1998 BMW 318ti M-Sport

Just the other day, Paul looked at a 1998 BMW 318ti in Oxford Green. An offbeat commuter, the condition of that car was great, but not so much was the near $7,000 price. Today I have another 318ti to look at, but this one ups the ante a bit. Again it is an original M44 car in great shape with well below average miles. The color is a little less 90s spectacular, but still looks nice in Alpine White. However, it’s the addition of the California roof and the M-Sport package which really helps this hatch stand out. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW 318ti M-Sport on eBay

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1998 BMW 318ti

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If you’ve been following my posts here on GCFSB for the last seven years or so, you’ll know I’m a fan of obscure vehicles. These days, the sight of an M-badged BMW or Porsche 911 does little to excite me, as they seem all too ubiquitous in the urban environments I frequent. It’s no surprise then, at a recent cars and coffee, it wasn’t the fast German machines or Italian exotics which grabbed my attention. Rather, it was a mint Citroën SM sitting in the corner of the parking lot that caught my eye. It had been years since I had seen one of these French grand tourers and it was a design that looked as good in 2016 as it did when it debuted over 45 years ago. The BMW 318ti is not nearly as exotic as the Citroën SM, but it’s not something you see that often on the streets these days. This one for sale in California is saddled with an automatic gearbox but makes for a nice alternative commuter that you could have some fun with on the weekend.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW 318ti on eBay

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#FailFriday: 1998 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabrio

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Welcome back to Fail Friday: Where once good cars can hopefully get the help they deserve. Today’s vehicle is a result of what happens when people just simply have too much money. It’s not the fact that it’s the ultra-rare W463 G500 Cabrio, it’s the fact that someone decided to turn it into a driving Salvador Dali gallery. I have lots of questions and not a lot of answers so let’s try to sum up this surreal G-Wagen located in Germany.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabrio on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 with 49k miles

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Andrew’s Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG post had me considering my last car, a W203 2007 C230 Sport. Truth be told, I didn’t like that car all that much. The 7-speed automatic was overkill for the V6, leading the gearbox to hunt around too much and the lack of standard features such as auxiliary input for the stereo and fold down rear seats were bewildering on a car costing over $35,000 new. And while the interior fittings were upgraded in 2005, the overall package left a bit to be desired, especially if you were used to Mercedes-Benzes of yore. I’m a much bigger fan of the C-class that preceded the W203, the W202. While my 1998 C230 only had a 2.3 liter inline-4 mated to a 5-speed automatic, it was a much more well-rounded package with a big helping of that old school Mercedes feel. I dearly miss that car and this 1998 C230 for sale in Florida has me missing it even more.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 on eBay

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1998 Volkswagen GTi

The internet has been abuzz in recent months about how horrible Mustang drivers are in aggregate. Citing the numerous video records of late model Mustang burnouts gone horribly (and sometimes hilariously) wrong, the conclusion seems to brand all pony drivers as PBR sipping, Larry the Cable Guy watching, Copenhagen chewing knuckle draggers who greet each other with “OH YEAH? WATCH THIS!” Outside of some really special models, I’m generally not a huge Mustang fan – but here’s the thing. I’m really not sure it’s fair to brand the entire ownership of a model like this based upon the video witness of a few yahoos. After all, the Mustang is a hugely successful model. They sold a half a million of them in the first model year alone, which wasn’t even a whole year. To put in in perspective, yellow is considered one of the least popular colors on the car, yet there is an online support group enthusiast page devoted to them with over 10,000 members. Ten thousand – just yellow ones. Sufficed to say, there are a lot of Mustangs out there and odds are that most are probably pretty reasonable, non-crashing into crowds at Cars and Coffee event owners. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

