2001 Audi S4 Avant

Perhaps one reason that the S6 Avant didn’t really take of on U.S. shores was because of the shoes it had to fill. Enthusiasts had enjoyed the B5 S4 in Avant form for a few years, and consequently as a popular model when the B6 launched it was almost sure to make a return, almost certain to have more power, and almost certain to be available in a manual. Those premonitions came true, and so if you were willing to wait two years between the B5 and B6 S4 Avant production you were rewarded with the 4.2 liter V8 mated to a manual and even more sporty feel. For lovers of fast Audi wagons, the S4 was the answer to the things that the S6 wasn’t.

But as time has gone on, the “OMG it’s got a V8 and a manual!!!” shine of the B6 has waned slightly as long-term problems have reared their heads with the powertrain. Like the Allroad and S6, those problems are probably overstated by the “‘Exaggernet’, but they nonetheless exist. So while the B5 to B6 represented a huge jump in power, there are quite a few fans of the older generation still. That grunt deficit is easily overcome with the twin-turbocharged V6, as well, thanks to clever tuning potential. Like the B6, you could of course have the B5 with a manual. And, in some wild colors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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2003 Audi RS6 with 23,500 Miles

Update 12/15/2017: This RS6 remains available with 400 more miles and a further $6,000 price reduction to $41,999 – down substantially from the original $59,000 ask.

If yesterday’s post on the Audi 4000CS quattro represented the genesis of my love for the brand, if I’m honest the C5 RS6 was the start of where I started to question the choices of Ingolstadt’s design. It wasn’t that the RS6 wasn’t a hugely impressive car; though they seem pretty new still, this amazing ride is over halfway towards being considered “vintage” in some states. 14 years has passed since the original owner plunked down the heady $80,000 for what was briefly the world’s fastest production sedan. Audi brought two turbochargers to the Cosworth-built 4.2 liter V8 party, offering 450 horsepower, sub-5 second 0-60 times and a car that would easily bump into its 155 mph regulated top speed – and it came to America!

Consider, for a moment, that in 2002 when this car was ready for launch, the car that had existed 15 years before that was the very 1987 4000CS quattro I wrote up yesterday.

It was a monumental leap for the company into the throes of the top-tier performance sedans, but alas, it was a war of escalation that hasn’t stopped since. Audi has already announced that the new RS6 will have a gazillion horsepower and may even come here. In response, BMW has promised to up the new M5’s power to no less than whatever Audi produces, plus 50. To me, though the newest and biggest and baddest sedans are certainly mind-boggling, none of them really appeal to me in the same way the 4000CS quattro did. The 4000CS quattro had been a car I could conceptualize owning downstream of the original owner (maybe I’d even be the second owner?), but the RS6? It’d have to be many years and many ownerships before I could even hope to own one. And then, did I really want a seriously complicated car that hadn’t been well maintained?

Of course, if you’re not like me (a blessing for you, I’m sure!), maybe you love the RS6 and have always wanted one. And, I assure you, there is not a better example than this one for sale. The only problem is, if you have to ask….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera/DP935

The last few cars I’ve written up have involved a little detective work. To be honest, it’s something I really enjoy about writing for the site. And generally what we learn is that you can’t always take a seller at face value. No surprise there, right?

But that doesn’t mean that the car in question isn’t neat in its own right. Today is a great example of that. We have a racing 911. It’s air-cooled and it has many wings – associations that nod towards the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the 935 program was Porsche’s cutting-edge race technology. And it’s in one of the more iconic liveries of the period – the pastel green of Vaillant sponsorship associated with the Kremer brothers.

Is all as it would seem?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera/DP935 on eBay

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Corvette Connection: 2001 Audi S4

Update 1/29/2018: The asking price on this S4 has dropped from $13,995 to $12,995.
The B5 S4. On paper, it’s a car that I should like a lot. Coming from the modest 4000 quattro, Audi produced what should have been a monster on paper; a 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6 rated at over twice the power of the old inline-5s mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. 6-spoke “Avus” wheels carried on the late 90s design in 17″ form, with deeper but still subdued body additions and more grills hinting at the better performance of this A4-based creation. Twin polished exhaust tips, Xenon headlights, deeply bolstered sport seats and plenty of technology also came along from the ride, too.

But for me the B5 S4 sedan was never super exciting. Perhaps that was because it was instantly popular. What I remember annoying me more, though, was that it really seemed like Audi could have produced stronger performance. After all, it generated only a few more horsepower than the last favorite – at launch, the already out-of-production E36 M3 was the match for the performance of the S4 due to its lighter weight. And that was in turned-down U.S. spec! More sharply notable was the launch at the same time of the S8, and the S4 was some 90 horsepower down on that model. Yet get behind the wheel of one, and suddenly it wasn’t a lack of grunt you were noticing. It was how well the package pulled together. It rode well, it had a glut of usable torque thanks to the small twin turbos’ ability to spin up so quickly, and the fit and finish inside was leagues better than the E36 was. And while you could stick snow snows on an E36 and make it through winter just fine, as a year-round commuter car the S4 made a lot more sense while simultaneously being a much better sleeper. It was a ‘Q-Ship’; admittedly, not the biggest or fastest one out there, but certainly an undercover speed agent.

