Clean E36 M3 Sedan near SF

The E36 M3 sedan is the first fast car I drove, and, like a first love, has stuck with me ever since.  Unleashing a couple of 16-year-olds in a Dinan M3 was perhaps a foolhardy move by my best friend’s dad, but luckily we kept it in good shape other than a few check-engine lights due to impatience with the M warm-up sequence.  It was a dream to drive; every pebble in the road gently communicated to the hands, every gearchange a satisfying snick, and every corner was our own railed rollercoaster.  E36s in general are fine, but the 4-door M3 has always struck me as markedly sexier than any of its generational brethren.  I tried to buy that Dinan a few years ago at $14k, but couldn’t make the finances work (luckily it’s being saved for my friend).  These days its not difficult to find them for under $10k, and this nicely modified 1997 sedan demonstrates the accessibility of clean examples.

1997 M3 Sedan for sale on Craigslist SF

I could do without the Supersprint DTM exhaust (Dinan’s looks almost stock but sounds perfect) and I’d raise the adjustable rear suspension just a little, but this is a very clean example with some nice, simple modification choices (I don’t know of a car that looks bad with BBS CHs).  157k miles is on the higher end, but at $9k it’s still a great value, and if the engine goes bad, spend some money swapping in a Euro S52 or S54 and you’ll still have a performance bargain.

Final Note: Thank god it’s a manual.  In my mind, automatic E36 M3s might as well be junked.

-NR

1985 BMW 325e with Incredible History

Following on to the restored 318is that Aaron’s found, here is an improbable find. An E30 with just over 19,000 original miles. Yes, 19,000 miles.

The 325e had a short stroke version of BMW’s M20 inline six. This 2.7 liter “eta” (stands for efficiency in Greek) engine produces 121 horsepower. This was 29 horsepower shy of the more performance oriented 323i. This was the largest powerplant available in the E30 short of the uncommon 333i, which was only sold in South Africa. A more restrictive head, four main bearings instead of seven for less friction as well as a 5,000 RPM redline were hallmarks of the more efficient E30 BMW. By the end of 1988, the 325e would disappear from the lineup. The 318is would take over as the choice for those seeking efficiency, with a revised 1.8 liter, twin cam four cylinder engine.

1985 BMW 325e For Sale on Hemmings

The seller explains:

The first owner, Michael Hargrave was an insurance agent in Denver, Colorado and he bought the car new at Murray Motors (BMW dealer in Denver). Paddock Imports began maintaining the car when it went off warranty. Mr. Hargrave would cancel appointments for oil changes if it was raining outside, because he didn’t want the car to be driven in rain. The first owner respectfully requested that after Paddock Imports were done working on his car, and that a test drive was warranted, that he be present and in the car for the test drive–a little crazy for sure, but he loved this car. Mr. Hargrave sold the car to the 2nd owner, Jeff Hatcher who is a long time BMW enthusiast.

The body & paint is Absolutely perfect! The paint is a rare color, Antelope Beige. There isn’t a single ding, scratch, or nick on any portion of this car. The paint is thick and lustrous and has no spider webbing, orange peeling, or oxidation, it is just perfect. The interior also looks brand new! The dash doesn’t have a single crack or warp anywhere. Rare sport seats have been treated with Lexol monthly for over 20 years. Interior still smells new!! The dials, gear selector, knobs, etc. still look brand new. The steering wheel looks brand new. Headliner is perfect. Carpets are perfect. The wheels don’t have a single nick on any of them. The glass is perfect all original BMW glass and no chips anywhere. Mechanical: Recently tuned up and running great. Timing belt was replaced. Runs perfect. Not a single leak anywhere. Suspension: stock and tight as a drum. AC/Heat: both work perfectly. Ice cold in summer (even in the Las Vegas 110 degree heat) and blazing hot in winter. If you add this car to your collection, you will without a doubt have the lowest mileage and nicest E30 in existence, with the exception of a few in the BMW museum perhaps.

The E30 3 series has always held a special place in my heart because my first car was a 1988 325is. Although this one isn’t the hot version, this car is sure to be a great addition to anyone’s collection, or as a reliable, solid daily driver. If they still made new E30 BMWs today, I’m convinced people would still buy them. Just ask the man who owned one.

-Paul

1988 BMW M5 with Provenance for sale on eBay

This is the first North American E28 M5.  Let that sink in.  The FIRST.  #1.  San Diego BMW dealer and racer Rug Cunningham took delivery in 1987 and put the original super sedan to good use soon after, racing in Mexico, Nevada, and some cross-country rallies.  Apparently it’s been towed around a lot, accumulating what the seller estimates to be over 80k(!) of its 170k miles just rolling behind an RV.  Cunningham’s transportation man bought it at Rug’s estate sale a few years back and is now selling it, full of history, documentation, and love.

