1984 Audi Coupe GT

Like the 1984 Audi 4000S quattro, the 1984 Audi Coupe GT was a bit of an odd bird in the U.S. market. The GT was a light revision of the earlier Coupe; the major difference that was noticeable immediately was the Quattro-inspired 14″ Ronal R8 wheel design and raised spoiler shared with its bigger brother. Coupled with the deep chin spoiler and 4-quad headlight design, the Coupe GT introduced in mid-1983 looked like a fitting tribute to the turbocharged halo model.

Power now came from a 2.1 liter inline-5 (code WE) which cranked out 100 horsepower. Matching its European “5S” counterpart, the U.S. spec GT got an overdrive 5-speed manual with a 4.90 final drive; it helped economy slightly, though the slab front end certainly didn’t. But the new close(r) ratio box over the early economy-minded 5 speed helped acceleration little. Despite the lightweight 2,500 lb curbweight, Audi claimed the GT could hit 60 in a little over 10 seconds and it was out of fizz at about 109 mph. Despite this rather tame performance for a ‘Grand Tourer’, the GT’s numbers were on par with the GTI and better than the Scirocco. Plus, the longitudinal engine layout with equal length driveshafts coupled with a longer wheel base made them quite fun to drive.

But what was really unique about these cars was that they were an intermediary; the end of the Type 81 Coupes before the Type 85 Coupe GTs launched with heavy revision and more power (along with bigger brakes) for 1985. So while the later Coupes were basically a front-drive quattro, the 83-84 Coupe GT was like a 5-cylinder powered VW in some ways. They retained the smaller 4×100 mm bolt circle on the hubs with 239mm (9.4″) front disc brakes and rear drums, which is a blessing for wheel and brake upgrades should you want to go that route.

But on an example like this ’84, I hope someone keeps it stock!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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1984 Volkswagen GTI

As far as owning a legendary automobile goes, does it get much more affordable than the Volkswagen GTI? I don’t think it does. Universally lauded as one of the great all time designs and driving experiences, a trans-formative automobile that redefined (and forever defined) the marketplace, a practical pocket rocket, the GTI is not a million, nor even a hundred-thousand dollar car.

The asking price here is $12,995.

For that money, it’s true that money could buy you a new car. No, I’m not joking; the base price for the 2017 Nissan Versa S is 11,990. After destination, that comes to $12,855. Let’s call it even. So where is your money better spent?

The GTI produced about 90 horsepower from its 1.8 liter inline-4. The Nissan makes 109 horsepower from a 1.6. And, it’s got dual cams to impress all the chicks.

The GTI had options such as air conditioning and a radio. On the Nissan, they’re standard. Plus you apparently don’t need hands to operate them (or, Nissan gives you free hands? Whatever.) The base Versa has manual windows and locks, just like the GTI.

Volkswagen claimed the GTI could pip 36 mpg, which I’m pretty sure was a lie given that my ’84 turned about 5,000 rpms at highway speed. The Versa S you just bought is claimed to get…you guessed it, 36 mpg in 5-speed form.

Curb weight on the GTI was about 2,200 lbs with some options. The Nissan’s curb weight is 2,390 lbs. (seriously, I found this pretty shocking. I was unaware that a modern car could be made under 2,500 lbs unless it was completely carbon fiber)

You’d be equally unlikely to survive a major crash in either. But the Nissan comes with self-inflating fluffy pillows hidden in various spots of the dashboard. Unless you duct tape some throw pillows to the GTI’s steering wheel, you won’t get that on a pre-Mk.3.

Performance? The GTI hit 60 in a lethargic 10.6 seconds (wait a second – I thought this was a PERFORMANCE car!), cruised through the quarter at 17.7 seconds at 76 mph. The Nissan? 10.4 to 60, 17.7 in the quarter.

So in terms of raw numbers, these two cars are effectively equal. But while the Nissan you pick up at the dealer will be minty fresh with almost zero miles on the odometer, this 1984 Volkswagen has over 90,000 on the clock. And while you’ll probably not need it, the Nissan even comes with a warranty. But in terms of driver experience they couldn’t be farther apart.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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1984 Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta, for most, isn’t the most exciting vehicle. Nor, if I’m honest, was it the most exciting Volkswagen product in 1984. In the hierarchy of collectable Volkswagens from that year, in fact, I’d wager that a stock 1984 Jetta comes just about last in a ranking of desirability within the brand’s lineup. Beyond the fact that there was a GLI high performance model, there was the Scirocco, the Rabbit Convertible, the GTI, and of course the popular Vanagon. Heck, I’d bet there’d be a bigger draw around a clean Quantum than a Jetta.

