The swan song for the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL was nothing more than a quick inventory of stuff Mercedes had laying around the warehouse in terms of parts and slapping it on a few hundred examples to call it the “Silver Arrow” special edition. We confirmed this a few weeks ago when looking at the 2000 SL320 “Edition” up for sale in the UK that was all the same parts with the exception of the white leather inserts on the seats and steering wheel. Although I’m willing to bet that leather was also sitting around on the shelf too and they need to get rid it of it before it got too dried out and dusty. However, the American market bought it up and still continues to do so as the very best examples in the world are selling for over $100,000 now and I think people are realizing these are the “it” R129s to have. Time to buy-in while you can?
Dumping a bunch of money into a car and having it be worth than what you spent is rarely a math problem that makes sense. Usually if the math does make sense, you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands. With today’s car, that is not the case.
This is a 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK320. A seemingly forgettable car in terms of Mercedes coupes as it followed up the legendary W124 coupe and a long line of stately coupes prior to that. It was based on the W202 C-Class but had every intention of making you think it was an E-Class coupe. It was not. The build quality with a step backwards from the W124 with cheap materials and soft looks, but that didn’t matter to prospective buyers as it had a “fresh” look heading into 2000 and the lease deals were good. Then the car got old and everyone moved on. Today, they are pretty worthless in the Mercedes world outside of the very best CLK55 AMGs and it will probably stay that way. The seller of this CLK320 had a different feeling about that. Let me explain.
Another day, another modded 2002. Like the E28, the 2002 is just one of those cars that looks great in stock form and awesome when turned up a few notches. Case in point? Today’s ’70 ‘Roundie’. This car was just a plain ’02 that has been modified with Turbo-style flares and a front valance, small bumpers, a reupholstered interior, and an M42 under the hood. It sounds an awful lot like the last one I looked at:
1974 BMW 2002
While the last car had a few things that I was less favorable about, to me today’s example looks just about perfect. And perhaps the best part? Not only is the heavy lifting done, but the asking price isn’t in the stratosphere:
Earlier this summer I took a look at a 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa that, in short, was stunning. I know you are probably scratching your head and trying to figure out how a 996 Porsche can be stunning, but trust me, that is one of the finest 996 examples I’ve seen in a long time. Problem was, it was on the other side of the ocean and the steering wheel was also on the other side. Great news for our English friends, but not ideal for us Yanks. Wouldn’t you know, another attractive 996 Targa popped up for sale outside of Chicago with a bunch of maintenance done, including the IMS bearing, and has a fairly reasonable price. A possible downside? Only two pedals.
Having just looked at a few modded fails, I think it’s relevant to remind ourselves that not all modified cars are in bad taste! And where better to start than one of the most popular classics that people like to customize; the BMW 2002.
A few months back I took a look at a wild Zender-bodied example that pulled it all together rather well, if a bit extreme:
1973 BMW 2002tii Zender Widebody
Today’s example is one year newer and a lot more tame, but no less shouty. This example has undergone the knife and come out sporting Turbo-style flares, an M42 DOHC inline-4, and a host of other mods all draped in Porsche’s Miami Blue. Does it pull it off?
For as uncommon as the color purple is to see on a car, the Germans weren’t shy about using it. We saw that last week with Carter’s 1995 BMW M3, Volkswagen with Violet Touch Pearl, and Mercedes-Benz with Almandine Black Metallic. Granted those colors are very rare and often by special request, but we are at a place where its so popular that this is a standard color on the GT3 RS. Today, we have a 2002 Carrera 4S in Paint-to-Sample Viola Metallic that, in my opinion, looks amazing. The wide body of the 996 C4S in this color? Sign me up. Although probably not at this price.
If the minor nomenclature differences between what constitutes a BMW with sport items, a Sport model, and a M-Sport model can be confusing, the ordering of model designation in Audi’s TT lineup is downright infuriating. Technically, I think the correct order for the model is as shown above – Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro ALMS Edition.
And here’s the trick. First you needed to differentiate if you ordered a Coupe or Roadster. In 2002, you could get a front-drive coupe with the 180 horsepower engine, and you could also get the 180 horsepower motor with optional Haldex quattro all-wheel drive. But if you selected a Roadster, you couldn’t get a 180 quattro. Now, if you went for the upgraded 225 horsepower motor, you automatically got quattro – there was no front-drive option. That makes the “quattro” moniker after any 225 model redundant. Even more redundant in this case is the “Coupe” moniker, because if you opted for the ALMS appearance package in the 2002 model year, the hardtop was your only choice. So if you referred to this as a TT ALMS – as many do – the rest would follow – you’ve got by default a 6-speed manual 225 horsepower quattro Coupe. For many, this makes the ALMS one of the most desirable 8N TTs, and the limited run of 1,000 examples in either Misano Red Pearl with Silver Gray Nappa leather or, as show here Avus Silver Pearl with contrasting Brilliant Red Leather tends to command a premium over other examples of the first-gen Golf-based model:
The paint to sample world strikes again. About six months ago I looked at a 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S finished in Linen of all colors. As crazy and non-traditional as it was, I didn’t hate it. Different for sure and I gave them credit for going off the board on that one. Today, we’ve got another 996 Turbo in a wild color. This 2002 up for sale in London is finished in Light Green Metallic and shows just 16,000 miles. It borders right on the edge of being called lime, and is actually pretty pleasant to look at. The price? Woo-boy.
Purists, swipe left.
Okay, great, because this is not only one hell of a cool 2002, I think it’s a great deal, too. What are we looking at? Well, what started life as an Inka 2002tii ‘Roundie’ has been hitting the gym and now sports a Zender body kit, SSR mesh wheels, a half-cage with Recaro cloth seats, E21 brakes, and a host of other mechanical and cosmetic refurbishments to leave one seriously sweet piece of ’02 eye candy. The asking price? Less than you’d expect!
If you are looking at the title then looking at the photo of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and wondering what is going on, there is an explanation for that. Thanks to the W463 generation running from 1990 to 2018 and going through multiple, multiple facelifts, many parts from later models literally just bolt on to earlier years. That means with enough money, you can make a G500 that is old enough to buy cigarettes look like a 2018 G63 AMG. Wouldn’t you know, that is exactly what we have today. Sort of.
This 2002 G500 has been updated in order to try to look like a G63 AMG. It has the bigger bumpers and fender flares, bi-xenon lights, updated brush guard, LED tailights, 20″ wheels, and they even went as far as putting AMG badges on it. The thing is, they went this far, and forgot a few important bits that makes this thing look like a half-assed job. Even more disappointing, you open the doors and get a really quick reminder that this is still a 2002 with 128,000 miles on it.