The auction is just over $10k as I write this, reserve not met.  A few nice upgrades (BBS RS 211s, a police scanner…), extensive paperwork, and a great history make this a tasty example of the first Bavarian uber-sedan.  Mileage is scary at first, but if it has really only driven the estimated 85k miles under its own power, that number becomes less intimidating.  I don’t know how high the seller expects the provenance to drive the price, but if it stays in the low teens, this is an awesome chance at some BMW M history.

– Nate

1979 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC

The car we see below represents one of the rarest post-war Mercedes-Benzes to be produced. They were manufactured to homologate the 450SLC for rally purposes. Fewer than 100 cars were imported into the United States as gray market cars during production. A few more were brought into the US during the 1980s as a one time “personal” exemption.

The 450 SLC 5.0 was introduced in 1978 and it differed from the stock 450SLC in that its hood and trunk lids were crafted from aluminum. Also included were front and rear spoilers which resulted in better aerodynamics and a higher top speed of 142 mph. This model was also the first application of the aluminum/silicon alloy V8 engines. Lighter in weight than the standard 4.5 V8, it produced 240 (DIN) horsepower (over 300 HP in today’s SAE HP terms). In 1980, the 500SLC replaced the 450SLC 5.0. A four speed automatic replaced the previous three speed box and a smaller diameter steering wheel came standard. With only 1,154 units produced, this was the rarest of all SLC models.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC on Hemmings

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The seller explains:

With maybe 4 roadworthy examples left in the US, this special run rust free/dent free coupe is ready to go for historic racing, rallies or car shows. Aluminum hood and trunk deck, limited slip differential, working A/C, sunroof, fresh interior and recent paint this car is ready to enjoy or re-market to Mercedes collector and “double your money!”

While this is hardly a concours quality car, $11,500 seems very reasonable considering the rarity and pedigree of this particular model. Much like it’s ancestor, the 300SL Gullwing, this is a Mercedes-Benz that brought racing technology to the street.

(Source: Faszination SL R/C 107, Copyright 2001 DaimlerChrysler Konzernarchiv)

-Paul

1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S “Flachbau” For Sale on eBay

Porsches of this era are some of my favorites, and I thought I knew of most of the special models. Like the 3.6 Turbo S of the era. But this interesting slant isn’t one that I was familiar with. It’s not the usual slant-nose with pop-up lights, but more like a 928/968 style that is exposed and raises up when lit. Frankly it looks a bit aftermarket, but it was actually a rare factory option referred to as Flachbau. Apparently there were less than 100 made for the entire world, and only about 40 came to the U.S.

Check out this very rare , offered by Manhattan Motor Cars

Porsche 911 Turbo S Flachbau For Sale

quote from seller’s auction:

One of a very limited series of the last hand built 911 Porsches (76 total worldwide production), it is only befitting that this rarely seen model is here in New York City.

The auction is a little thin on information, but as the $150,000 opening bid suggests, only serious inquires need apply. With only 17k miles, this car is looking to be in fantastic shape and should fit into a collection very nicely.

Read up on this very interesting model at flachbau.com

dc

Front Engined, 2-door Porsches

Now that the unthinkable has happened and both four door sedan and SUV Porsche models exist, where do the older, front engined Porsches stand in the eyes of collectors these days?  Here’s two clean examples of two vastly different Porsches from the same era.

1987 Porsche 924 S

The 1987 Porsche 924 S represents the zenith of 924 development, as 1988 was the last year for the sports car originally designed to be Volkswagen’s flagship.  The 924 S does away with that one important piece that had purists refusing to consider it as a real Porsche: the engine.  VW stopped supplying Porsche engines for the 924 in 1984, and thus the 924 S with it’s detuned 944 engine was introduced.  This engine is good for 160 horsepower and is sure to be a great handler, as these front engined/rear drive four cylinders were renowned for their road manners.

The seller states:

PROS: A/C, Power steering, Power windows, Four-wheel disc brakes, Manual transmission, Alloy wheels, CD/MP3 Premium sound system, Leather seats, Tilt/removable sunroof, New Battery/New wipers, and Pirelli tires.  All the manuals, service records, and a full color dealer brochure on the model 924 are included.

CONS: There are two blemishes in paint: front right fender and rear left quarter panel, The plastic gear for sunroof needs replacement (20.00 part) still works though, Minor cracks in dash which are covered by premium dash cover, and the tires are in less than perfect condition.  Other than that car is showroom quality.

While Boxsters can be had all day for well under $20,000, at $6,500, this 924 S is a tasty, low cost means of entry in what could be one of Stuttgart’s most underrated models.  The fact that it is well documented, has a manual transmission and is a desirable color adds to the want factor.

