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Tag: OZ

2001 Audi S4 Avant

In just a few years, Audi went from only one S model with very limited production imported in the C4 S6 to three models. Top of the range was the S8, but it shared its running gear and sonorous V8 in a slightly detuned state with the new C5 S6. For Audi enthusiasts, though, big news came with the launch of the new S4.

It was unrelated to the first S4 because of Audi’s renaming strategy in 1995. That meant that the new S4 was based on the small chassis B5, and U.S. enthusiasts finally got a taste of Audi’s M3 competitor. Performance came in the form of a new 2.7 twin-turbocharged V6 30V and was mated to either a 5-speed Tiptronic transmission like its bigger siblings or a 6-speed manual. Like other B5s, the S4 made use of the 4th generation of quattro technology driving all four wheels. This utilized a Torsen center differential with open front and rear differentials, both of which employed the ABS sensors to electronically ‘lock up’ the slipping wheels when a speed differentiation was detected. Like other S models, some light revisions to the bodywork and more pronounced exhaust were present, along with polished mirrors and 17″ Avus-design wheels. Most notable was the large front bumper cover with 6 gaping grill covers which hid the twin intercoolers for the motor. With 250 horsepower and 295 lb.ft of torque, you had an all-weather 155 mph warrior. And, it was available as an Avant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition with 26,000 Miles

For the last few years, Volkswagen has perpetually teased us with the hottest Clubsport and Clubsport S version of the GTI, promising they “may” come to the United States but never following through. While this is no doubt disappointing to the twelve people who actually would have bought them and the 1.8 million who claim on the internet they would if given the option, it follows a long tradition in German motoring of leaving the best of the breed in the homeland. When it came to the GTI, not only did we have to wait several years before we got the original hot Golf, but indeed it was a bit watered down and heavier when it did arrive. The same continued in the next two generations; more weight, less power. Both in the second and third generations we also lost out on supercharging, all-wheel drive and special body kits available in the European market.

Once again in 2001, a neat Golf was launched that – of course – wasn’t coming to the United States. But of all of the special editions that weren’t sold here, perhaps this one made the most sense to be excluded. It was called the 25th Anniversary Edition and you didn’t need to be good at math to realize that there was no GTI sold here 25 years before 2001. Since the “18 year Anniversary Edition” didn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective even in spite of Volkswagen’s continual spotty judgement in that regard, it was no surprise that it wasn’t offered. That was too bad, as it had a lowered suspension, better brakes, a bit more power, fantastic Recaro seats and the best looking BBS wheels fit to any Volkswagen, ever. Volkswagen enthusiasts in America drool inwardly and shouted openly, so in 2002 Volkswagen finally did bring the special edition here. Again, since “19th Anniversary” didn’t make any sense, we instead got the “337” Edition. This was, for all intents and purposes, an exact copy of the 25th Anniversary model, but instead the 337 referenced the internal project code for the original GTI. But they were quite limited, with only 1,250 sold in the U.S. and 250 sold in Canada. So, you probably missed out on your chance to own one, right? Well, wrong, because in 2003 Volkswagen re-released the 337 edition. Conveniently, there was now a round number that they could actually commemorate the GTI’s longevity with as it had been 20 years since the A1 GTI rolled out of Westmoreland. Again, it was a greatest hits edition; the 337 upgraded 12.3 inch vented brakes with go-faster red calipers carried over, as did the upgraded suspension. Though they sported different fabric, inside was the same Recaro interior with deep bolsters. The golf ball shift knob also returned, though it now was mated to a new 6-speed transmission (MQ350) which in turn were connected to R32 Aristo wheels in place of the BBS RCs. Deeper front and rear valances matched the previous two models, and the 20th AE got blacked headlights more similar to the 25th AE. The AWP 1.8T turbo’s boost was cranked up a bit, delivering 180 horsepower through the front wheels and tied to an electronic differential. A final homage to the original model were subtle rabbits adorning the rear and vintage inspired GTi badging. But the biggest change was that the 20th AE was available in three colors unlike the silver-only prior cars; Black Magic Pearl, Imola Yellow and Jazz Blue :

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday – Hammertime: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG 6.0 Widebody

There are the pretenders, and then there’s the Daddy. Or, in this case, there’s the Hammer. No other widened car in the 1980s was able to capture the imagination and hearts of so many enthusiasts as the W124 Coupes, and there were plenty to choose from. From DP’s shovel-nosed 911s to the straked Koenig creations, most of them were cool in an outrageous way but never pretty. AMG broke with that tradition, creating elegant lines that accentuated the design rather than underscoring the tacked-on nature of period modifications. The integration of the slick widened panels, perfectly matching wheels and upgraded interiors was met under the hood by another buck in 1980s tradition. As tuners like Dinan, Ruf, Alpina, Callaway, Abt and others all experimented with increasing power through turbocharging, AMG went old school with a monster motor. Rated at somewhere around 380 horsepower, the M117/9 four cam V8 provided the motivation to match the looks of the bespoiled W124. On top of all of this, you got Mercedes-Benz legendary bomb-proof build quality. The result was one of the best all around packages any modified car has ever come to market with:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG 6.0 Widebody on Autoleitner

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Tuner Tuesday AMG 6.0 Double Take: 1990 560SEC 6.0 and 500SL 6.0

The “Hammer” was a legend born in top-speed shootouts in magazines. It was the stuff of dreams; a sedate sedan running toe-to-toe with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. At the heart of the this performance was not a high-revving V12 or turbocharged flat-6 with ridiculous boost, but an enlarged version of the M119 motor sporting twin cams and 32 valves. The result? 376 horsepower and 428 ft. lbs of torque, or at least that’s what they reported – the motor ultimately may have exceeded 400 horsepower. In 1990, that was about as close to F40 performance as you could get – and they came with supercar pricetags, sometimes exceeding $200,000 and making them very rare. It was available in many different forms, from the E-Class Coupe to the S-Class in either sedan or coupe, as well as a smattering of early 500SLs. While today’s examples of the AMG 6.0s are both cars we’ve previously written up, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. There’s been a lot of attention focused on not only 1980s tuner cars but in particular limited production AMG models recently, so what has that done to the market?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe “CE36 AMG”

Generally we focus on different angles, heritage or the performance of a car, but today I want to talk about the smell. Strange? No, in three separate conversations with different groups of enthusiasts, the smell of a particular run of car has come up. Now, my wife attributes it to the degradation of “horrible 1980s plastics” and more than likely she’s right. That warm and fuzzy feeling that you get – let’s call it ‘Old Car Smell’ – is probably giving you some type of unbeatable cancer. But do we love it? You bet. Over the summer when my friend Tom dropped off the 1987.5 Coupe GT, opening the door welcomed me into the exact same smell of my 1986 Coupe. And the same thing happened when I bought the M3; popping open the door revealed nearly the same scent as I recall my father’s M5 having the first time I got in. Not to be outdone, recently we posted a E500 and the comments veered off from talking about the typical attributes of the super sedan to the particular smell of the W124. And, oddly, when pondering this E320 coupe, the first reaction I had was that of wondering what it smelled like inside…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe “CE36 AMG” on Los Angeles Craigslist

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