1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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In my continuing exploration of the extremes of the Westfalia spectrum, today we have an extremely inexpensive aircooled model with a recently rebuilt engine and transmission highlighting its plausibility as a great starting point for an enthusiastic but frugal Vanagon enthusiast. The refrigerator and the stove don’t work, but for just $6,500 you get a decent looking, strong-running van and can improve the camping functionality as you go. Compared to most of the Westies out there, the buckets of money you’ll save on this one should leave plenty for the fix-it fund – or for a nice cooler and kerosene camping stove.

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1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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While most clean Westfalias come on the market with strong asking prices, today’s is an exciting no-reserve auction. This provides an opportunity to get a nice van for a good price, but it’s also going to attract a lot of attention. Early in the auction there are already well over 50 bids as some VW-friendly adventurers minds start churning. It’s covered a decent amount of miles, but 141k shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent. The rebuilt automatic transmission makes for easier cruising but not as much fun. Swaps and upgrades are always an option with these great vans, but this should be a solid starting point without needing any big-ticket items any time soon.

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1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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I still miss my first car, a white 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup, and can easily recall the smell, the feel of the golf-ball shifter, and the way it liked to be tossed into corners. It doesn’t surprise me that they (along with what seems to be every funky, cool 80s German car) are slowly rising in value. There are pristine examples out there, both original and restored/modified, but the vast majority are survivors that have experienced some swaps and exploitation of the interchangeability of 1980s VW parts. Mine was certainly such a truck, and today’s 1983 example has been kept alive with a healthy appreciation for the OEM+ school of thought. It’s running a 1983 GTI engine, transmission, Snowflakes, and instrument cluster – nothing crazy, but if you like the GTI, you’ll have just as much fun (if not more) in this little hauler. Mk3 GTI seats are a nice upgrade, and overall the little Caddy looks decent and functional even with some like the bed showing age and use. It definitely makes me nostalgic, but does nostalgia make a piecemeal minitruck worth over five grand?

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

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I love finding anti-G55/G63 G-wagens, and here’s one that’s been used hard but is ready to go for more. It’s an Idaho off-roader, ready to take on trails and backcountry in a way that fully exploits its original intentions. Racks, lights, and big tires all create a great look in addition to being very useful, and the short wheelbase looks like a blast in the hills. It has low mileage but quite a bit of lurking rust, which should keep the price low.

Click for details: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE for sale on eBay

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1991 Volkswagen Corrado G60

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Though it sits in a forgotten corner of the enthusiast realm for most of the time, the Corrado will always be a cool car. While the original Scirocco was a stunner, the second generation was a bit dumpy. The Corrado brought great looks and an allegedly transcendent driving experience with some very appealing engine choices, creating a sporty compact FWD hatchback that had many strengths. Price was a downfall, as it may be for today’s example. It looks very nice in a fresh coat of white paint and the matching wheels – sometimes a death knell – look appropriate. Apparently they were part of a $25k-round of investment though, which should be reserved for classic cars and startup companies.

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1995 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Winnebago

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With Vanagons of all types commanding some very serious prices these days, those looking for economical ways to traverse the continent and sleep in their cars would be wise to consider the lesser-loved Eurovan. Today’s is an early model with a the classic 2.5l inline-5 and a rare 5-speed manual. It’s only had one owner and has covered just over 80k miles in its two decades, making it a great choice for owner #2 who wants to travel in comfort and isn’t too worried about the Vanagon mystique. It’s a comprehensive Eurovan package that combines nice early-model simplicity with world-traveling capability.