Okay, maybe that last one was a step too far. The Jetta, even if it’s not the fastest or best looking Volkswagen product, still has quite a devoted following in each generation – and those that love the A1 don’t exactly have a glut of examples to choose from. When they’re found, they’re usually forlorn as the residual value on standard Jettas has remained so low in comparison to other models. You’re not likely to find a clean example even with needs. But a restored and rebuilt model? Surely that would just be too expensive to even contemplate?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta on eBay

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1984 BMW 745i

The 745i was the high performance version of the E23 7-series. Produced between 1979-1986, these autobahn stormers were never officially offered in the US. But committed, well-resourced buyers were able to bring them over via the gray market, which is presumably how this one ended up here. Powered by a turbocharged version of the 3.2 or (later) the 3.4 liter M30 inline six – at a time when BMW’s competitors were using V8s and V12s – these cars came from the factory with a 3-speed automatic gearbox. But this particular example has received a 5-speed manual swap, along with a whole host of other goodies. I don’t normally post heavily modified cars, but this one seemed too interesting to ignore.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 745i on eBay

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BMW 635CSi Face-off: High mileage US-Spec vs. Low mileage Euro

With its sharply raked front fascia, long hood and tapering rear end, the E24 6-series is arguably one of the most beautiful BMWs ever made. The grand tourer first arrived in the US in 1977 as the 630, powered by a 3.0 liter M30 engine that produced a not-terribly-impressive 176 hp. While a series of improvements and changes to the lineup would improve things little by little – the 630 was replaced by the 633 in 1978, then the 635 in 1985, and an M6 would arrive in 1987 – the American models would remain saddled with performance-sapping emissions equipment and engines with lower compression ratios than their European counterparts. It wasn’t the end of the world: the E24 was not really about out-and-out performance anyway. Instead, it was for loping across vast stretches of road in comfort and style while conspicuously showing off your wealth. The US-spec 635CSi appeared 1985, bringing with it the 3.4 liter version of the M30 engine and Motronic engine management. Still underpowered in comparison with its European cousin, it was at least significantly torquier than the 633 it replaced. And the performance gap would close almost entirely by 1987 when power output on US-models was bumped to 208 hp. For today’s post, I’ve selected two lovely looking examples of the 635. Both wear Bronzitbeige Metallic paint and come equipped with manual gearboxes. One is a high-milage US-spec example, the other is a low-mileage Euro-spec car with a significant price premium attached.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi on Hemmings.com

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Kiln Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

This is a Porsche color I have never seen before. I like when that happens. Of course it’s made even better when the color is one that I like the look of as well. The color in question is Kiln Red Metallic and here we see it on a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with only 26,998 miles on the clock. I really only have these pictures to go by, but Kiln Red appears not quite burnt orange and not really a brick red either (though that is the way ziegelrot translates). By name I’d guess it comes from the fiery inside of a kiln and we can sort of see that blend of orange, red, and yellow at work here. It’s a captivating color and even though these pictures mostly show it under direct sunlight I imagine it will show dramatic changes in the shade or even on a cloudy day. Positioned under one of those flaring red/pink sunsets it’d probably look amazing.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Kiln Red Metallic 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe at Chequered Flag International

Year: 1984
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 26,998 mi
Price: $76,500

Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe in Kiln Red with Black interior. Sold new 10/84 by Continental Porsche in Portland Oregon to its only owner. Garaged its whole like and unused for the alt 10/15 years. We got it and went through it thoroughly. We took the engine out, fitted new clutch and pressure plate. Fitted new engine bay insulation pad, detail all round, pulled gas tank went through all lines. Completely went through the braking system. Full fluid flush rebuilt all calipers, etc. Major service and injector service, etc. All belts and fluids. New tires. This is as fresh and dialed in mechanically as possible. Perfect body with incredibly and vastly original paint. All stickers in place including the option code sticker under the hood. The interior is original and spectacular. Factory sport seats which look new. Un-cracked dash, perfect roof liner, door panels and carpets. There are few 911’s of this vintage in the super original condition. The color is very rare. This is one for the collection! Comes with it original books including service book with option code sticker with eight service stamps, tools, jack, air pump, extra keys, etc. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California.

Quite honestly this is one of the better 3.2 Carreras I’ve come across. The condition looks great inside and out, the color is unqiue, and the mileage is very low. With sport seats, 16″ wheels, and front and rear spoilers it’s optioned just about how I’d like as well. The total package is extremely attractive. As tends to happen, that means it’s priced high. Very high: $76,500.

There are a lot of Carreras, and the earlier 911SC, on the market in good condition for well under that price. They aren’t in nearly as good condition and most wouldn’t come in such a rare color, but they’re out there, which makes this a tougher sell. A later G50-equipped Carrera might have a chance, but I’m not sure about an ’84. We also don’t hear about much in the way of documentation. The paint is said to be “vastly original” and I would interpret that to mean no more than minor touchups. That’s got to be verified though. The basic point being: at this price documentation may be just as important as how it looks right now. Still this is a fantastic 911 and one that surely warrants a high price. Does the current market support such a price? I’ll be very interested to see.

