I’m kicking off another theme week for us here at GCFSB. Look out for a week of budget buys. We are going to keep all these finds to under $10,000 so you won’t have to break the sparschwein.
These could be just the thing to get you ready as summer nears. Some of these finds may need minor work, think family bonding while you work on them over the summer. Others may just need a new enthusiastic owner. We’ll keep these to real runners, daily drivers, and show and shine weekend cruisers. We will try to let sleeping dogs lay and find you real honest to goodness affordable deals, no problem children.
Sure we like the high end, the pristine, the uber rare, but there are plenty of fine, enjoyable, cars out there that don’t take a second mortgage to buy and a third to cover maintenance upkeep for the two weekends a year you dare drive the exotic.
So, what the heck your 401k is probably tanked so why not invest in some tangible assets that you can have fun with.
If ever the Bangle-butted BMW 7-series looked good, it’s in the guise of the Alpina B7. Though Alpina makes awesome versions of almost every BMW across the pond, in recent years we New Worlders have only been granted the regrettable Alpina Roadster (seriously, what tuner makes a car WORSE?), and the monster B7. Based on the 745i, Alpina took the 7 to a whole new level by adding a supercharger, new suspension and electronics mapping, a body kit emphasizing Alpina’s long, low and mean style, and the absolutely fantastic 20-spoke, 21-inch wheels. All reviews declare it a complete brute in the best of ways; a large luxury sedan capable of devouring highway miles, carving corners, and scaring children.
I saw a nice one on the local Craigslist so I thought I’d shop what eBay had to offer. Surprisingly, there’s a ton of these rare beasts out there, but this clean B7 with 52k miles caught my eye with a shockingly-cheap Buy-it-Now of $46k.
I’ve always dug the B7. Helping a friend’s mom shop for her new car, it came down to this or the Maserati Quattroporte. She went Italian, but I like the brutality of the B7. It’s even better in the blue, but that audacious body kit is a rare look in the US, and the 500hp, 516 lb-ft supercharged 4.6l V8 is the stuff of legends. If you’re in the market for a big, fast luxury sedan, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this at 1/3 of it’s original price. Hell, you could hock the wheels for at least $10k, but you wouldn’t want to do that… they’re nearly the best part.
If you have the means, I highly recommend picking [this] one up.
I was driving behind one of these the other day and was reminded of how cool these funky little coupes are. Depending on the angle and mood, they can look like bloated space pods or excitable rally monsters. Sightings are rare as only 1730 came to the US, and this is an great example with a mere 55k miles covered.
It’s not perfect, but the pearl white looks really good here, and a few small upgrades (wheels, suspension) would make this a very attractive little car. The interior and engine compartment are in great shape and the low mileage is a huge plus, but asking nearly $10k is a bit much. The last one I posted was half that, albeit with twice the miles. I’d much rather spend $5k on a 110k mile car than $10k on a 55k mile car.
With each successive generation of C class, the original W201 chassis “baby Benz” has developed a cult following. Many of these cars were bought by folks who never had owned a Mercedes-Benz before and used and abused them much like any other car. Then there were those who appreciated the 190E for its virtues and subsequently, there are still a few clean, low mileage examples out there to prove it. Like this one:
The seller states:
You are viewing one of the finest examples of a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 with only 48,920 2 owner Actual miles or 78,730 Kilometers. This Baby Benz hails from Canada and was imported into the States in December 2007 having 40,000 Actual miles on it. The original speedometer is in Kilometers but I can have it converted to MPH at no additional cost to you. This Mercedes runs, drives and looks like new. The 2.6 liter engine runs super smooth and powerful and the automatic transmission shifts flawlessly. There are no leaks of any kind. It was recently serviced and new front Bilstein struts, new hood foam and 4 brand new Continental tires were just installed.
Everything works as new including Ice cold A/C, all power windows, locks, sunroof, mirrors, antenna, outside temperature gauge and even has heated seats! This 190E has never been involved in any accidents or had any paintwork. A perfect Carfax report is available upon request. The Original factory paint shines like new with only a couple minor stone chips and one scratch that runs along the rear passenger door. The interior is spotless and looks Brand New. There are no cracks in the dash or woodgrain and the seats, carpets, door panels and headliner are all perfect.
When I was in college, my father had a 1992 190E 2.6 in diamond blue and I loved that car. The smaller inline six engine teamed with the smooth 4-speed automatic makes this a joy to drive and gives it plenty of power for all situations. The car was also economical and reliable to boot. Unfortunately, that car was broadsided at 40mph by someone in a Ford Taurus who ran a stop sign and should have subsequently had his license taken away for totalling what was a fantastic car. My father has been on the hunt for just the right 190E ever since, as he claimed this was the best car he ever owned. The buy-it-now price of $7,995 seems right in line with other clean, 190E 2.6 examples I’ve seen out there lately.
