1997 Mercedes-Benz CL500

I hate to go on a run of W140 Mercedes-Benz Coupes, but I couldn’t pass this one up. This is a 1997 CL500 up for sale in Victoria, Australia is finished in the lovely shade of Aquamarine Blue. It surely isn’t the traditional black/white/gray, and in the grand scheme of things, I think that is a good thing. While I love my Brilliant Silver Metallic, sometimes you just need a little color. Aquamarine thankfully isn’t garish and is looks pretty good in my eyes on such a hefty car such as the C140. This car being in Australia also means a few things. One, it is a European-spec, which is a always a good thing. But that also means it is right-hand drive. So your options are limited in countries you’d want to own this car in unless you are a giant fan of blindly merging onto the highway because of this massive C-pillar on this car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz CL500 on Benz World

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E300

I’m sure I’m not the only person who wants both an analog experience in my car along with having the ease of DIY on most everything, but also wants modern tech and these crazy new safety features called airbags. Case in point, my Mercedes-Benz W116 and W123 are both simple enough that I can diagnose and fix almost anything on the entire car in my home garage, but their main safety features are headrests and a padded steering wheel. If you go to the other end with a newer Mercedes-Benz diesel, you see cryptic messages on your infotainment screen saying the car isn’t going to restart unless you fill the tank up with AdBlue fluid, but hey, at least the car will literally steer itself in between the lane lines while you are frantically Googling on your phone what the hell AdBlue fluid is. So is there a happy medium? Well, I think I have one option.

The W210 is a very fine chassis in my eyes. Granted, I’m biased as I own one, but they are seemingly sturdy cars as long as you keep them away from constant moisture and salt. All the gas engines in car are equally as fine, but thankfully the US market was blessed with a gem of a diesel, the OM606. This 3.0 liter inline-six replaced the OM603, which replaced the OM617, so we have good lineage here. It was available in turbo and non-turbo, with today’s car I want to look at, a 1997 E300, being the non-turbo. Much like Mercedes diesels of past, this one has a lot of miles, but probably also has good years left in it as well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz E300 on eBay

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1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

To many, there is no higher predator on the Porsche 911 food chain than the 1997 Turbo S. It was everything all packed into a single car. Only 182 examples made it to the US and they were all very expensive as you might of guessed. Most had a sticker price of over $150,000 in 1997, which in 2019 money is north of $240,000. After your tax and all that good stuff, you are out the door at nearly a quarter of a million dollars. That was more than a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta at the time, but its apples and oranges and you can see where values for both of these cars are at today. This example up for sale in Ohio is finished in Glacier White over Cashmere Beige leather interior and has just 7,700 miles on the odometer. The price? This or a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay

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1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

You can file this one under the “strange but true” category. This 1997 Porsche 911 C4S is finished in paint-to-sample yellow. However, this isn’t just any yellow. This is literally Ferrari yellow. It says “Ferrari” right on the door jam sticker. Ferrari’s name for the color is Giallo Modena because they are Italians, but Porsche calls this Ferrari-Gelb. (Literally Ferrari-Yellow) I would of loved to have heard the conversation in Stuttgart when the buyer asked for a paint to sample in a car literally from a competing brand. My guess is this was a very important person who spent a lot of money with Porsche over the years because Porsche doesn’t exactly bend over backwards for anyone off the street and they certainly don’t do it for less than those giant bags with ‘$‘ on the side of them. Given the paint to sample, you would be correct to guess this one also has some other cool little touches.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S at Klassik Sportwagen

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Golf Match! Volkswagen GTI Mk.2 v. Mk.3 v. Mk.4 v. Mk.5

Okay, $22,000 is a lot for an old hot hatch, even if it’s the ‘original’. When I was perusing some cars to consider, I noticed that there was a point where Mk.2, 3, 4 and 5 prices were all pretty equivalent. In fact, you can just about buy all four of these cars shown below for the same price as that Kamei X1 GTI. It raises an interesting question; what generation is the one to get at this price point? Certainly a lot depends on priorities – if, for example, you really want a fun daily driver or you’re looking for more of a weekend warrior show car. But let’s look at this group and see which has potential:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTI 16V on eBay

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1997 Porsche Boxster with 8,900 miles

