Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG

The words “authentic” and “original” become quite contested when it comes to 1980s AMG products. That’s mostly because, in truly un-Germanic fashion, most of the records of the early AMG cars were lost in the move from an independent company to incorporation in the Daimler-Benz Goliath. That’s really unfortunate, because it opens the opportunity for interpretation; without documentation, how is one supposed to truly show that their car is an original modified version? There are also questions about what level of modification makes a “authentic” AMG; because, technically, you could buy a steering wheel, wheels and aerobits from an authorized dealer in the 1980s and be able to claim it’s an original car. But the big money tends to be reserved for the cars that were fully modified with upgraded engines, suspension, interior and exterior upgrades. We’ve seen a few of these variously modified SECs cross these pages, and today we get to look at another. This one straddles the middle ground of mods; a steering wheel, reportedly correct “Penta” wheels, and aerodynamic bits adorn this European market 500SEC, but the car also has the correct AMG suspension as well. With lower miles, will this 1980s spectacular dipped white example set the market ablaze?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

For today’s edition of Wednesday wheels, I decided to focus on something close to home – the much unloved 4×108 bolt pattern found on the B2, B3 and B4 Audi. Additionally, I tried to get a theme going of multi-spoke “turbine” wheels. So to start it off, I have a set of the original – the Ronal R8 wheels found of many Audi models. These were either from a C2 (Type 43) 5000 or a Quattro, but either way they’re unloved, unappreciated and cheap. Then we have one of the best replicas of the original Ronal R8 for Audis – Team Dynamics Pro Race wheels. Most sets seem to be about iPad money but they’ve got a good reputation as being strong and reasonably light as well as affordable. They’re on my list of wheels I’d love to have for the track. Following up are a set of ATS wheels that are a rare sight; unfortunately, they’re dual bolt pattern and I don’t like that look, but they’re reasonably priced and in good condition. A set of TSW Imolas follows, also not my favorite design but they’re not bad looking wheels and work well on the Audis for look. Lastly, I have a set of B4 Speedline wheels. Generally, when you say Speedline and Audi, thoughts immediately go to the Coupe Quattro wheels, but these 15×7 wheels adorned many B4 models. My favorites are still the originals – those R8s would look good just hanging in the garage, but the Team Dynamics is a close second. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Ronal R8 15×6, 5×112 Wheels on eBay

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1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition

It seems that Porsche has always been at the cutting edge of “special editions”. In fact, one could argue that the entire idea of the Porsche was really just a special edition Volkswagen. But by the late 1970s, race victories and a growing reputation as the go-to sports car meant that the marketing gurus at Porsche were working overtime. There was the Sebring ’78 edition 924; it looked an awful lot on paper like it was a normal 924, and that’s because effectively it was just a cosmetic package with some ’70s spectacular stripes. There was also a Martini Edition car, that similarly was simply a set of stripes and a unique interior on an otherwise normal 924. There was a further Limited Edition in 1978 for those that had missed out on the Martini cars in 1976-1977 and just couldn’t wait until 1979 for the ’78 Sebring Edition. Confused? Not to worry, because after a short gap in 1980, Porsche introduced another special “Weissach Commemorative Edition” alongside similar 911 and 928 models. While this, too, was primarily an appearance package, there were some small changes. For example, as with the Martini cars the Weissach got a unique interior; brown and cream seats with a brown dashboard. But there were 924 Turbo details that were included as well – the ATS-made alloy wheels from the drum brake Turbo appeared, along with the rear spoiler. The wheels were slightly different than the all-silver Turbo wheels two, as they appeared two-tone machined with black inserts. Painted a platinum metallic color and “limited” to only 400 production models for the U.S., it at least sounded more special than the standard 924 until you realize that Porsche only sold a total of around 2,100 924s (including the Weissachs) in the U.S. in 1981. As with other older 924s, they’re rare to find and not as prized as the 928 and 911 Weissach models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition on eBay

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Rare Wasser Porsches: 1982 924 Turbo and 1988 924SE