-Rob

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

Outside of a few ultra-low-mileage examples, this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe might be one of the better looking 3.2 Carreras I can recall coming across. I’ll hedge that some by saying I don’t necessarily mean the prettiest or best color, but the exterior appears in remarkably good condition. It all looks very clean, scratch, scrape, and ding free. I’m sure a good bit of detailing went into bringing about this condition, but that’s okay. The paint is said to be original, though it’s clear the seller is not 100% sure of that. That it’s a Turbo-look certainly plays a role as the wider rear of the Turbo looks fantastic on the 3.2 Carrera; for me it improves the look to a greater degree than with other 911 models. There’s also the wheels. We’ve seen platinum metallic Fuchs on other 911s so in itself that isn’t terribly unusual, but this may be the first instance I’ve seen it on a black 911. The Weissach edition has platinum metallic wheels paired with its black paint and they looked great, but that was black metallic, which is lighter, and the greater contrast with the non-metallic black exterior here works even better. All together, this is a fantastic looking 911!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

Year: 1984
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 51,000 mi
Price: $85,000 Buy It Now

Will consider partial trade.

1984 Factory wide-body, 491, turbo-look coupe. Exceptional condition! Can send more detailed photos if needed.

Factory options:
018 Sport steering wheel with elevated hub
469 Black headliner
491 Turbo look
533 Alarm system
577 Heated and tinted front Windshield
C02 Equipped with catalytic converter
E20 Special Option Group
349 Special Leather interior
000 Wheel centers platinum metallic.

Appears to be original paint. I used digital paint meter all over vehicle.

Recent service and pre-sale inspection with leak down and compression check. $1500.00

Lots of service history.

All owners manuals including original service manual.

Original radio

Factory PORSCHE nose bra

Both keys including alarm key with the leather pouch.

Ph. 954.299.6308

So, everything above was concerning the exterior. The interior, which definitely doesn’t look bad and shows a similar level of cleanliness as the exterior, seems off somehow. The seats in particular stand out, but not the way I’d prefer. Perhaps this is down to the “Special Leather” option package. But I think they’ve been recovered, not to the greatest standards, and that the shade is a little off, a little too light. I could be wrong since pictures can be deceptive, but that’s my sense. I think the rear seats highlight this as the seat cushions (perhaps the most likely to have been replaced in that area) look lighter than the rest of the rear leather. As problems go this doesn’t seem deal breaking, though it’d certainly have to be factored into the cost.

That’s pretty much my largest criticism. Given the asking price here it should be part of our consideration along with the usual statements about the availability and review of its maintenance records and history. It’s a lovely 911 though that looks in great shape, the mileage is pretty low, and the M491 package makes for a pretty nice option. The Turbo look, the Turbo brakes, and the Turbo suspension make for a nice package when tied to the lower-strung naturally aspirated 3.2 flat-six of the Carrera. I don’t think it’ll see $85K, but I’d imagine the price should be strong and hopefully someone gets their hands on a great 911.

-Rob

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

Early buyers of the W126 in America had to make do with the relatively anaemic 3.8 liter V8 in the  380SEL. Thirsty and underpowered, it was a bit of a disappointment. Meanwhile, European customers were offered the better performing 500SEL, which was powered a 5.0 liter version of the M117 block good for about 240hp. Although MB USA eventually relented in the face of demand and brought the car over by official channels, early Euro-spec examples pop up for sale in the US every now and again, since many of them made it over to these shores via the gray market.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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Twofer: 1984 BMW 733i (plus spare car)

4By now we’re used to the idea that flagship, luxury sedans should look like bloated warships, with bulbous styling, semi-autonomous aids to insulate the driver from driving, and triple-glazed windows to insulate plutocratic passengers from the hoi polloi outside. But once upon a time, top of the range cars were simpler, crisper and cleaner in their appearance and design and much more involving to drive. Luxurious, yes, but swollen, no. For this reason I’ve always had a soft spot for the E23 generation 7-series, now near forgotten, especially since so few of them remain on the road and so many of them now rot in junkyards. This one is a nice looking survivor. It also comes with an added bonus: a donor car with a manual gearbox, ready for a swap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 733i on eBay

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1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi

Yesterday, searching through bad 1980s movies to watch I came across the Orwellian classic 1984. I sat and stared at the image of John Hurt, slightly bemused that Orwell’s vision of the future was so dark, dire and complicated. Sitting at the end of a head-scratching 2016, 1984 seems in many ways to be such an easy time. Okay, remove the equally crazy politics of the period; telling my students that bombings in downtown London were commonplace when I was growing up confuses them, or that plane hijackings happened almost as often as mass shootings do today, nevermind the environmental and infectious disease disasters of the period. In 1984, you could buy a Volkswagen Jetta GLi for $8,500. Inflation corrected, that’s just below $20,000 – so still quite a deal in the grand scheme. Sure, today’s cars offer more luxury and convenience, and isolation from the driving experience. They are, without a doubt, safer in every measurable characteristic than cars in the 1980s. And faster? Also indisputable, as a new Jetta GLi turbo will positively wipe the floor with this A1’s performance. With only 90 horsepower on tap, you’ll struggle to best speeds most modern cars can do without the driver even blinking. Relatively speaking, this Jetta GLi is slow, loud, unsafe, and not hugely comfortable. Why, then, were they so much fun to drive?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi on eBay

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