Once again the internet teaches me something new when I think I’ve seen it all. This is a 1995 Mercedes-Benz 350GD which is fixed with what looks to be a “high roof” body. These weren’t all that uncommon back in the W460 chassis given their utility, but I can’t remember seeing one on what looks to be a civilian 350GD. The seller says it was made for the Dutch Forestry Commission, whatever that is, but this seems like such an odd vehicle to use for such a purpose at that time. Either way, it is now up for sale in the UK of all places and the price is actually really good, as long as you can live without backseats.
Color is everything on a vintage car for me, and some colors seem to work better than others on certain models. Today’s car, a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL, might be one of those “love it or hate it” examples.
This is a grey-market car that probably was imported when new judging by the door plaque, and it is finished in the very-rare shade of Signal Red. I don’t believe this color was ever offered on any US-market W126s because who wants a red S-Class? I know the 1980s were a wild time, but your SL was supposed to be red, not your very serious S-Class. However, now that this car is 40 years old, is it officially cool enough where the color doesn’t matter?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay
While the first-generation M6 and M5 co-existed in the United States market, they did not in Europe. This left the M635CSi to be the equivalent of the M6. But the same was not true of the M535i. That model was sold as a more affordable alternative to the M5; most of the look of the Motorsports model but without the bigger bills associated with the more exotic double-overhead-cam 24-valve M88/3. Instead, you got a 3.4-liter M30 under the hood just like the rest of the E28 .35 models. The recipe was a success, selling around 10,000 examples in several different markets – but never in the U.S.
Instead, the U.S. market received the 535iS model. The iS model was specific to the North American market and gave you the look of the U.S.-bound M5, with deeper front and rear spoilers, M-crafted sport suspension, an M Technic steering wheel, and sport seats. It, too, was quite popular – between 1987 and 1988, just over 6,000 examples sold in the United States alone, and of those, a little more than half were the preferred manual variant. One of the nice aspects of the 535iS was that if you enjoyed colors other than black you were able to order the lesser model in any shade you wanted, unlike the M5.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535iS on eBay
I’m all for discovered “barn finds” or whatever hot term you want to use as it brings new life into a car that was probably written off and forgotten. Although everyone loves a good story, most of the time there is a good reason why these cars were stashed away and not heard from. Most of the time it is mechanical issues that become untenable due to time and/or money constraints, along with busy life getting in the way. Today’s car, a very special European-specification 1979 Porsche 930 Turbo, doesn’t have much of a backstory from what I can find, but oh boy does it have potential. Or so I thought.
As you might have noticed, this isn’t a stock 930. The front bumper was the first giveaway, then you look out back and see a giant intercooler with the lovely letters of “ANDIAL” tacked on it to. The selling dealer says this is now a 3.4-liter car with a RUF five-speed transaxle, and the crude drawing on the shift knob seems to confirm that. Even cooler than the Pasha sees is the custom mount housing an adjustable boost gauge, which I’m sure was absolutely terrifying to play with. So at this point I’m thinking “Cool. Just pull the engine, give it a full service, and drive it as-is.” Not so fast. This one might be a very hard pass for even the most extreme owners.