Killer deal on a clean 1986 Cossy 190E

We’re familiar enough with the Mercedes-Benz AMG 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth, a car who predated the current fancy-car trend of verbose hyphenated names by 25 years.  Overshadowed by BMW’s E30 M3 response 2 years later, it’s still a hot piece of 80s German race machinery.  What really struck me about this ad is the offer from the seller to take it to a mechanic and knock the cost of whatever mechanical repairs are needed off the price.  Essentially a guarantee that you’ll get a 2.3-16 in great running shape for the advertised $5800, a low price to start with.

1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth for sale on Craigslist SF

Seller’s description:

1986 Cosworth Mercedes 2.3-16 valve. 134 k mi, one of the 1800 legally imported in1986-87, second owner, no rust or accidents, good condition, new head gasket, fuel pump, timing chain, clutch, exhaust including preconverters. Getrag 5 speed manual. A lot of assorted new parts. Runs well. Rear shocks new, but not OEM. Ambient air gauge and cruise control don’t work. $5800 or BO. We can take the car to the dealer for inspection, any cost of mechanical repairs (if needed) I will gladly subtract from asking price.

There aren’t a ton of pictures to get an idea of the overall superficial condition, but with the list of recent maintenance and mechanical guarantee, I see this as a pretty mind-blowing deal as Cosworth’s regularly go for $10-15k.  It’s not as sexy as an Evo and doesn’t stray to far from a standard 190E, but that’s ok with me with the racing pedigree and money that will be left over for upgrades should you choose to go that route.  If anyone out there is actually in the market for one of these, I’d highly recommend contacting this seller.


1969 Mercedes-Benz 600, one owner, 78k miles

The Mercedes-Benz 600, or Grosser Mercedes, is one of those timeless vehicles that needs no explanation. Favored by heads of state, celebrities and well-heeled businesspersons, some 600s are still regularly used to this day, as many believe that even a Maybach can’t stand up to what this car has to offer. Here we have a VERY original, one owner short wheelbase 600 in need of another caretaker for the next 40 years.

The seller states:

Purchased new 11/28/1968. The only 600 ever sold new in Columbus, Ohio. Owned by local attorney since day 1. Always maintained and preserved at the local Mercedes dealership where it always received everything it needed and more as can be attested to by the extensive service file which comes with the car.

Car was recently driven 500 miles to the M100 clubs annual meet where it was recognized as one of the best original cars in existence. Silver with black leather. Paint is mostly original although it has had some touch-ups over the years and an extra door protection strip added. The original black leather is still soft and supple. It has a factory optional sunroof and beverage cooler. It comes complete with all the books and records, the toolkit with all the tools, the hydraulic kit with all the parts, the air suspension kit inside the spare wheel with all the parts, and the spare parts kit in the styrofoam box stored in the left trunk compartment. The tires are almost new Michelins with less than 1000 miles, 205/75/15XL. Everything operates as intended in every system. There are no mickey mouse parts on this car. It has factory original exhaust system in good condition. The chrome is bright and shiny with just a few minor imperfections. The car has absolutely no rust ever.

Being sold to settle estate. You won’t find too many left like this one. SL Market Letter lists this car in #2 condition at $150,000. We are offering the car at 1/3 off for quick sale. Enjoy it while it appreciates! This car is 100% handmade and is the 540K of the future. It is the finest automobile ever made by any company and soon will be recognized in the 1 million dollar range.

While $100,000 may seem a bit steep for what is essentially a used vehicle, consider how much it would cost to put everything right on a vehicle like this. What we see here is a rare instance of a well cared for classic, one that is sure to appreciate in the future.

And if you weren’t aware, famed motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson owns one:


1994 Mercedes Benz SL74 Renntech

Today hearing of a Mercedes pushing 500 horsepower, while not really yawn factor, is certainly not surprising. AMG has done an amazing job generating massive power and torque numbers for Mercedes that you can now buy of the regular dealer showroom floor. While big engine big power Benzs have been a hallmark of the company for years they were scarcer in years past.

This big fellow could scare off just about everything else on the road when it was new back in 1994. The SL74 was a Renntech package that took the already potent Mercedes 6 liter V-12 and pushed it out to 7.4 liters. With about 600 horsepower and 600 lb. ft. of torque after the conversion all coming out of a lagless normally aspirated engine one could easily spin the z rated tires down to the rims.

