Volkswagen of America’s small pickup truck offered a unique experience at the beginning of the 1980s; basically, the front half of the pickup was a Rabbit, which meant relative comfort, reliability, easy of use and driving and good fuel economy. In back, Volkswagen stretched the wheelbase nine inches and swapped in a tubular axle supported by leaf springs giving the pick up 1,100 lbs of payload capacity and a six foot bed – not too shabby! They even launched a “Sportruck” model, which gave you bucket seats and some really trick decals that covered most of the side. You also got some amazing options for the period, like a tachometer (wooooow) and a 5-speed transmission. However, even with the 5-speed the 1.7 liter low compression 8V motor available wasn’t exactly going ignite your enthusiast dreams. Unleashing the 78 horsepower would return a not particularly stunning 0-50 time of 9.7 seconds. 60, you’ll remember, was illegal in the United States at that time, so why bother designing a car that could approach it?
Still, the Rabbit Pickup was one of the rare occasions when the U.S. got a desirable model which wasn’t available in Germany. We spend much time lamenting the cars that never came here, so it’s worth while to take a bit of time to appreciate the Rabbit Pickup – especially one in this condition:
Most of the time the cars I feature are really nice examples. Mostly because no one wants to look at junk, outside of a few exceptions, and the majority of the cars that are offered for sale to the masses are actually cars people want to buy. For every nice W124 Mercedes-Benz on eBay, there are a dozen of them sitting behind barbed-wire fences at Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots with one flat tire. Today’s car, a 1982 500SL, is in an interesting position. The model itself is always considered desirable and people generally like them, but this specific example needs a lot of love to get it back to its former glory. Given the price, compared to really nice ones, is it worth taking on as a project?
We all know I am a huge 911 fan, but I am really enjoying seeing the slew of really nice 928s that we’ve come across. From the wonderful early example we featured toward the beginning of the year to the very rare Wimbledon Green 928GTS it has been a treat to further my own appreciation for these fantastic cars. Here we have another and it honestly might be my favorite: a Minerva Blue Metallic 1982 Porsche 928, located in Chicago, with Navy Blue leather interior and only 18,915 miles on it. If you’ve read these pages long enough you’ll know why this is my favorite: Minerva Blue probably is my favorite of Porsche’s metallic blues. On the lines of the 928 it shows off just how stunning it can look.
Sometimes I just want something simple. I’ve been posting a lot of newer and very expensive 911s lately and I must admit they are very hard to pass up. Especially now that Porsche has brought a healthy dose of color back to the 911 lineup both through the standard colors available and also through their paint-to-sample option, which even with its hefty price increase has been a frequent selection.
That, of course, brings me to the 911SC, the model that we might thank for convincing Porsche that it was the 911 upon which the marque should hang its hat. The success of the 911SC and its successor the 3.2 Carrera paved the way for the beautiful machines we see today. Or at least they got us far enough along for Porsche to commit to it since a good bit of Porsche’s success today can be laid at the feet of the Cayenne and Macan.
But I digress. As you can see, this isn’t a brightly colored 911. Bright colors were available during the SC’s time, but kind of like the 996 they aren’t quite as prevalent. Nonetheless, this 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa, in Pewter Metallic over Brown/Beige, still looks pretty good even if its exterior color won’t necessarily get your blood boiling. It’s simple, but should still be quite enjoyable.
Update 9/26/18: This 240D sold for $7,000.
The W123 Mercedes-Benz 240D is a car that does everything for me. I rotate my 1983 4-speed manual car as one of my daily drivers and despite its many flaws, I appreciate how satisfying it is. When I am driving home from work at night alone on the highway, it is true bliss. Everything is in the right spot, nothing is rattling or shaking, everything fits perfectly, it returns just over 30 mpg and all of that makes you realize why it is considered one of the best cars ever produced. It isn’t all gravy though, because on days when I’m heading to work in traffic and it’s 86 degrees outside, I’m driving it like a maniac just to not get ran over by a tractor tailor because I don’t have enough power to merge on the highway. Then when I do arrive at work, all my coworkers ask me why I look like I just wrestled a bear. Nope, just driving my 240D. I suppose it is not the cars fault because you do need to be a certain kind of crazy to still be daily driving one of these. The newest 240D is now 35 years-old and is well into classic territory and should be treated as such. But no, not me, I’ll suffer for the sake of goodÂ ergonomics and forgoing something called a ”car payment.”
This of course leads me to today’s car, a 1982 240D up for bid inÂ Annapolis, Maryland. This car is painted in the rare Mango Green and checks with a just under 62,000 miles which is pretty unheard of when it comes to 240Ds. As you might have guessed, it is extremely clean and shows very little wear at all. What kind of price might it bring? I’m curious to find out.
This is one of those holy **** cars. Here we have a 1982 Porsche 928 Weissach Edition. I will admit before looking at this one I did not know much about the 928 Weissach Edition. I’ve seen plenty of the 911 Weissach Edition, but not the 928. Like the 911 Weissach, the 928 was intended to celebrate Porsche’s Motorsports department located in, you guessed it, Weissach, Germany. It was the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking at the site. And we know that Porsche likes to make special editions.
