1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Coupe

For those bewildered at the fact that M Coupe prices are skyrocketing, here’s a pleasant surprise. A Z3 coupe with a 5-speed manual for right around $10,000. While it has over 100,000 miles on the clock, it looks tidy enough. It might not have the grunt of the 3.2 liter inline-6, but the 2.8 liter engine with its 190 horsepower is certainly no slouch in such a small package. This example for sale in Houston may be unassuming in Arctic Silver over black leather, but one go in the twisties will have doubters signing a different tune.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Coupe on eBay

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Drop-top Double Take: 1996 and 1997 Audi Cabriolets

Every semester at the culmination of my teaching experience with the college students who have selected my course rather innocently, I let them in on my super-secret double agent identity as your author here. Having suffered through a few too many of my lectures already, most treat the news with about the same amount of enthusiasm and interest as they do when I tell them about the Sudanese Kush Pharaohs – which is to say, none (seriously, it’s a very interesting topic. Egypt basically denies they existed!). But occasionally I get a student who is much more interested in my double-life than in my lecture notes. One such student passed through was perhaps as unexpected to me as I was to him. He nonchalantly aced the class with seeming little difficulty, but upon seeing my announcement regarding German Cars For Sale Blog, he excitedly emailed me about his shared love of Audis. He revealed that he owned a ’97 Cabriolet, which proves two things: first, smart people buy Audis, and second, Audis turn up where you least expect them. And the Cabriolet might be the least expected Audi Audi made – coming from a manufacturer renowned for turbocharged inline-5, manual all-wheel drive coupes, sedans and wagons came a front-wheel drive, automatic only (in the U.S.) V6 2-door convertible. Expensive, a bit slow and soft compared to the competition, the Cabriolet sold slowly with only around 1,000 units moved per a year during its availability here with a total of 5,439 imported through 1998. I think a fair amount of fans view the B4 Cabriolet as the least interesting of the Audi lineup in the 1990s, but to me it’s always been a very pretty and underrated car. In particular, the rear 3/4 view is very attractive and the shape changed little with its progeny. But the unusual nature of the Cabriolet has generally meant that it’s been a pretty big bargain in the used convertible market for the past few years – if you can find a good one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Audi Cabriolet on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 – REVISIT

Back on the market in a reserve auction, the neat to see but slightly questionable 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 from last fall is a great 80s reminder of styling trends. See the post below for some items that look a bit off or out of place. Bidding has been pretty slow and is just over $20,000 – some $12,500 short of the asking price in September. Will it see a new buyer this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 15, 2015:

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2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro Avant

If yesterday’s mellow yellow 323Ci wasn’t the sunshine you’d like to see, how about something a bit more brilliant in design and presentation? I have to say the fascination with BMW wagons and their ensuing high prices sometimes perplexes me, as Audi offered a sporty, manual, all-wheel drive Avant that is great looking, reliable and long-lived and will make you feel pretty special. That’s especially so when it’s optioned in one of the more rare shades available on the B5; in this case, LY1B Brilliant Yellow. I’m sure there will be claims that, like Pelican Blue and Tropical Green, these Easter colors make the jelly bean shaped A4 a bit too festive, but personally I love the look of this Avant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro Avant on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

We have a tendency to look at older cars through rose-colored glasses. Today, by all accounts, the Corrado SLC is a modern classic – but was it always so? In fact, if we go back to the original tests of the cars, as with most Volkswagen products it wasn’t the fastest, quickest, best turning or braking. It didn’t turn the fastest lap times and yet was usually the most expensive. As such, in comparisons like Car and Driver’s 1992 Sport Coupe comparison, the Corrado finished only mid-pack. But as with other Volkswagen and Audi products, there was an intangible element to the Corrado that made it somehow more appealing than the competition.

By 1992, the supercharged Corrado G60 was underpowered compared to the competition given its relatively high weight. Volkswagen solved the problem with the introduction of the awesome narrow-angle VR6 motor, rated at 178 horsepower and 177 lb.ft of torque. New wheels mimicked the design of the of the outgoing 1991 BBS wheels on the G60, but were subtly different; underneath hid now 5 bolts and a redesigned suspension, brakes and electronic traction control system. Subtle changes were new clear signals and a re-sculpted hood, along with new nomenclature – the VR6 model was now dubbed the SLC. Further changes were rolled out in 1993; a change of wheels again to the more purposeful 15″ x 6.5″ Speedline 5-spoke design was most notable outside, while inside a revised dashboard had mostly new and more upscale switches, dials and gauges. A fair amount of the 1993-1994 Corrado SLCs were shipped fully loaded, now with a price a staggering $10,000 more than the 1990 base price at a lofty $28,000. That meant few sold, but even though by the numbers these Corrados weren’t the best deal, much like the contemporary Porsche 968 the SLC proved more than the sum of its parts. Even a decade ago some like Richard Hammond from Top Gear were declaring the still fairly new Corrado a future classic, but more recently established collector organization Hemmings tipped the Corrado as a great potential collector. Great! Now, where to find a nice one? That’s a larger problem; the Corrado was so expensive that few were sold here, with low thousand numbers in each 1993 and 1994 production which would be the last year of offer in the U.S.. We’ve got quite a great example to feature today, though:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay

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1997 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