As an aside, even Mercedes-Benz themselves recognizes just how important the 190E was and converted a 1992 190E 2.6 Sportline to a 190D with a new, 2.2 liter BlueEFFICIENCY four cylinder diesel engine, pumping out 201 horsepower. With its new lease on life, this 190 can reach 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and return 48 mpg. Hybrid what?
I’ve tried to show off some great classic BMW M cars recently. The early factory M cars have so much going for them: great power, subtle but aggressive looks, rarity and cache. Like Ben, I am a big fan of the E38 7-series, but this example has none of the qualities that made those M cars great, and no matter how hard this seller will try to convince you, there has never been an M 7-series. His taste is about as good as his spelling, but I thought it was still worth sharing. If anything, just to point and laugh, but who knows, maybe someone wants the “CUSTOM SWEAD INTERIORS” and can appreciate that “LOT OF MONY HAS BEEN SPEND ON THIS CAR.”
There are good facets of this car, but it’s just too much. The red is actually a very nice shade, but doesn’t really suit the 7-series. The wheels would look good without the painted rim, the steering wheel is similarly tainted. The “red” (pink) roundels can go, along with the front winglets, the M badges on the door sills, front grill, engine, and the Pimp-My-Ride amplifier and speakers.
Once those basics have been taken care of, it’d be an attractive 7 series under $15k that somehow has “MORE HORSE POWER THAN REGULAR 740.” Until then, however, it’s just a good exhibit (Xzibit?) of what not to do to your BMW.
I’ve given the BMW Ms a lot of love recently, but the Audi S series offers a deliciously different flavor of Teutonic speed. The first post I wrote for this site was an S4 Avant, though this is a much nicer example. Lots of space, Quattro, two turbos and six ratios, and easily accessible aftermarket speed make these one of my ultimate DDDs (dream daily driver, that is). A rear collision gives this example an apprehension-inducing salvage title, but it’s too good looking and reasonably priced to overlook.
Cons: 87k miles is right about the time things can start to go wrong. Salvage title sounds like it was from a minor accident that’s been properly taken care of, but should be investigated. Engine bay is oddly dirty.
Pros: Dead sexy in black with the perfect Audi wheel, the BBS CH. Interior and exterior look nearly flawless. 6-speed Avants are rare and desirable. Modifications are restrained and functional, e.g. aluminum plumbing, short-shift kit, and suspension. Salvage title brings price down significantly, with bidding still under $6k with 3 days left.
If this thing stays under $10k it’s a great deal, and it’s now my mental image for the DDD.
I know I’ve posted a lot of Mercedes lately, but that is my passion. Some I post I smile and say, “that is nice”, but some I find and I go “Hell Yes!!” This is one of the later.
Mid eighties Benz cars with genuine AMG modified engines are not very common. You’ll see a number of cars with body modifications, but usually that Miami Vice style look stops with the exterior. This one has the full treatment including one of AMG’s interior, suspension, and engine packages.
This is a low 15,000 mile grey market Euro vehicle. With such low miles it is not surprising that the car looks immaculate. The interior has a dual color treatment similar to some of the modern Designo models and includes a rare 300 km/h AMG speedo. Check out the selection of options on the power seats. Those are Recaro CSE seats that if sold by themselves can go for almost $2000 a piece.
The rear end has been flared out to fit thick meats on the rear wheels.
What really sets this apart though, as I mentioned above, is the engine. The engine bay houses a rare AMG 5.4 liter engine, note the AMG valve covers. This is a very scarce motor. It was third down in terms of power packages that AMG offered in the mid eighties. Number one was the 6.0 liter Hammer motor, which came a bit later, number two was a 5.0 liter 4 valve per cylinder engine that bumped out a conservative rated 340 horsepower and 457 Nm of torque. The 5.4 in this car is a pushed out version of the stock 5.0 liter M117 engine, it puts out 310 hp and a solid 475 Nm of torque.
The seller states that this is one of 25 cars with the 5.4 liter and the widebody conversion. Hard to say what the real number is, but that does not sound unreasonable.
With several days left to go the price has already reached over $25,000 with multiple bids, and the reserve not met. You can tell by that sort of price that this is not your typical 500SEC that you find in your local swap sheet. The rarity is clearly appreciated by aficionados. I would love to have this in my garage.