Like many Porsche special editions, the 928 Weissach doesn’t hit you with a bunch of performance upgrades. It’s all cosmetic, but while the 911 made do mostly with interesting colors, the 928 turns the luxury dial up with its additions. The most obvious of these additions is the leather. The Weissach came with medium brown leather and if you could touch it, then it probably was leather. You also received a matching leather 3-piece luggage set made by Seeger. Because who would dare travel in their Porsche Grand Tourer without matching luggage? The exterior is Hellbronze Metallic, which is a nice color and furthers the theme of elegance. Other items were included as well: upgraded stereo, electric sunroof, forged alloy wheels, and front and rear spoilers. The overall impression though is straightforward: the 928 Weissach was for the buyer who wanted their Porsche luxury cruiser to be even more lux and more exclusive. The package cost $5,940 so you definitely had to want it.
Porsche said they’d make only 205 of them. That’s almost half the number of the 911 Weissach built so they’re pretty rare. I don’t know how many of those were equipped with a manual transmission (a 3-speed automatic also was available), but this one is a manual. It also has a stupid low 14,030 miles on it. Hot damn!
Perhaps 2019 will be the year of the E21? Along with the early 7-series E23, these relatively unloved BMWs remain solid values in the classic car world. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. The E21 didn’t have the spunk of its E10 predecessor, nor the looks, power or handling of its E30 replacement. Even without those bookmarks, if you’re looking at late 70s to early 80s BMWs, the star power still is firmly planted in the E24 while the E12 and early E28s are more classic and practical. That leaves the E21 in a strange limbo of value, making it hard to justify restoration or keep miles off a clean chassis.
So herein lies this comparison; both Henna Red 1982 BMW 320is, I found a pretty clean light restoration candidate and a reasonably clean high mileage “S” package. Traditionally, the Sport package has always been the star in this Washington Generals lineup, so will that hold true today?
This 1982 Audi Coupe is an interesting counter-point to yesterday’s survivor Scirocco. Obviously, there are the links within the parent company – but beyond that, both the Scirocco and Coupe occupied the same market segement. Audi’s offering went more upscale, with leather interior options, a bit more power and refinement and a host of power equipment. They were styled by the same man, too; Giugiaro’s masterful work on the Scirocco was influenced by his ‘Asso’ designs, but then so was the 2-door Audi. The Coupe’s C-pillar, window silhouettes and lower character lines closely echo the inspired 1973 concept.
There’s another similarity between the two budget 2-doors, though. While both have always had a pretty devoted fan following, the values on each have meant that for a long time you had to hope to find a survivor like yesterday’s. Undergoing a restoration on a car like this has been as unthinkable as restoring a Mazda 626. The market has started to turn the corner, especially on the Scirocco, but the Coupe is holding its own now, too. Still, it would be much easier to jump into a chassis that has had a large amount of the heavy lifting done:
I’ve been thinking about this car for a week now since I spotted it. It’s a poignant follow-up to the Canadian Coupe I wrote up last week. That car cleared just over $4,000 – even accepting the silly stereo upgrade, it was a great deal. I also said in that post that it was rare to see early cars and, as if on cue to disprove me, another all-original ’82 popped up. It’s too good to not look at!
In an effort to explain just why I love the Coupe so much, I took my GT for a drive this morning. I’ve owned it now for over 20 years, and despite having far too much abuse at various points in its life, it is still a car that thrills. It’s comfortable, quick, has plenty of room, turns head and makes great noises. It’s never failed to start. It is supremely adept in corners, egging you on to push harder. It somehow rides even better than my newer car in spite of set-to-punish track-oriented suspension. It’s beautiful simplicity still makes me smile, too. Sure, I was pretty amazed when my son folded down the sunvisor and the vanity mirror light turned on. After all, I don’t get into this car expecting all electrical items to work. But I do get a smile out of this car every time I drive it. What more could you ask for $4,000?
While the Audi Coupe is no stranger to these pages due to some ridiculous bias by a certain author (ahem), we rarely get the treat of looking at the first half of B2 production. But before it became the “Coupe GT” I so adore, the 2-door basis for the Quattro was simply referred to as the Audi Coupe.
Europeans got a choice of several engines, but in the United States options were limited to one: the WE 2.1 liter inline-5, rated at 100 horsepower. Mated to a wide-ratio 5-speed with economy in mind, these cars were decidedly not as sporty as the later KX- and especially NG-equipped GTs. Brakes were smaller, too – with 4x100mm bolt pattern wheels on the early models sharing duty with some Volkswagens. But the Coupe had a whiff of class that the VWs didn’t manage, and its upscale construction – when well maintained – meant these cars have serious staying power.
Early models, while numerically superior to late GTs, are harder to come across. Audi sold some 4,236 1982s – the Type 85 Coupe’s most successful sales year in the U.S.. However, ’81-’83 GTs are the least frequently seen on the open market here, so this one from Canada looks to be prime to import: