2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430

The transition from the W124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe to CLK-Class coupe, which for all intents and purposes is an E-Class coupe as well, was a very clear evolution. It was an abrupt switch from the old-school Mercedes feel into a new modern age with softer styling and softer materials. Of course the wrench thrown into this is that while the W208 looked like a W210 E-Class both inside and out, it was actually built on the W202 C-Class chassis. You’d never really know this and Mercedes did a really nice job of covering that up, but none the less, the new-era of Mercedes was here. It was a very fresh design for the time and while impressive for its day, signaled a very clear end to philosophy of over-engineered and over-built coupes that Mercedes was known for since basically the beginning of the automobile. Times change and you need to adapt, and this is what Mercedes did. Just looking at the front end, you went from squared off and boxy look with headlights that were literal rectangles, to a set of ovals that were split apart into two different lights. A massive change in direction for sure, but it was new, and people bought them.

However, this also signaled the time where a Mercedes-Benz wasn’t really considered a car you kept for years on end, but rather a lease special and a race to get out the door with the lowest monthly payment. Twenty years later, this is still true across the entire model range with the exception of very few niche models. So where does that leave these now old cars? Nearly worthless, basically. There is no nostalgia for a 2000 CLK or 2001 S430. Any example that is more trouble than it is worth is scrapped without a second thought and only the nicest examples still remain. Today, I came across this CLK430 example in Philadelphia that still does maybe have some appeal to it. Outside of the terrible aftermarket grille, of course.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK430 on eBay

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2003 Audi S8

I still have this dream of getting a S8. This seems like a strange thing to dream about, I admit. And, it also seems like a quite attainable dream. My father-in-law often tells me about some day procuring his ‘dream truck’ – a manual mid-90s six-cylinder F150. I’ve found several for him that seem like good prospects, and none are ever more than a few thousand dollars. As I’ve said to him several times, ‘If you’re $4,000 away from your dream, what’s holding you back?’

Well, that comment coming from me is riddled with hypocrisy. I certainly could sell my very reliable Passat, save a bit of coin, and buy a S8. The problem increasingly inherent in that plan is that the S8 I can afford will probably not be the S8 I want. See, in the early 2000s I fell in love with the design. In the mid-2000s I lusted over lightly used examples that were out of my price range. S8s are now in a range I can afford, but it’s no longer the early 2000s and most are, to be frank, pretty used up. And though they’re far from the most technologically advanced vehicle, they aren’t exactly an F150 either in terms of complexity and parts availability (not to mention pricing). So looking at a S8 means you automatically need to budget in probably double the asking price or more in potential repairs between the transmission, timing belt service, and other deferred maintenance. Or, you can find one where that’s been done for you:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

Station wagon, estate, avant, whatever you want to call them, they are still popular. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, take a look at basically any German vehicle that is offered in both sedan and wagon and you’ll see that the wagon transacts at a higher price tag on the used market. This is especially true when it comes to high performance models like an Audi RS or AMG. A lot of that has to do with having your cake and eating it too, along with the exclusivity, as high performance wagons are made in extremely small numbers. However, even in standard base models, the wagons are still bringing premiums over sedans. Today’s car, a 2006 E500 Estate up for sale in California, follows that trend. Who says wagons are uncool?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

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2004 Porsche Cayenne S

It seems like the cheaper a vehicle gets, the most bold and crazy people seem to get with modifying them. Even better if it is a car that was rather expensive when new and/or from a traditional brand that doesn’t lend itself to custom builds. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

This 2004 Porsche Cayenne S up for sale in Spain was modified in some kind of safari-style or pre-runner-style off-roader with with a giant steel front bumper, bolt-on fender flares, and some all-terrain tires. Just to top it off, this one of the ultra-rare 6-speed manual Cayenne that I’m sure Porsche dealers were thinking about not setting the parking brake on when they found out they had to sell a luxury SUV with a 6-speed manual in it. Still, it looks pretty cool and could be a ton of fun. Or at least I thought that until I saw the price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche Cayenne S at Auto Scout 24

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Imola Yellow 2003 Audi RS6

Well, if it’s not evident already, you know why this one is here. First off, it’s one of just about 1,200 RS6s imported. But the vast majority of those are black, gray, or blue. A little over a year ago I took a look at a rare one that wasn’t – one of five Polar White examples. But in terms of rarity, this one is 250% less likely to be seen. It’s one of a claimed two Imola Yellow examples sold in the US. Some people claim color doesn’t matter, but let’s be honest – here, it does.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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2001 Mercedes-Benz S430

Last week I took a modest dive into cars that have been produced in the past 20 years or so and how they are in a bit of strange spot. Too new and insignificant to be collectible, and generally not worth the trouble. That in turn, with a few exceptions, sends prices to floor. Today, we have another example of that.