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Federalized 1979 Euro BMW 323i for sale

The nice reader ride Aaron featured earlier this week was a very nice 323i, a car pleasantly unfettered by the rapidly increasing BMW numerical system. There was a 323i for the very first 3-series as well, but while the E46 323 was the base engine, in 1979 it was the top-of-the-line with an M20 pushing out a healthy 143 bhp. While the E21 320i’s shortcomings made the following E30 that much more awesome, the Euro-only 323i brought some fun party favors like Bosch fuel injection, 4-wheel discs, and an optional limited-slip differential. Today’s beautiful white example was imported from Germany and federalized at the beginning of its life in 1980 and is looking as good as new with tidy bumpers, great paint, and perfect Alpina open-lug wheels. We’ve had some steep E21s here with asking prices as high as $14k, so $4500 for this uber-ur-3-series with 125k miles seems like a solid deal.

1979 BMW 323i for sale on Craigslist Colorado


From the seller:

This is a great running and looking 1979 BMW 323i model for Germany. Imported and federalized in 1980. Have all records back to 1980 documenting extensive maintenance and low mileage of 125k (201,000 kilometers) Recent maintenance includes timing belt and water pump, wheels and tires, fuel pump, injectors, plugs, filters, distrubuter, coil. Has the 2.3l 6 cyl engine, 4 wheel disc brakes,and improved suspension compared to the 320i available in the US at the time. Air conditioning, 4 speed manual, Recaro cloth seats. $4500 obo.

I really dig this little car. The E21 will always be the underdog of BMWs, but with power and style, this one can hold its head high. I don’t really understand the long VW-esque pea shooters out the back, but that’s nothing a hacksaw couldn’t fix in about 5 minutes. Alpinas, small bumpers, and some bonus rarity make this low-mile import worth it.

-NR

1984 Porsche 911 Targa DP For Sale in Portland, Oregon

Here’s your chance to get your hands on a Porsche modified with period correct pieces from DP Motorsports. I spotted this Porsche 911 Targa on Portland, Craigslist ($20500, 85k original miles):

1984 Porsche 911 Targa Carrera DP For Sale

quote from Craigslist ad:

This is a beautiful white 911. Not your regular 911. Besides being a European Model it has all the bells and whistles. Approximently 300hp. Origional BB Rims. New low profile tires.
Race clutch, Dual stainless steele exhaust. Whale tale. 964 cams. Same as the Turbo. 930 body with wider steele fenders. Just put in a New starter and Battery. Car is Garaged
and not driven much. 85,000 origonal miles. Engine had a total rebuild at 62K. Origonally purchase in 1984 for 50k which includes the shipping. The origonal owner wanted the
turbo look but not the turbo during that era because the Turbo’s had allot of engine problems. Ordered the car from Porsche but made Body Modifications at DP Motor Sports in Germany.
before having it shipped to Seattle. Never wrecked and is in excellent condition. Must see and drive to appreciate. Have all the Paperwork on this car to verify. Thanks

This isn’t the first time we’ve posted a DP modified 911, but this one is a bit more attainable at only $20k. And 85k original miles would be good for a regular run-of-the-mill 84 Carrera, let alone a gray market spec car with DP goodies and BB wheels! I like it and the price seems about right too. Hope it finds a good home!

dc

Mid-Year Madness – 1974 911 Carrera

It’s been said recently that the mid-year 911s (1974-77) will be the next generation of Porsche’s venerable air-cooled masterpiece to really take off in value.  By the look of things this very attractive 1974 Carrera is leading the charge!

1974 Porsche 911 Carrera For Sale

Model year 1974 rang in many changes for the 911, some well-received, some not so much.  The so-called “impact bumper” made its first appearance that year, replacing the more delicate chrome bumpers worn by all previous 911s.  Conformity with US crash impact standards required the beefier bumpers, but Porsche master stylist Tony Lapine designed an elegant and attractive solution.  Out back, engine capacity was increased from 2.4l to 2.7l in three levels of tune – base 911 with 150bhp and 173lbs/ft torque, 911S (175bhp/174 lbs/ft) and Carrera (210bhp).  Unfortunately for Americans the Carrera powerplant (from the famous 1973 Carrera RS) was still not approved for US emissions standards so US Carreras sported the “S” engine.

