1992 BMW 318iC Design Edition

If you really want to stand apart from the standard E30 crowd, some of the limited production models that never came here are a sure-fire bet to draw attention. Late in the E30 run, BMW developed a special run of E30s called the ‘Design Editions’. These were effectively just appearance packages with splashy colors; Daytona Violet, Neon Blue and today’s feature color, Neon Green Metallic 262. Each was matched with a special interior fabric, here in 0464 with Neon Green accents. Underneath, these were effectively stock E30s otherwise, so you got a M42 inline-4 rated at 140 horsepower and here mated to a normal 5-speed manual. While the drivetrain isn’t anything exotic, certainly the limited nature of this model is – as only 50 Neon Green Metallic Design Edition 318iCs were produced:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 BMW 318iC Design Edition on eBay

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2016 BMW M4 GTS

As recently as early this year, signs that special production car residuals were falling became evident. It was bound to happen as the market was for a time fairly crazy. The recipe was simple; pony up for a limited production car, turn around and list it for sale for 50% more money or more, and profit! We saw this in BMW’s limited M4 GTS back in 2016; I looked at a M4 GTS that was listed at $200,000:

2016 BMW M4 GTS

As a quick reminder, the M4 GTS was the stripped-down, hardened up version of the M4. BMW utilized a water injection system to raise horsepower to 493, while heavy (pun intended) use of carbon fiber helped keep the curb weight down to 3,550. All M4 GTSs made use of the 7-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission. They were limited to four colors; Sapphire Black metallic, Mineral Gray Metallic, Alpine White and Frozen Dark Gray Metallic. Only 300 were sent to the U.S., ensuring this was not only a track weapon, but a future collectable as well – and prices skyrocketed as soon as you couldn’t buy a new one.

So how has the M4 GTS market held up?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2016 BMW M4 GTS on eBay

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2012 BMW M3 CRT Sedan

Continuing on the theme of lightweight, Europe-only specials of a fan-favorite chassis, here’s one I’m willing to bet a fair amount of you aren’t aware of. BMW launched several special variants of the E9x chassis, and we saw some of them – the Lime Rock Park Edition being the most notable – but in total BMW produced a hard-to-fathom 28 special variations of the E9x Ms. As a result, you’re forgiven if you didn’t remember all of them!

CRT stands for “Carbon Racing Technology”, but perhaps ironically it was BMW’s carbon-intensive road cars that led to the model. Spare cuttings from the carbon passenger cells of the i3 and i8 models were recycled and molded into body pieces for this special M3 sedan, while motivation came from the M3 GTS’s upgraded S65B44 V8. Stroked to 4.4 liters and with a lightweight titanium exhaust, the enlarged V8 was rated at over 440 horsepower (20+ over a standard S65B40), while torque was up 30 to 325 lb.ft at a lower 3,750 rpms. BMW produced a total of 68 cars, of which 67 were sold to the public, all in identical Frozen Silver Metallic with Sahkir Orange accented interiors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW M3 CRT Sedan at Speedart Motorsports

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Limited Edition Double Take: 1977 and 1978 Porsche 924s

Yesterday’s Scirocco is a reminder of the original Volkswagen project for a sporty car based upon pedestrian internals. That project was EA425, and as Volkswagen shifted away from rear-drive platforms towards the new, efficient and cheap to manufacture front-drive arrangement, Porsche continued to develop the prototype. Released nearly in conjunction with the new Golf and Scirocco, the 924 was the first to introduce the world to a water-cooled, transaxle Porsche in late 1975. Yet as they’ve done with so many other models and though the affordable and efficient 924 was a relative hit out of the marks, immediately Porsche began offering special limited models to tick the price up and spur sales.

The result was that effectively every model year early on got its own special model. Today I’ve got two of the early examples; the 1977 Martini World Championship edition and the 1978 Limited Edition model. While neither have much in terms of performance gain, either is an affordable entry-level classic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini World Championship Edition on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini World Championship Edition

In 1976, Porsche won the World Sportscar Championship for makes with successful runs in both the 935 and prototype 936 chassis. The 936 was triumphant at Le Mans in the already famous Martini livery, while a series of 935/76s carried the colors in Group 5 FIA sports car racing. It was there that Porsche introduced the ‘slant nose’ aerodynamic bodywork that became the hot mod on 911s in the 1980s; however, in the 1970s you could get a very nice slantnose Porsche – replete with Martini Racing colors – for a lot less than a 911 Turbo.

