Wagon Week: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring

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While we certainly all love the idea of the pavement-stomping, Bahn-burner muscle wagons, sometimes that just isn’t practical. Yes, I dream of RS6 Avants, smile at the many E63 Wagons in my area and fanboyishly took tons of iPhone pictures when I saw an M5 Touring (with foreign plates), but those crazy longroofs are as expensive and rare as they are awesome. For the family-man enthusiast, a spruced-up standard model can be a more achievable dream. Today’s E91 fits that bill perfectly, accentuating the sharp, long lines of this generation of 3-series wagons with an M3 front bumper and very low coilovers. The OEM+ look is continued with 19″ Style 95 wheels off a 7-series, while the car also comes with blacked-out 5-series rims as well as the originals. The clean look is continued inside with a gorgeous brown leather interior. It may not be the craziest performer, but it’s a beautiful and useful wagon that will make trips to school, the grocery store, and sports practices a little more special.

Click for details: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

When I first came across this listing I thought I had found an E55 AMG Estate at an incredible bargain, but after reading through the details (and a heads up from out trusty editor in chief) I found that this car is in fact an E500 wearing big brother’s name tag. I’ve seen E500 AMG Sports before but not ones doing a full on E55 impression. At first I was annoyed and was going to skip writing it up but then after thinking about the rarity of the Dark Green over Tan color way, the great sound of the AMG exhaust hooked up to any V8 and the low mileage, I decided this car deserves a helping hand in its search for a new home. The seller notes that it had  “very interesting prior ownership” and while that may sound ominous to some, I’m actually quite curious to know what it means. Maybe this was a Mercedes Benz exec’s weekend warrior, maybe the previous owner was a celebrity or maybe the car belonged to Guy Fieri. Hard telling not knowing I suppose, though I highly doubt it was the last option, I don’t think Dark Green is his color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate

Coming from a family with a history of Mercedes-Benz ownership spanning decades, it pains me to admit that few vehicles in the 2015 lineup impress me. Apart from the Geländewagen and AMG GT, the one car which stands out in the lineup is the car we see here: the E63 AMG S-Model Estate. Mercedes is on its third generation of bonkers AMG-tuned wagons, with this latest all-wheel drive beast cranking out 577 horsepower from the twin-turbo V8. That makes this five-door good for a sprint to 60 mph in under four seconds. A bit ridiculous for a family hauler, no? However, if you’re in a real hurry for that quart of milk…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant

When Audi launched the A4 Avant with the B5 series, it was a bit of a trump card for the small wagon enthusiast. True, the Volkswagen Passat had been available in 5-door form for a few generations, and it VR6 form it was quite entertaining. However, quality of the pre-B5 chassis Passats wasn’t the best, and all-wheel drive had only been available with the Quantum for a few short years in the late 1980s. Audi had offered its unique large Avant platform in both 5000/200 and S6 form, but they were pretty expensive relative to the small cars the company offered. The A4 Avant continued on for through the B7 chassis we saw yesterday; a serious improvement in looks over the rather plain looking B6. When the B8 launched, initially I thought “There goes Audi again, following the formula of making everything bigger”. The B8 was a LOT bigger than the original A4 had been; in fact, park one next to an original A6, and the B8 A4 is dimensionally it was only slightly smaller. There was one key difference, though. Sure, the A4 had been stretched in every direction – but most importantly, you’d find that the wheel base was now the best part of a foot longer than the early Audi platforms. Visually that shortened the notoriously long overhangs of the Audis and offered more legroom to the occupants. Anyone who has ever been in the back of a B5 A4 would certainly appreciate that. Amazingly, too, the new A4 was lighter, and thanks to revised suspension geometry, new and more advanced computers and a torque-laden 2.0 turbo motor, it felt and drove considerably better than any of the previous generations had, too. It even looked really good in my mind. It was an instant success as previous generations had been, making one wonder even more why it went away:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant on eBay

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Wagon Week Preview: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant

