1982 BMW 733i

Though the E3 had offered a sizeable sedan, the replacement E23 really stretched BMW’s platforms. The new 7-seres was 6 inches longer overall, most of which fell in a longer wheelbase versus the E3. It was also wider by a few inches and lower, too. Paul Bracq again provided the styling and it was nothing surprising; it carried the torch of many of the design elements of the 3-, 5- and 6-series cars, and that certainly wasn’t a bad thing. But what BMW hoped would help to set it apart from the competition was technology and performance, along with a high-level of material quality in the cabin. Options included Buffalo leather, an on-board computer system, anti-lock brakes, heated and reclining power seats front and rear, and even an airbag late in the run; standard fare today, but way ahead of the curve in the late 1970s and early 1980s. BMW matched this technology with a thoroughly modern driver-oriented cockpit which made the W116 Mercedes-Benz competition feel immediately antiquated.

E23s are hard to come by today but generally affordable, certainly in the context of current 80s BMW pricing. And though only a 733i, this one has some uniqueness to help it stand apart, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 733i on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1975 Porsche 911 RSR

Let’s say for a moment that you came into an extraordinary amount of money and wanted to go vintage automobile racing. Of course, to prove your worth as an enthusiast, you’ll want to buy a historically significant car that will impress all the long bottom jaws, and few raise more eyebrows in the German realm right now than the 911. Truth told, the 911 is really the ‘new money’ of the vintage world – go try racing antique Bugattis or Ferraris, for example, and you’ll soon laugh at the budgets of Porsche racers…but I digress.

Ironically, there was a point in history where your scenario from today wouldn’t have been all that different from the past. Take the case of Diego Febles. Diego was born in Cuba under the notorious dictator Batista, but left in 1957 for “political reasons” you may have heard of at one point. Finally landing in Puerto Rico, Diego took to racing, and specifically racing Porsches. In the 1970s, this led him to be linked up with Peter Gregg’s Brumos Porsche group, and Diego proceeded to buy and build cars which mimicked Gregg’s famous liveries.

In his own right, Febels was fairly accomplished as a racer. He raced some of the most famous races in the world; of course the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring were naturals that Gregg and Brumos had excelled at, but he also raced at Road America, Mosport, Mid Ohio and finally even at Le Mans. This particular car is claimed to be his last ‘RSR’, but looks can be deceiving:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR at Atlantis Motor Group

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 3.2 AMG

Update: The 300TE didn’t sell at the high bid of $48,000 but is now relisted by the seller with a Buy It Now of $52,000.

Of the hundreds of Mercedes-Benz I end up looking at a week, you wouldn’t believe how many sellers claim some kind of AMG connection to them. Sometimes they are as simple as someone throwing an AMG badges on the trunk lid (usually crooked), to some kind of dubious bodywork with an AMG logo stamped on it, all the way to just having nothing to do with AMG at all but throwing the association out there because the car is kind of sporty. Very rarely, actually almost never, do I come across a real pre-acquisition AMG car that has all the documentation along with all the parts still actually on the car. Well, never say never, because today we have one of those cars.

This 1991 300TE was built by AMG for subsidiarity AMG Japan as a M103 3.2 liter car with all the goodies, both inside and out. It has all the paperwork and maintenance records you could want. The best part? It’s already in the United States. The not-so best part? It is going to be really expensive.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 3.2 AMG on eBay

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Motorsports Monday – Cheap R: 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32

I have yet to look at a Golf R32 in 2018. It’s not for lack of examples; any given day, there are usually about 10 or so for sale on eBay and plenty more via Volkswagen-specific fora. But it’s the crazy asking prices that usually put me off from the first generation. I just can’t get on board, especially as Golf R prices have dipped down in to the low 20s. Heck, there are two Golf Rs below $20,000 right now. It’s therefore pretty hard to stomach the high teen ask on many first-gen R32s even with many hundreds of thousands of miles. They’re not the E30 M3, after all. Not even close.