It isn’t clear if this car was converted by Renntech just after the purchase or if the conversion took place later in the car’s life. With only 15,000 miles it doesn’t really matter.

This car has similar specs to the Renntech SL74 I posted early this summer:

Giant brakes (seriously look inside the wheels at those things), exhaust, limited slip diff, upgraded transmission all are necessary additions. The sort of things you would associate with a handbuilt rocketship. What sets this one apart, ironically, is at first glance it is so subdued. You could easily mistake this for just another R129 series Benz. The wheels are nothing too exciting, though closer inspection reveals them to be light magnesium wheels. Nothing seems too fancy about the bodykit, some flares and vents, not even a badge on the back, then you realize it is all carbon fiber, hood, fenders, rockers. This saves, according to the seller 600 lbs in weight.

A peak inside and you can see that this SL is not for prowling a Florida retirement community, though grandpa would probably like the feel of those Recaro ortho sport seats, grandma likely would not want to fumble with the four point race harness.

I believe you can still get this conversion done by Renntech if you have the cash. The original cost was $325,000, that included $110,000 for the stock SL600.  Take the depreciation and buy this two owner sneak attack machine for $65,000. Geniuses drive green cars after all right? Hard top and stand included. Just be careful the seller has no feedback.

It is worth noting that the Renntech 7.4 should not be confused with the similar era Mercedes AMG SL73, which was a factory produced vehicle available in very limited numbers. The 7.3 liter AMG engine is the engine that went on to more recent fame as the power plant for the Pagani Zonda producing similar power figures as this Renntech.


1983 VW Jetta Coupe for sale

While there’s been on/off talk of a new Jetta Coupe for the past decade or so, they haven’t produced on since the Mk2 series ended in 1989.  This is a shame as the concept pictures of more modern coupes are quite attractive, and examples from 80s are awesome but rare.  The sharp Jetta shape looks better just a little more compact, and this one for sale on VW Vortex is looking great in the Mk1 Mars Red and black.  I’ve always wanted this color combo on an early GTI, but the funky rarity of a Jetta Coupe might even be a little cooler.

1983 VW Jetta Coupe for sale on VW Vortex

The list of upgrades is too long to put here, but worth checking out on the listing if you’re interested in VWs.  Essentially, this is a thoroughly gone-over and loved Mk1 that’s better than it left the factory without being over the top modified.  There are some scuffs and scratches outside but overall it looks great with that color, clean vinyl molding, and decent black wheels. The tweed interior is as perfect as one could put in a Mk1, and the running bits are very well-chosen and sorted.  The seller is looking for $3,900, right in the middle of what I consider acceptable Mk1 range: beaters around $1k (or less), showy engine swappers closer to $7-8.  The time, energy, and care put into making this a great little coupe makes me think it’s a good price for a fun and funky alternative to more common VWs.


Low, low mile 2004 VW R32 for sale

Until the new Golf R comes out, provided VW blesses us deprived ‘mericans with its presence, the 1st-gen R32 will be top on my list of modern VWs to have thanks to its healthy VR6, 6-speed, and awesome 4Motion all-wheel drive.  I don’t think I’m alone in this, as the much newer (and thus less used and abused) 2008 models are going for just a few thousand more on the market.  Today, I found a magically low-mile and clean 2004 in Black Magic, though I can never decide if, were I actually to make the purchasing jump, I would go for black or the Deep Blue.  Regardless, this 20k-mile example comes in black, so I’ll go with it.

I’ll preempt the haters and say that this generation of VWs has it’s faults.  It may require some maintenance.  There, I said it, so I can go back to drooling over thoughts of bombing up the mountains with nary a care in my AWD hot hatch.  This thing has gone just over 3k miles a year, in my eyes making it worth the $22,500 asking price provided everything checks out.  Their rarity will only become more important as time goes on, and I think we all, as German car lovers, owe VW a hearty thanks for having the cojones to put out a car like this while a lot of other volume-based companies went bland and beige.  I may have to wait a few more years until I get mine, but a low-mile one like this is what I’ll be looking for.


1972 Opel Admiral B

Until Cadillac rebadged the Opel Omega as a Catera, large Opels were obscure vehicles for most Americans. Introduced in 1969 to replace the Admiral A, the Admiral B was powered by an OHV 2.8 liter inline six, which could be optioned with fuel injection, making this the first Opel model to offer the technology. The large sedan soldiered on until 1977 when the Senator replaced both it and the similar Diplomat. This seller claims this is the only Admiral in the U.S. but has no proof to back it up. In any case, you will surely be the only one on your block, if not the state, to drive one of these large German sedans.