Having just sold my 2006 S4 Avant, I thought kicking off wagon week with this 2005.5 long roof S4 would be appropriate, While this example is very similar to the one I had there are some key differences that lead me to believe the seller’s asking price is completely reasonable, despite what the timing chain alarmists will say. This is a two owner car with  under 80k on the clock and the all important 3rd pedal option. My car was a TipTronic model (please, put down your pitchforks) and ultimately that was the reason I didn’t hang onto it longer. I loved the way the car drove, especially with the H&R Sport/Koni Yellow set up I had on it but at the end of the day I just couldn’t live with the automatic. Most S4 Avant owners know this and for that reason you’ll see stick shift examples often priced way higher than what one would consider reasonable. This is not one of those examples, not even close. I got just a few grand less for my automatic with 112k on the clock and a few things that needed attention. Whether that means I got more than I should have or this car is priced very competitively is ultimately up to you to decide but I think it’s the latter.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Convertible Week: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet – Revisit

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The very rare and very head-turning 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet that we featured back in October has come back up for sale again as a reserve auction. This car was featured in a recent issue of Excellence Magazine so perhaps the seller hopes to capitalize upon that exposure in the search for a new owner of this lovely machine. This is, without question, the most striking 356 we’ve ever come across as well as a unique piece of Porsche history.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental Cabriolet on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site October 31, 2014:

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Convertible Week: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster

As a brand new Porsche 911 passed me by the other day, I thought to myself “my this car got fat.” Sure, the new 911 is a perfectly capable and desirable sports car which is (thankfully) still offered with a manual gearbox. Years before the 911, Porsche introduced the Speedster moniker on the 356, a lower cost, simpler option for those seeking drop top thrills. The Speedster name would carry on through several iterations of the 911, up to the latest example we see here, the 997-based 911 Speedster. While many of the 997 Speedsters you see are painted in Pure Blue, this 911 Speedster for sale in Connecticut wears the more classic Carrera White.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster on JamesEdition

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Convertible Week: 2002 BMW Z8

Debuting at the end of the 1990s, the BMW Z8 arrived during a time when carmakers were exploring the retro styling theme, such as Volkswagen with their New Beetle and Ford with their revived Thunderbird. The Z8 was meant to harken back to the 1950s during the heyday of the 507, a limited production V8 roadster that made an impact with its dramatic styling. Fast forward to 1999 and the Z8 arrived with a V8, this time shared with the E39 M5. The engine was placed aft of the front axle for optimum weight distribution. One innovation the car employed was neon lighting for its tail lamps and turn signals. This was perhaps an answer to what modern day LED lighting can offer. Most Z8s you come across are silver, but this Topaz Blue over red leather example is a real eye-catching combination.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z8 on Classic Driver

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Convertible Week: 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet

As we begin to close out Convertible Week here at GCFSB, let’s take a look at an example from the very first year of the 911 Cabriolet. Porsche had experimented with an open-top 911 far earlier with the release of the Soft-window Targa. Those models allowed for both an open top and open rear window while integrating a fixed rollhoop. I’ve never thought the design looked right and, I guess unsurprisingly, the Soft-window Targa eventually gave way to the hard-window Targa with which we are all very familiar. For a number of years that was it. Due to their concerns over safety regulations rendering the full convertible obsolete, Porsche never committed to making a true Cabriolet until the 911SC was ending its model run, more than 15 years after they first introduced the Soft-window Targa. That makes those first Cabriolets somewhat special as not only were they the first 911 Cabriolet to be produced, but they also happen to be the only year they were produced as a 911SC. That second point holds less weight with most people, but for someone who might have a preference for the SC over the 3.2 Carrera, options for open-top motoring dwindle quite quickly. The example we see here, an Indischrot 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, located in California, with 45,205 miles on it appears aimed at the collector crowd (at least based on how it’s been priced), though for someone who might want to spend a bit of time driving their Cabriolet there is enough mileage here to retain much of the long-term value even with some additional mileage each year.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet on eBay

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Convertible Week: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Perhaps it was reasonable planning that Mercedes-Benz would only offer the R107 SL in the US market with a V8. After all, production of this vehicle spanned a period where horsepower was down due to increasing emissions regulations. Thus, for almost 20 years, customers stateside were deprived of a six-cylinder SL. However, for 1986, a storied moniker reappeared: 300SL. This version of the R107 had the M103 single overhead cam inline-6 that we saw in numerous E and S-class models in the US. Weighing less than the 5.6 liter V8 had its advantages and proved to be a great pairing for this roadster. We’ve seen a good amount of 300SLs make their way stateside now that all of them produced are over 25 years old. This example for sale in California has lived much of its life here, being imported at a time when entry of gray market vehicles wasn’t as stringently regulated.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

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