1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

When looking at last week’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, the claim of it being the best sedan in the world (at the time) came up. Those were someone else’s words, not mine, but I am certainly not going to argue against it because I actually own a 1980 300SD and it is one of my daily drivers. 1980 was also the last year of the W116 and the W126 was already on the roads late in that year in Europe with 1981 being the first model year for the new S-Class in North America. The W126 had to continue on the legacy of being the best luxury sedan in the world and again, at the time, it would tough to say it wasn’t. You could have the efficient OM617 diesel or two V8 options in the Gen 1 W126 with the 380SE/L or the 500SEL. Today’s car I wanted to check out is a 1983 500SEL but it isn’t the standard North American spec cars you are used to seeing. This W126 is a Euro-spec car with some neat options, both inside and out.

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1983 Porsche 928S 5-Speed

Here we have another very pretty 928. But first a question: The seller refers to monochromatic interior/exterior combinations as an iconic ’80s theme. Was these really iconic? I was a kid so I can’t really recall what the crazy cars were like (My mom had one of those huge Buick or Oldsmobile station wagons. It was not sporty and I believe it was black with tan interior. We slept in the back on long trips. My dad’s 911 was black on black, but I don’t think that’s what they mean.) Color-matching the interior and exterior definitely seems more prevalent in the ’80s. I know I’ve commented on the blue on blue combination that we almost never see outside of the ’80s and early ’90s. Burgundy also seems popular. I’ve seen green on green a few times and those are…quite something. That was the ’70s though. I digress, I guess I hadn’t thought of this as an iconic ’80s thing to do. Perhaps it is and this 928 uses it to nice effect.

This is a Ruby Red Metallic 1983 Porsche 928S with, you guessed it, a Burgundy interior, 47,915 miles, and a very desirable 5-speed manual transmission. One other quick digression: The seller refers to the color as Rubino Metallic, which I had never heard of before. Thankfully the paint code sticker provides clarity and confirms it is rubinrotmetallic or as it’s typically called in English, Ruby Red. It looks spectacular!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 928S on Classic Driver

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

 

It has been some time since I’ve looked at the world’s most favorite wagon, the W123 Mercedes-Benz 300TD. We’ve been at the point with them for a while where unless it is an absolute heap, they are all worth saving or at least maintaining to the point of usable service. Sadly, some of the S123s ended up being used as work horses or straight up beater cars that took them to the point of no return. Today’s car, a 1983 in New Jersey, is one of those cars. Cosmetically, this one is pretty far gone and thanks to an odometer that stopped working who knows how many moons ago, mechanically it is a bit of a question mark as well. Question is, if it is cheap enough, is it worth it?

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Dealer Disinformation: 1983 Audi Quattro

Perhaps I’m being harsh in my title. But I have to say, this listing annoys me for a few specific reasons. We’ll get back there soon. Predictably, as it did with Mercedes-Benz Pagodas, Porsche 930s, 80s BMW M products and the original GTI, the quick rising of selling prices for the Audi Quattro has continued to bring good examples to market. Where we used to wait seasons between seeing any at all, today you seem to be able to view at least one pretty good one on the market at any given time.

Today’s furthers the recent line of ’83s I’ve looked at. We saw the $59,000 ask on a modded L041 Black one. Recent bids only hit $33,000, which tells us more where market value lies. We saw more of a project a month later with the Treser’d LA5Y Helios example. At $25,000, it was one of the cheaper examples to come to market recently. Then just last week the stellar L97A Diamond Silver Metallic one popped up. Priced right in the middle of the two at $40,000, it looked like the one to buy of the three.

Today’s ’83 comes in a fourth shade available that year. LA3A Mars Red was shared with the A1 and early A2 chassis Volkswagen GTI and GLIs (along with a few others), but is less frequent to see on the Quattro than the color that replaced it in 1984 – LY3D Tornado Red. It’s more orange in tone and distinctive as a result. This particular example is also claimed to be completely original and from a single owner – something none of the others could boast. Priced at $36,900, is this the one to get as a collector?

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1983 Audi Quattro

After looking again recently at the replica E30 M3, I still can’t help but shake my head. While it was an exacting clone of a real M3 in many ways, at the end of the day it was just that – an assemblage of parts made to reproduce the look of a legend. Despite that, and a slightly shady listing, that ad elicited ridiculous bidding and an even more outrageous $50,000 asking price. It makes looking at today’s car all the more refreshing, and helps to put the market into some perspective.

