Having just looked at a few modded fails, I think it’s relevant to remind ourselves that not all modified cars are in bad taste! And where better to start than one of the most popular classics that people like to customize; the BMW 2002.
A few months back I took a look at a wild Zender-bodied example that pulled it all together rather well, if a bit extreme:
1973 BMW 2002tii Zender Widebody
Today’s example is one year newer and a lot more tame, but no less shouty. This example has undergone the knife and come out sporting Turbo-style flares, an M42 DOHC inline-4, and a host of other mods all draped in Porsche’s Miami Blue. Does it pull it off?
I’ll assume if you’re into this site you’re pretty familiar with the Type 14 Karmann Ghia even though I don’t talk about them much. Basically, it was the original Scirocco – taking the ‘pedestrian’ underpinnings of the Beetle and creating a sporty persona to mask them. If you’re a real fan of VWs, you’re probably also familiar with the second, upscale Karmann Ghia – the Type 34. I took a look at one last year:
1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34
With only 42,500 sold compared to the nearly half million Type 14 Ghias produced – and never officially imported to the U.S., most people are fairly unaware of this model even though it’s arguably one of the prettiest Volkswagens made.
But there was an even more rare third Karmann Ghia. This was the Type 145 produced by Volkswagen do Brasil. Styled by Giugiaro and with the stretched Type III chassis underneath, a scant 18,000 of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Touring Coupe (TC) were produced solely for the South American market:
The 2002 Turbo is not the type of car that you typically ‘roll the dice’ on. With asking prices for many at or over $100,000 today, they’re one of the established royalty of the storied halls of BMW. The KKK turbocharged slapped on the M10 resulted in a Corvette-killing 170 horsepower in the mid-70s. This was cutting-edge technology as one of the first turbocharged production cars and required the efforts of BMW’s Motorsport division to pull it all off. With just 1,672 produced, they’re rare as proverbial hens’ teeth too.
Yet here is a claimed example that has been restored and is being offered at no reserve, with bids sitting at just $13,100 at time of writing. Is this the deal of the century, or is something amiss?
With only 1,672 produced now some 45 years ago, your odds of coming across a 2002 Turbo today are fairly unlikely. Yet over the past few years I’ve taken a look at a steady stream of the legendary hot E10. While the M5 is often credited with being the first real ‘super sedan’, a decade before that model launched BMW’s fledgling Motorsports division breathed heavily on the diminutive 2-door sedan, creating a pint-sized sports car killer. I covered what made it so special back in 2017:
1974 BMW 2002 Turbo
The third 2002 we’ve looked at in three weeks, this is one that definitely ticks the right boxes as the collector car left out of the EAG Legends collection. But what will it take to buy today?
Here we have a Bitter Chocolate 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe. It has a Cork leather interior and what look to be Gold accents for the Carrera script. It’s stated to have 81,519 miles on it, though the seller notes that the mileage cannot be verified and thus they are selling it as “true mileage unknown.” In truth I thought that was a different Carrera; one I had featured more than three years ago on offer from the same seller. I was curious why it had not sold in all that time and figured I’d check in on it again. Lo and behold it’s a different car that just so happens to be the same model, the same model year, and in a nearly identical color configuration.
Bitter Chocolate is not going to win any awards for most favorite Porsche color, but it does show surprisingly well on these early Carreras. It’s a color that fits the period and the gold accents really stand out. I wish this one had the color-matched gold wheels as that previous Carrera did, but that’s something you probably could change if you so desired. Overall, for a vintage 911 that doesn’t tend to be the most popular, in the right colors these Carreras do attract a good bit of attention.
Sold and headed to Germany. Amount undisclosed. Good luck, Charles!
Here we have a Jade Green 1974 Porsche 911 Coupe. Anyone familiar with these 911s will recognize immediately that this one is not original. In fact, it’s quite far from it. Jade Green is purported to be its original color though, which is nice!
