As promised here is part two of my SCCA BMW racer finds. This one is a newer 1997 BMW 318i.
Very similar specs to my previous BMW racer post. Exhaust, short shift kit, adjustable shocks, and safety equipment. Unlike my previous post though t his one does not come with any log books, which is too bad.
It is another chance to get an entry level car for fairly cheap. Seller is looking for $10,500. They don’t give much info about how many races are on the engine, etc., which would be important to find out before buying.
A year and a half ago, it seemed like the E30 M3 market ceiling knew no limit, and they were on pace to quickly remove any hope for an affordable entry into the joys and mythology of the homologated, inaugural M3. As with the rest of the world, there’s been an economic reality-check, and E30s have come down slightly. Still expensive for 20+ year old BMWs, but at the least the market’s trajectory seems to have plateaued a little. This example is up on eBay with no reserve, so it could be picked off for a nice price ($7300 at time of writing). The trade-off for the nice price is its condition. Far from perfect, there are some rust spots, interior, and engine work that need to be tended to before this is a clean M3, but in my view, the E30 M3 is a car you get in however you can.
Yeah, it needs work. Quite a bit of work. But looking at those fenders, that front airdam, and those wheels, I don’t care. The E30 market has been so high because these cars are so damn special, and that includes the ones that need some TLC. The rapper Too Short said “Get in where you fit in,” and if you can get into the E30 M3 Club under $10k, you should.
I found a couple of turn key BMW racers ready to go for the new season. First is this 325i with a 26,500 mile M50 engine. The car has been stripped and upgraded, weighing in at 2900 lbs. Headers, short shift kit, adjustable shocks, Borla exhaust, and safety equipment. The owner states the car was last raced in 2006 so a new owner if they want to race it in recognized series will likely have to run through everything to make sure it meets current code requirements. The seller wants $12,000. Car doesn’t come with spare parts like you usually see these do, but does include several sets of rims and tires.
Race history includes:
2002 Cannonball One Lap of America
2003 BMW Club Racing (JPClass): Three 1st & One 2nd place finish
2004 SCCA: Five 1st, Five 2nd, Three 3rd place finishes
CMP Track Record (8/2004) SARRC Championship
2006 PBOC: Two 1st place finishes (R6 Class)
Ah, the first car. Like the first love, it will always be special, though these cars are pretty special anyways. Most of the time when you mention “Volkswagen Pickup” to anyone you get a scrunched up face and inquiries as to what the hell you’re talking about. What I am talking about is an awesome little car. In addition to its unique nature, my Pickup (known as the Caddy in the rest of the world) had great steering feel, a peppy engine, and an 1800 lb curb weight that made it plenty of fun in curves. Eventually too many things went wrong and we had to sell it for something more reliable, but it went to a VW nut in Ohio, so I feel okay about it. This example, for sale on eBay and located in Arkansas, is what I would have loved to do with my little Rabbit. The ad says it’s been restored and it looks pretty nice inside and out, but the key here is a 1.6l turbodiesel. Many Rabbit Pickups came with diesels, but those are known as, well… slow. Real slow. The turbo on this one sounds like it makes it a lot more fun while still returning Prius-like gas mileage.
I’d want to correspond with the seller a bit to get a better idea of the specifics than the ad provides, and “restored” may be a slight overstatement, but it looks like a clean and solid example of a fun car. Useful, fun, and most of all unique, a truck like this is absolutely on my “must-own-again” list.
I’m still keeping up with this unique Mercedes gullwing theme I’ve had going on. If you thought the Styling Garage SGS or the Sbarro were scarce finds, this ups the ante once more. This fantastically rare find comes from reader Victor, awesome catch.
Isdera’s are one of the rarest cars in the world and you hardly ever have the opportunity to see one come up for public sale. For one reason or another this one has popped up on the Japanese Yahoo Auction site. These cars go beyond the standard supercars you people dreamed about. Isdera falls in with brands like Vector and the Cizeta in terms of early 90s exclusivity.