To commemorate the success of the 1976 season, in 1977 Porsche released a limited run of Martini-colored 924s. Option M426 was the Martini World Championship Edition, and it cost $450. Add in a removable roof like this one for about $350, and the sticker price of this car just passed $10,000. For that sum, Porsche gave you quite a lot of visual enhancement; bathed only in pure white, the 924’s 8-spoke alloy wheels were color-matched to the body. Martini stripes ran the length of the sides, their design mimicking the wedge shape of the 924. Inside, a special two-tone interior of scarlet corduroy and black leatherette was offset with Martini stripes stitched into the upper portion of the seats and blue piping ran throughtout. A commemorative plaque was added to the back of the center console, too, reminding you that the car you were driving was from the house of a champion. You held a real leather steering wheel, and helping execute your commands was achieved by Porsche adding sway bars to the suspension both front and rear. It was a series of small changes that resulted in a neat package, and one that is sought by collectors of the transaxle design today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini Championship Edition on Hemmings

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1979 Porsche 924 Sebring Edition

Porsche has never been one to shy away from special editions. You could probably populate the pages of this blog daily with the veritable cornucopia of limited-run models Stuttgart thinks up at every board meeting. So it comes as no surprise that Porsche’s tried and true formula of “Add Limited Edition” immediately found its way into their new 924 chassis as soon as it was released. I covered these special models last year over at The Truth About Cars, but you’re probably already familiar with a few as we’ve seen them before on these pages.

The first to hit was the Championship Edition (Martini) 924 in 1976-7. It was primarily an appearance package with the signature red/blue Martini stripes over a body in white with a unique interior, though the model also got sway bars for some performance gain. About 3,000 were produced. In 1978 that was followed by the Limited Edition; again, a special color with special Pascha interior, sway bars and the addition of fog lights. In 1979, to celebrate the 1978 victory of Porsche 935s at Sebring, Porsche introduced a new limited model. Dubbed ‘Sebring ’79’, the new model took aspects of both the Martini and Limited models and combined them. You got sway bars and fog lights (Sebring takes place partially during the night, after all!), and the model was presented in bright Guards Red paintwork with a Tartan interior inserts. Porsche upped the race decal quotient from the Martini car; not only were there yellow race stripes that flowed down the sides, those stripes encircled the car now. Giant “Sebring ’79’ decals adorned the front fenders and the tail, as well. And if you forgot what you were driving, Porsche slapped a huge ‘924’ white decal in the middle of the headlight filler panel. As 924 special editions went, it was the closest to a full-sized Matchbox car you could buy. This was option M429, but there was a further option to upgrade to the Turbo-spec 5-bolt hubs and ATS mesh wheels that is very rarely seen, as most have the black painted wheels with chrome trim rings that came standard, just as this example does:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 924 Sebring Edition on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

E1

To wrap up the production of the W201 in 1993 and make way for the W202, Mercedes-Benz decided to give buyers a little extra something. That something was two ”Limited Edition” W201 variants. They comprised a 2.3 which was more of a luxury version and a 2.6 which was geared more towards sport. Both versions were limited to 700 cars each. The 2.6 didn’t come with any engine performance upgrades but did get different shocks, stiffer springs, roll bars, a quicker-ratio steering box, lower-profile tires and wider wheels borrowed from the S and SL. All the 2.6 cars were painted in black and the interior got some very non-conservative treatment with heavy use of red accents throughout.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition

They weren’t produced in big numbers, but we’ve seen a couple 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E Limited Editions appear on GCFSB as of late, both in 2.3 and 2.6 form. This 190E 2.6 Limited Edition for sale in Florida has extremely low mileage and certainly appears as such. These 2.6 Limited Editions came equipped in black over black and red leather with carbon fibre trim, tighter suspension settings and sport seats. The carbon fibre trim has been replaced by wood trim in this example, which, in my opinion doesn’t really complement the more sporting look of the interior. It’s not terrible, mind you, but I would have preferred the stock look in this case. Given the small number of these 190Es built and the smaller number that still exist in good shape, you’ll want to look this example over a bit more closely.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition

The 1990s would bring about a shift in Mercedes-Benz naming language, but the year before the C class would arrive, the original baby Benz, the 190E, would have one last shout in the form of two Limited Edition models. The 190E 2.3 Limited Edition would be offered only in Emerald Green over parchment leather with burlwood trim. The 190E 2.6 Limited Edition, like the one we see here for sale in Missouri, was offered solely in black over black and red leather with carbon fibre trim. While the 2.3 Limited Edition was tuned more towards luxury, this 2.6 had a bit more aggression with the Sportline spec. On offer were tighter suspension settings and sport seats, among other features. This 190E 2.6 Limited Edition is especially attractive, having had one owner for many years with low mileage showing on the odometer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition on eBay

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1977 Porsche 924 Martini Edition

Continuing on my theme of watercooled transaxle Porsches in famous livery, in 1976 Porsche won the World Sportscar Championship primarily with its 935 and 936 models in Martini Racing livery. To commemorate this achievement, in 1977 if you walked into your Porsche dealer and selected option M426 (Code E19) on a new Porsche 924, you’d be handed the keys to a uniquely colored coupe. The outside of each was Grand Prix White, and along the side were triangularly shaped stripes in the now famous Martini Racing livery. The “Tarantula” alloys were color-matched white as well. Underneath, the Martini cars were equipped with front and rear sway bars – the only real performance option. Inside was what really set the car apart, though, with scarlet carpet and seat centers, contrasting piping, a leather steering wheel and of course a commemorative plaque to let you know you were in the house of a World Champion!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini Edition on eBay

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