2004 Volkswagen Golf R32

For a few generations, Volkswagen fans were denied the cream of the crop for Volkswagen products. It took several years to finally get the original GTi to these shores, and then it wasn’t quite as hot as the European version. The second edition might have sported twin cams and 16 valves, but Euro customers got the addtional option of a supercharged, all-wheel drive version. There were plenty of cool options missing from the U.S. lineup in the 3rd generation, too – including the 2.9 liter VR6 Variant Syncro. So there was a bit of rejoicing finally when the all-wheel drive hot hatch was finally added to the U.S. lineup after the initial launch in 2003. Sporting the same 3.2 VR6 found in the TT, unlike the Mk.1 TT it was 6-speed manual only. It was also only available as a 2-door model, with special body kit unique to the R32 and dual exhaust to help announce its sporting intentions. With the best part of 240 horsepower on tap, it certainly seemed like the ultimate Golf and the sound generated from the narrow-angle 6 was mesmerizing. While heavy weight meant it wasn’t considerably quicker than the 1.8T models, it nonetheless has secured a spot in U.S. fans hearts as the top trump from the Mk.4 generation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32 on eBay

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2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Year after year, it seems to be holding true that the 996 Porsche C4S is one of the best “bang for your buck” models. The buy-in is relatively reasonable given how crazy 911 prices can get, and they surely aren’t going down in value given the newest one is now 15 years-old. Reliability? Well, good enough for a 911. Some will still scoff at the nose and soft interior, but it is what is, and they surely aren’t going away. This example up for sale Brooklyn, New York is a pretty typical example, but inside has a few extra touches. Maple wood anyone?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on eBay

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2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Just when I thought I’ve found the most unique color on a 996 Porsche Carrera 4s, along comes this. “This” being a 2004 C4S up for sale in Japan that is painted in the always lovely Ruby Star. We’ve seen this color before on the 964 and 991, but this is the first time I’ve seen it on the 996 body. Even crazier, they took the Ruby Star inside too and painted the center console, trim, and gauge cluster surround. Too much? Or classic Porsche?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S at O-Rush Japan

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2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

I’m a sucker for the details. Sometimes they are big and in your face, sometimes something so small you’d never really notice it. On Porsches, the details are never-ending and they’ll gladly charge you for such. Today’s car, a 2004 911 Carrera 4S up for sale in San Francisco, is not subtle with the details. Finished in the always-popular Guards Red, this one takes the Guards Red inside and splashes it absolutely everywhere. Get ready.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on San Francisco Craigslist

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2004 Porsche Cayenne S

It seems like the cheaper a vehicle gets, the most bold and crazy people seem to get with modifying them. Even better if it is a car that was rather expensive when new and/or from a traditional brand that doesn’t lend itself to custom builds. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

This 2004 Porsche Cayenne S up for sale in Spain was modified in some kind of safari-style or pre-runner-style off-roader with with a giant steel front bumper, bolt-on fender flares, and some all-terrain tires. Just to top it off, this one of the ultra-rare 6-speed manual Cayenne that I’m sure Porsche dealers were thinking about not setting the parking brake on when they found out they had to sell a luxury SUV with a 6-speed manual in it. Still, it looks pretty cool and could be a ton of fun. Or at least I thought that until I saw the price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche Cayenne S at Auto Scout 24

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2004 Porsche 911

Thinking back about last weeks 2002 Porsche 911 C4S and the reaction it got, I thought maybe it would be interesting to look at the other end of the 996 range for about the same price. The C2 was literally as basic as you could get with the 996 911 with the narrow body and rear wheel drive. At the time, maybe a bit boring, but now it seems to be a thing to have a basic, rear-wheel drive 911, and I even think Porsche realizes this too with their 911 Carrera T. Sadly, most of the C2s are well-used by now and often are found in disheveled condition. However, this 2004 up for sale California has thankfully be well-preserved. So is it this, or the C4S?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 on eBay

