Occasionally here at TTS we’ll feature a guest columnist. Usually, it’s someone we know, or at least someone we like. Here’s one from our buddy Dale. As he continues to wrench on his new toy, we’ll chronicle the progress.
Passions about cars can be a funny thing. Some people get very involved with a certain type of vehicle, like a two-seat sports car, regardless of make, while others become fixated on a particular marque. While I have a passion for older BMWs, the family daily drivers tend to be more along the lines of an appliance, our Chevy Malibu being about as much of a Kenmore washing machine as they come. But occasionally a little karma falls into one’s life. Continue reading
If you’ve read this blog with any regularity, it’s no secret that I like Mercedes – especially those of the big stinkin’ V8 variety. To the subject of today’s post, the W116-bodied Mercedes S-class was the first Mercedes I can recall seeing on the showroom floor. It was a black one on a turntable, and it was glorious. Released in 1973, the W116 brought Mercedes (and with them dozens of other manufacturers through osmosis) into the modern era. Performance, safety features, and styling (in my book) were head and shoulders above the competition from the likes of Cadillac, Jaguar, BMW, and frankly even Rolls Royce. These days they look somewhat dated but can represent a tremendous value to the buyer looking for that special saloon car to stand apart from the crowd that stands a chance of starting every time you turn the key.
Find this lovely yellow example here on eBay in Redwood City, California with a buy it now price of just $2,950.
Several weeks ago we highlighted a grey-market Mercedes-Benz 380SE. It was terrifically 80’s Euro with its thistle green finish on green velour, small bumpers, and higher-performance Euro-spec motor. It was also, unfortunately, federalized to meet US DOT regulations including sealed-beam headlights, door beams, and who knows what kind of exhaust and tuning workarounds to try to reduce pollution. That was the norm for cars imported during the 1980s in the grey market. This 500SE, having been imported from Germany just last year, is completely exempt from all of that mess due to being over 25 years old.
Find it here on eBay in Cape Coral, Florida.
This Amazon Blue 1983 Audi Ur-Quattro is one of 664 officially imported to the U.S. between 1983 and 1986. This is the car that changed the rallying world forever, and sent a lot of manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, back to their respective drawing boards while taking win after win and setting the stage for cars like the Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi Evos.
Find it here on eBay in Troy, Michigan.
As a Car Geek, I love a classic GT. You know – a small, personal car with enough performance to keep it interesting, lines that hearken back to a time when cars were designed by stylists and engineers (not always rowing int the same direction, mind you) as opposed to accountants and computers. The problem with so many classic GTs, however, is that they tend to be tight two-seaters with barely enough room for you and your companion, not to mention anything else that may need to make the journey as well. Enter the Shooting Brake and the subjects of this article
both presently on eBay: a 1973 Volvo P1800ES and a 1976 Jensen GT.
Having learned to drive in an old Alfa Romeo Spider, I have always been partial to two-seat roadsters. One of the best feelings in in my world is carving the back roads in a convertible with the top down, matching the revs on every downshift, and listening to the symphony emanating from the tailpipe. About two years ago I decided to recapture that feeling by buying another Spider just like the one I’d had before – but this time without the terminal rust. Nostalgia is a funny thing, however, and instead of a flood of memories from my youth with a Bryan Adams soundtrack behind them I spent the next several months trying to get an otherwise perfect Alfa to start, stop, and run properly. I remember thinking I should have just bought a Miata.
This past weekend on the heels of looking at two horrible German convertibles which were incidentally nothing like the pictures or the descriptions from the seller – shocking, I know – I went to look at a Miata that I spotted on Craigslist and just sounded like a good little car. With 82,000 miles, a relatively recent timing belt, water pump, and fluid change, and full books and records including the original window sticker. I bought it on the spot.