So how do you get into an affordable R32? One way is to consider the second generation. Perhaps it was the styling, perhaps it was the DSG-only transmission, but even a very clean 2008 Golf R32 comes to market generally under the asking prices of the first generation. Still not your bag? Well, then you could get into this no reserve first gen – but a warning, some assembly is required…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32 on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG falls into that category of ”Oh yeah, they made those” probably because of a few reasons. The first one being it wasn’t particularly good or impressive at any one thing. It’s extremely bland, even by conservative Mercedes standards, and you’d be hard-pressed to pick this out of a lineup to recognize it as an AMG car. Aside from some slightly different bumpers and some split spoke AMG wheels, the C32 looked just like every other pre-facelift W203 out there. The power part for this car isn’t anything to write home about with a supercharged M112 V6 that was then shared with the Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6. It did make a respectable 349 horsepower but torque was down with only 322. I think the biggest reason these things are often shoved aside and not really desirable is because the car that replaced it, the W203 C55 AMG, fixed everything that was wrong with this car. The C55 got the big V8 that made almost 400 lb·ft of torque and had a bunch cosmetic updates that made it look different from every other W203 out there. So now that these C32s are 15 years-old, where do they stand?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG on eBay

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Wild or Mild? Double Take: 1978 and 1980 Volkswagen Sciroccos

A few weeks ago I took a look at a pretty wild, and fairly famous, first-generation Volkswagen Scirocco. Replete with period details and a Callaway turbo kit, it was a hit for sure as it was when it was the signature car for New Dimensions.

First Dimension: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco Callaway Turbo


While in some ways the mods took away from the beautiful simplicity of the Giugiaro design, it was still a trick car and brought strong bids, selling finally for nearly $15,000. That money is quite close to the 1981 Scirocco I looked at last year. Completely original and very pristine, it sold for over $17,000. Clearly, the market for these cars values both stock and well modified examples highly.

1981 Volkswagen Scirocco


In light of that, today I have an interesting comparison to consider. First we’ll take a look at a fully original, very clean and proper survivor 1980 Scirocco, then we’ll gander towards a full-on show car powered by a R32 VR6 and a claimed 400 horsepower – about five times what it came with originally. Will the bids follow the historical trends?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

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2002 BMW M3 with 11,000 Miles

A familiar face popped into my usual searches this week. It was a 2001 BMW M3 in Laguna Seca Blue. What stood out immediately were the wheels (okay, and the color); BBS CH and near faultless condition throughout pointed towards the example I looked at twice in 2014. Three years later, it’s still for sale and though the price has dropped, the seller is still looking for the best part of $60,000.

In the future, that price may not seem quite that outrageous. After all, finding a perfect condition, 10,000 mile M3 in one of the two signature colors isn’t something you come across everyday, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW M3 on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 3.2 AMG

One of the first cars to be produced following the official merger between AMG and Mercedes-Benz was the 190E AMG 3.2. These cars came with an aggressive bodykit, giving the W201 a wedge-shaped profile reminiscent of the infamous W124 Hammer, and an enlarged version of the M103 six cylinder motor, bored out to 3.2 liters to produce about 234 hp. Only around 200 of these were made, so the chances of finding one today are slim. However, for a time AMG continued to offer an à la carte menu of upgrades for Mercedes customers to choose from. As a result, a number of W201s were specified with an idiosyncratic mixture of AMG styling and performance parts. This 190E for example, for sale near Stuttgart in Germany, combines an almost bone stock exterior with an AMG-modified motor, making for the ultimate sleeper.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E AMG 3.2 on Mobile.de

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1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate

I’ve gushed over the W124 Estate before and really can’t say enough about this wonderful vehicle. It has everything you really would need out a wagon, even in 2017, all while not breaking the bank when it comes to maintaining and repairing it. But like all cars that get old, finding a really nice one can become a little bit of a tough job because these were at the end of the day still station wagons. People bought them for their utility to use. I highly doubt the majority of the buyers out there treated these as a garage queens because lets face it, they had R107s and R129s for that. So when this mint 1995 outside of Boston popped up for sale, I had to take a closer look. But fair warning, the price on this one isn’t cheap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate on eBay

Year: 1995
Model: E320 Estate
Engine: 3.2 inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 87,975 mi
Price: $16,800 Buy It Now

1995 Mercedes Benz E320S W124 chassis station wagon, S/N WDBEA92EXSF338486, 744 Brilliant Silver with grey MB Tex upholstery, 3.2 litre in-line 6 cylinder gas engine, automatic transmission, power front seats, factory power steel sunroof, climate control, factory rear facing 3rd seat with 3 point seat belts, original owner’s manuals, one of 4,607 E320S wagons imported by Mercedes Benz North America in the final year of W124 chassis manufacture. Clear CarFax title history. To see additional photos, please send us a note and we’ll send a link to the complete photo file. Nationwide and international delivery arranged from our suburban Boston showroom. We reserve the right to end the auction early. For more information about Copley Motorcars, please refer to the “About Me” button in this listing. Telephone: 781.444.4646

This final year W124 Estate is probably one of the nicer ones I’ve seen in a while. The interior is nearly spotless and the crack-free, highly polished wood just really pops. The outside looks great without as much as a stone chip let alone any rust spots. However, it’s not a perfect car as the temperature readout on the instrument cluster is starting to fail. Not a huge deal, but it can be an eyesore every time you look down. I am also a little curious to see what the engine looks like as the M104 is known to have an oil leak or two, especially on the back of the head.