We look at a lot of infrequently seen cars on these pages, but sometimes one really stands out to me, and that was the case with this 1997 Audi A4. Now, rarity is not on the side of the Audi A4, even in its least sold configuration. In its launch year of 1996, Audi shifted more A4s than it sold cars in total in each model year of 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. In fact, the only reason the company didn’t sell more 1996 A4s than 1995 total cars was because a few 1996 models were sold at the end of 1995, upping the overall sales for that year. It was a wildly popular model though underneath there were overall few changes to what you could buy in the 1995 90 quattro. Even the look was a scaled down version of the 1993/4 ASF (A8) concept. But that didn’t matter – it was great looking, sporty and compact with a quality feel and still held the trump card for all-wheel drive in the small market. Unlike earlier models where the front-drive version of the chassis outsold the quattro versions, the A4 was also the first to really sell with a majority of all-wheel drive; about 80% (16,333 out of 20,671) of those that were sold in 1997 were so equipped. That would make a FrontTrak model much more rare than what we’re seeing here, so why claim this car isn’t often seen? Well, it’s just not. Think about the last time you saw a really clean pre-facelift A4. I’ll wait. Sure, there are a handful out there, but as with earlier Audis the residuals dropped and most were neglected. The A4, in addition to being a sales success, also brought Audi fully into the disposable luxury class. People that had previously bought Audis generally treasured them, especially so of the quattros. But with the A4, in many ways the small executive just became a German Camry. It was a nice Camry and that name has such a negative connotation it’s not fair to associate with, but moving into a more mainstream sales bracket also diluted the enthusiastic ownership of the brand.

On top of that, 1997 launched a new direction for the A4 which was the introduction of the 1.8T turbocharged power plant. While not a potent mill out of the box, enthusiasts (especially those downstream of initial purchase) welcomed the return of turbos to Audi and the ensuing modifications began. The result of all of this was that while the A4 was popular, it was no longer the heirloom quality automobile that models like the 4000 had been. It became, in many ways, just another car, and ultimately these factors contribute to the result of a model which isn’t often seen in the wild any more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Audi A4 2.8 quattro on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8

Edit 7/11/2017 – This car is back on the market from the same seller with a reserve auction

Vuarnet shirt, stone-washed high-wasted jeans, neon Wayfarers, legwarmers, Wham!‘s “Make It Big” album playing on your Walkman, a tennis lesson scheduled for later in the day with someone named Chad, Tad or Chaz, and a BMW 3-series; they’re immediately identifiable as a product of the 1980s, even if in this case they were made in the late 1970s. Take a moment to consider the seats in this Alpina; made by Recaro, they’d look as at home on Bill Cosby’s back as he lectured Theo as they would on the race track. But just as those trends from the 80s have been revisited by the “Hipsters” of today, there’s another class I’ve dubbed “Yupsters”, wishing to relive the glory of Wall Street and every club from the Breakfast to the Country. They’re interested in the BMW 3 series, and the major resurgence of the small executive sedan has become ironic in its own right, from the “Respect Your Elders” stickers plastered on cars not much older than the creatures driving them (who, even more ironically, typically don’t know much about history), to the hypocrisy of everyone being different by all owning E30s. The only things missing from the entirely predictable plotline are a Harold Faltermeyer soundtrack and a cameo at the local show by Steve Guttenberg. To me, the 3 series that comes out of all of this smelling like roses is the E21; relatively forgotten and overlooked due to less availability, sport and cliche, a turned up E21 is nonetheless a beautiful thing when properly done:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Coupe

I always felt a bit sorry for the BMW Z3 Coupe. It was introduced at a time when an M version arrived alongside of it and not surprisingly, it was the Motorsports version that made the bigger splash in the market. Even that car was at first a bit misunderstood, with some critics deriding the looks but others shining on to the performance it offered. The M Coupe has reached air-cooled 911 levels of popularity at the moment and as such, the Z3 Coupe can only stand to benefit. This early production Z3 2.8 Coupe comes to us from our friends at Sun Valley Auto Club and looks quite attractive in silver over red leather, with the desirable manual gearbox. If the M Coupe is a little bit rich for your blood, try this lite version instead.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Coupe at Sun Valley Auto Club

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Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Alpina B6 2.8

Alpina E30s have exploded onto eBay over the past year; I never remember seeing quite so many of these small tuned 3s for sale on a regular basis. In part that’s because so few were produced; with this B6 model for example, a scant 259 were produced, with just over 1,000 total E30s modified in all forms by the legendary company. The B6 wasn’t as wild as the later big-motored 3.5, but it was still much more than adequate with 210 horsepower from the M30 coupled with lower suspension, bigger wheels and brakes. Alpina, of course, added their personal flare of colors, stripes and awesome interiors, and the B6 is one attractive small sedan in such form. It’s easy to forget that there was a time before the M3, and in early 1984 this was the fastest small German 4-seater you could buy. That would change in mid ’84 with the introduction of the B6 3.5, but today it’s still a very desirable and rare to find package. That’s especially true when it’s presented in signature Alpina Blue with low miles and in pristine condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: “1984 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

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1995 Audi A6 2.8 quattro 5-speed – REVISIT

The 1995 Audi A6 we featured back in March is back up on offer, at a well reduced price. It’s rare enough to find a clean C4 A6 2.8 in good condition with low mileage, but equipped with a 5-speed manual as we see here, it makes for quite the rare piece.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi A6 2.8 quattro on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 18, 2015:

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