So what do we have? First, it’s undergone a Turbo-look conversion (I feel like this is becoming a theme of the cars I feature). The conversion, performed in 1987, utilized steel 930 rear flares and rockers, along with the usual addition of the 930 front and rear spoilers. The engine is now a 3.0 liter flat-6 from an early 911SC mated to a 915 5-speed transmission. Current mileage on the engine is believed to be around 20K miles post rebuild. The interior is a bit more standard for this car though the seats now come from a ’87 3.2 Carrera and have houndstooth inserts. They look pretty great. Otherwise, it sounds like other than the radio and speakers the interior is pretty much original.
Obviously it is the appearance here that is going to attract notice and I think from the outside the combination of that very bright Jade Green exterior with the wide body of the 930 really makes for a head turner.
A few weeks ago I looked at a nice 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D that sold for a really fair $7,500. I confessed my admiration for the W123 and all that it can do, as well as what it can’t. Today, I came across a very interesting W115 240D up for bid in Portland, Oregon that deserved a closer look. I think the W115 in general gets overlooked at times because it isn’t the W123 but that doesn’t it isn’t a great car on its own. At first glance on this 1974, everything looked great with major recondition on both the exterior and interior. It wasn’t until I saw the photos under the hood and read the description of this car to see that this really wasn’t a 240D. At least not anymore. Let me explain.
Update 9/25/18: Price on this clean Audi Fox has been dropped from $10,000 in July to $7,000 today.
For such an important vehicle, there’s very little fanfare that surrounds the Audi B1. Badged the 80 in Europe and the Fox in the United States, Audi’s small front-drive sedan was a complete transformation for the brand which was emerging from the reshuffling of DKW and Auto Union. Mercedes-Benz had a hand in bringing 4-stroke engine technology to Auto Union in the 1950s and early 1960s, and but freed of their reigns, the Audi engineers produced an all-new motor for the clean-sheet B1. It was the EA827, and it (and the B1) would go on to be the basis for basically every Audi/Volkswagen product since 1972. The 80 was the first to launch, but quickly the 80’s platform would be used to produce the first Volkswagen Dasher (née Passat) and, engine turned transversely, then the Audi 50. The 50 was then the basis for the Golf and Scirocco, and the all-new Volkswagen lineup was complete. So while most internet comments will sometimes dismiss modern Audis as little more than re-badged VWs, you can now remind them that historically it was the opposite. The 80’s traditional longitudinal engine layout ended up being convenient a few years later to help spawn the might Quattro, too.
Motor Trend (and notable automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen) called the 80 the “best new affordable small sedan in the world” in May 1973. Horsepower was modest from the 1.5 liter version of the EA827 at only 75, but then the weight was quite modest, too – curb weight of the sunroof-equipped model was still under 1,900 lbs and fully laden the 80 weighed less than an empty B2 4000CS quattro. Capable of over 30 mpg, the Fox sold surprisingly well in the gas-crunch era as a result – Audi sold 142,511 of them here. While that number sounds modest by today’s standards, consider for a moment that Audi sold only 123,764 of the Fox’s successor, the 4000, in total.
Yet today, finding an Audi Fox seems like something of a minor miracle – never mind when it’s in great condition!
I don’t get to feature these 911s a lot. That is partly due to there not being a ton of them around these days, but also those few that I do see never seem quite right. They’re either not in great condition or simply priced much too high, and while high prices aren’t typically something to dissuade me from writing up an air-cooled Porsche I usually end up passing them by. They just sit in a funny place in the market.
This one doesn’t seem to possess those issues, though even here where the price is at least somewhat reasonable I think it makes for a pretty tough sell. Here we have a Grand Prix White 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with Midnight leatherette interior and a reported 68,124 miles on it. These U.S market 2.7-liter Carreras must be distinguished from their much more expensive European counterparts, which shared their MFI engine with the 1973 Carrera RS. Those 911s were basically a Carrera RS Touring with impact bumpers. These 911s are not quite that. However, that lack of a shared pedigree means prices are far lower and while their collector potential also is a good bit lower, pricing is at least such that they can make for a worthwhile consideration for those who desire a ’70s 911.
Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right. So when I came across two unique Volkswagen-based bits, I thought “why not?”
So today we have two very limited production examples of fiberglass laid over a VW chassis. Which is the winner? Let’s start with the Bradley GT II: