I hate to be cliché, but the facelift W124 Cabriolets are aging very well. It is safe to call them classics now, honestly modern classics, but still old enough to rent a car at the airport. The square handsome lines will never be offensive or jarring, and the quality is nearly unmatched. Even compare it to the same model year Rolls-Royce Corniche, and you’d be crazy not to pick the Mercedes. That has been keeping prices stable for as long as I can remember and it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere. This 1995 up for sale in Arizona is nothing but blue over blue on blue. I think I like it that way.
And now for something completely different. If you walked into your local Volkswagen dealership as a Westfalia devotee when the new Eurovans launched in the early 1990s, you were likely to be a lot disappointed. These came to the U.S. starting in 1993, and there were two configurations – the Eurovan and the Multi-Van (MV for short). The difference was the seating configuration, in that the MV had rear-facing seats behind the captain’s chairs and a table in the middle. Easy, right? Well, then there was the Westfalia model. Volkswagen hadn’t forgotten how successful the T3 was with the pop-top, so a new aerodynamic folding roof arrangement was added to the MV. But here was the catch – the new Westfalia didn’t have the camping gear, but instead was effectively the same as the previous pop-top only Weekender. It was called the Weekender, too.
The full campers were only converted by Winnebago and based on a lengthened chassis. These started being produced in 1995 and replaced the Westfalia in the lineup but were not called Westfalias. But Winnebago also produced an extra-fat and extra-expensive camper, too – the Rialta. This took the front cabin of a Eurovan, the taillights from a Ford Ranger, interior fabrics from your Pyschologist’s waiting room and a lot of fiberglass in the middle to make a small RV. Prices started around $41,000 – in 1995, mind you.
Though rare, you’ve likely seen one before, but unless you owned one (and maybe even if you did…) you probably didn’t realize there were actually four different Rialta model configurations. Beyond that, Rialtas also followed the Eurovan production cycle with power, so early models had the 2.5 liter inline-5, replaced in ’97 by the 12 valve VR6 and finally the 24 valve VR6 in the 2001 model year. What we have here is an early Rialta in the most popular 7-seat QD configuration, powered by the 2.5 liter:
Although the letter “M” attached to a BMW has generally represented the pinnacle of performance for the brand, the reality is the term “M-Sport” has not always denoted the same characteristics. Take the E82 135i, for example. The M-Sport package for that car consisted of slightly different 18″ wheels than the standard 18″ wheels and a black headliner. That’s it.
But zoom back in time to the beginnings of the title “M-Sport” and it meant a bit more. If you wanted a fast, executive super saloon in 1995, your options were dwindling. 1995 was the last year of the Audi S6, and one year after both the V8 Quattro and 500E were taken away. 1995 would also be the last year of the iconic M5, and hints were that it might be a long time before we’d see another. Why? Well, the reality was that with the 6 speed 540i the performance gap between the “super” M5 and the “normal” V8 engined 540 was so close it just didn’t make a lot of sense to have the premium model anymore. The S38 was by now a quite old motor and was getting harder to pass increasingly strict emissions standards; indeed, shrinking sales and high price had resulted in the M5 being pulled from the U.S. in 1993.
As a result, BMW offered a hint at what it could do with the V8 in the form of the M540i in Canada and the 540i M-Sport in the U.S. market. The Canadian model was quite close in spec to the European M5, except that in place of the venerable S38 it ran the M60 V8 out of the normal 540i. If that sounds like a letdown, it wasn’t – mated to the Getrag 6-speed transmission it was a great driver, and with the M5 adjustable suspension, brakes and cosmetic details it was 95% plus of the M5 for most drivers. The 540i M-Sport that the U.S. received differed a bit in not having the trick floating rotors of the M540i, but with nearly everything else out of the M bag of tricks these are cool cars, great drivers, and even more rare than the M5:
The 968 occupies a strange space in the Porsche world. Limited in production, good looking, well-built and with good chassis dynamics and performance, it should have all of the hallmarks of a collector car in todayâ€™s market. Many prominent automobile publications have bashed you over the head with that, too â€“ itâ€™s not just me banging on here. Petrolicious posts an article (the same one, usuallyâ€¦) seemingly every week about the Porsche 968 Club Sport, Hemmings has repeatedly said itâ€™s the best of the breed, and Hagerty told you to get on board last year and buy one. And when Bring a Trailer sold one in late 2017 at $36,250, it seemed 2018 was poised to be the year of exploding values on the 968.
But it wasnâ€™t. Bring a Trailer has, so far to date, failed to present match to that one-off. Itâ€™s not for lack of trying â€“ fifteen came up for sale on the site in 2018, yet none cleared $25,000, and most traded well below that. So here we are in 2019, wondering exactly where the values on these cars will head. But if todayâ€™s example is any indication, things could be interesting:
Update 1/17/19: The white S6 listed as sold for $8,900.
If you weren’t paying attention, a few weeks ago we saw a record high price (since they were new) for a C4 Audi. It was a particularly impressive 1993 Audi S4 with a scant 12,000 miles on the odometer, and it sold for $33,000. If that sounds like a lot, I’d wager it was still a relative bargain. Find an equal contemporaneous M5 or 500E, and you’d likely have to add a “1” in front of that sales number to take it home.