1994 Porsche 928 GTS

The 928 GTS, much like the 924 S highlighted above, represents the end of the line for 928 production.  The GTS models were also rather rare, with only 645 produced in 1994, according to the 928 Registry.  This particular one presents well in white with the more common automatic transmission.

Level of equipment as detailed by the seller:

Power sunroof, full power seats left & right, AM/FM Radio w/ Cassette, 6 Disc CD Changer, Supple Leather, 10 Speaker HiFi Sound Package, Rear A/C.  Just passed 100 point inspection.

While close to $40,000 may seem high for an obscure, used Porsche, one should remember that these cars new cost around $80,000 before options and now, for less than half of that, you can own a clean mileage grand tourer for pre owned Boxter money.  It also pays to get the nicest 928 you can buy, as these neither cheap nor easy to repair.

-Paul

Clean, Low Mileage Mercedes W126 S Classes on eBay

Paul is another new author on the site and as you can tell his taste matches ours perfectly. Welcome aboard Paul!

All of a sudden, a glut of mint condition W126 have cropped up on eBay.  Spanning a production run from 1979 through 1992, these cars have attained a cult like status and clean examples are becoming more difficult to find as years pass.  Here are two different models, each with around 60,000 miles on the clock.  This equates to barely run in when it comes to what could be considered the most revered of all S Classes.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

Introduced in 1985, the 300SE offered the smooth, venerable M103 single cam inline-six in the short wheelbase package.  While this could be considered the entry level point of the S class range at the time, it is an optimal choice for those wanting a somewhat smaller, more efficient package while still offering all the bells and whistles that big Benzes are known for.  This particular example comes with a bevy of receipts, key for anyone considering one of these young classics.

The seller states:

The car has 60,000 miles and looks and drives like it has 10,000 miles. The paint is stunning. The interior leather is soft and supple. Smells rich and new.

The ivory over parchment leather color combination may not be optimal, there is no denying that this is a car that could last someone well into the next decade.


1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

This particular S class represents the last year for the W126 sedan.  This 420SEL is the long wheelbase model with the 4.2 liter V8, pumping out 221 horsepower in US catalyst guise.  The navy over blue leather is a more conservative color choice, however, the V8 engine will undoubtedly cost more to run in the long-term.  This can be attributed to not only fuel economy but maintenance items such as the timing chains.  If these are not looked after as needed they can prove to be a headache, both mechanically and financially.

The seller has this to say:

This Magnificent Low Mileage 420 SEL Is Simply Stunning In Every Detail. An Immaculate One Owner Vehicle That Is Sure To Please. This Beautiful Collector’s Dream Car Has Been Driven Only 2,000 Miles Per Year Since Purchased New!  A Local New Car Trade In That Comes Fully Equipped With All Power Including 4.2 Liter Fuel Injected V-8 Engine, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission, Four Wheel Disc-Brakes, Anti-Locking Braking System, Fully Independent Suspension, Power Sliding Sunroof, Wood Interior Trim, Leather Seating, Dual Power Seats With Drivers & Passengers Seat Memory, Electronically Ajustable Front Seat Headrest, Climate Controlled Air Conditioning, High Performance Sound System AM/FM/Cassette Audio System With Power Antenna Mast, Power Telescopic Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Power Windows And Locks, Power Passenger Side Mirror, Visor Vanity Mirrors, Fog Lamps, Anti-Theft Alarm System, And 15″ Forged Alloy Wheels.

These are both very splendid W126 sedans.  The vast amount of chrome, wood and leather in these cars takes a beating over the years and these two examples seem to have been well cared for.  On the other hand, they are not garage queens which is a good thing, as they have gotten the regular exercise they have needed.  Of the two, I am particularly fond of the short wheelbase SE model, as they are rarer in the US and a bit easier to handle around town due to the shorter length.  You don’t give up much in space and the bulletproof Mercedes inline six is guaranteed to crest a quarter of a million miles if cared for properly.

– Paul

Charlie Sheen’s old 928 GTS for sale

As you’ve probably noticed by now, we’re making changes around here! Aaron is another one of our new authors. Please say hi in the comments section!

The Porsche 928 is a feat of engineering genius and one of the best touring cars ever created.  The 1994 GTS boasts a 5.4 liter 32 valve power plant that produces a robust 345 horsepower.  The later 928’s in particular have aged particularly well, both in styling and value as prices have proven to be recession proof.  The combination of limited production and overall vehicle quality has created quite a demand for these cars.  The below car posted in the Pelican Parts classifieds is an excellent example with an added bit of panache.

1994 928 GTS Coupe 

A rare loaded and meticulously cared for 1994 928 GTS is for sale from a collection as more space is needed. It was formerly the actor Charlie Sheen’s who spared no expense.  It has ALL updated services and brand new Porsche carpet and factory leather ‘ just because’ the owner could.  Driven only 3k miles per year.