Those in the know noticed, and although today’s example has sprouted wings and is decidedly not as understated as it left the factory, when you see the name of the original owner you’ll understand why…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 on eBay

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2001 Audi Allroad 2.7T 6-speed

The C5 Audi Allroad, a car that can’t be talked about without someone bringing up the photo of MacGyver being thwarted by one. Now a punching bag by many in the automotive world, I personally don’t think it is worse than any other German car that is over 10 years old. Yes, a twin-turbo V6 and air suspension do make things a little more complicated, but if you stay on top of potential issues, I don’t see the a giant problem with owning one of these. Fortunately, the owner selling this 2001 outside of Cleveland gave this green machine all the love it needs — and maybe even a little more.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi Allroad 2.7T 6-speed on Cleveland Craigslist

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2016 BMW M3 Individual

Speaking generally, there aren’t too many new cars that cross the pages of this site. It’s even somewhat rare for us to breach the decade-old mark; that’s the point where really nice used examples of our favorites start to become hard to locate. And, frankly since anyone can walk into a dealership, sign a few papers and walk out a lot lighter but with any specification car they can afford, the older metal is typically what draws our (and, hopefully, your) interest.

But once in a while something pretty special comes along, from a 911R to this car. The fifth generation F80 M3 has taken a huge leap forward in complexity, technology and performance. The S55 twin-turbocharged inline-6 is an absolute tower of power; while ultimate horses didn’t increase much version the E9x S65 V8 (425 versus 414), the torque was the big news. It was in part the final number – 410 lb ft., up an amazing 90 over the V8, but it was also the reality of when you could use that torque. The S65 developed peak twist at just shy of 4,000 rpms; the S55 does it at 1,850. Not only that, but the torque curve is billiard table flat until 5,500 rpm. The result, despite the heavy weight stature of the new gigantic F80, is astonishing speed.

By itself, the F80 M3 is a force to be reckoned with. However, this particular M3 is just that bit more special, as it was handed over the group at BMW Individual and painted in E46-signature Laguna Seca Blue:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2016 BMW M3 Individual on eBay

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Right Hooker Week: 2000 Audi RS4 Avant

While the C6 RS6 Avant and B7 RS4 Avant have been nice to dream about, the reality is that both are pretty unlikely in the near future to be making the trip ‘across the pond’ anytime soon. So let’s consider something which both could, and might.

The B5 RS4 was a legend right when it launched, but for some reason it seems overlooked in the marketplace today. Not as exotic as the RS2, nor as fast as the newer crew of turbocharged Audis, the B5 generation somehow feels lost. It doesn’t help that it was insanely popular to mimic the model’s gaping grills and signature widened flares here, nor that the RS4 engine upgrades are fairly common among enthusiasts. But when you see a real RS4, it’s easy to see why this car was so highly regarded at the time.

First, it’s a very sharp looking car. Nogaro Blue was the defining color for fast Audis in this period, but boy does Imola Yellow stand out. The stance, wheels, flares and bumper covers along with more pronounced exhaust all pull together to make the RS4 feel much more special than a normal S4 Avant. And with 375 horsepower on tap from the Cosworth-developed version of the 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6, it’s not exactly like the B5 RS4 was pokey. In fact, the power-to-weight and performance is nearly identical to the later B7 RS4.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi RS4 Avant on eBay.co.uk

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Right Hooker Week: 2009 Audi RS6 Avant

You want power? When Cosworth slapped a few turbos onto Audi’s venerable 4.2 liter V8 for the C5 RS6, that’s what you got. 450 stampeding horsepower and 428 lb ft. of torque meant that in the early 2000s it was the model to beat. But AMG and BMW M quickly caught up and surged past the C5’s power output – even when Audi upped it with the “Plus” model to 469 hp.

The launch of a new RS6 based upon the C6 platform allowed Audi some room to expand the model’s engine output by literally expanding the engine: now 10 cylinders displaced 5.0 liters. Straddled by two turbochargers again, the second generation RS6’s power output leapt into a new league, with an almost unfathomable 571 horsepower and 479 ft. of torque. The C6 is a heavy car, but it was capable of 911-scaring 0-60 runs and could top 170 mph with ease.

What’s amazing is that Audi’s replacement for this car, the C7, moved to the new twin-turbo V8 4.0T motor. More power right? Well, not so fast; it actually produces about 11 horsepower less than the peak performance of the V10, though I’ll grant that the additional gears and greater torque mean it’s a functionally quicker car (as if it needed to be). Well, quicker than a stock one, at least, because this particular RS6 Avant has been ‘slightly’ upgraded to north of 700 horsepower.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Audi RS6 Avant on eBay.co.uk

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Feature Listing: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo

Given the significant love shown to the 993 in general, and especially the 993 twin-turbo, it might seem strange that I would have to be brought around on them. Yet, that’s exactly the case. Don’t get me wrong, I need no convincing that these are phenomenal machines and their status as the last of the air-cooled 911s brings with them obvious additional layers of allure. But I was a kid in the ’80s so it is the ’80s 911s and the ’80s 930s that really tug at my heart. In the case of the 930, they aren’t sexy cars; they attract by a seeming brute force. In that regard, the 993 almost seemed too pretty. The all-wheel drive and twin-turbocharging features further served to tame the beast. The wildness seemed…not gone, but tamped down.

