1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

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Years ago, when my mother was buying her first car, she had her heart set on a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. However, my grandfather thought it was too impractical and forced her hand into buying a Super Beetle instead. He still referred to the Beetle as a coffin on wheels, but this was coming from a man who ran a 1972 Ford LTD Country Squire as the family car. It was rather surprising that ten years later, my grandfather would buy a 1982 Honda Accord sedan. Perhaps it was the fuel economy that changed his mind, or it could have the monumental task of keeping this sucker in one lane along the elevated section of I-95 through Philadelphia. Imagine riding a unicycle through a china shop without knocking anything over…after bolting down about five gin and tonics.

Designed as a sports car with common sense in mind, the Karmann Ghia lived a long life from the late 1950s into the early 1970s. This Karmann Ghia for sale in Florida mirrors the color of the fruit the state is famous for and offers a lot of character for the collector on a budget.

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Year: 1971
Model: Karmann Ghia
Engine: 1.6 liter flat four
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 19,598 mi
Price: $9,000 Buy It Now

Click for Details: 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia on eBay

Take a close look at this Ghia and we think you will agree it has got to be one of the best. The wow factor begins with the stunning orange paint accented by the light sand leatherette interior. Extra clean all the way around. A well maintained Florida car belonging to the same family since new. Professionally maintained by a repair shop specializing in air-cooled VW’s. Not only does this beautiful little car look great, it runs great, too. The engine is the very dependable 1600 c.c. dual port. Transmission, four speed manual. The floor pans are solid and not needing any repair. Recently serviced including a new muffler and battery. The original radio does not work, however. Show or go, you are sure to smile about this special car.

We are currently taking offers at our showroom and may end the listing at any time. If you would like to make an offer on this car or any of our other cars please call (239)313-5408 so we can discuss it.

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While the seller states that the car has been owned by the same family since new, there is no mention of whether this car has had a partial or full restoration. It certainly looks almost too clean to be original, but such cars do exist. If this car is as good as it looks with no major mechanical defects, the price is fair, considering most Karmann Ghia coupes fetch between $7,000 and $12,000 in good condition.


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe

In comparison to what BMW was doing at the time when it came to personal luxury, Mercedes-Benz had a different idea for the early 1970s. The W111 was no stranger to the motoring scene, but at the close of the 1960s, Mercedes went ahead and equipped the mainstay 280SE coupes and cabriolets with the new M116 3.5 liter V8. This engine equipped the car with 200 horsepower, a 130 mph top speed and the capability to run to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds. Only 3,270 of these coupes were built. Most were equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission but a few emerged from the factory with a 4-speed manual. This 280SE 3.5 for sale in Pennsylvania had a respray from white to black along the line somewhere and is edging close to 100,000 original miles.

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe on Jameslist

“If you feel obligated to ask about the price you not only will never understand the car, you have branded yourself incapable of ever appreciating its virtues even if someone gave you one.” Car & Driver Magazine 1970.

The bluntness of opinion on behalf of Car and Driver is no surprise to anyone who has ever had the pleasure of owning or even driving one of Mercedes’ all time greats. As the last of the hand built cars rolled off the line in July of 1971, it was evident that there was a huge leap forward during these last few golden years. That the 280SE 3.5 cars were the future for Mercedes-Benz, and the rest of the auto industry, in many ways. Even in its day nothing compared to the quality, performance, and of course price. The 280SE 3.5 today, in both Coupe and Convertible format offers exceptional value for money and a superb experience to which no other car of the period can compare.

