bodies. Of the less than 200, 57 officially went to the UK as right hand drive models and the rest were scattered around the rest of the world. Much to no ones surprise, none made it to the North America. Today, we have an E36 AMG Cabriolet up for bid in Illinois. Except this car isn’t one of those 200 cars. Please stay with me here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG Cabriolet on eBay

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1986 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup

While Rob has left us, that doesn’t mean Porsche coverage will be! So I’d like to start the year with the counterpoint to Rob’s 911 Club Sport. I recently looked at a 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S, the details of which were sussed out by Porsche in the Turbo Cup race series. While the Club Sport purported to be track-ready, the Turbo Cup was a turn-key racer straight out of the factory.

Porsche built a limited group of 944 chassis each year which were heavily upgraded with lightweight parts, roll cages and turned up engines. Weight was dropped thanks to extensive use of magnesium for the intake and sump, along with deletion of most luxuries. Manual windows, no door pockets, no air conditioning or sunroof here! The engine was upgraded with more boost and a revised turbocharger, along with a strengthened gearbox. Inside a Matter cage reinforced the structure, a Recaro seat cradled the driver and of course the suspension was upgraded as well. Later Turbo Cup cars also featured magnesium Phone Dial wheels, alone saving on the order of 18 lbs, though early models were delivered with forged Fuchs. These cars were not only raced in the one-make Turbo Cup series around the world, but also utilized by Porsche and privateers in race series such as the SCCA Escort Endurance Championship in “Showroom Stock”. Each year only a handful were produced, making these cars some of the most sought transaxles out there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup on eBay

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1981 BMW M1

Update 1/1/2019: The seller has relisted this M1 now at $695,000 – nearly $200,000 down from last Spring, but probably still ahead of the market.

Update 7/29/18: After listing in May at $875,000, the seller has dropped the price to $725,000 – still high for the model, but not as far out of line. Will it sell this time around?

I give Audi a lot of credit for bringing the R8 to market. It took a fair amount of gall for a company best known for mid-range all-wheel drive luxury sedans to up and produce a supercar-beating mid-engine road car capable of being used year-round and every day. It’s a feat nearly without precedent. Of course, I said “nearly”.

That’s because BMW pulled off a similar trick the best part of thirty years before Audi did it. And arguably the development of what would become BMW’s fledgling Motorsports division was even more impressive than what Ingolstadt pulled off. The M1 burst onto the scene at a time of economic austerity, global oil crises and came from a company who not only didn’t have a history of producing such cars, but didn’t have connections to others who did (unlike Audi’s corporate Lamborghini partnership).

Speaking of Lamborghini, because of BMW’s lack of expertise in supercar design it was the Sant’Agata firm that was employed to produce the M1. But because of Lamborghini’s lack of expertise at being…well, a company capable of producing something on a schedule, BMW engineers had to first liberate the early molds from Italy and then find someone who could produce the car. Ultimately, it was a combination of ItalDesign in Turin, Marchesi metal working in Modena to build the frames and Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart that stuck the M1 together. Though it doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven, and indeed the M1 was a relative sales flop, it has nonetheless grown to cult status as one of the most user-friendly supercars of the late 1970s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW M1 on eBay

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Michael Jordan’s 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722

Over a year later, Air Jordan’s 722 is still for sale in Texas. Same photos and same mileage previously. Find it here on eBay.

Michael Jordan is one of the most popular athletes and brands in the world. He’s worth over a billion dollars and with that usually comes some expensive cars. Normally, wealthy celebrities go out grab the latest and greatest vehicle, drive it for a few years, then rinse and repeat. But even before Jordan was worth 10 figures, he always had some really enthusiast-minded cars. He had a Ferrari 512 TR, W140 S600, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, C4 Corvettes, SL55 AMG, 930 Slantnose and my personal favorite, a 993 Turbo S. Today’s car for sale in Texas might be one of the rarest cars he’s ever owned. This 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition owned by M.J. is just one of 150 ever built. And judging by its original price tag of just under $500,000, it was probably one of the most expensive cars he has even bought.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Michael Jordan’s 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 on AutoTrader

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