Last week I went back-to-back with Mercedes-Benz V8 W124s with a high-mileage 500E and a 400E that ended up selling to one of our readers. I thought the 400E was a hell of a buy for the price it went for and probably one of the better deals I’ve seen in a while. Today, I figured I would round out the W124 sedan lineup with a 1992 300E. As you might have noticed by the title, this isn’t a standard 300E but rather the 300E Sportline. I’ve gone over what makes the Sportline special about a year ago, but the short of it is a bunch of suspension and steering changes along with a few interior bits to make this car feel, well, sporty. Sadly, no engine changes from the standard 3.0 liter M103, but you take what you can get when it comes to special editions and Mercedes-Benz. This example up for bid in Phoenix isn’t the most pristine Sportline I’ve come across, but it is rare enough to re-visit. As for the price, I think this one can be had for very little money.
Yesterday I wrote up a 911SC priced at top market (perhaps even above top market) and I will stick with that general theme here simply as an exploration of where some of these high priced cars are selling. That 911SC probably shouldn’t have been priced as high as it was given its overall condition and mileage. It’s a nice car, just not top market.
However, this Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa is befitting of that sort of price. The question simply is just how high the market has reached because the asking price here is quite a bit above the standard 964 pricing we typically see. That’s not unheard of for the 964 Targa because they’re pretty rare and from my experience the vast majority really don’t seem to be in great shape and have much higher miles. If we remove those issues do we have a six-figure car? Here is where we might find out.
Rubystone Red (Sternrubin) might be the most love/hate of the well known Porsche colors. I imagine there are colors within Porsche’s extensive catalog that have been less liked overall, but those colors disappear rarely to be asked for again. Rubystone, while we don’t see it very often, does still come around as a PTS option on modern 911s, especially on the limited production high performance models like the GT3 RS and 911 R. And when it does it looks just as stunning as it did upon its debut. A lot of buyers might not like it, but whatever its qualities, on cars that deserve a bold attention-grabbing color it’s a color that performs exactly that function.
Of course, it was on just such a model that it debuted: the 964 Carrera RS. We did not get the Carrera RS in the US market, but rather had to settle for the more tame RS America. With the passing of time it is now legal to import the true Carrera RS and we’ve seen quite a few over the past year or so. Here we have another one, fully restored and looking nearly immaculate, in that eye-popping color of Rubystone Red.
As we saw in last week’s Quantum (née Passat), underneath the Volkswagen was almost all B2 Audi. They had borrowed Audi’s full quattro setup in the Syncro model until 1988. That was the same year that the G60 supercharged engine had debuted in the Golf in Europe, but it wouldn’t be until late 1989 and the new Corrado model’s introduction that the G-Lader would become better known on these shores.
The PG G-Lader devoted to the Rallye, G60 and third generation Passat Syncro wasn’t the most powerful unit VW of the time period at 158 horsepower and 166 lb.ft of torque (the 3G 16V version in the Golf Limited had 50 horsepower more), but the combination of these items seemed awesome at the time to U.S. fans because, of course, in the midst of VAG’s early 90s sales slump they opted not to bring the package here. Like the Corrado, based on Mk.2 underpinnings the Passat’s engine configuration had moved from longitudinal in the B2 to transverse in the third gen, meaning that Audi’s quattro system remained unique to that brand. The Golf’s transverse engine placement precluded use of the Audi longitudinal design, which used output shafts and mechanical differentials. Instead, Volkswagen turned to Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch for development.
Noted for development of four-wheel-drive systems and probably most recognizable for the Pinzgauer military vehicle, Steyr’s solution to the transverse problem was to utilize a viscous coupling similar to the AMC Eagle. However, while the Eagle’s system was all-wheel drive, all the time, Volkswagen’s system would only engage when the front wheels slipped. The Passat added new electronic features to the range topper, too – including anti-lock brakes and an electronic differential lock, and the new shape dropped the drag coefficient to .31.
The best part about the G60 Passat, though? You could get one in wagon form:
After Mercedes-Benz blessed us in North America for so many years with the W123 300TD, in both turbo and non-turbo versions, you would think they would do the logical thing and carry that on into the W124 era. Sadly, Mercedes gave us a small taste for one year only in 1987 with the 300TD powered by the OM603 that was a turbocharged inline-6. Little did we know at the time that the 1987 300TD would be the last diesel Mercedes estate that North American would get and probably ever get. We had plenty of options for gas versions, but the oil burners would never return. Thankfully, this seller in California gave us all one more example for us to enjoy and what a treat it is.
This is a 1992 250TD up for bid in California painted in Blackberry Bornite Metallic that was imported from the Netherlands. That color look familiar? It is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5 liter inline-5 diesel engine with a 5-speed manual transmission, patterned cloth seats, manual windows and almost zero options. Could there be a more perfect wagon for some?