If for some time the Porsche 944 is one of the most under appreciated cars in the 1980s German car world, the 924 is even the more red-headed stepchild. But get past the stigma of the 924 as the “poor man’s Porsche”, and the details are quite good. They’re nice looking, aerodynamic coupes that are rear drive for enthusiasts. Like the rest of the Porsche lineup from the late 1970s and 1980s, they had great build quality overall and were solid products. Many of the “big brother” 944 items work on the 924, too – especially true in the later 924S models, so they can be updated and modified just like the 944s. They enjoyed a rich racing history in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged variants, with the first “Carrera GT” being a 924 model. Plus, the 924 was the development model which resulted in the much more prized 944 and 944 Turbo. And within the lineup, there are really some great hidden gems of classic cars that can be had on a budget. Today I have two nice examples of some of the rarer models of the 924; a late run 924 Turbo and a last of the breed 924S Special Edition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Yesterday, Adam at Fast In Fast Out posted an article covering some of the best vintage racing wheels. I love wheels, and it was fun to see Adam’s article – plus, it also got me thinking about another wheel roundup. Adam asked in his article what was missing – so I found a few that I thought where absent from the lineup but are always fun to see. There’s a set of mega-rare and mega-expensive Campagnolo racing wheels for early BMWs; boy, do they look impressive though! Then there were some great Audi S6 Speedline-made “Avus” wheels. Later models were made by Ronal, but the originals came from the Italian manufacturer. Speaking of, there are a set of the infamous and often-sought Pirelli P-slots for Volkswagens below. Then there is a wild set of Gotti wheels – in some cases, these were raced on factory Porsches as an alternative to BBSs. Check out the width on those rear tires!!! Rota has made some replica wheels recently of some great designs; these both copy the BBS race wheels but also mimic some MSW and OZ designs as well – and boy, are they affordable! Then there are a great set of Ronal R9s that mimic the ATS-made “Penta” AMG wheels; the ATSs are usually more valuable but harder to find. And finally, another set of Speedlines – this time a Techart set for Porsches that just look incredible (and, oddly tasteful for Techart designs). Which is your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Campagnolo BMW 13×7, 4×100 Wheels on eBay

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG – REVISIT

Following up on our trio of AMG-equipped cars Tuesday, a W126 500SEC AMG that I wrote up last year has resurfaced on eBay. Last time around the car sold for $13,100 – but there’s a twist this time, as it appears that the current seller (who, it should be noted, has zero feedback) is offering the car at a discounted $10,000 with a non-running engine after having driven it less than 1,000 miles. Condition appears to be equal to December’s auction with some better photos this time around. I’m still not a fan of the chromed wheels, but refinish them in graphite with polished lips, tone down the tinting and in my opinion this car would be a stunner. Is it worth the rebuild? I hope someone thinks so!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 17, 2013:

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

Two events transpired yesterday that, for me, relate to this car. First, I was watching some of the Mecum auction action, and a low mile Porsche 993 Turbo in Arena Red came across the block. I watch in semi-horror as this modern Porsche crested $170,000 quickly. Now, I’m sure to someone that car is worth $170,000 – and speculation will probably continue to drive prices on the last of the air-cooled cars higher – but to me, that market is just absolutely insane and in need of a serious correction. The second event was that I took my very much not-perfect, not low mile and fairly compromised Audi for a drive down the road. The suspension is set to punish, the heat is stuck on, there’s no radio, and it smells vaguely of mold; I smiled all the way. Do you need a perfect car to just enjoy a drive? No, I don’t think you do. Would I have felt better if my car was an absolute pristine 100 point Sport Quattro? No, I think I’d be afraid to drive it, honestly. That’s what makes second-tier cars so appealing. The values aren’t high enough that you’re afraid to purchase or drive them, but they’re still special enough to give you a smile when you take them out. Driving down the road, not many people know what my Audi GT is anymore, and I’m okay with that. I imagine the same feeling occurs for Porsche 924 Turbo owners:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Euro-Spec 4-Speed Manual

I’ve said before that the W116 is a love/hate car for me; most times, I see them and they just look like any tired old Benz; a bit out of proportion and over-bumpered. But then I see a great example, like some of the Euro-spec 6.9 models I’ve written up in the last few weeks, and I get a bit giddy. Though not really my dream car by any means, I can imagine cruising up to a Cars and Coffee event, or a German Car Day somewhere in my massive Benz. That vision is helped when I see one in full European trim; the slim bumper lines and cleaned up light clusters make it so much better. But while most of my adoration is levied upon those 6.9 models, this car might just change that. Compared the largest engine fitted in the W116 6.9, this car seems downright puny with only a 2.8 liter inline-6. What helps that, though, is the manual transmission and some of the missing luxuries that help lighten the load. Top it off with some AMG bits, and my does this car look tasty!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

It’s a rainy day here in New England, so I spent some time finding my favorite wheels on Ebay. Most of these are period option or aftermarket wheels, but all of them are pretty cool. I especially love the BMW Ronal wheels, the ATS AMG wheels in nearly new shape and the amazing BBS magnesium Bugatti EB110 wheels. Which are your favorite?

Update: thanks to reader KevinR for correctly spotting the Mercedes-Benz wheels were Centra Type 31s. Thanks!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: ATS AMG 16×8 5×112 Wheels on eBay

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

It probably sounds crazy, but I find the 924 Turbo pretty fascinating. Born at a time when smaller displacement turbocharged engines were the wave of the future and the rage in motorsport, the 924 is still one of the most aerodynamic cars to make it to the public. This resulted in good fuel economy, which combined with hatchback practicality meant it was a reasonable daily driver. But the weight distribution and turbocharged power plant meant it was at home on the track, too – in turned up Carrera GT, GTS and GTR versions it was a hugely successful race car. It was good looking, too – subtle curves, great ATS wheels and just enough vents and ducts to hint at performance potential. Really, it’s a great package – but in spite of this 924s in general remain one of the cheapest Porsches available. That means you can get into one for quite a deal these days while the rest of the market continues to pull out of reach:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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