Now about the price. I totally get why Copley Motorcars is asking nearly $17,000 for this W124. There is without a doubt a buyer out there who had one of these when they were new or nearly new and just loved it. Then sadly, they probably traded it in on a W210 estate or even worse, a first year W163 ML and never felt the same way. This is a chance to relive those great times by filling the back of this wagon with supplies and the family golden retriever to depart to their vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard because they can afford such luxuries in life like buying a 22 year-old Mercedes-Benz station wagon for $17,000. This value for someone buying this one is far more than just the car itself. There is no way this is actually worth the $17,000 when you can find nice examples just like this one for less than half the price. It’s just the sellers trying to capitalize on someone trying to relive a memory of great times, whether they were driving or riding in the 3rd row seat. Now whether or not someone is willing to pony up a huge premium any time soon is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

– Andrew

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet with 6,348 miles

Ever been out shopping and you impulse bought a shirt, wore it a few times, then it sat in the back of your closet for many years? Then finally one day you rid yourself of that shirt because you wanted it gone without too much hassle? Well, that’s what we have today. Only it’s not a shirt, but a highly desirable Mercedes-Benz.  Imagine living in a world where in 1995 you drive down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, purchase a car for $79,000 ($125,000 in today’s money), put a few thousand miles on it, then seemingly forget about it. Situations like this still blow my mind.

This 1995 E320 Cabriolet for sale in, you guessed it, California, was sitting at an estate with four flat tires for over ten years. It had only 6,300 miles before being noticed then rescued by the seller. It received a careful examination and full rehab before being listing for sale ready for a new owner. Much like the 1,300 mile 1982 240D I looked at last week, this is essentially a brand new car. So with nice examples of these cars with over 100,000 miles still selling for prices in the mid-teens, how much will this one bring? I might have an answer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1995
Model: E320 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 6,348 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

This an amazing find, and the cleanest Mercedes I’ve ever seen outside of a new car showroom. It’s an almost mint condition 1995 Mercedes E320 convertible coupe with only 6,384 miles on it and one prior owner. It was stored its entire life in a perfectly conditioned garage, and wasn’t driven the last 10-12 years before I got it. This car is in amazing condition, down to the still legible paper price-tag style stickers clearly visible on the brake heat shields, and all the paint markings on the undercarriage from original assembly at the factory. The seats are soft and supple leather, as new, with no cracks or visible wear, at all. This is possibly the only W124 convertible E320 in the country with such amazing original paint and interior leather upholstery and wood and fabric soft top. It truly may be the finest Mercedes E320 convertible in the country, in all respects. What is most remarkable about this E320 is the incredible condition it’s in without any kind of restoration. The beautiful paint hasn’t even been polished, just washed and waxed. (I apologize in advance to the high bidder on the higher mileage, less desirable, ’94 Mercedes E320 convertible that won last week for $40k, I couldn’t get this car ready for sale in time.)