So here we are looking at two turbocharged quattro sedans of the same ilk. Both are the revised S6, both are well presented, but both are also driver-quality, with far more miles than appeared on the S4. Which is the one to take home? Let’s start with the late build 1995.5 in Pearlescent White Metallic:
The 993 Cabriolet always has been, for me, a somewhat peculiar looking 911. The roundness of the 993 design begins to look a little overly squat once the roof is removed. There is a way in which all air-cooled 911s suffer from this phenomenon and there’s a fairly clear progression in squatness as we move from the 911SC/3.2 Carrera to the 964 and culminating with the 993.
So when I first began to look at this Iris Blue Metallic 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet those features seemed so exaggerated that even I was a little confused. It turns out that the aspect ratio of the pictures is off, but basically those pictures were confirming my usual perceptions of these 911s. Once I got the pictures into the correct aspect ratio the appearance came together much better and overall I like this Cab a good bit. Its colors are quite attractive and the condition looks quite good. The mileage is low at only 32,171 miles. The squatness is still there, but I think this is one of the better representatives of the model. If you’ve been looking for a 993 Cabriolet, then I think this one deserves a long look.
No, this isn’t a typo. This is a 1995 Mercedes-Benz E200 â€” in Chicago. Even stranger, this is a right-hand drive car from Great Britain. Why and how did it end up in Chicago? I have no idea. Just to refresh, the 200E/E200 was the base model of the W124 that came with either the M102 or M111 inline-4 engine. This car has the later M111 that produced 134 horsepower and 140 lbÂ·ft of torque. Not a powerhouse by any means, but enough to get you moving. The E200 also came with a cool cloth interior with those rad 90s patterns that everyone loves so much now. But as you might have noticed, this is not a stock E200.
Last week I took a look at a rather haggard 1999 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate in my never-ending quest for a daily driver when the snow starts flying. Reaction to this car was mixed and it ended up selling for $1,757. A fair price for the condition. In the comments on the S210 one of our readers (Thanks, Doug) pointed out that a really nice W124 Estate would be a much better option compared to the W210. Naturally, I took a look at the car and I can’t say I disagree. This 1995 E320 Estate up for sale in Virginia isn’t painted in the most desirable color and even has the love them or leave them chrome wheels, but I’m totally smitten for it.
Update 11/26/18: Although listed as sold at $7,100 last auction, this car is back again with no reserve and sold for $7,099.
Update 11/15/18: This E34 sold for $7,100.
After selling earlier this year from out Feature Listings, this built and supercharged “540i” is back on eBay with a no reserve auction and some slick new photos. Bidding is currently only at $5,600 with a day and a half to go.
In the early years of the 1990s, the writing was on the wall for the high-strung M88 derivatives. They were excellent motors, no doubt, but power levels were rising to the point where the M5 was no longer top trump. It enjoyed a small power advantage over cars such as the V8 4.2 quattro, true – with 276 horsepower and 295 lb.ft of torque, the Audi had less punch but more pull. But cars like the M119-equipped 500E changed the playing field; 322 horsepower was enough to overcome the S38 in the M5, but the big number was the 354 lb.ft of torque. That was nearly 100 lb.ft more than the S38 and it was more usable, too.
BMW wasn’t to be outdone, launching its own series of V8 for the 1992 model year. in 3.0 and 4.0 form, the modern aluminum motors dubbed the M60 brought new levels of power to the third generation 5. In fact, so potent was the 4.0 version that BMW decided the more expensive M5 was effectively redundant in the marketplace. The M60B40 was rated at 282 horsepower and 295 lb.ft of torque and and good enough to scoot the luxury car from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds even when equipped with a 5-speed automatic.
But there was a 6-speed manual option as well, and of course you could opt for the sport package that would give you better seats, springs and a limited-slip differential. These options turned the two-ton Teuton into an athlete. While this particular E34 started life as a 525i, it’s been given the full 540 treatment and then some, culminating in a Vortech supercharger for some serious punch:
Some of my favorite cars that I like to dig into are cars built for or owned by significant individuals. Sometimes it is wealthy or important business people, but most of time with Mercedes-Benz it is heads of state. These cars are usually built with no expense spared because the person riding inside the car is worth far more than whatever it costs to buy the car. This is true of today’s car, a 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 up for sale in Florida.
This S600 was built by TRASCO, a company in Germany that builds Mercedes that can literally take a bomb and everything up to that. This car is built to ”B7 level”, which is every firearm up to and including armor piecing rifles. You are probably asking who needs this kind of protection in the United States? Well, none other than the Sultan of Brunei. You’ve probably heard the crazy stories of him owning over 7,000 cars and manufacturers building him one-off creations of cars that you don’t even know existed. He has 11 McLaren F1s, 20 Koenigseggs and 300 Ferraris. The guy loves cars and spends his out of this world wealth to buy them and basically let them sit. But again, why would the Sultan of a country off the South China Sea need a car in California? Well, so he has something to be chauffeured around in when he is visiting his 38 million dollar home in Beverly Hills, of course. It doesn’t even end there. This car is supposedly one of four examples built just for the Sultan to be used in America. That’s how crazy this guy is with cars.