Along with the low miles and impeccable condition this car comes with meticulous records from the prior owners, a must for any 928.  A car in this condition should fetch the asking price of $36.5k.  Do you think Mr. Sheen’s ownership adds any value to this 928?  While that may debatable it looks like Chaz took better care of this GTS than his wives.  Just think of the stories the lucky owner will have to share at their next PCA event.  

Porsche 928 Wikipedia

~Aaron

2001 Audi S4 Avant 6-Speed

Nate is one of our new authors on the website and this is his first post. Please welcome him and leave a comment! -dc

All-wheel drive.  Twin-turbo V6.  Six-speed.  Wagon.

The B5 S4 Avant holds a special place in my dream stable.  Understated sexiness and a wide range of capabilities make other dream cars seem unnecessary.  A grocery getter?  Sure.  A backroad blaster?  Definitely.  Mountain monster?  Born for it.  The twin-turbo V6 means it’s lighter, more efficient, and more easily tuned than the B6/7 V8 or the newborn B8 with its supercharged 3.0.  Add in a rare 6-speed, and this 2001 S4 for sale on eBay is what dreams are made of.

This example looks clean and well-loved.  It’s no spring chicken; these cars are coming up on being a decade old and it has the miles to prove it, but it should still have plenty of love left to give.  Upgraded brakes and suspension are intelligent and prudent modifications.

There isn’t much else to say other than I wish this had been under the Christmas tree this year!

-Nate

1967 Porsche 911S: Guest Post from Dallas

Note: Dallas is a fan of our site and wanted to contribute on occasion. Here is his first guest post. Please say hi in the comments! -dc

This one is described as a ““. For people that know even a little about vintage Porsches, this is like describing a vintage watch as a “Rolex Submariner 5513 5517” – it’s sort of like nonsense. Just as there are “Submariner 5513s” (cool vintage Rolex watches) and “Submariner 5517s” (very cool incredibly valuable only-issued-to-the-Royal-Navy vintage Rolex watches), there is the “1967 Porsche 911 Coupe” (cool vintage car) and “1967 Porsche 911S” (very cool quite rare vintage car). Let me elaborate…

By 1967, Porsche was into the third model year of its seminal 901/911 series of rear-engined sports cars. For model year 1967 the factory introduced the “S” model as the range-topping version, featuring a hotted-up engine boasting 160bhp – 30 more than the base Coupe and Targa. The factory produced just 1,823 “S” coupes and 483 “S” Targas that year. Despite the power boost, some considered that the S models made inferior street drivers as the increased power was made partly at the expense of low-end torque. However, nowadays, S cars are highly sought after, and an original S can bring serious money. Which brings us to the car on auction…

First off, the car looks fantastic. I’d have left off the racing numbers as a matter of taste, but I think the white stripes and “Porsche” script look great against the dark green paintwork. The cosmetics of this car just look super, with nice Fuchs wheels (introduced on the ’67 S) presenting the classic, iconic short-wheelbase 911 look.

Where things get a bit chancy with this example is in the description, and the question of whether the car is a real “S”. With collector Porsches, much of the price premium is based on originality – original engine and equipment in particular, and whether the car was originally built as the variant it is billed as, or converted later as a “clone”. Porsche will even issue, for a fee, a “Certificate of Authenticity” that confirms the original trim level, equipment, and paint colour of a vintage 911. The seller states:

“this car was born as a straight 911 homologated to an “S” back in the 70’s.”

When I queried the seller as to what this actually means (I asked point-blank “does the CoA issued by Porsche list it as an “S”?), the reply was rather unclear. The seller stated in an email that an S engine was installed in 1984 but the auction description states that the “homologation” occurred in the ’70s. It was apparently “born a 911” (i.e. not an “S”) so I would place a caveat on the description accordingly. The fact that an incorrect VIN was quoted in the auction (and not yet corrected) doesn’t help the comfort level. Once the correct VIN is posted, all questions will be answered… a real factory 1967 “S” has an “S” suffix to the VIN.

A hallmark of this seller’s auctions appears to be extensive quotation of “factory history” information on the marque, but it’s unclear how this relates to the car in question. In particular, the seller quotes extensively regarding the special equipment supplied with the “S”, but doesn’t actually confirm that the car for sale (“born a 911 [non-S]”, remember) comes with the special parts.

I give the seller kudos for listing a telephone number for inquiries, and I hope that a prospective buyer will avail himself of the opportunity of speaking to the seller and clarifying these issues. While a minty real “S” might now bring ~$40K+ (notwithstanding the dreamers asking $100K or more), this car should be considered accordingly. I think an enthusiast would do well to acquire a totally-sorted turn-key (and beautiful) ’67 911 Coupe with non-matching engine like this one for ~$20-25K.

**Note that this car is listed for sale at the seller’s website www.myclassiccargarage.com for $42,500.

– Dallas