The example on offer here Chassis # 111 026 12 001714 was produced in June of 1970. It was delivered new with the following options as per a copy of the original Data Card as supplied by Mercedes-Benz Heritage:

chassis number: 111 026 12 001714
engine number: 116 980 12 001328
transmission number: 000536
key code: HZ 0019
exterior color code: 050 – white
interior color code: 241 – black leather
option codes:
401 single seats
410 sliding roof
420 automatic transmission, floor-shift
461 instruments in English
491 USA version
503 outside side view mirror, left
513 Becker radio
524 paint coat preservation
531 automatic antenna
570 folding armrest
586 air conditioner / electric windows
598 heat insulated glass / heated rear pane
641 white wall tires
669 mode of packing VE I

While we have notated a color change from the original “050-White”, to the more desirable and complimenting current Black. We can also make it known that the job was completed extremely well, and according to the most recent owner, completed long before 1991 and probably when new or close there to. Otherwise the car shows to match the above options without fault. The 3.5 Mercedes tend to have a survival rate unlike many of the other W111 variants for the sole reason that they were so expensive when new. As such, but not always the case, many cars were purchased new by connoisseurs and “high-society” types alike. As a result they were often dealer maintained and kept within the same family. They often received much care over the years, and hardly ever became “used cars” languishing in dealer lots. From this we have noticed that when long term, low-numbered-owned examples become available they often exemplify this theory, as almost always do they show to be well cared for when in original condition.

The example on offer here is a delightful representation of a one-repaint, estimated two owner example that has been extremely well cared for. It embodies the exact patina so often desired by those seeking a car with a true original interior. In comparison, the rest of the car shows to be of the same quality throughout and mechanically well cared for all these years as well. Unfortunately our history for this example leaves us on paper around 1991; when the estimated 2nd collector owner acquired this 3.5 in 1991 with just over 78,000 original miles showing on the clock. Carefully stored, enjoyed sparingly, and serviced by the same technician until late 2012, this 3.5 now shows only 97,424 miles, for a total of approximately 19,424 miles in nearly 20 years.

Our current ownership of this fabulous example has given us the privilege, as with many cars, an enthusiast’s point of view in our testing and enjoying it to accurately communicate all of its attributes, both positive and negative.

Cosmetically the car shows overall as a very original, but one re-paint example. Taken into consideration the age of the repaint, it does show well overall, is deep, smooth, and consistent. There is however one or two minor blemishes in the way of a chip and a small dent or two. Nothing that warrants refinishing or immediate attention, but to be critical, minor blemishes such as these are present. The view down the side shows completely straight factory metal without any sign of previous body work or accidents. The doors fit perfectly with good gaps and an easy shut. The same is true for the trunk lid and the hood as well as all of the panel fitment, superb, and the way it came from the factory. The chrome overall shows well for a driver, and must be put in this category only because of the age of the original chrome present on the car. It does show some light signs of age, but again, nothing that would require any attention. All of the rubber components on the car are in excellent condition. New window seals, door seals etc… can be found throughout and are without flaws. The glass is all original apart from the windscreen which appears to be newer but correctly installed, all of which are in excellent condition. The tires show to be newer, and the rockers are clean with all rubber accent trim (unique to the 3.5) in good condition as well.

The interior is the most impressive part of this car, showing as a true original in almost every way. The only item we have taken note to not being original is that of the driver side floor mat, which is a custom replacement, close, but not perfect. Otherwise a thorough inspection can reveal that since at least 1991 all of the seats were covered with sheepskin covers. Only until recently were they removed to reveal excellent original seats, both front and rear. The driver’s side shows hardly any wear on the bolster and the rear seats are nearly new, all very well preserved with outstanding patina. The center console, carpeting and surrounding trim are all nearly flawless, and are in impressive condition. The dash fascia shows every bit to be original wood, chrome, gauges, and Becker Radio. All of which is in perfect working order, as is all of the instrumentation, lighting, and accessories throughout. The switches for the optional sunroof, A/C, and power windows all work as expected. Even the radio antenna protrudes when the radio is switched on. The headliner is excellent, but upon close inspection there are a few minor stains that can be noted towards the rear. The top of the dash has no blemishes, is clearly original and in excellent condition as is the matching original wood trim surround. The steering wheel does show two very small cracks at the thick part where the brim is connected to the center. Very typical for Mercedes of this era, but not something that would need attention for years to come. The door jams are very clean, and the doors show nice original chrome.