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1998 BMW M3 Sedan

1 While the E36 M3 coupe is known to be a relatively quick, dynamic and fun car to drive, it’s often hard to find a good one. That’s largely because so many of the coupes have ended up as thrashed track-rods with dubious modifications. On the other hand when they do turn up for sale, the relatively uncommon sedan versions are more likely to be found in stock, unmolested condition and as such have tended to keep their value. This is probably because they’re more likely to have been used for trips to the organic grocery store rather than to a track. (There’s an Arctic Silver one with Yakima roof racks that I often see where I live in DC, parked near a place colloquially known as Whole Paycheck, and yes, I eye it jealously every time I see it). The two extra doors do not fundamentally alter the M3 package, except to add a healthy dose of everyday practicality, while the M-tech bodykit that distinguishes the Ms from ordinary cars lends the already handsome sedan body shape just the right amount of sporting aggression. I think these cars are well on their way to becoming a bit of a cult classic. This M3 has those two extra doors plus the all important 5-speed manual gearbox, making it an “M3/4/5” in enthusiast-speak.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don’t usually go out of my way to feature a 911 with Tiptronic, but for whatever reason this 993 really got my attention and more or less seems like just the sort of air-cooled 911 one might look for if a Tiptronic actually was desired. The 993 itself has always struck me as a particularly elegant design within the air cooled world. Some of the more aggressive edges of earlier 911s have been smoothed and the curves accentuated. The color combination of this particular 993 further enhances that elegant look. Add to that the very fact that this is a Cabriolet and I think you have the recipe for a 911 cruiser where an automatic might be preferred. Here we have a Forest Green Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Nashville, with Red leather interior and 58,279 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

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1998 Volvo V90

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If you weren’t paying attention, Volvo has unleashed a new, large wagon on the world. The new V90, while designed for utility, has a very elegant swagger about it. While other manufacturers go about cranking out facsimiles of the same SUV, it’s encouraging to see Volvo go back to its roots. Even more encouraging is that Volvo will be selling this big wagon in the US. Hear that, Audi? Not everyone needs a jacked up pseudo truck in which to travel around. Dial back two decades prior and we arrive at this 1998 V90 we see here for sale outside of Philadelphia. This would be the end of the road for the ubiquitous rear-wheel drive platform, giving way to the S80 platform a year later, which would spawn the V70 wagon. This V90 represented a turning point in the history of Volvo Cars.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Volvo V90 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe

While derided by some for being a bit watered down compared to its European counterpart, there is no denying that the E36 M3 was a wildly popular model and widened the appreciation and market of BMW and the M brand. This particular model alone – the BG93 North American 3.2 Coupe – accounted for 11,793 examples produced. That’s greater than the total number of M products that had been imported to the U.S. prior to the E36 (E24, E28, E30, E34, and 850CSi) and doesn’t account for the 10,000 plus 3.0 Coupes, 6,300 convertibles and and 8,600-odd sedans. You’d expect, then, that finding good examples of the E36 would be quite simple as there are some 35,000 to choose from. But the popularity of the E36 M3 was in part its undoing, too. The flood of the cars devalued the market; many fell into hands unable to maintain them or who treated them like a pinball, bouncing them off every curb, guardrail or other cars. Additionally, the E36’s shift towards mass production did have tangible effects on the long term quality of the product. It’s not unusual to see rusty examples with the trim falling off and headlights so nebulous they’re useless. As a result, finding excellent examples of the E36 is somewhat cause for celebration and really nice ones have been finding a greater appreciation in the enthusiast world. This ’98 Coupe is certainly one of the better quality examples out there for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe on Providence Craigslist

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Tuner Tuesday: 1998 Alpina B10 V8

By the late 1990s, it was becoming increasingly difficult for tuners to compete with the stock offerings. Tightening emissions and safety regulations made getting turned up models harder to sneak past inspection, while simultaneously manufacturers were producing hotter models. The 540i is a great example, and you don’t need to look much further than the conundrum of the E34 M5 versus the various 540i Sport and especially M-Sport models. While the aluminum V8 may not have had the horsepower of the M5 model but only just, it had more usable torque and was (theoretically, at least) cheaper to run. It was so good, in fact, that supposedly when it came to the E39 model BMW was unsure if a M5 would be necessary in our market. So, it would seem to be the natural and easy choice to modify, right? Well, not so fast – because signature tuner Alpina had a problem. Its tried and true method of increasing displacement wouldn’t work on the M62 because you couldn’t bore out the special Nic/Alusil coated blocks. Game over, right? No. If you’re Alpina, you call up BMW and get them to make you a bigger motor:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Alpina B10 V8 on Vancouver Craigslist

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