Do you have roughly $65,000 burning a hole in your pocket? I have just the car for you. Well, at least the specific model. I know I’m not exactly predicting the lottery numbers here, but if you were on the fence about buying a 996 Porsche GT3, get off that fence and do it. These are not going to ever be cheaper than they are right now and it already seems like people are snagging them up and putting giant mark-ups on them just because they can. There are still good deals out there to be found if you look hard enough, but I suspect that isn’t going to be for long. Today’s car, a 2004 GT3 up for sale in Seattle, is offered at a Ferrari dealer so that means you are basically paying for the privilege of the staff there to acknowledge your existence. Still, I’ve seen worse deals out there.
When I was about 5 years old, my father took me to the Porsche dealership. Rows of new arrivals from Zuffenhausen lined up, a cornucopia of Easter egg-colored speed machines. In 1983, the low, organic, flowing shapes of the 911 and 944 stood in vast contrast to the bulk of three-box designs that proliferated the marketplace. But there was one shape that really stuck out to me – the 928.
In 1983, Porsche hadn’t yet abandoned its hope that the 928 would ascend to the top of the Porsche model lineup, and because of this I don’t remember seeing any 928s outside. Where I did see them was inside the showroom, where I distinctly remember one residing. My father was taken by the 911 (still is, to this day), and perhaps it was a father-versus-son stereotypical response, but the air-cooled model looked old and antiquated. The 928 was, both literally and figuratively, the antithesis of the 911. Water-cooled, front-engined, Grand Touring. It looked like a spaceship both inside and out. Clearly, this was the future I was witnessing.
Yet the 928, for all its press and relative market success, never caught completely on. It was never able to wrest the crown from the 911 as the signature model for Porsche. But what is perhaps most surprising to me is that it is one of the few cars that today, over forty years gone from its design phase, that unlike basically every other car model produced in the 1970s and 1980s, it still looks futuristic today. Okay, admittedly, the plastics have aged, tiny wheels with big, comfy side walls are no longer the norm and flush-fitted windows, lights, locks and antenna would clean the design up significantly. But compare this design to a few contemporaries, for a moment – the 1976 Chrysler New Yorker, the Toyota Cressida, or the Fiat 128. Three different nations, three different versions of the present, none anywhere near as revolutionary as the design that sits here:
Over the past few weeks I’ve taken a look at both the special ’89 Wolfsburg Edition Jetta GLI 16V and a ’91 GLI 16V. Both, ultimately, were lacking. The ’89 suffered from a plethora of mods but not a look quite perfect enough to be a show car, while the ’91 had a lot of needs as it had been hobbled together. So it’s a bit interesting to see another GLI 16V pop up.
Like the July example, this is a later ‘big bumper’ car. Like the ’89, this one has quite a few modifications from stock and is a special color. But perhaps because of slick photography, bigger dollar mods or the spectacularly 90s LA6U Capri Green paintwork, this one pulls it off:
You can file this one under the “strange but true” category. This 1997 Porsche 911 C4S is finished in paint-to-sample yellow. However, this isn’t just any yellow. This is literally Ferrari yellow. It says “Ferrari” right on the door jam sticker. Ferrari’s name for the color is Giallo Modena because they are Italians, but Porsche calls this Ferrari-Gelb. (Literally Ferrari-Yellow) I would of loved to have heard the conversation in Stuttgart when the buyer asked for a paint to sample in a car literally from a competing brand. My guess is this was a very important person who spent a lot of money with Porsche over the years because Porsche doesn’t exactly bend over backwards for anyone off the street and they certainly don’t do it for less than those giant bags with ‘$‘ on the side of them. Given the paint to sample, you would be correct to guess this one also has some other cool little touches.
I recently looked at a Laguna Green Metallic 850i 6-speed and talked a bit about just why they’re so special. It’s definitely a car you don’t see every day:
1991 BMW 850i
Out of the 4,194 5.0 V12 M70-equipped, only 847 came to the United States between 1990 and 1994 (as the re-badged 850Ci) with a 6-speed manual transmission. While that’s not quite as rare and desirable as the 850CSi, nevertheless the manual E31s are pretty special bits of kit and very hard to come across. But today we get to look at another, and it’s again a cool 90s color:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: on eBay
A few months ago I looked at a 2014 Audi SQ5 that is purely an answer to the SUV boom that doesn’t seem to be stopping. Porsche wasn’t blind to this fact, and doubled down on the highly successful Cayenne and launched the slightly smaller Q5-based Macan. Never to be short on choices, you could chose between the standard Macan, S, GTS, and Turbo. Naturally, these sold like crazy. Give people their SUV fix in a premium package and you can basically print money. However, building a lot of something means there are a ton of them on the market at any given time, and add in the always steady German depreciation, and you suddenly have a very nice package for new Honda CR-V money. This is exactly what we have today with this 2015 Macan S up for sale at a Porsche of Austin, Texas. These slightly-used SUVs just get more and more appealing to me every day.