My father in law has a custom gate building and repair business here in San Diego, and he saw this Mercedes E320 in a garage, with another car, while repairing the front gate of a property that turned out to be a summer vacation mansion. The conservatorship wanted to be rid of it, and no one knew the last time it had been run, or if it even ran, at all. On the day I went to look at the cars, one of the owner’s long time house staff was there, and she told me she couldn’t even remember the last time the owner had been to the house, but guessed it must have been at least 10 years. The E320’s registration sticker was from 2007, and even though it is now registered through 2018, the 2018 sticker is unapplied, in case the next owner would like it to be stickered in 2007, as found. The other car was newer, and had 30,000 miles, so it was obvious this E320 had been the ‘go for a nice drive’ car. Both cars had been wired with battery isolater switches, furthering the vacation home and not often driven story. The E320 was covered in dust, and had been sitting so long that the tires were flat, the fuel had turned to varnish, and the battery was dead. I had high hopes for its condition, as everything from wiper blades to radiator hoses, vacuum hoses, and even the serpentine belt were in perfect, soft, new looking condition. The undercarriage is still coated in a newly applied looking clean, yellow, hard grease, factory applied to protect it from corrosion, I’ve read. When I took the wheels off to replace the tires, there are even paper price gun parts inventory stickers that are still clearly legible on both rear brake disc heat shields. Also, throughout the suspension and undercarriage, the hand applied paints done by workers at the factory, indicating a certain procedure in the manufacturing process had been completed, are all still there and look brand new. After I got this car home, I was very careful not to put electricity to the car before I completely went through the fuel system. I drained the fuel tank, replaced the battery, fuel pump, and fuel filter (all with new MB parts), changed the oil and other fluids, and it fired right up once everything was ready. It is truly incredible how perfectly and smoothly this car drives, after all these years. Brakes work great, transmission shifts smoothly, everything feels perfect. Every single switch and knob works, the top cycles very smoothly open and shut, the doors open and close perfectly with that remarkable Mercedes feel, the trunk and hood open and close perfectly, the windows roll up and down like new, all the vacuum operated accessories work, the A/C even blows ice cold! I did have to put on new tires, as the others had cracked sidewalls from going flat. I have pics of the sidewall lettering neatly transferred to the clean garage floor where the car sat for 10+ years. I re-registered and smogged the car, detailed it inside and out, and then immediately put it in storage. It will stay in storage, and is not being driven, so the car should have less than 6,390 miles at the end of the auction. I think I have driven it a total of 15 miles to get it to a smog shop and into storage, since I purchased and towed the car home. The original manual and paperwork is with the car, in excellent condition. The only flaw I can find on the entire car is a small tear in the headliner where the original owner let the headliner get pinched by the power latch mechanism that closes the convertible top lid. I can’t justify keeping this superb car for myself, as it is far too nice to be driven on a regular basis. It really belongs in a collection, and I no longer collect cars I can’t drive, every day.

Please read this complete agreement for the auction before bidding. If you bid, you will be agreeing to the following terms of sale. All inspections are welcome, and encouraged, either by potential bidders or their representatives, by appointment. I will be happy to demonstrate that the car runs great, and drives, but just around the storage facility (it is too rare in its current condition to be casually driven on the road). Upon winning this auction, a non-refundable good will deposit of $1000 is due within 24 hours, and may be paid by Paypal, or the winning bid is considered void. The balance remaining must be paid within 7 days, and may only be paid by cashier’s check, or money order. If these conditions are not met within the time frame above allotted the car will be retained, the deposit kept, and the car free to sell to another buyer. This car will, under no condition, be released to the winning bidder, or the title signed over, until all funds for the car have been deposited and cleared into the account of the seller. Due to the collectible nature of this car, and its extremely low miles and superb condition, there will be no test drives allowed until funds for the car have cleared the bank, and it has become the property of the next owner. I’m not even allowing myself to drive this beautiful car. The car was registered on 18 April, and the CA DMV typically takes two to four weeks to send a new title. If the title is not in hand when the car is sold, a CA DMV service can file transfer of ownership to another CA resident, or if an out of CA buyer, a CA bill of sale can be completed, and the title signed and overnight Fedexed to the new owner the same day it arrives to me. I am also happy to sign any bill of sale supplied by the buyer, as long as it is factual. Either way, the car will be released and provided with a CA DMV bill of sale (or buyer supplied bill of sale, if asked) once the purchase funds have cleared the bank, and the title can be signed and overnight Fedexed the same day it arrives here from the DMV, if it comes after car is sold and released. I am a ship captain, and as such, subject to an unusual schedule. In my absence, my wife will be handling all affairs regarding this sale, and may be contacted in the same manner as myself. Buyer is responsible for any and all shipping arrangements and costs. I can be reached with any and all questions, and for appointments to see this E320, at captaingeoff@msn.com. Thank you, and happy bidding!

I don’t need to repeat everything the seller laid out about the condition of this car. In fact, I’m a little surprised how well it held up being in California its entire life. San Diego county isn’t exactly Death Valley, but unless this car was sitting in a dark garage constantly I thought I’d see some kind of wear seeing as even with its low mileage. It is still a 22-year old car after all.

So how much will this car bring? Believe it or not, a 1994 E320 Cabriolet with 7,200 miles in an almost identical color combination sold a few weeks ago for $40,000. That car was located in northern Michigan and garnered seven bids from seven different bidders. I was surprised it ended that high given the Smoke Silver Metallic paint (beige in my eyes) and the location of the car. This being a California car for sale in an affluent area with the rare brown top (not the usual black) might mean the bidding will top that $40,000 we saw a few weeks ago. It’s already past the $25,000 mark with four days to go with what looks like more than a few bidders involved. I’ll be keeping an eye on this car one on the final day because it might set the new high water mark for E320 Cabriolets.

– Andrew