Motorsports Monday: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E

I don’t really feature a lot of Mercedes-Benz race cars not because I don’t like them, but rather there just aren’t a whole lot of them out there. Very rarely do I see these kind of cars come up for sale as opposed to say a BMW E36. There really isn’t a ”go-to” Mercedes chassis for building a race car like the E36 and even cars that do tend to respond well to being stripped out, the aftermarket support is either lacking or very expensive. Although one Mercedes from the past 25 years does seem to be the favorite of the track rats alike, the W201.

This 1986 190E up for bid in Florida doesn’t have much left of its original engine and interior left of it, if any. The car has been totally stripped of basically everything including the original M103 inline-6 engine that was replaced with the next generation M104 3.2 inline-6. A 5-speed gearbox was bolted up to this car and nearly every single piece of the interior was removed to be replaced by the bare essentials.  A single seat, a tachometer and some switches are all that remain inside this W201 that cut the weight to around 2,000 pounds. This doesn’t sound like a half bad combination now.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E on eBay

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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

This is a first. I’ve never seen a 911 like this. The colors, I mean. The typical pairing for a yellow exterior is a black interior. The contrast works well as the two colors accent each other. The combination here is one that most probably would not consider. Here we have a Summer Yellow 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with Mahogany leather interior and 59,003 miles on it.

I have not heard of Summer Yellow. After some searching my guess is that this is Limonengelb (code: M1A), which only was available in ’87 and ’88 for the 911 and 924. Limonen translates to Lime. Generally when we think of limes we think of green, not yellow. Perhaps that’s why it’s called Summer Yellow. Either way it’s a very happy looking color! It might be better suited on a Beetle than a 911, but it’s a bright happy yellow 911 nonetheless. Do I like the pairing with Mahogany? That I’m not sure about. It certainly seems quite earthy and I’d be interested to see it in person. That this is a Cabriolet, i.e. the top also is Mahogany, really is playing up the contrast between these two colors. Ultimately, I think I’d prefer this combination on a Coupe, where the yellow canvases the entire exterior, rather than a Cabriolet. It should be a very rare combination though.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

One of the greatest crimes in automotive history were the 5 mph bumpers mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1973. As a result, our favorite cars from Europe went from being great designs to cars with massive underbites. Arguably no car was hit harder by this mandate than the Mercedes-Benz R107. A great, boxy design was totally transformed because of these massive bumpers. Thanks to another ridiculous rule at the time that required sealed beam headlights, the R107 design was basically decimated. Thankfully, there are enthusiasts out there who told the NHTSA where to go and swapped back on the slim bumpers and non-sealed beam headlights. This 1986 560SL up bid in California is one of them. Thank goodness.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

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1987 Porsche 928S4

Truth be told this wasn’t the 928 I originally intended to post. It was going to be this 928 GTS 5-speed also for sale at Parkhaus. Those obviously are highly sought after cars. But as I continued looking about I then came across this very similar looking 1987 Porsche 928S4 and the price difference simply became too much for me to continue with the GTS. The GTS certainly is quite nice, but for 100 grand less you could have this one. That’s a lot of money saved!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 928S4 on eBay

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Feature Listing: Venetian Blue 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet M491

Turbo-look Carreras are becoming a regular occurrence around here. That’s good! These are some of our favorite of the classic 911s for their combination of 930 appearance, suspension, and braking, but in a little more refined and less high strung a package. They’re also pretty rare. We like rare.

We especially like rare 911s when they are looking their best and have spent a decent bit of time being driven by the owners who derive so much joy from them. Here all of these facets come together in this Venetian Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with Champagne interior. As I’ve noted with previous M491 Carrera posts, the later ’87-’89 model years represent a special subset of these cars given that they came with the G50 5-speed transmission and that there are fewer of them since the 930 was now back and available for the US market. For some wide-body top-down cruising, this 911 should provide just the thing you’re seeking.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Venetian Blue 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet M491 on Rennlist

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Tuner Tuesday: 1987 RUF BTR

The well worn cliche is that power is intoxicating. While typically that expression is used in reference to abuses by individuals it seems no less applicable to cars. Once you get a taste of a level of acceleration, you begin to want more. And more. And maybe even a little more. Thankfully there exist outlets for such desires; builders who are happy to provide you with completely unnecessary levels of power in our continual pursuit of more. Just bring your wallet.