If I’m honest, when I see a standard 993 these feelings largely remain. They’re very pretty, but my mind still drifts back to the classic 911 or, with increasing regularity, to the 964. The Turbo is different. I’ve been brought around. The wide rear and massive tail pair well with the 993’s curves to produce something that is indeed pretty, but also clearly not to be trifled with. I kind of don’t know what took me so long to figure this out, but I’m glad to present this low-mileage example in the classic colors of black and tan: a Black Metallic 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo with Cashmere leather interior and just 28K miles on it.

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Tuner Tuesday: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG RENNtech Laurence Gartel Art Car

I’ve seen art cars in the past but today’s combination might take the cake. This 2007 SL65 AMG is the creation of a man who is considered a pioneer of digital art, Laurence Gartel. Gartel has done work with the likes of Andy Warhol, major household brands, celebrities, NASA, the Grammys and of course unique cars. This latest art car is none other than the torque monster itself, the W230 SL65 AMG. Of course, just being a regular SL65 isn’t enough. This SL was sent to RENNtech in Florida and came back with an always mind-blowing 670 horsepower and 840 lb·ft of torque thus probably making this the fastest piece of rolling art out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG on eBay

Year: 2007
Model: SL65 AMG
Engine: 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,464 mi
Price: Buy it Now $39,500

RENNtech SL 65 AMG Art-Car by Laurence Gartel

Mercedes-Benz R230 – SL65 AMG
M275 – 6.0L V12 AMG Engine – up to 670HP | 840LB-FT

Equipped with following RENNtech Upgrades:
– ECU Upgrade
– V3 Digital Lowering Module
– Carbon Fiber Rear Decklid Spoiler
– 10.2 Deep Monolite Forged Wheels Finished in Gloss Purple. Front: 20″x9.0″; Rear: 20″x11.0″
– Brake Upgrade with Custom Painted Calipers in Aquamarine
– Fully wrapped by Laurence Gartel, official Artisit of the 57th Grammy Awards
– 041U – Designo Graphite Paint underneath Wrap

Milage: 95,464 (04-13-2017)
Laurence Gartel | A Digital Art Innovator
– Considered the Pioneer of Digital Art
– Created the first digital art-ad together with Andy Warhol for Absolut Vodka
– Taught Andy Warhol how to create Art via Amiga Computer
– Official Artist of the 57th Grammy Awards. Created official Artwork and Invitations
– Created Artwork for Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears
– Official Artist of the Newport Jazz Festival 2015
– Created Groundbreaking Artworks for the NBA, Walt Disney, Forbes, Coca-Cola and Phillip Morris
– Artist of the 2015 NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS)
– Art Car Conversions include: 1957 Lincoln Premiere Convertible, 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood, Tesla, Scuderia Ferrari and Rolls Royce
– His Art was exhibited at: Museum of Modern Arts, Joan Whitney Payson Gallery, Long Beach Museum of Art, Princeton Art Museum, Norton Museum of Art, National Museum of American History, Bibliotheque National and Monaco International Film Festival

I’m not art aficionado by any means but Laurence Gartel is actually a name I’ve run across before. A quick Google search showcases some pretty interesting stuff he’s produced and his past art cars are pretty wild stuff as well. But in my opinion, this SL65 doesn’t do it for me. I’m sure there is a method to this madness that I’m missing or don’t truly appreciate, but it just a bunch of psychedelic patterns applied to a wrap that’s started to show its age. The shock value isn’t there anymore and cars like this are popping up everywhere from people designing wraps in their basement and applying them in a weekend. If anything I think the appreciation for something like Warhol hand painting an M1 only goes up because of how easy it is to do an art car now. Of course this is just my opinion, I welcome anyone who feels differently.

As for the SL65 itself, I’m pretty amazed that it is nearing the 100,000 mile mark. I usually don’t see these with mileage like this one because they are either driven sparingly or owners reach a point where they are given a repair bill for five figures then decide to walk away from it. Seeing as this one is a show car that’s probably be driven to a fair amount of events and showcases, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Also you probably aren’t owning this car unless you like been seen either. There is no hiding in this thing.

The price of this SL65 is really intriguing to at just under $40,000. I looked at another SL65 AMG RENNtech back in January that finally sold for $46,000 but it had a faction of the miles this car has. Seeing as RENNtech themselves is the one listing this car, they know what they have and what kind of market they are dealing with. Despite its huge power numbers, the potential for crazy repair bills on the M275 AMG cars have been sinking values on them with no real floor to be seen yet. This car is a tough sell even without the wrap because of the mileage so if I were to bet this one might sit for sale a little while longer. Nevertheless, a cool piece that you surely don’t see everyday.

– Andrew