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1998 Volkswagen GTI VR6

After its unceremonious and unexplained exit from the U.S. market with the introduction of the third generation Golf in 1993, the GTI came roaring back in a big way for the 1995 model year. Sure, it was bigger, bulkier and well…roundier, but it came with a bunch more gusto thanks to the addition of the VR6 motor as seen in the Corrado and Passat models. Though the single-overhead cam, twelve valve head lacked the race-bred feel of the Mk.II 16V, the new motor more than made up for it with the addition of two more cylinders. Good for 172 horsepower and 173 lb.ft of torque, it swept the hot hatch from 0-60 in 7.1 seconds and produced a 15.5 second quarter mile at over 90 mph. But much like the original, the GTI was more than the sum of its numbers, with drivers enjoying the great 6-cylinder soundtrack which accompanied the waves of usable torque.

On its way out of production, VW sweetened the VR6 even more with the “Driver’s Edition” model in 1997. Red stitching, red calipers and special Speedline wheels made an appearance, and while the package was ’97-only it was more-or-less completely carried over to the ’98s. That’s what we have here in this mildly modified Tornado Red example:

1998 Volkswagen GTI VR6 on eBay

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2013 Audi RS5

Often overlooked when compared to it’s rivals, the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, I find the RS5 to be an interesting alternative today. The reviewers of the time often drew the conclusion that the RS5 was more sport tourer in nature and rather limp-wristed by comparison to the other two. But as time has moved on and actual owner reports have documented since, the RS5 is a great daily driver with it’s own unique charms that make it noteworthy.

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15k-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

Here’s a deep cut! When the IRL and CART split rocked the open-wheel racing world in the mid 1990s, CART resurrected an event to rival the Indy 500. Called the “U.S. 500″, it was run at Michigan International Raceway and brought back events that had run there from the mid 1970s through the 1980s. As Penske was one of the strongest supporters of the series, engine provider Mercedes-Benz loaned some 40 R129s to the event for use as parade cars. They were offered in three colors; red, white, and blue, and all included the SL1 Sport Package, which added AMG bodywork and 18” wheels. Also special were embroidered fender logos, floor mats, debossed “US 500”-logo headrests, and new-for-96 ESP. With only 40 of these cars produced, they are almost certainly one of the most rare modern Mercedes models:

15k-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition on eBay

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Ruby Star 2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Weissach

Want a way to show up every other Instagram or YouTube hero that bought a Porsche GT car and posted a video about it? It’s gotta be one of the paint-to-sample or wild colors offered by the company, then. And is there a more wild color than Ruby Star Neo? I’m sure there might be, but every single time it catches my eye. The searing looks match the equally outrageous performance on tap from the GT4 RS; the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six makes a peak 493 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, good enough to pull down 0-60 runs in 2.8 seconds. While the RS starts at 160k today, the total quickly adds up with options, including the paint (a bargain at only $3,500), the $15k forged magnesium wheels, the $13k Weissach Package…well, you get the point. On top of that, these special-order GTs tend to hit the market higher than their MSRPs. The result? This is no budget Cayman:

2023 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Weissach on eBay

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1995 BMW M3 GT

While you’re no doubt familiar with the great lament of the de-tuned E36 M3 and the inflated price of the very limited Lightweight model, Europe enjoyed a full spectrum of Motorsport performance. One of the potent additions to the lineup was that of the M3 GT. Intended to homologate racing bits and aerodynamic tweaks for the E36, 350 limited BF99 examples were produced in early 1995. The motor was turned up to 295 horsepower with hotter cams, special oil pumps and Motorsport oil pan and revised computer controls. They also had stiffened and lowered suspension, a strut brace and a 3.23 final drive. Outside new spoilers front and rear increased downforce, and like the Lightweight the GT wore the M forged double spoke staggered wheels. Harder to spot were the aluminum doors the car wore to help keep weight down. All were painted 312 British Racing Green and featured Mexico Green Nappa leather interior with Amaretta bolsters, special Motorsports badging, and carbon-fiber trim.

They’re a very special and rarely seen variant of the E36 M3, and increasingly in this collector market that means a higher asking price:

1995 BMW M3 GT on eBay

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