For your Porsche the name nearly synonymous with the need for extra power is RUF. RUF has been in the game for a long time, producing modified Porsches for 40 years. While in many cases these are conversions where the owner buys a 911 and has RUF parts added by an appropriate installer (or by RUF themselves), RUF also has produced their own builds utilizing nothing more than a Porsche chassis. These cars were badged as a RUF rather than a Porsche and come with a RUF VIN. The one we see most commonly and the one that really got the whole thing started is the BTR. Fitted with a 3.4 liter turbocharged flat-6 mated to a 5-speed manual the BTR was a much more powerful version of the 930 capable of outclassing most any production car available at the time. Naturally that extra performance along with their relative rarity makes them a highly sought after commodity. Here we have one such beast: a 1987 RUF BTR, located in Virginia, with 37,472 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 RUF BTR on eBay

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1987 Porsche 944S with 15,000 Miles

It’s no great revelation that values of the transaxle Porsches are all over the place. I looked at two of the most expensive you could buy recently with the twin low-mileage Turbo S Silver Rose examples:

Double Take – 25,000 Miles Total: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose

In impeccable condition, it was no surprise that the asks were out-of-reach for nearly all enthusiasts. On the other end of the spectrum sits the lowly 924; you recently had your choice of either of these very clean examples for about $4,000, both special in their own way:

Face Off: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo v. 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition

But I have to say, the one I covered recently that bothered me the most was the $20,000 ask for the 1988 944 Special Edition, or “Celebration”, model. Sure, it had one of the coolest interiors offered by Porsche in the period, though it’s soundly outdone by the Silver Rose.

1988 Porsche 944 ‘Celebration’ Special Edition

But I just can’t wrap my head around why you’d want to pay a premium for one. For the 924S Special Edition, it makes sense, in a way. The delta between normal and SE values is small and there are tangible performance gains for the Special Edition. But the Celebration was effectively just a loaded 944 with a neat interior. Surely, there must be a better option?

There was.

Alongside the appearance package offered on the regular 944, Porsche introduced the “Super” 944. The new M44/40 double overhead cam motor upped power output substantially to nearly 190, but outside of the subtle “S” badge on the rear and the embossed “16 Ventlier” on the side trim, there were no signs of the performance gains under the hood. There was a substantial change, however, to the base price, which cut the middle ground between the ~$32,000 944 and ~$40,000 Turbo at around $37,000. I always felt like Porsche’s pricing versus power gains on these models seemed a little too convenient; you got the impression that they could do more with the model, but didn’t want to tread on the 911’s toes. Apparently, so did buyers at the time. The 944S failed to sell as well as the normal 944 or the Turbo, with about 8,800 imported over the short two year production cycle before it was replaced by the even more potent and better looking S2. Few appear today like this 15,000 mile Zermatt Silver Metallic one does:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944S on eBay

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Paint-to-Sample 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa M491 Turbolook

After seemingly going a while without seeing one it now appears Turbolook 911s are all coming out of the woodwork. I’ve posted a couple that I particularly liked, one of which specifically because it was a coupe as those still aren’t coming around very often. It is still the case that most of those we see are the earlier, and slightly less desirable, models with the 915 5-speed transmission. There are fewer of the later G50 transmission models with the ’89MY naturally leading the way in rarity.

But here we have one of those later models. It’s not a Coupe, but still has plenty of appeal in its own right: a paint-to-sample Marine Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with the M491 package and 81,713 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Paint-to-Sample 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa M491 Turbolook on eBay

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1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet

Last week I presented a 930 Slantnose that I thought was about as ’80s as a Porsche could get. While I don’t think this one pushes beyond it, it certainly brings with it its own ’80s appeal and includes elements that 930 Coupe lacked.

Here we have a Cassis Red Metallic 1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet with just 45,400 miles on it. The very fact that it’s a Cabriolet, rather than a Coupe, garners it an extra dose of excess in appearance. The Slantnose, side strakes, and massive spoiler when paired with a top-down environment really bring a peculiarity to the design that we don’t often see. The chrome wheels take it over the top. The full wood dash too strikes me as very much an ’80s sort of feature. Not that a wood dash itself dates the car, but when fitted to a Slantnose 911 Turbo it creates a disjunction combining luxury and aggression that feels very at home in the time period. It’s all quite fascinating, really.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet on Rennlist

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Litmus Test: Granite Green Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

We sometimes can be a bit hard on cars with very low mileage. Why buy any car – especially a performance car – to park it in a garage and treat it like a museum piece? Or some ornamental furniture? It seems wasteful. This 911 has suffered from no such stagnation. It has almost 250K miles on it. While that’s still not a ton of miles per year, it is a good bit more than most 911s we see. It’s been enjoyed. It has stories; drives bringing its owners excitement, and perhaps even some heartache whenever it was sold. It’s also damn good looking and sitting mostly in its original specification of Granite Green Metallic over a Grey-Green interior. All of this beauty is on auction with no reserve. We really can’t ask for too much more with any 911.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Granite Green Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

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