The car on auction is a “Carrera” albeit with some tasty upgrades, most notably the very desirable sports seats.  The transmission is the usual 5-speed, with lower ratios.  This may be good or bad, depending on your proposed use for the car.  Maybe not so great for highway cruising, but nice around town and at the track with added low-end grunt.  This car looks great in Grand Prix White with the buerzel (ducktail) spoiler and Ruf-style front valance.  The only thing I’m not feeling is the wheels – they need black centers pronto.

Seller reports he is a long-term (15 years) owner of the car, and that various upgrades have been performed.  The most important of these addresses the infamous “camchain tensioner” issue.  While the standard upgrade is to change to “Carrera” (i.e. 1984 model year) tensioners, the seller states that the tensioners have been “rebuilt”… further querying required on this.  Also, what’s up with the speaker enclosure on the back deck combined with radio delete??

Mid-year 911s have long been the poor relations in the collector Porsche family.  While “longhoods” (1964-73.5) and especially short-wheelbase (1964-68) cars have skyrocketed in value of late, the 1974-77 models have lagged.  Whether the reason was their (marginally) poorer performance, slightly increased weight, impact-bumper styling, or poor engine reliablity (especially on 1975-77 “thermal reactor” cars) the middies just haven’t taken off in value.  Recent trends, however, seem to indicate that this may change.  As longhood values grow out of reach for many, the relatively lightweight middies with their narrow-body vintage appeal are becoming more and more attractive, and this demand will drive prices upwards.  The particular car on auction certainly seems to bear out this trend.

-Dallas

Front Engined, 2-door Porsches

Now that the unthinkable has happened and both four door sedan and SUV Porsche models exist, where do the older, front engined Porsches stand in the eyes of collectors these days?  Here’s two clean examples of two vastly different Porsches from the same era.

1987 Porsche 924 S

The 1987 Porsche 924 S represents the zenith of 924 development, as 1988 was the last year for the sports car originally designed to be Volkswagen’s flagship.  The 924 S does away with that one important piece that had purists refusing to consider it as a real Porsche: the engine.  VW stopped supplying Porsche engines for the 924 in 1984, and thus the 924 S with it’s detuned 944 engine was introduced.  This engine is good for 160 horsepower and is sure to be a great handler, as these front engined/rear drive four cylinders were renowned for their road manners.

The seller states:

PROS: A/C, Power steering, Power windows, Four-wheel disc brakes, Manual transmission, Alloy wheels, CD/MP3 Premium sound system, Leather seats, Tilt/removable sunroof, New Battery/New wipers, and Pirelli tires.  All the manuals, service records, and a full color dealer brochure on the model 924 are included.

CONS: There are two blemishes in paint: front right fender and rear left quarter panel, The plastic gear for sunroof needs replacement (20.00 part) still works though, Minor cracks in dash which are covered by premium dash cover, and the tires are in less than perfect condition.  Other than that car is showroom quality.

While Boxsters can be had all day for well under $20,000, at $6,500, this 924 S is a tasty, low cost means of entry in what could be one of Stuttgart’s most underrated models.  The fact that it is well documented, has a manual transmission and is a desirable color adds to the want factor.

1994 Porsche 928 GTS

The 928 GTS, much like the 924 S highlighted above, represents the end of the line for 928 production.  The GTS models were also rather rare, with only 645 produced in 1994, according to the 928 Registry.  This particular one presents well in white with the more common automatic transmission.

Level of equipment as detailed by the seller:

Power sunroof, full power seats left & right, AM/FM Radio w/ Cassette, 6 Disc CD Changer, Supple Leather, 10 Speaker HiFi Sound Package, Rear A/C.  Just passed 100 point inspection.

While close to $40,000 may seem high for an obscure, used Porsche, one should remember that these cars new cost around $80,000 before options and now, for less than half of that, you can own a clean mileage grand tourer for pre owned Boxter money.  It also pays to get the nicest 928 you can buy, as these neither cheap nor easy to repair.

-Paul