I’ve got a couple of very interesting and rarely seen 964s to start this week. Both, of course, are fairly expensive (well, in one case very expensive) and both showcase models not originally made available in the US market.
We’ll begin with this: a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS NGT. Any Porsche enthusiast will be familiar with the Carrera RS. Whether you’re familiar with the 964 Carrera RS or not, the model itself is well known and follows the tried and true formula of combining more power with less weight to produce a wonderful performance-oriented 911. Less familiar is the RS NGT, a model that took the weight loss program of the standard RS a few steps further. So while we might think of the Carrera RS as a track-focused 911 you can enjoy on the street, the NGT really is more of a track car. The interior is fully stripped of all comforts (instead of carpets you get plywood floors!) and a full roll cage welded in place. Additional features like a long-range fuel tank, fire extinguisher, and external cut off further separate these cars from your standard RS. 290 were produced.
The last time I checked out a Mercedes-Benz W124 500E, it was none other than Rowan Atkinson’s that ended up selling for a whopping $86,700. It’s pretty clear his name had some serious value attached to it as not many W124.036s carry that kind of price tag, if any. That is until I came across these two beauties for sale in the Netherlands. One is a 1992 painted in Nautical Blue Metallic with the ultra-rare Alpaca Gray fabric and leather while the other one is a 1993 in Blackberry Bornite Metallic that there are only a handful of out there. Both of these cars are nearly flawless and as you might have guessed, carry some pretty serious price tags. But for these special examples, I can totally understand why.
Normally I would post this car as one of our Motorsports Monday posts, but since this listing is set to end on Monday that wouldn’t be terribly effective. So today will have to do. Regardless, I expect it still will be available after Monday as well.
This model should need little introduction, but for those unfamiliar with them this is 1 of the 45* U.S. Edition 964 Carrera Cup cars Porsche imported in 1992. The idea was that these cars would all compete in support races for the CART series. Alas, sponsorship for the series couldn’t be secured and these cars were left without a purpose. Porsche, however, had other ideas, converted them to road legal specs, and sold them to customers anyway. In most ways these served as a replacement for the Carrera RS, which the US never received. As the ad below notes some of those were returned to race trim with full roll cage and stripped interior. This is one of those cars.
*A quick about the numbers: there were 45 Carrera Cup cars imported for the race series, so I’m not quite sure what the 1 of 25 mentioned in the ad is in reference to. Perhaps the number of cars reverted to race trim?
I still feel as if I come across way too few of these early 964 Turbos. Compared to its predecessor the 930 it’s as if they don’t exist. While the later 3.6 liter Turbo is more rare I feel like I see them more often. Or, at least, this is all how I perceive the whole thing. It may be more a matter of coming across examples I like rather than coming across them in particular, but I’m not sure. I like this one and whether there are few of these for sale or simply few of them I actually like for sale the result is the same: opportunities for a nice 3.3-liter 964 Turbo don’t come around all that often. They certainly don’t come along often in brighter colors.
This one checks all of those boxes: a Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in New York, with Cashmere Beige interior and a mere 16,427 miles on it.
Update 12/29/2017: After reportedly selling for $2,650 in October and after originally having a $6,500 ask, this Golf has been relisted with a $4,999 Buy It Now option.
Infrequently do we look at a standard Volkswagen Golf. To be fair to us, they’re not the most impressive vehicles ever designed, especially when you go back a few generations. They were oft the most expensive in category, but seldom the quickest, most tech-laden, most efficient, best handling, neatest or most reliable. Those items are the domain of vehicles like Hondas and Toyotas, who mimicked and improved upon the ideas of others many times over. Their sales reflected that.
But there’s still something nostalgic and lovely about the simplicity of the first two generations of the Golf. It grew up considerably between the A1 and A2 chassis, in weight, size, power and refinement, but the recipe remained the same. Recently I’ve looked at two of the best performers in the chassis overall (and the fastest offered to U.S. customers) with the 1991 GTI 16V and 1987 GTI 16V. Deep seat bolsters, special trim, dual overhead cam high compression inline-4s, close ratio 5-speed manuals, alloy wheels; these represented the pinnacle of performance in the hot hatch segment. Today’s car has none of those things.
What we have instead is a bit of a curiosity. As you can no doubt see, it’s a pretty standard 4-door Volkswagen Golf. It appears to be Ascot Gray Metallic (LA7U) with cloth interior. There’s nothing special under the hood; it’s a standard RV 1.8 inline-4 counterflow engine, running Digifant II injection and good for 100 horsepower. No, what’s unique about this car is where it’s come from…