2005 E46 BMW M3 GTR

Here is an interesting opportunity for those with deep pockets. Factory BMW race cars don’t show up for sale on eBay all that often or even in the duPont Registry for that matter. This 2005 factory car was one of the rule benders that fitted a V8 in place of the inline 6, this got BMW in some trouble with the ALMS folks.

The seller, Scottsdale Motorsports, doesn’t list any of the car’s race history. Their website, which looks like it definitely isn’t a priority for them, also doesn’t provide any more info. The auction states that the factory V8 has been sold off and in its place sits a P54B32 inline six in race ready form. If you really wanted the V8 though the seller is including a P65B40 V8 as a spare.

The ask price is $220,000 with a Buy-It-Now of $379,000. You can get as fast a car for less than that, but factory race cars bring big bucks. I suspect the seller is more testing the waters with this listing rather than actually thinking someone is going to bite at that price. The seller has no eBay feedback and they listed the car under collectibles rather than on eBay Motors, but again I suspect the person that buys this will do it directly from the seller, not over eBay.

2005 E46 BMW M3 GTR on eBay

 

~Evan

2005 BMW 330i with ZHP Performance Package

Face it. The BMW 3 series are a dime a dozen these days. With reasonable lease deals and free maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles, drivers that want a taste of the good life are snapping these Bavarian machines up as fast as they can. Which brings me to my next point. Since the BMW 3 series is such a great driving machine, how can an enthusiast who wants to revel in its performance do so without blending into the woodwork? Of course, you could always go the M3 route. But towards the end of the E46 generation, BMW offered something a little bit more interesting in sedan, coupe and convertible flavor: the ZHP Performance Package.

Available from 2003 through 2005, the ZHP Package upped the horsepower with a hotter cams and software to up horsepower by 10 to 235 bhp. Also included were the M-Tech II bodykit, 18″ staggered size wheels, anthracite window trim and a mix of leather and alcantara on interior surfaces. With a shorter final drive ratio, the ZHP could rip off 0-60 times of 5.6 seconds.

Here’s a relatively low mileage example for sale in Minnesota.

2005 BMW 330i ZHP on eBay

The seller states:

This 330I is flat out exceptional in every way. The interior is perfect. The exterior is exceptional (save a few very small rock chips on the front). Mechanically, this car is in great shape, and it rides and drives like The Ultimate Driving Machine. Figure this is an M3, just not as high insurance premiums, and not as harsh. Unlike and M3, this is a perfect daily driver; fun and sporty, but still comfortable and well mannered.

This car is super clean. It has no accident history. It was absolutely not smoked in. It has no paintwork. It has a clean title. It has a clean carfax. You can bid with utter confidence-this 330i is awesome!

This 330i is loaded with features including:

-Leather interior with Alcantara inserts

-Sport Package
-Premium Package
-ZHP M PERFORMANCE Pkg
-Xenon Headlamps
-Harman Kardon Stereo
-Power Moonroof
-Adaptive lights that turn when you turn
-Heated Seats
-Exclusive M Performance Package interior Trim
-dual power seats
-fold down rear seats

This 330i rides and drives perfect. It is fast and the engine is very strong. The transmission shifts precisely and smoothly.

The mileage is very reasonable for a car of this vintage, but given this is a dealer who is selling it, this particular 330i ZHP is about $3,000 to $5,000 to dear. There are forums dedicated to this version of the 3 series, such as ZHP Mafia, and from the classified listings, one can tell these are highly desirable models. Another demerit with this particular car is the automatic transmission. Since these cars generally attract enthusiasts, the 6 speed manual would make this vehicle that much more lustworthy. Still, this is an attractive piece and one of the very few sedans I’d ever consider buying with such a bright hue of red (in this case, Imolarot).

Of course, I can hear the echoes, “why not just buy an M3.” Well, the ZHP is a lot more scarce and you could not get a sedan version of the E46 M3. So a 330i ZHP sedan is about as close as you are going to get to a factory E46 M3 sedan. On top of this, the previous generation M3s have become almost commonplace and play a little too much to the “Fast and Furious” set for my tastes. I like the ZHP so much, in fact, that I’m persuading my father to seek out a clean, low mileage example to replace my mother’s 2000 C280 sedan. It will be a little more hard edged than the C280, but with few new vehicles of interest out there on the landscape, unique sport sedans like the ZHP play well to the family Henriques.

-Paul

2005 Mercedes-Benz C55

Beginning in the mid 1990s, the AMG C classes from Mercedes-Benz have proved to be quite popular over the years, with a range of breathed on six-cylinder and V8 models appearing in the lineup. Here we have a clean, two owner, C55 for sale in Pennsylvania.

The seller states:

This auction is for a 2005 Mercedes Benz C55 Sport Sedan. I am the second owner of this vehicle. The vehicle is in immaculate condtion. It has been professionally maintained at a Mercedes Benz dealership since new. It has had all its regular maintence performed (Transmission service, coolant service, brake fluid service, oil changes, etc.). It has brand new rear tires with less than 200 miles on them. Front tires at 50%, front and rear brakes at 50%. The vehicle needs nothing. Runs excellent, looks great. Only reason I am selling is due to the fact I have too many vehicles and its time to get rid of a few. This car is very enjoyable to drive. I will definately miss it!