I’ll assume if you’re into this site you’re pretty familiar with the Type 14 Karmann Ghia even though I don’t talk about them much. Basically, it was the original Scirocco – taking the ‘pedestrian’ underpinnings of the Beetle and creating a sporty persona to mask them. If you’re a real fan of VWs, you’re probably also familiar with the second, upscale Karmann Ghia – the Type 34. I took a look at one last year:
1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34
With only 42,500 sold compared to the nearly half million Type 14 Ghias produced – and never officially imported to the U.S., most people are fairly unaware of this model even though it’s arguably one of the prettiest Volkswagens made.
But there was an even more rare third Karmann Ghia. This was the Type 145 produced by Volkswagen do Brasil. Styled by Giugiaro and with the stretched Type III chassis underneath, a scant 18,000 of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Touring Coupe (TC) were produced solely for the South American market:
Hell hath no fury like depreciation on a Maybach. A few years ago I looked at a Maybach 57s that, in terms of pure insanity to buy and maintain, was probably at the top of the list. Not only was the technology already badly dated, but it has some truly eye-wateringly expensive parts on it like a watercooled alternator that can only be bought used for $8,000. Today, I have another Maybach that is probably in the same boat as the car from over three years ago. This 2016 S600 has everything you could want out of an ultra-luxury car including two little pillows for you nap on or have the world’s most posh pillow fight with your backseat companion. The reason I am looking at this example specifically is because despite it being a 2016, it has almost 118,000 miles on. You know what that means in terms of price.
Like the C3 chassis that predated it, the C4 went through numerous changes seemingly every year – giving each individual model year something special for fans to covet. 1994 to 1995 saw some major changes for the C4; the most obvious being the model designation change from S4 (1991-1994) to S6 (1995-1997). European models had some additional drivetrain options that weren’t available in the U.S., and indeed the Avant had previously been available in S4 form, but the 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5 carried over largely unchanged into 1995. The big news was the addition of the Avant to the U.S. lineup; at the time, as expensive as an Audi got here. There was also the obvious external refresh; smooth body-colored bumpers and wider side trims eliminated the rubberized black moldings. The hood and lights were lightly re-sculpted too, along with the change (rolling, for some models) from the Fuchs-made 5-spoke alloys to the Speedline-made 6-spoke Avus wheels which would be the signature S-wheel for the next decade.
Gone were two staples of the Audi lineup from the 1980s – Procon 10, the seatbelt pre-tensioning safety system Audi highly marketed in the late 1990s disappeared with little fanfare, but also, perhaps more strikingly, S cars would no longer be branded with “quattro” badges – a change that would carry on nearly until today’s models, where models like the RS7 re-introduced it in the grill. Inside minor changes were introduced; a revised dashboard, shift knob, along with the introduction of the most notable item (once again, rolling) with a 3-spoke sport steering wheel. It was a tremendous amount of minor fiddling that in sum resulted in a slightly different feel for the S6; slightly more polished and grown up, carrying the new design language for Audi that would remain for the next decade.
Audi wasn’t done, though, because in “1995.5” Audi once again altered several items on the then-still-new S6. This included a major switch moving forward – the elimination of driver control of the rear differential, a hallmark of Audis since the introduction of the original Quattro. Audi opted for an “electronic differential lock”, which in reality was a system which utilized the ABS system to detect wheelspin and apply the brakes. This major change resulted in some minor interior tweaks, such as moving the cigarette lighter, and there were additional revisions to the radio. The transmission’s traditional weak first gear was also addressed, as well as swapping infrared locking for radio frequency and some other minor trim. All of these changes – some of them running – give the limited production S6s a bit of a bespoke feel. With numbers produced only in the hundreds, these are special and coveted cars that are very capable – and highly sought:
Very rarely can you buy a new car and not lose a dime on depreciation. Granted, this isn’t going to happen on something you can drive on down to local dealer and pick one out of a row covered in dust that has been sitting for six weeks. These cars are usually low production and thus very high demand. Some recent examples were the BMW 1M and the Porsche 911R just to give you an idea. Again, these are super specific examples, but at the same time you can find them for sale fairly easily, you just need to pay. Another one of those cars is the Cayman GT4. This isn’t the first time Porsche really went all in on the Cayman, as the Cayman R was nice package to say the least, but the GT4 just feels a little more polished. I’m certainly not the only one that feels this way, and prices surely reflect that. However, a new 718 Cayman GT4 is coming in 2020. What does that mean for current prices?