This 2001 Mercedes-Benz S430 is a perfect storm of a car that seemingly no one wants. A pre-facelift W220, it is finished in tan over tan with the less-powerful 4.3 liter V8. I don’t need to rehash my thoughts on how the pre-facelift W220 was a massive disappointment compared to the end-of-production W220, but it seems I’m not alone on this one. The good news is that this car is in really nice shape for having over 100,000 miles. The even better news is that is cheap. Really cheap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz S430 on eBay

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2001 Mercedes-Benz E430

For as bland and as boring as Mercedes-Benz can be with some of the color combinations, every once in awhile they’ll give us something that shows they still have a little bit of style. The W210 E-Class was pretty notorious for being offered in nothing but earth tones, especially the beige on beige examples. What we have here today is a 2001 E430 from the swanky minds at the designo department who offered up a color combination of Mocco Black Metallic over a Nappa Nubuck leather interior with natural elm wood trim. Even better, it has the classic 18″ Monoblock wheels and just 75,000 miles. To top it off, it’s had a single family ownership and service records from new.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E430 on eBay

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1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro

While low mileage, pristine condition Porsches almost seem cliche, finding an Audi with not much distance covered just doesn’t happen very often. When it does, it seems to inevitably be a model that no one is particularly excited about. That’s unfortunate, because often those models are quite competent performers, indeed. Growing off of the Audi Space Frame Concept from 1993, the A8 was the replacement for the short lived V8 quattro. Although the V8 had only been in production for a few years when the ASF was built, the Type 44 chassis was already quite old so a replacement was fitting. And Audi really outdid itself, with a modern, clean design based around lightweight aluminum technology. Underneath, the initial A8 didn’t offer revolution but instead built on the technology incorporated into the advanced for the time V8 quattro. Over its life, though, the A8 became a world-class leading sedan with steadily increasing technology and power output. For the most part, though, what most people remember are the post 2001 changes; introduction for the U.S. market of the long-wheel base A8L and sporty S8. That’s unfair to the often unloved and seldom seen early models which were very similar and quite competent in their own right. Running across a 1999 A8 is rare enough, but one in good condition? It’s fair to say that this is something you don’t see often:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro on eBay

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2008 BMW M3 Sedan

Looking for the sweet spot in M3 performance, practicality, and price? I think it might just be the E90 M3 Sedan. As clean E36 and E46 prices sharply rise and newer M3/4 prices sharply fall, the E9x curve seems to have turned into a plateau. Following on the heels of the popular S54-equipped model, BMW needed to step up its game. That step came in the move from 6- to 8-cylinders, as BMW Motorsport GmbH created 80% of a S85 V10. With over 400 horsepower on tap and 295 lb.ft of torque, the S65 represented a healthy increase over the S54. As with the E46, a Convertible (E93) and Coupe (E92) version were available, but BMW also reintroduced us to the M3 Sedan.

In my eyes, these are the ones to get. The M3 Sedan is quite a bit more rare than the Coupe; 5,867 were sold versus 15,997 2-doors. Of those, over 50% were either Jet Black, Jerez Black or Alpine White – so one with a bit of color is always great to see. Here we have one of the 483 pre-LCI Silverstone Metallic (A29) Sedans with NDH2 extended Novillo Fox Red leather and the all-important third pedal:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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2003 Audi RS6 6-speed

Throngs of U.S. Audi fans rejoiced when the news came that not only was the RS6 returning to this side of the Atlantic, it would be coming for the first time as an Avant. With nearly 600 hybrid horsepower on tap, it promises to be exactly the rocketship full of 5-door tech you’d expect from the company. But it will be interesting to see actual sales numbers after all the internet buzz dies down, because herein lies the problem with the RS6 Avant; if it is competing with the E63 S AMG Wagon (how could it not be?), it will sticker somewhere between $120,000 and $140,000 depending on options. Let’s just say that it’s safe to assume that’s out of the reach of most of the people chastising Audi all over the Internet for not bringing it here to this point.

So is there a solution? Absolutely. There was already a perfectly good RS6 offered here two generations ago. And if you’re willing to pony up roughly $40,000, you can have an Avant here. But today we’re looking at a sedan, because 1) they’re much more plentiful, 2) they’re much more affordable, and 3) this one is turned up and should offer close to the performance of the inbound model. The seller claims this car produces 620 horsepower and 750 lb.ft of torque. Oh, and I almost forgot quattro) it’s a 6-speed manual swap, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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