I sold my 2007 C230 Sport with 27k miles for $20,500 two months ago. Even though this is two years older, prices on the last of the W203 AMGs have finally reached somewhat attainable levels. Anything with 300 or more horsepower in a car this size is a riot to drive. I know this first hand, as I’ve driven several of these over the years. Even considering rising gas prices, a C55 in this kind of condition would be a smart investment in the coming years. I mean, where else were you going to put your money, the stock market?

-Paul

2005 Mercedes-Benz C320 6 speed Sportcoupe

Like the BMW 3 series Compact that preceded it in the 1990s, the W203 C class hatchback was one of those experiments by an upmarket German marque to test the waters and see whether the American public would accept a smaller, cheaper offering. Not many folks took notice of the C class Sportcoupe, but much like GM does with its product lineup, Mercedes got it right at the end, offering the 3.2 V6 with a 6 speed manual. Here’s a clean example for sale in Pennsylvania.

For not much scratch, this last year Sportcoupe is an interesting and quite rare alternative to a MINI Cooper S or Volkswagen GTI. A good friend of mine just picked up a clean 30k mile example of this same car with the 6 speed manual, and while it doesn’t drive too dissimilar from my ’07 C230 sedan, it certainly can give the usual hot hatches a run for their money.

-Paul

2005 Mercedes CLK DTM AMG

This week for my post representing what would be awesome to have delivered to my garage by Santa the first thing that came to my mind was CLK DTM. I looked for several days and didn’t see what I wanted, after all they only made 100 of these and I want a silver one.
Then call it a holiday miracle one pops up for sale today on eBay.

This isn’t the most beautiful car in the world, but it is guaranteed to catch people’s eye with its muscular stance. The bulging fenders, deep bumper vents, and big spoiler all speak to the purpose of this machine. The supercharged 5.5 liter puts out almost 600 horsepower, more than its namesake Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race car. The number is deceiving since many AMG cars these days make so much horsepower, and though not a lightweight the DTM does come in on the scale under most other recent AMG vehicle.

The DTM’s weight is partly due to the retained interior comfort features. It does lose the rear seat in favor of an integrated stiffening strut and typical cushy Mercedes front seats are skipped out for significantly racier models with harnesses. A good amount of carbon fiber also helps with weight reduction. Its 220MPH speedometer might help you impress the parking lot crowd. The paddle shift five speed lets you impress those in the passenger seat as you skip to 60 in under 4 seconds on your way to a 200MPH top speed.

The CLK DTM represents some of the rawest most exclusive Mercedes power to ever hit the streets. Not quite on the same level of outrageousness as the CLK GTR, but with far better usability. You can find this kind of power elsewhere for far less money, for instance
with 6000 miles is pushing 645 horsepower and it costs “only” $98,900. You can even spend $100,000 less and still get a brand new top of line AMG, but it won’t be as special as one of these.

This dealer is asking $374,900 for the 3500 mile car. That is a hefty premium for rarity. Plus some people might mistake it for a “typical” AMG car or one of the few boy racer clone DTMs that are out there. Cars like these don’t change hands all that often so sellers can ask whatever they want. Fortunately a new owner would be able to drive the car around for awhile and then name his own price. If you are a convertible driver you can keep browsing the classifieds as they built 80 topless models too, though they have a limited top speed slightly lower than the hardtop. Seeing a car like this with the top down and the giant spoiler looks very odd. All is forgiven with a blip of the throttle and the awesome exhaust note.

I hope Santa has a big sleigh.

~Evan

2005 Smart Roadster

After the introduction of the original Smart Car in 1998, Smart diversified their lineup by adding the Roadster and Roadster Coupe in 2003 and the Fourfour in 2004. The first generation Smart Car wasn’t officially imported to the US and neither was the Roadster or Forfour. Powered by a turbocharged, three cylinder engine mounted in the rear, this car was likened to a modern day incarnation of the cheap sports car popularized by UK marques such as MG and Triumph. With a low curb weight of just over 1,700 pounds, this car has a power to weight ratio normally found in many exotics. Sadly, due to warranty claims stemming mainly from leaky tops, the Smart Roadster was a failure for parent company Mercedes-Benz and production halted in 2006.

2005 Smart Roadster for sale in Hemmings

The seller states:

Here’s a rare one. A Smart Roadster with large Michalak wheels, low profile tires and a new tuned exhaust system. This sport roadster gets 50-60 mpg on the highway. Never imported into the U.S. and 1 of only 5,000 produced. Heres your chance to own a sports car that can actually save you money on gas!

This car presents an opportunity to be one of the very few in the US to own one of these. Even so, the $18,000 entry fee seems a bit steep. After sifting through eBay UK, the highest priced Smart Roadster I came across was a 2006 Brabus edition for just shy of £10,000 (about $15,000). Given there are probably zero others on the US market right now, the seller is obviously thinking he can name his price. The only lingering question I have regarding a car like this is how difficult it might be to register it in certain states.

-Paul