The trunk and engine bay are always key investigative points in determining how Mercedes-Benz’s of this era were kept. The trunk shows very well, clean under the matt with no rust issues currently present, nor do we believe there to ever have been as evident by the original sound deadening material etc… The engine bay is very presentable, not show quality, but something any owner could be proud of when showing off the 200hp 3.5 V8. It is in the engine bay that we can understand the high level of detail when the color change was completed, there is but one small chip, showing that the car used to be white. Otherwise, no indication, and very well completed. Otherwise, many items are very original, still date coded and overall the engine bay is very original. We can see original wires off of the distributor cap, original A/C lines etc… While the car has clearly been kept up over the years as evident by its superb running condition and thorough inspection; we unfortunately do not have the paper records to back this up. We are however currently researching this and do expect to have something shortly.

The underside of this example as with any W111 or Pagoda car from this era is always where the first blemish or indication of its prior life will be given away. We unfortunately have noted one small section in the left front wheel well, outer sub-structure of the chassis member that has suffered the unfortunate demise of typical 1960’s Mercedes rust proofing (or lack thereof). Even great examples such as this, well cared for years on end can suffer from what can be considered a “typical” rust issue on these cars. As such we have highlighted it to the best of our ability, and have concluded that any experienced restoration facility could remedy this issue with little effort. Otherwise the floors are straight and solid, the inner fenders are thin and sharp as they should be and there is no indication of any filler usage anywhere on the car at all. It can be said that despite its small issue, this is indeed an excellent rust free, and solid example.

Any present issues tend to fade away upon putting this example to work. It starts easily, revs freely making good power, and pulls away without fault. The transmission shifts very well (smoothly), and the brakes are free of any pulling or softness. The steering is tight and the car handles nothing short of impressive, especially considering the size. It can be considered then that this is a true driver, well preserved, and scrupulously kept. It is an example that offers many great things for its new custodian.

Absolutely the last of the collectible Mercedes, the 3.5 is one of the greats and a must have for any connoisseur or collector looking for a fine example that won’t disappoint. Complete with all tools in their original pouch, jack, spare, wheel chock, owner’s manual, Becker warranty & owner’s manual in original plastic, and a log of the most recent owners enjoyment/per mile. Please inquire with any interest.

The interior of this car is really stunning, with a patina that gives it the aura of an old drawing room. Having spent time inside a number of W111s, every time I step in one it’s like putting on a pair of old, comfortable jeans. There’s a familiarity and comfort about these cars for me, which is probably why I’ve always wanted one. With the wide grill, liberal use of chrome and size of this two door, the 280SE 3.5 strikes an imposing pose on the road. It’s no secret that values for the 280SE 3.5 are strong. Not surprisingly, the coupes tend to bring less than the more rare cabriolet. Coupes in similar condition to this particular car are bringing in between $40,000 and $60,000 these days.

The following is a short piece from Deutsche Welle TV highlighting a 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet in action, with some period footage from Mercedes-Benz:


1971 BMW 2002ti

Update 9.24.2011: SOLD!

The BMW 2002 is no stranger to German automotive enthusiasts. This is the car that virtually invented the sports sedan category, and the high performance, fuel injected 2002tii was the model that put this range on the map. Other models such as the cabriolets, the Touring hatchback and the legendary Turbo helped solidify this lineup in BMW history.

One 2002 that you don’t hear a lot about is the twin carburetted 2002ti. Introduced in 1968, the 2002ti had twin Solex carburetors, front and rear anti roll bars and was offered with a 5 speed manual gearbox. Larger tires rounded out the package.

BMW 2002ti For Sale

An owner of a 2002ti with the sought after dog leg, 5 speed manual gearbox has brought his car to our attention in the hopes that this honest, two owner example of the car that popularized BMW would find a good, new home.