The 108i was built from 1984-1993, according to the auction this one has a date of 1991. The Imperators had their origins as a Mercedes concept car before being turned over to the Isdera company to develop privately. The name means commander in Latin stemming from Roman times. The seller states that this is one of two that was imported to Japan. With such a long, but limited production run, apx 30 cars, several different Mercedes power plants were used. The seller states that this one has a Mercedes 5.0. The engine cover looks like this is the 32 valve version found in the 500SL of the day. With Isdera modifications, 400 horsepower could be lurking in there. These cars were known as potent performers.
The seller is looking for 58,000,000 Yen which is about $650,000, half of the initial cost of 120,000,000 Yen. That makes the cost of that $90,000 Sbarro look pretty good.
Here are a couple of videos showing similar vehicles, you can see there is some variation. Note the roof mounted “periscope” mirror for backup driving on both these cars. Note that both videos show the car wearing the same license plate badge, with letters bb and CW311. CW311 was the name of the initial Mercedes prototype styling study, b+b is one of the German Mercedes tuning firms. Also pay attention how in one video the car is wearing all 3 pointed Mercedes star badges, but in the other these have been replaced with Isdera flying eagle badges.
First is an advertisement from Isdera for the 108i.
Second here is one out on the street. This one appears to have an earlier 5.6 Mercedes engine, it sure sounds fine.
Keeping with the flavor of my last post on the Gullwing Sbarro I thought this similar aged take on the classic Benz Gullwing take was nice.
Nowadays you see everything from Dodge Neons to Honda Civics running around with cheap poor quality Lambo style door kits.
The gullwing setup on this Merc is a much more involved project since it involves cutting the roof. When you cut this much metal out of the car you have to add significant reinforcement to maintain a safe body.
Styling Garage, SGS, the company that made the modifications, was well known in the 80s for making dramatic visual upgrades to Mercedes cars.
Many SGS tuned cars were given SGS badges out front and custom body work instead of the three pointed star. This one has some AMG body parts, but looks mostly stock. Inside there is some custom guages and nice wood steering wheel.
Original price on the conversion was the same as the price of the car itself.
This specimen has 40,000 miles, and a seller looking for $15,000. It has new paint, but as you can tell from the wood planks holding the doors up there is some work to be done. Lots of depreciation here for a really unique car.
You can read more about the SEC gullwings over at 1000SEL.com
Clean, low mileage Mercedes 190E sedans are getting harder to find these days. Even more rare are well looked after examples of the hot version, the 190E 2.3-16 with an engine developed jointly with Cosworth and an available 5 speed manual transmission with dog leg first gear. Before AMG became the in-house tuning arm of Mercedes-Benz, there were several performance sedans to emerge from the manufacturer, most notably the W109 300SEL 6.3, W116 450SEL 6.9 and the legendary Porsche assembled W124 500E/E500. The 190E 2.3-16 and 2.5-16 were part of this high performance history.
This is the holy grail of 190E 2.3-16V cars; all original paint and body panels, no accidents or paintwork EVER. Only 63K documented original miles. Fantastic original cosmetic condition inside and out. Flawless mechanically with everything working including the VDO computer. A 5-speed manual with a smooth and perfect clutch and transmission. She runs strong, looks great, and is in SUCH great shape cosmetically and mechanically; this car needs NOTHING but a new owner.
The 190E 2.3-16 has begun to garner recognition amongst collectors and values have crept up as of late. Still, no matter how clean, $17,900 seems optimistic, given that mint C43 AMG models with a V8 can be had for similar, if not less money. True, the C43 is a different animal, but when NADA is listing a high retail shy of $12,000 for this car, one would think this kind of vehicle would maybe pull $14-15k max. Still, there is no denying that this is an exceptional example of an important piece of Mercedes-Benz history.
