2003 Porsche 911 Targa

The 996 Porsche 911 Targa is a model that sometimes I forget even exists. They always catch me off guard when I see one come up for sale for the pure novelty of them and you paid around $10,000 more when new for a 16-square-foot view of the open sky. It also turned the rear glass into a hatch, which is an interesting configuration given the engine is in the rear too. Now that we are well over a decade into the glass roof Targa cars, many are shying away when purchasing these. Why? Well, the sliding glass roof is a precision instrument to say the least, and those precision instrument break and cost precision instrument money to repair. Seriously, if your power Targa roof stops functioning, you are looking at some invasive procedures by specialists who you should be happy are willing to do the job.

Still, while not fun to maybe buy, they are very fun to look at. Especially when one has 4,600 miles, is finished in paint-to-sample Atlantis Metallic, and even has even rarer Magnolia leather. Get ready to exchange your pile of dollars for some old fashion pounds, because if you want this one, a trip to Nottinghamshire, England is in order.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Targa at Parkway Specialist Cars

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2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

I know this is tough to reconcile at the moment, but spring is here. Warm temperatures have returned or nearly returned, and convertible season is upon us. Sure, most trips in said convertibles will be point A to point A, but we’ll get there sooner or later. Of all the convertibles offered by the German marques, and there are many, the Porsche 911 always seems to be near the top of the discussion when it comes which one might be the best. From the G Body all the way up to the new 992, you can have a topless 911 in nearly every variant. In terms of the least expensive, we always come back to old friend 996 to see where the bottom is. Can you get any lower than a base 911 with the 5-speed automatic transmission?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet on eBay

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2003 Audi S8

I still have this dream of getting a S8. This seems like a strange thing to dream about, I admit. And, it also seems like a quite attainable dream. My father-in-law often tells me about some day procuring his ‘dream truck’ – a manual mid-90s six-cylinder F150. I’ve found several for him that seem like good prospects, and none are ever more than a few thousand dollars. As I’ve said to him several times, ‘If you’re $4,000 away from your dream, what’s holding you back?’

Well, that comment coming from me is riddled with hypocrisy. I certainly could sell my very reliable Passat, save a bit of coin, and buy a S8. The problem increasingly inherent in that plan is that the S8 I can afford will probably not be the S8 I want. See, in the early 2000s I fell in love with the design. In the mid-2000s I lusted over lightly used examples that were out of my price range. S8s are now in a range I can afford, but it’s no longer the early 2000s and most are, to be frank, pretty used up. And though they’re far from the most technologically advanced vehicle, they aren’t exactly an F150 either in terms of complexity and parts availability (not to mention pricing). So looking at a S8 means you automatically need to budget in probably double the asking price or more in potential repairs between the transmission, timing belt service, and other deferred maintenance. Or, you can find one where that’s been done for you:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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2003 Porsche 911 Turbo with 963 Miles

There is always something fascinating about “time capsule” cars, even on stuff that isn’t all that old. I know the car I’m talking is far from new, but it is hard to believe the newest Porsche 996 Turbos are 14 years-old now. These cars were incredibly tough and more than reasonable to use as a daily driver, so that is what people did. I think from the 993 and prior, if you bought a 911 Turbo, that was a car that wasn’t leaving the garage on a Tuesday morning in November to drive to work when it was raining. In the 996 Turbo, go for it. And people did, lots of these have a healthy amount of miles and them and honestly, good for them. However, it looks like one example was spared to rain, along with basically everything else.

This 2003 up for sale in Florida has just 963 miles on it. Thats it, 963. How and why? No idea. If you want, bring a check with six-figures on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

All of a sudden it’s March! You know what that means. Four more weeks of winter for us in the northern part of the country and then we’ll maybe start thinking about spring. In all seriousness, hope springs eternal when the calendar turns and we’ll be preparing for car season. What better way to kick it off by looking at a Mercedes-Benz convertible with a supercharged V8 with nearly 500 horsepower?

This 2003 SL55 AMG up for sale in Arizona is finished in the classic Brilliant Silver Metallic, but when you open the doors you get your hair blown away with a red leather interior. Personally, I love it. I love even more that it has just 14,000 miles as well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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2003 Audi TT 225 Coupe quattro

In 1993, my father purchased a W113 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster. It was green with black MB Tex and do you know what? It looked, and felt, old. At that point, it was a 22 year old car that had been mostly forgotten by the enthusiast world. After all, the dated W113’s replacement – the oh so 80s even though it was from the 70s R107 – had just gone out of production, itself replaced by the thoroughly modern R129. A teenager, I loved the fresh R129 at the time, and the W113 seemed like a dinosaur by comparison. But my father loved the look of the W113, and so for the then princely sum of mid-teens he purchased a relatively clean, reasonably low mileage and (almost) fully functional Mercedes-Benz SL. Not a bad deal in hindsight – or at the time, considering the new SL’s $80,000 sticker price – in 1992!

Fast forward 27 years, and the SL market has gone completely bonkers, awakening to the fact that the W113 was (and still is) a beautiful, classic and elegant design. I’m not even sure you could buy a non-functional, rusty wreck of a W113 for the same price my father paid in 1993 – and an expensive restoration would await you.

Why do I mention this?