1971 BMW 2002ti

I own the ti along with one of my brothers. VIN is 1691012. Current mileage is approximately 145,000 miles although the odometer started working intermittently on the last drive. We bought it from the original owner in 2002 (appropriately) – a fellow Canadian who bought the car while overseas and brought it back to Vancouver, Canada. It is completely stock and (nearly) unmodified.

The car has all of the sought after ti features such as a dogleg close ratio 5 speed, wider ti steel wheels, sport steering wheel, crack free two piece dashboard, original small console with AM radio, clock, four blade fan, boxed trailing arms, etc.


The interior is completely stock. The front seats have sheepskin seat covers but are in good condition although the driver’s seat does have a seam split on the seatback. New carpet kit installed this summer. The original owner installed a Webasto-style sunroof (Weatherford) when new – works well and does not leak.


In 1981 the first owner stopped using the car as his daily driver and performed a fairly major ‘restoration’. This resulted in a couple of issues with the car – the front radiator support is a ‘snorkel’ type and the front turn signals are the North American style. Nothing to be done about the snorkel but we do have a couple of sets of Euro turn signals that will come with the car. We were never happy enough with the quality of the used sets we bought to warrant installing them.

In 2008 we spent a pile of cash chasing rust out of the car – mainly the pedal box and driver’s side rockers. I would not say the car is completely rust free as I suspect both rockers are still a bit soft in spots but there are no major issues whatsoever.

Lastly, sadly, one of us who shall remain nameless lowered the car off the floor jack last week without confirming everything was out from underneath – the result is a crease in the front valance. The neighbour’s children also now have a jumpstart on their peers in terms of colourful language.


The car has no major issues of any kind. No smoke on acceleration or deceleration, no major syncho issues once the transmission is warmed up, no weird noises. It is currently equipped with twin Weber 40 DCOEs with the stock air box and carburettor linkage rather than the two Solex 40 PHH carburettors that were original equipment on the car. The original Solexes will come with the car, along with a rebuild kit.

Note that the Getrag Close Ratio 5 speed has first gear below reverse while second gears through fifth gear are in the H pattern. Fifth gear is not an overdrive gear and is a 1 to 1 ratio like the 4th gear in the standard 4 speed transmission.

This is how the gear ratios in the two transmissions compare

4-speed 5-speed
1st 3.835 3.368
2nd 2.053 2.16
3rd 1.345 1.579
4th 1.0 1.241
5th – 1.0

Mechanical work completed and parts replaced during the last 9 years.

-Most of the brake system including; master cylinder, wheel cylinders, hoses etc
-KYB struts and shocks
-Strut bearings
-Transmission shift tower and bushings
-Rear exhaust system
-Water pump
-4 185/70R 13 tires

The car would drive anywhere with no issue. Photos of the car can be seen using the following link:


Further, we have some records from the original owner dating back to 1981 showing an engine overhaul at 107K miles and the bodywork for $7800 in 1981 dollars. To put the bodywork into perspective, a new BMW 318i was $14,000.

We have decided to sell the car as neither of us use it enough to warrant hanging on to it. We are asking CDN $20,000. Is that fair market value – who knows? There really is no market for this model because they rarely come up for sale. What we do know is that there are reportedly fewer than 50 ti in North America and this is certainly one of the most original examples anywhere.

If interested, please contact the seller here: grbennett@shaw.ca


1971 Opel GT for summer

Nothing too fancy here just a fun summer car. This particular one struck my interest as the seller lists that he has owned 32 Opel GTs and this one is one of the best. The car has 114,000 miles and price currently sits at $6,000 with the reserve not met. This German mini corvette looks like an honest daily driver example.

From the seller:

-All new carpeting
-All new seats
-New Headliner (minute tear, unnoticeable)
-Dash has been re-covered
-New shifter boot
-Original Opel GT Radio
-All Gauges work except the clock
-Interior dome light even works when door is opened
-Steering wheel has typical cracking near spokes
-Rear trunk area is also new (same for rear deck where speaker is)
-Driver side door map pocket is torn
-Other than the few imperfections mentioned, the interior is BRAND NEW!