A few weeks I took a look at one of the most jarring Porsche interiors I have run across with a 1999 911 up for sale in San Diego. It wasn’t so much that the Jade Green was all that ugly, but rather the Burl Wood that was plastered everywhere clashed so much with the Jade and the rest of the interior. Add in the fact that the car is automatic, has 166,000 miles and isn’t priced all that well, you can probably guess what it is still for sale. Most of you in the comments seemed to agree with my thoughts on that 996 as well judging by the reaction that it got. Although one commenter (Thanks JonnyA) passed along another late ’90s Porsche with a green interior that still has loads of green leather, but isn’t nearly as gaudy or off-putting. This 1997 Boxster up for sale outside of Dallas features Nephrite Green leather and even better, has just 8,900 miles. Is this a better option if you still want an inexpensive Porsche with a wild interior?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche Boxster at True Car

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Almost S: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo X50 Sonderwunsch/Exclusive

As they had with the 964 Turbo, Porsche continued the ultra-exclusive Turbo S package on the actually new 993 Turbo. With 430 horsepower pumped through two turbos to all four wheels, these were not as outrageous as the GT2, but plenty fast and luxurious to make up for it. Big yellow Brembos, a revised aerokit and flank vents that were a nod to the prior generation all helped to distinguish these cars. And with only 345 produced originally, from the get-go these were big dollar collectables. Of course, Porsche made a splash recently when it made a special brand-new one-off 993 Turbo S, ultimately selling it for a touch over $3,100,000.

So I’ll introduce this post by saying that this car is not one of the original Turbo S models. However, if anything, it’s a bit more interesting and even more exclusive. This car started life as a normal 993 Turbo, but was sent through the Porsche Special Wishes/Exclusive department (production coincided with rebranding of the Special Wishes Department to Porsche Exclusive) and given the bulk of the Turbo S details with a few GT2 bits thrown in for good measure. Further, it was then draped in a Paint To Sample color, Ocean Blue Metallic. The main difference between this car and a S is the rear spoiler and badges, which remained standard 993 Turbo items. In many ways, this car is the spiritual successor to the 911 Turbo S 3.6 ‘Package’ I just looked at, and it’s equally exclusive at a claimed one of two produced:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo X50 on eBay

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1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG

I know everyone might be getting just a little sick of all the silver R129 Mercedes-Benz models I’ve been covering as of late, but I promise this one is worth it. This is a 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG up for sale just outside of London. The backstory on the SL60 AMG is a little murky but I’m going to try to explain it the best I can. These cars were officially sold through Mercedes as a SL60 from 1993 to 1998, meaning when you run the VIN it comes back as a SL60 and not just as SL500s that were converted after the fact like we see a lot of times. There wasn’t much fanfare or marketing for these; they made somewhere between 1000 and 1500 with all of them being sold anywhere but North America.

The modifications are what you might have guessed: the 5.0 liter M119 converted to a 6.0 liter that made a conservative 381 horsepower. The rest of the stuff depended on the year and what the AMG factory felt like putting in the car. I don’t have any explanation as to why some cars were sold with Xenon and some weren’t. The same went with the interior changes as some cars got AMG gauge clusters while some didn’t and some interiors were crazy colors but others were just standard R129 interiors from that year. I believe that all the cars, except the very early ones, received the two-piece AMG wheels in the staggered setup. Today’s car is one of the few right hand drive examples that were built and honestly priced pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG on eBay

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1997 BMW M3

Update 1/17/19: Blast from the past! After nearly four years, this Hamann-modified Technoviolet E36 M3 (originally Arctic Silver Metallic) is back on the market. It is listed as having only 400 more miles than in 2015, and the price is up from $20,000 to $24,595 today.

Out of the box, the BMW E36 M3 offered almost everything a serious motorist could want. A lusty inline-6, slick manual gearbox and beefed up body cladding to differentiate itself from the lesser models on which it was based. But there’s always customers out there who want just a bit more or prefer to tinker with their ride a bit to stand out from the crowd. This 1997 BMW M3 comes to us from our friends at Sun Valley Auto Club and is equipped with a Hamann body kit and Hamann PG3 wheels, along with Sparco seats and H&R springs. Added in to the mix is a hue of purple that will certainly grab your attention.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 on eBay

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1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Here we have another 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S. The final climax of the air-cooled 911 and quite rare. This one is not a ridiculously low-mileage garage queen like the last Turbo S I featured. While it’s hard to call any twenty-year-old 911 reasonably priced at almost $300K that’s pretty much exactly what we have with this one. Of course, there are reasons for that reasonableness. In this case, a touch over 80K miles and an engine rebuild account for the discount. Even so, is it worth it? It’s still around $100K more expensive than a low-mileage non-S 993TT and you likely could buy 2 of those if you allowed for comparable mileage and condition. Such is the cost of rarity.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay

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