Here is something I don’t see all that often. This is a 1993 Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG Cabriolet. If you are asking yourself why you never see these cars, it is because they are incredibly rare. The W124 E36 is exactly what it sounds like, a W124 with a 3.6 liter M104 from AMG with some cool bumpers and wheels. For as German as Mercedes-Benz is, they are dreadful for publishing production records on cars that aren’t worth a million dollars. Although maybe they just aren’t very open with sharing their information either. From what I understand, under 200 W124 E36 AMG cars were produced during the last few years of the W124 production run in the sedan, coupe, cabriolet and estate bodies. Of the less than 200, 57 officially went to the UK as right hand drive models and the rest were scattered around the rest of the world. Much to no ones surprise, none made it to the North America. Today, we have an E36 AMG Cabriolet up for bid in Illinois. Except this car isn’t one of those 200 cars. Please stay with me here.
I post this mainly out of curiosity because that’s pretty much what this 911 is: a curiosity. This is a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. It’s located in California, has an Arctic Silver Metallic exterior over a Sand Beige interior and has 77,243 miles on it. Nice car!
The current owner decided he wanted a little more out of his Cabriolet and has attempted in some regard to replicate both the appearance and performance of the 911 GT3. As I’m sure you are aware the GT3 does not exist as a Cabriolet. I don’t imagine it ever will, nor do I imagine there is much desire for such a machine. But car enthusiasts being what they are, they tend to crave more performance even when the performance already is pretty good or even when they’ve chosen the model with somewhat compromised performance because the roof has been cut off. And I guess that’s how we got to where this 911 is now.
I will say it does look great. The GT3 front always has looked better than that of the standard 911 and here juxtaposed with the Cabriolet rear it’s a pretty attractive design. It’s party in the front, business in the back. It’s a reverse mullet. Personally I’d actually be satisfied with the alterations to its appearance, but this owner didn’t want to stop there and put in a bit of effort to improve its overall performance. I doubt it’s up to GT3 levels, especially given that I’m sure this Cabriolet still weighs a good bit more than a GT3 (according to Excellence a Carrera S Cabriolet weighs around 250 lbs more than a GT3), but performance should be elevated nonetheless. As I said, it’s kind of a curiosity. I don’t know that I’d ever think to do this to a 911 Cabriolet, but it’s not a bad idea.
Recently, I’ve looked at two BMW 135i M-Sports. It’s a bit easy to be confused by the monikers of various models over 135i production. All 135i models came with most of the sport features that you’d associate with what BMW traditionally had labeled “M-Sport” models, but in the case of the 135i the actual M-Sport name was only given to models with option code P337A, which gave you Style 261 wheels and an anthracite headliner. Making it even more confusing is that when you decode VINs on non-M-Sport models, the term M-Sport pops up in S704A – the suspension – of all 135is.
Ready to be more confused? For its last model year, the M-Sport was dropped and replaced by this model – the 135is denoted by code P7MFA. The 135is had few changes from previous models; outwardly, they are virtually identical to the prior year’s M-Sport. Or, for that matter, they’re basically identical to any other 135i. There are two ways to identify the 2013 outwardly; one is the single “s” added to the back, and the other is the wheels. Like the M-Sport, one main difference was the new S2NFA M Double Spoke Style 313 wheels shared with the 335is. While they were 19″ on the E9x, they were 18″ on the 1 and carried the same size 215/245 tires as the prior years. Dynamically, there was a small change. Still carrying the N55 single-turbo inline-6, the last model year got the bump in power that was optional on 2012s. The remapped ECU gave you 20 more horsepower and 17 lb.ft of torque – not a big gain, but a gain nonetheless.
So here’s a 135is to consider, and since we’ve looked at Coupe 6-speeds the last few rounds, I went for a E88 Convertible equipped with the 7-speed DCT this time:
The W463 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabriolet is one of those vehicles that you might have a hunch is special, but aren’t quite sure how special until you really look at it and then ultimately look at what kind of prices they are commanding. I’ve taken a look at these G Cabrios before and my consensus is that they are loved for two reasons. The first being that they are extremely rare and people love to have what others can’t get. Second reason being that it is simply a G-Wagen with a power convertible top. Jeeps and Defenders with cloth tops are cool and all, but just easily pushing a button to raise or lower the top on your SUV that can literally climb a mountain is a luxury that people will seriously pay for. This 2006 G500 Cabrio up for sale in Switzerland looks to be case once again.
Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart had a unique history of working directly with manufacturers to produce some pretty special cars. Most notably linked to the Baur name was a string of interesting but also-ran BMW 3-series convertibles. However, three of the most prized 80s German collector cars in the market today were also linked to the firm; first the BMW M1 after Lamborghini’s meltdown, and then Audi’s shortened Sport Quattro rolled through the special production line. Baur also constructed the special bodies of the Porsche 959.