What we have is a L97A Diamond Silver Metallic 1983 Audi Quattro. It’s not a perfectly original example, nor is it heavily modified like a lot that we see. But with some weak areas addressed, a clean bill of health and a very good presentation, this is one of the more desirable examples that we’ve seen recently:

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1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe

I feel as if I have been neglectful. Truth be told I have not been overly enamored with a lot of the 911s I’ve been coming across lately. I think that is because I have been spending a lot more time looking at very nice (and very expensive) modern 911s, which has colored my view of many of the older examples that I typically hold so dear. When you spend day after day looking at pristine, never driven, garage kept, cars fewer than five years old it becomes easy to find flaws in older cars and dismiss them. But of course those older cars have more flaws! They’ve been driven and enjoyed and they are just older. Plain and simple.

These “flaws” shouldn’t dissuade me though and I’ll look a little closer. The one we see here, a Blue Metallic 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe, I like quite a bit. I don’t know if I view it as pristine and “spectacular” as the seller, which isn’t too surprising, but it does look quite good and appears to be in very original condition. It isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be perfect and that’s just fine.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

Update: This car is back up for sale from a new owner with a nice detail and a laundry list of maintenance completed.  Almost no miles were added but the price has been raised to $11,500. Check it out here

It is all about the details for me. I have seen enough of the same cars day after day that all look they pretty much look the same to me. Unless of course a car sticks out for one reason or two. It could be a unique color, it could be a rare-spec with interesting options or it could be the entire car is something I haven’t seen pop up for sale. Today’s car, a European-spec 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE for sale in California, has the entire package of coolness that I just have to take a close look at it. Judging by the photo above, you can tell this one is going to be good.

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1983 Porsche 911SC Targa

Here we have a 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa that comes in a kind of unusual color. Unusual in the sense that I’m not quite sure what it is. The seller simply lists it as Gold, but that’s not terribly helpful. It could be Gold Metallic, which had been available in earlier years though I don’t think it was available in 1983. Platinum Metallic could be another option, which I believe was available in 1983. But it doesn’t really look like either of those colors. Or perhaps Casablanca Beige, a rare color we have seen before. To me, the color it looks most like actually is Lime Gold Metallic, but unless I’m mistaken that’s a relatively recent color. It, of course, recently could have been repainted Lime Gold. The seller doesn’t mention this and, unfortunately, because most of the pictures show it parked in the shade we can’t get a very good sense of how it truly looks. The interior is brown leather, which was available in the early ’80s and works reasonably well with this exterior color. Overall I don’t know that I’ve seen a 911SC with this color combination. It may not be original, but that’s something that should impact its selling price more than whether we dismiss it entirely or not. I think it looks pretty good!

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Tuner Tuesday: 1983 BMW 528i

As ’80s-All-Things-M-Mania’ has continued, getting into a clean E28 M5 is increasingly difficult – and expensive. Decently clean original M5s now start around $30,000 and can head up from there, with really exceptional examples selling for $50,000 or more. Didn’t this used to be the “cheap” M? Those days have passed and don’t show signs of returning soon.

What’s an enthusiast to do? Well, you could build your own. It’s not cheap or easy, but hey – if you’re in it to win it, why not see if you can source all the parts yourself? Or (and this is a much better option…) you buy one that has already been converted to M-specs. To maximize your investment, look for one with a rare set of parts attached, and preferably in European guise. Luckily, today we don’t have to look too far:

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1983 Audi Quattro

There was a point where it was very hard to find a clean Mk.1 GTI anymore, and consequently the values on them rose sharply and quickly. Predictably, the moment that occurred a bunch of really nice examples popped up for sale and have continued to emerge as the car has finally been recognized as a classic. Now, couple that scenario with the racing pedigree of the Quattro and sprinkle in a dash of ///Mania into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for some very expensive cars.

With only 664 originally imported to the U.S. and a fair amount dead, balled up in rally stages or repatriated to the Fatherland, the remaining cars that do emerge generally fall into two categories: well maintained examples that fetch high dollars, or needy chassis for the project-minded enthusiasts. Although today’s car looks quite clean at first glance, it’s not a perfect example. Yet it does sport some very rare (and very polarizing) period Treser bits, a great set of Fuchs wheels and is awesome Helios Blue Metallic. At $25,000 – the lowest price we’ve seen on a recent Quattro auction, is this a deal or a dud?

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