John dropped me a note to let me know about his lovely and low miles e46 M3 convertible that has just been listed. Sporting a very low 24k miles with Titanium Silver on Imola Red leather, check it out on Autotrader for an asking of $25,500:
quote from his listing:
Out of my private collection. I am a collector of rare American muscle and high performance cars and am the original owner of this car. Unlike multiple owner M3s or dealer offered, you can be confident of the following. This car has NEVER seen rain/snow, NEVER been valet parked, NEVER tracked or raced, NEVER touched by a detailer or buffer, NEVER run through a car wash, NEVER smoked or eaten in, NEVER parked within doors reach of another car, NEVER damaged or modified, NEVER spent a night outside and NEVER serviced by anyone except a BMW dealer. I bought this car new from Joe Perillo BMW in Chicago. It lives in my climate controlled building and is only driven on nice days, in season. I have never had the car detailed and have done all the care my self. Hand washing, waxing, and clay barring. The battery is maintained on a smart system and it has always been stored properly from fuel to tires. All original with the exception of Fresh OE rubber. It is practically flawless with the exception of a few blemishes on the front and a minor scuff on the outside edge of one rim. This is truly an opportunity to purchase a car that has been pampered, never beat on (as many of them are) and has low mileage, of which the preponderance, are recreational country drives. I do not need to sell this car, I am considering changing up my collection. Please don’t quote me values, as NADA or KBB cannot sell you a car, let alone one of this pedigree and condition. I have the original window sticker as well as all records (including insurance receipts for withdrawal of use every season) The car was built with the following options. Heated seats Bi-xenon headlights Harmon Kardon sound system The phenomenal SMG transmission (I’m an F1 nut bought this car for the tranny and it rocks!) Includes OE BMW windscreen (pictured) If you have been looking for an M3, this is THE right one.
We’re always happy to help our readers get more exposure, especially with examples as nice as this. Good luck with the sale John!
If you have an exception German Car For Sale, email me to get it listed here.
My knowledge of Audis has a pretty large gap between Auto Union racers and the late 70s, so I claim no expertise on this find, but I know it’s cool. Who knew cars could have Four Rings AND finned fenders!? The Auto Union 1000 was made from 1957 to 1963 with 1,000cc two-stroke engines. The 1000Sp was the 2+2 variation with sporting pretensions, made as a coupe until 1962 when a convertible was made available too. This is a pretty cool car as it was the last generation of Audi/Auto Union cars before VW took ownership.
Some background from the seller:
A rare find indeed! This 1960 Auto Union 1000Sp was found in the hills of California. The body panels are straight and 95% of the car is present. There are two separate 3 cylinder, two stroke motors that go with the car, along with all of the parts for under the hood. There is a third aluminum head and a “one-off” custom intake that I was told was to use three Suzuki motorcycle carbs on it. The frame and suspension of the car appear solid and straight. The rear seat area of the floor has rust through as does the entire trunk pan area. Serious attention will be needed in these areas. There is one dent at the seam of the front fender and drivers door, easily repairable. The car currently has the trans-axle in it, however the motor and accessory parts are out of the car and boxed up. The interior parts and pieces are present but also will require much attention. The gauge cluster is present and in good condition. Speedometer is in MPH.
This is a full restoration car, but a good solid start to a rare German automobile. Don’t miss your opportunity to purchase this unique exotic sports car. It is both concourse and historic race eligible following restoration. A truly rare barn find in good condition ready to finish to your liking.
Obviously a work-intensive project, it seems to be rusty but pretty complete. Current bid is $3,500 with 5 days left, so if you have a penchant for obscure post-war German oddities, this could be your chance!
The Audi RS6 is a very special car. The largest RS-ified car from the four rings, the RS6 was the first RS car to make it to America. It did so in grand style, coming with a twin-turbo V8 mated to the venerable Quattro all-wheel-drive. It subtly announces it’s presence with a little fender flare, some front intakes, wheels, and a trunklid spoiler. These small changes make for an aggressive, if quiet, package, alluding to the massive capabilities that came as the Horsepower Wars really started to heat up. One of these used to prowl the island I grew up on, proving illusive but a rewarding find when seen in the wild. It’s not as extroverted and crazy as the newer RS4 and RS6, but it can tackle most any challenge in style and is a great early-millenium sleeper.
It’s hard to believe these $80k+ cars are under $30k now, and with just 70k miles. That’s a lot of luxury and a lot of speed for a really good price. The interior and exterior are similarly subtle but sexy. It’s too bad they never brought the manual or the Avant to the US, but beggers can’t be choosers, and I’m begging for this RS6.
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