The seller states:

1972 Opel Admiral, imported from Germany. It’s been in the United States around a year. The car is original, no accidents, original paint. The car has 25,000 original miles. A few things were done to the car when we received it. New spark plugs, new spark plug wires, rotor, cap, brakes front and rear, brand new master cylinder, brand new Michelin tires. Also upgraded the stereo system and you can see on the pictures a complete exhaust system. Most of these parts were ordered directly from Germany. It has a few small rust spots.

So far there are a few bids but there is a reserve on the auction. Values on these kind of vehicles, especially outside of their home markets can be hard to put a finger on. This seller had listed this car at $19,000 a few days ago without a reserve, so it’s safe to say he is probably hoping to get over $10,000. While in good shape, there is a noticeable amount of rust that needs to be addressed and finding parts would not be an easy task stateside. For those who are brave, though, this would be a great conversation piece to show up in at the local classic car show.


Low-mile E28 M5 for sale

The early M cars are the purest of the line, and it’s great to find them in original, unmolested, and unabused condition. There isn’t a whole lot of info on the listing about this M5, but the pictures and mileage point to a very clean, very original example.  The interior and exterior look practically new, the only aspect reflecting its 22 years of age being the engine, but that’s more of a nice reminder that there was time when engines weren’t hidden by anonymous sheets of black plastic.  You just don’t find the early M-cars with 50k miles very often, and it’s especially tempting when it’s an M5 with the robust S38 powerplant.

1988 BMW M5 for sale

Priced just under $17k, it’s not a cheap car, but I really think it’s a good value.  I like that it sits on the original wheels and as I mentioned, is extremely clean top to bottom.  Not only a good buy for the growing historical value, this is a car that could be a ton of fun through another 150k miles.


1975 Porsche 914 electric vehicle conversion

We don’t really post vehicles like this, because really if you can’t  hear the growl of a finely tuned piece of German craftsmanship or smell the fumes, what’s the point right?

Well loyal reader Bob pointed this out to me and I was bored tonight so here it is for you folks who want a German Prius.

$15,000 gets you a plug in Porsche with 92,000 miles on the body. Here are the details from the seller:

144 volt system
Azure Dynamics/Solectria AC24 3-Phase AC Motor and DMOC445 Controller
Zivan NG3 onboard charger
Iota DLS-45 DC/DC converter
New batteries as of August 2009 (US Battery US8VGC)

Highway driveable electric conversion. This is the AC VoltsPorsche kit from ElectroAutomotive ( The AC motor/controller allows for custom settings of the controller and regenerative braking to increase range and save wear and tear on the brakes. Extras include Custom wheels, CD stereo, Aluminum seat adjuster handles, Custom steering wheel, Rebuilt VDO clock, Fog lights, European style front turn signals, All rear lights are super-bright LEDs, Oil/Alternator light displays controller status, Controller also drives tachometer, Upgraded brakes with BMW320i calipers.
For more information see:

For a detailed diary of the actual conversion, please see:


1990 BMW Alpina B11 3.5

The word on the street is this 1990 Alpina that was offered by a Canadian seller on eBay back in 2006 is back on the market. The below photos are from back in 2006. I have no link, but perhaps the current owner can post a comment below with more details about the vehicles status. If you are interested post a comment and we’ll see if we can get some more info.


Clean BMW E30 M3 for under $15k

We’ve looked at the E30 M3 from a lot of angles here:  no-mile garage queens and clean but heavily modified examples selling for exorbitant amounts, overly-modified swappers or clean examples selling for a lot, and projects or beaters selling for *just* quite a bit.  Each offers a different approach to coveted inaugural-M3 ownership, but today’s comes in nicely just under the “clean example.”  It’s not perfect (in a minor accident a while back, the usual suspects of imperfections, 144k miles), but it’s pretty good (some recovered seats, rebuilt top end, running well), and it can be had for under $14k.

Don’t know where the reserve is set, but I’d say the buy-it-now of $13,995 is about right as far as E30s on eBay go.  Grabbed for less it’s a good deal, bought at that price it’s a fair deal.  Not perfect, but not beat to hell; I know for darn sure that I’d take it in my garage.