Currently, almost no one has time to even consider the 8N chassis Audi TT. It’s old, with the last of the first generation produced 15 years ago and its replacement – the 8J – has also fully completed a production cycle. It doesn’t have the super wiz-bang computers, million horsepower engines, or cut-your-hand-on-the-front-end styling of the new models. A fair amount lay in a state of disrepair; crashed, thrashed and trashed to a point where they’re nearly given away – quite seriously, there’s one near me for $1,500. But find a good one, and I think now is the prime time to grab a clean TT that will be a future collectable. So here we are with a ’03 TT 225 Coupe in Goodwood Green Pearl Effect over a light tan interior. I think I’m in love!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi TT 225 Coupe quattro on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Love, hate, or indifferent, red cars draw eyes. Sometimes that is a bad thing, like when you are doing 87 mph in a 70 mph zone on the highway. Other times it is a good thing, like when you are selling a car. I think the term “resale red” does carry a lot of weight because consumer studies have shown that people who drive red cars are looked at differently. Red is fast and aggressive, while the earth tones are a little bit more subdued and conservative. Only makes sense, but when push comes to shove, are you willing to actually pony up the cash for a red car? You can see where I’m going with this with today’s car, a 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG up for sale in Florida. Just 30,000 miles and looks like it is dripping wet just sitting there. Anyone brave enough for “arrest me red?”

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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2003 Audi RS6 6-speed

Throngs of U.S. Audi fans rejoiced when the news came that not only was the RS6 returning to this side of the Atlantic, it would be coming for the first time as an Avant. With nearly 600 hybrid horsepower on tap, it promises to be exactly the rocketship full of 5-door tech you’d expect from the company. But it will be interesting to see actual sales numbers after all the internet buzz dies down, because herein lies the problem with the RS6 Avant; if it is competing with the E63 S AMG Wagon (how could it not be?), it will sticker somewhere between $120,000 and $140,000 depending on options. Let’s just say that it’s safe to assume that’s out of the reach of most of the people chastising Audi all over the Internet for not bringing it here to this point.

So is there a solution? Absolutely. There was already a perfectly good RS6 offered here two generations ago. And if you’re willing to pony up roughly $40,000, you can have an Avant here. But today we’re looking at a sedan, because 1) they’re much more plentiful, 2) they’re much more affordable, and 3) this one is turned up and should offer close to the performance of the inbound model. The seller claims this car produces 620 horsepower and 750 lb.ft of torque. Oh, and I almost forgot quattro) it’s a 6-speed manual swap, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Wagon

Although Volkswagen started its small 5-door wagon production in the Mk.3 era, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that they finally decided to bring their second generation Golf Variant in the form of the Jetta Wagon. It was part of an unprecedented wave of early 2000s wagon popularity which gave enthusiasts a lot of very nice options. Parked alongside the Passat Variant in dealerships, just like the B5 they were offered with a dizzying array of configurations. There were GLS and GLX trim specs, along with four different engine configurations. Base GLSs got the 2.0 inline-4 rated at 115 horsepower. Stepping up to turbocharged your experience with the familiar 1.8T, here rated at 170 horsepower just like the Passat – although they’re not the same motor code, as obviously the mounting is transverse. Optional was also the ALH 1.9 liter TDi which could return an honest 50 mpg and be mated to a manual (both not really options in the Passat diesel) and for a touch more sport you could kick up to the GLX model, which gave you the 12 valve 2.8 liter VR6 rated at 174 horsepower and 181 lb.ft of torque.

So there were a lot of options in the Mk.4 Variant’s trick bag, but they’re somewhat hard to find in clean, original condition. Today I came across a 1.8T model that just like Monday’s 300TE is a a rather boring color combination, but one that’s exciting to see in this condition today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Wagon on eBay

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2003 Alpina Roadster V8 with 7 Miles

I still remember hearing the news that Alpina was going to be tuning a Z8 around 2002. Awesome, I thought, this thing is going to eat Porsches for breakfast! Imagine my shock when I found out it was going to be an automatic; I was confused and felt lost. Then, I found out they yanked the 4.9 S62 M5 powerplant out in exchange for something less powerful. It was as if Alpina had broken into my mind and destroyed my dreams I didnt get it. Then I saw one, and I thought Wow, they actually made it look a little bit better. Yes, externally it was only wheels, but somehow those wheels and Alpina badges were still magical and understated but hinted there was more to this car than just less horsepower and more money. Fast forward a few years and the Alpina Roadster V8s are commanding more money than the original Z8 they were based upon. What had I missed?

Well, I missed that Alpina hadnt just slapped some wheels onto a Z8; Alpina had completely reworked the E52 to be their own car. Yes, the tuned M62B48 V8 borrowed from the B10 had a few less horsepower than the S62, but critically it had more torque, and that torque was available lower in the rev range. Alpina had also softened the suspension, which apparently improved ride quality despite the massive 20″ wheels. Indeed, by softening the character of the Z8 slightly, Alpina had made the V8 Roadster a more enjoyable and more relaxing car. One thing they didnt change was that bite-the-back-of-your-hand good looks. Todays example looks stunning in black, a nice change from the very popular silver that most seemed to be painted. Oh, and it’s got 7 miles. SEVEN. If that doesn’t blow your mind, the price will.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Alpina Roadster V8 on eBay

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