UPDATE: this eBay auction mysteriously disappeared, possibly a fraudulent seller. The auction did look legit, but if you see this car appear online again be careful. Like I mentioned above there are very few Benzs out there carrying this engine.
UPDATE 2: as you can see in the comments section below the seller contacted us to say he is legit and the auction was pulled due to the Euro VIN # problem we’ve seen other sellers run into when selling grey market cars on eBay.
I’m just going to keep rolling with the exceptional examples of older BMW M-cars I’ve been finding. Though my personal tastes tend towards the hotted-up sedans and wagons (fast coupes are just so predictable), few grand tourers, 80s or not, match the sexiness of the E24 M6, aka M635CSi, aka landshark. 286 bhp from a race-bred inline-6 sounds pretty damn good today, let alone a quarter-century ago. A private collection has decided to sell this immaculate, 27k-mile example on MunichEvo, ready to turn some lucky buyer into the coolest German gangster around.
There’s a few nitpicky styling things I’d examine, i.e. immediate removal of the windshield banner if it’s still there, but overall this car is amazing. White, notably the national racing color of Germany, makes 80s Bimmers seem even more proud. 27k miles is just mind-blowing, and I love that it has a carphone still. It is the epitome of what the M6 can be, and shames the modern E63/4 version. The main drawback is the price: $38,995 is a ton of money. Yes, these cars are rare, and this is perhaps the best example out there, but it’d be much more attractive and reasonable closer to $30k, not 40. And thus, it’s mostly just a fun reminder of how awesome BMW styling, especially on the M cars, used to be.
Oh my. Yes, I’ve switched back to thinking E28 M5s are the best generation (though that blue E39 that flew by me yesterday was evil in the best way). As we’ve said before, there’s no replacement for the original of a German classic. This gorgeous one owner (!!!) example may be the best-looking E28 M5 I’ve seen with a recent respray and the awesome 17″ 15-spokes from an E39 540i.
Cons: 22 years old isn’t young, 132k miles isn’t zero, $15,800 isn’t cheap.
Pros: One owner, dealer-maintained, all service records. Tastefully updated with restraint. 1988 was an awesome year for BMWs. 132k miles isn’t that much. That new coat of black looks dead sexy, as do the wheels, and the interior and… Everything.
You could make an offer on the eBay listing, but it deserves full price. It’s gorgeous, and though it’s covered some miles, this is an exceptionally maintained M5. If you’re in the market for an E28 M5, buy this one. I’ll go to bed tonight wishing I could.
How about a Ford with some German influence to spice up the week? Here we have a 1986 Merkur XR4Ti hatchback. Related to the Ford Sierra and built by the folks at Karmann in Rheine, Germany, these hatchbacks started appearing in the US in 1985 by the urging of then Ford Vice-President “Maximum” Bob Lutz. Powered by the venerable 2.3 liter four cylinder turbo similar to what was found in the Mustang SVO, it cranked out 145 hp in automatic form (175 for those cars equipped with the 5-speed manual). These interesting machines had a run in the US market up until 1989, when airbag legislation doomed the car due to retooling costs. Also, it didn’t help that Lincoln/Mercury dealers were peddling these things and had no clue how to market them. While they are becoming scarce on American roads today, finding ones with low mileage is even more daunting. Here we have an example of just that.
I purchased this vehicle from a VW dealer in 2002. It was traded in on a new vw. The original owner lived in Howard Beach NY. I bought this car for my father who needed a vehicle to get around town. He lived in boxford MA. At the time of purchase the xr4ti had 33,625miles.(I have documents). I had the vehicle gone through checking all the mechanical and replacing the tires, brakes and tune up. Shortly there after my father got sick and never really drove the car, as you can see current milage is 34581. In May of 09 I had the car towed to my house after sitting for the last 6+ years. I had the vehicle again gone through checking all the mechanical with only hoses need replacing due to age. The tires have flat spots but have been rounding out with me driving it around.Since they were new in 02 I hated to replace them.
There are a couple of things that need attention. There is a small dent in right front fender(pics), the headliner is beginning to fall, and the door panel needs to be glued on drivers door (pics). Otherwise the vehicle is in great shape. Everything is working. I have been driving it for a couple hundred miles and it seem everything is sorted out and working properly. It’s a great fun car and It’s rarity will pretty much guarentee you looks where ever you go. It is surprisingly quick when the turbo kicks in.
Not sure what the reserve is, but NADA.com is valuing high retail on an ’86 XR4Ti at $4,475, so I’d say anything under $5,000 would be reasonable, as this is not an easy car to put a price on. The only thing holding this back would be the automatic transmission in my opinion, but that could be a boon to the right buyer.
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