-Undercarriage is perfect (no rust at all!)
-Suspension is tight (no squeaks or rattles)
-Original Opel GT rims (like new) with new tires
-All lights and lenses are original Hella
-Front bumper is near mint no dings or dents (chrome sparkles!)
-All body lines are how they should be
-Small, 1/2″ rust spot on the very bottom of the left rear fender flare
-Also, a small bubble on the right rear fender flare
-Other than a few small scratches and chips that have been touched up, the paint is nearly flawless
-Car was professionally painted Chevy Red with base coat and clear coat
-Windshield has not a single chip in it and gasket border has been replaced (same for rear window)
-All chrome trim around windows are in near perfect condition
-All emblems are brand new
-I’m sure I’m missing a few things, but one look at the photos tells the tale

Engine and Drive Train:
-39,000 miles on rebuilt motor
-Clutch pressure plate and throwout bearing are both new
-Brand new brakes all around
-Rebuilt Weber 32/36 DGEV carburetor with original air filter setup
-All gas vent lines have been replaced (no gas smell in car)
-Headlights have been re-wired
-New resonator and pipe
-New battery
-New alternator
-New belt
-Recent tuneup
-Car was just inspected last month


1971 Mercedes 250 with 26,000 miles

I’m going to top Aaron’s earlier post of the 1983 GTI with 38k with this sweet low mile cupcake.

You sometimes think of Mercedes and you picture long term reliability and high mileage cars. So how about this gem of a vintage Mercedes sedan that has covered a mere 26,000 miles. Finding a garden variety 250 with such low miles is almost unheard of. These cars were typically used, racking up many trouble free miles. This beauty was spotted prowling the paddock over at Watkins Glen, New York. I’d like to know the story about previous ownership to see where the low mileage comes from. I noted that the car has historic plates on it so it is not likely the current owner’s daily driver. The owner also states it has not seen winters, a plus in central New York.

The cream paint looks fantastic, the interior almost as new. Not even a single of the notorious Mercedes Benz dash cracks. No pitted chrome either. This Benz comes with the column shifted automatic, not quite as desirable or as fun as the floor mounted auto or the manual, but this is a sedate sedan.

Nothing too flashy here, just a chance to have a charmer of a Benz transport you back into a simpler time of premium automotive travel. Perfect for say a New Haven area professor, tweed jacket with suede elbow patches not included.

The owner asks for $10,000, and says call if interested, 607-279-7688.


Budget Buy Low Mile 1971 Opel Ascona A 1900 Wagon

Looking for a different, yet practical, daily driver? One that will get you a few looks at the local weekend car show, but also return respectable MPG? One that you can register as a classic car, but still take down to the home improvement store for a load of supplies? Top it all off with extremely low mileage. This may be your car.
This well looked after Opel station wagon has covered a mere 34,000 miles. It has hardly been broken in. The seller states that the car was put into storage after the first owner died. Once it was resurrected the next owner kept a notebook detailing every time the car was driven.
The car is all original with only minor wear. Opel kept things pretty standard for all their cars so Asconas came fitted with the popular 1.9 liter inline 4, which sends 90 horsepower through the optional automatic transmission. That may not seem like much, but the car doesn’t weigh much over 2000lbs. You sometimes see these called the Opel 1900.
This quite a great, clean, example and there is something cool about two door wagons. The pie plate hub caps, roof rack and chrome back fog lights add to the charm. The long time GM-Opel partnership showed it was a great way to get these smaller cars into the U.S. compared to the giant yachts that were being built here. It is up to the new owner to decide which bumper sticker to remove first, the Mcain-Palin one or the St. Louis Cardinals one.
This could be a much easier purchase to justify than say a far less practical two seat sports car. Buy-it-Now is $8750.