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2004 Maybach 57

I think it is going to be a long time before we see a car depreciate like a Maybach 57. Way back in the early-2000s, Mercedes-Benz decided to wanted to play in the same league as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Not an outrageous idea, so they revived the storied Maybach name and launched two models, the 57 and the 62. They shared a general platform with the then-already replaced W140 S-Class, and kind of looked like a W220 S-Class on the outside. On the inside, you could see this was a W220. The steering wheel was a straight rebadge job along with the gauge cluster, and everything felt like a W220 which is not a good thing at all. Under the hood, you’d think they would have stuck with the twin-turbo M275 from the S600, but they changed it slightly to make an entirely new engine unique to the Maybach called the M285. All these one-off changes that had to be made and extremely low production resulted in the base model 57 carrying a sticker price of $320,000. That is $435,000 in today’s money. You’ll be shocked at what this 2004 57 can be had for today.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Maybach 57 on eBay

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2004 Mercedes-Benz S600 Brabus T12

Mercedes-Benz turner Brabus is never one to pull any punches. When they go “all in” on a build, they don’t hold back and usually produce something that has so much power that it is almost useless in any kind of normal driving situation. Impressive outputs aren’t the end of the spec sheet, as they’ll usually throw some bumpers, wheels, and most importantly, brakes on the car as well. Most of the time you get a fairly conservative design in terms of tuner companies, but sometimes you get some stuff that really went off the deep end.

Today, as luck would have it, a 2004 S600 popped up for sale in Philadelphia with the Brabus T12 package on it. The W220 S600 was already a pretty powerful car with the M275 twin-turbo V12, but if you give Brabus a check for nearly $60,000, they’ll make it even better. How much better?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz S600 Brabus T12 on eBay

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2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX TDi 4Motion Variant 6-speed

Earlier this week I just about broke my neck to catch a second glimpse at a car which probably went unnoticed by nearly every other driver out there. It was a new what appeared to be a B8 Passat Variant, and you don’t have to know a lot about Volkswagens to know you haven’t seen one recently – or, probably ever – on these shores since VW dropped the large wagon from its lineup after 2010. Is this an indication they’re coming here? Unlikely, at least according to VW. With the Atlas and Tiguan relatively fresh and still selling like proverbial hotcakes, along with the many iterations of the Golf Sportwagon available, there just is no need. More likely than not, the car I saw was part of a VW testing program which makes sense since I live very close to one of the importation ports.

So that leaves fans of the larger VW wagon to clamor over older examples. So back we go fifteen years to a B5.5 again! This one, like the last, is a silver example from 2004. Also just like the last, it’s a manual and all-wheel drive. But unlike that rare factory 1.8T 4Motion manual, this one is a home brew, mating a 1.9 TDi out of a Jetta, a 6-speed manual from Europe, and a GLX 4Motion chassis into a neat and thrifty all-wheel drive combo that was never offered here:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX TDi 4Motion 6-speed on eBay

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2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4Motion Variant 5-speed

One of the reasons that I felt the B4 Passat I just looked at wasn’t a great deal was that there are just a lot of other great models you can get for less. Case in point, today’s 2004 B5.5 1.8T 4Motion Variant 5-speed. Sure, you loose the great growl of the VR6 – but what you gain far outstrips that auditory shortcoming.

Produced only for the 2004-2005 model year, Volkswagen linked the 4Motion all-wheel drive borrowed from Audi to the AWM 1.8T. Rated at 170 horsepower, it was down a few ponies on the 30V V6 GLX 4Motion that preceded it. But while the GLX focused on luxury and was only offered with the Tiptronic transmission (unless you stepped up to the W8), you could opt for the 5-speed manual with the 1.8T. It was something few people did; a scant 2,333 manuals were sold in North America, with just 657 of those being wagons. 516 made it to the United States, and this is one of 16 Stonehenge Gray over Anthracite leatherette 2004s originally sold:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4Motion Variant on eBay

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