The introduction of the W208 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class was a little bit of a shock if you were coming from a W124 E-Class coupe. Suddenly everything that was square was now round, and the interior felt….well, a little less quality. I’m sure Mercedes had some kind of spin about how it was modernizing it for the new millennium, but there was no mistaking the difference. You also were swapping a smooth inline-six for a squared-off V6, which I’m sure buyers didn’t really notice the difference of – as long as it started every morning. I think time gave us the answer as really nice E320 Coupes sell for strong money, while the best CLK320 examples, like the one we have today, won’t even sell for half that value.
The conundrum of the Z3 is for me wrapped up in the model’s signature appearance in Goldeneye. There was lots of promotion for the new model; after all, the change from Bond’s signature Aston Martin must have been for a car worthy of such a distinction. Granted, Audi beat BMW to the punch when James sported twin Type 44s in The Living Daylights but the fanfare surrounding the leap to BMW was unprecedented. And, as it turned out, largely unwarranted. Despite the hefty amount of advertising and anticipation of the debut, the 1.9 liter light blue convertible barely appeared in the movie at all – in fact, only long enough for James to toss the keys to someone else. This seems to largely sum up how enthusiasts feel about the successor to the Z1; cute, but a little too soft and not very BMW. Of course, as the model progressed it became more in keeping with the brand – especially true of when outfit by the M division. The resulting M Roadster and especially Coupe versions of the Z3 have become hot commodities in the marketplace, but if you’re willing to forgo the Roadstars, quad exhaust and especially the “S” motors in the front, you can still get a nice inline-six tied to a manual in a roadster.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW Z3 2.3 on eBay
One of the more interesting subsects of the automotive world are cars that seemingly are common, but in reality extremely rare. If you see a Ferrari F40 driving down the street or parked on a lawn somewhere, you have a pretty good idea that is a rare car. A 1999 Mercedes-Benz S600 parked at the grocery store? You can find those anywhere, right? That would be wrong. Very wrong.
The W140 chassis was wrapping up in 1999 as Mercedes already launched their new flagship W220 all over Europe. So whatever leftover cars they had came to the US to sell off. Turns out they didn’t have many of the M120 V12s to offer up. Just 14 S600 sedans and 15 CL600 coupes were produced for the 1999 model year. That is it! A generation that saw 432,732 examples built came down to a final 29 cars. Guess what we have today?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz S600 on eBay
Two decades in, is it finally time for the 996 Porsche 911? Personally, I think so. Our negative feelings on things generally seem to wane over time, and after 20 years, that seems to be the case for the 996.1. Are we looking at 964 and 993 levels of appreciation? Of course not. But I do think that these will slowly become less of a black sheep of the 911 family and more of just an entry-level into the 911 family.
Today’s car, a 1999 up for sale Nebraska, looks most certainly to be one the prime examples to snatch up. It’s classic Arctic Silver Metallic over a Boxster Red special leather interior, and just to top it all off, it has just 29,000 miles. This one will be a fight.