However, Baur is linked most closely with offering drop-top BMWs to a market devoid of such options. First was the E10 chassis, with Baur chopping the top off of everything from 1602s to 2002s. Baur then moved on to the E21 chassis, offering the ‘Top Cabriolet’ TC1. The E30 also recieved the Baur treatment , but by that point BMW had released its own convertible model and the draw of the more expensive TC models waned, leading to a steadily disappearing market share. Perhaps the most unique was their last BMW creation. Based upon the E36 chassis, Baur released what it called the ‘Landaulet TC4’. It was effectively a 4-door E36 Targa (Porsche’s use of the Targa name was proprietary which prevented Baur from using it) and just over 300 were produced, making it one of the most rare E36 chassis configurations to see:
Whenever I see very rare cars come up for sale more frequently I naturally become curious about what’s going on with the market. I mentioned a while back that I’ve felt like I’m seeing more M491 Turbo-look Carreras coming up for sale than in the past. For many of those cars it isn’t necessarily too surprising since the early years of the package’s availability saw quite a few of them produced. But the later G50-equipped examples are another matter. Even more rare are the final-year examples and it is those that I’m suddenly seeing for sale more frequently. Why? I don’t know.
Prior to this year I had seen only a couple for sale with the coupes almost impossible the find. Those coupes remain elusive, but following on the heels of the M491 Carrera Cabriolet I posted two weeks ago here we have another. This time the exterior is Grand Prix White rather than Black and there is added rarity as it was one of the even fewer that selected the M470 spoiler delete option.
It seems that in my region of America that the seasons went summer straight into winter judging by one day it was 82 degrees and the next it was 44 degrees. That of course means that convertible season is over just like that unless you are a logical person that lives in an area where the weather doesn’t keep you glued to your bed when your alarm goes off in the morning. If that is the case, I might have a cabriolet that probably isn’t the first model that pops into your head when someone says ”Mercedes convertible”, but that doesn’t make it’s not a worthy example. This 2001 CLK320 Cabriolet up for sale in Connecticut is probably one of the better C208s I’ve run across in a while and even though that the temperatures are freezing outside, I thought it deserved a closer look. It’s worth it if only just to look at these outstanding photos.
Any time I see an ad stating that a car is the nicest one available I like to imagine it being from an extremely conscientious seller who has looked through all of the available inventory and come to that conclusion. He even frequently checks for additional listings just to make sure his car remains the best one available and if not provides an appropriate update. This probably isn’t what happens, but it’s funny to me and makes looking at cars more entertaining. Is this the nicest 944 S2 on eBay? It very well could be! It certainly looks pretty good.
As the days have begun to turn colder I’m starting to reminiscence about the days of sunny, warm weather driving, and that makes this Cabriolet even more appealing. It is the promise of joyful open-top cruising. There are a lot of Porsches you could spend money on in order to achieve that goal, but if you desire something from an older vintage the 944 and 968 seem to offer some of the most promise for fewer dollars.
Here we have a Baltic Blue Metallic 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet, located in Florida, with just 20,843 miles on it. I don’t know that the 944 is as pretty as a 968, but its lines are quite clean and classic and when looking good provide just the right elegance to balance its sporting pretensions. I obviously like 911s quite a bit, but the 911 Cabriolet’s lines don’t always seem to work as well as they do on Porsche’s front-engined cars. So if you want the top down a 944 could be both a less expensive and better looking option. Maybe even the better option.
This is a car I feel I have to bring more attention, but I’ll admit I find the ad quite strange. Not strange in the sense that I think something fishy is going on, but in the sense that this isn’t really the best way to get maximum dollar for your car. It should sell fast though and maybe that’s the point.
This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M491 Turbo-look package. If you’ve been following along lately you’ll know that these are rare. Very rare. Once the 930 returned to the U.S. market in 1986 sales of the Turbo-look package went down rather quickly. That makes decent sense. We also must add to this that Porsche debuted its new G50 5-speed transmission for the 911 in 1987, thus making the last three model years of the 3.2 Carrera a little more special on today’s markets. By the time we get to the final model year in 1989 the number of M491-equipped 911s had become quite low. Granted, of the three available models, the Cabriolet was produced in the greatest numbers so this one isn’t as rare as these 911s get. Nonetheless, there only were 24 of them. Oh and it’s up for auction without reserve. Rare indeed.
It is not uncommon for us to come across Porsches touted by their sellers as “the most highly optioned 911 ever” or some such thing. The window sticker will be a full-page of optional extras and it’ll have a super high MSRP. The problem in many cases is that a lot of those builds aren’t really much more than a buyer checking off every box on the option sheet. It is indeed a highly optioned 911, but you might never know it unless someone sat you down to point out each option. They aren’t really all that special.
This 911 took a slightly different route to arrive at a similar result and I think it’s much better for it. Here we have a Pascha Red 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with an Espresso over Cognac natural leather interior with Houndstooth inserts. It also has the Sport Design Package, PCCB, and a host of other more standard options. Rather than going through and checking all of the option boxes, this buyer chose the most different options available. As such, simply by the number of options this probably isn’t the highest optioned 911 we’ve seen (though it can’t be far off), but by cost it would be pretty difficult to surpass it. The result is a Carrera Cabriolet with an MSRP of nearly $160K. That’s almost $60K in options! On a base Carrera!