Tag Archives: BMW 7-series

Power, Poise and a Vanishing Breed: Five V8 Sedans on the Cheap

M119 W124

Every time I turn around these days it seems like another manufacturer is forfeiting good old burbling big-displacement torquetastic motoring for force-fed fours and sixes. It would appear that the V8’s days are numbered, particularly in cars that us regular Joes can lay our hands on without taking out a second third mortgage. Along with the V8s, regular rear-wheel drive seems to be fading into obscurity replaced with all-wheel. Now I appreciate traction as much as anyone, especially after all the snow that we’ve been graced with this winter, but sometimes you want your back wheels pushing, your front wheels steering, and never the two shall meet. It’s definitely old school, but I guess that I am, too.
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1984 Jaguar XJ6 5-Speed: Find Another One in the States…

1984 Jaguar XJ6 - 1

It’s amazing what a little bit of bad PR from 40+ years ago can do to a car company. Even Jaguar cars from the Ford period forward depreciate like just about nothing else on the market (save for the Kia Optima that I recently traded away – but that’s a story for another day). That is to say they just can’t hold their value despite a long-ago departure from the gremlins associated with Lucas Electrics, but they’ve just really never recovered. Now I’m not going to argue that they’re the most reliable cars on the market – they’re not – but they are on a par with most contemporary luxury cars from the past 30 or so years. And to our eyes, they’re prettier than most, especially the last of the old-school, old-tech XJ6s: the Series III. Continue reading


1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SE: Just because it’s tubby doesn’t mean it’s not FUN!

Regular visitors to TotallyThatStupid – and yes, there are some – have surely figured out that we are fans of big German cars. Well, we’re fans of the small ones too, but we definitely have a soft spot for Bahn-storming panzerwagens. All the more so if they come from the 1970s or 1980s, when you could easily spot the differences among German cars, Japanese cars, and American cars. Apart from a few cars that trickled-in from the U.K., those were the only places cars came from in those days, and they all had their own nationalistic character. Nowadays you can hardly tell a Kia from an Audi (ask me how I know), which is really a shame, unless of course you bought one of the former like I did. But I digress.

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 280TE AMG: The Original Euro Sport Wagon?

My introduction to Mercedes-Benz cars came in the form of a 1982 280TE wagon – bought new by my folks when we lived overseas. It was the early 1980s, and as the regional manager for his company my dad had to get something that displayed an air of the successes of his company. In Hong Kong, nothing said “success” like a Mercedes-Benz. Well, you could get a Rolls, but those were more the domain of hotels and real estate barons. I recall that we looked at the BMW 7-series and the Mercedes wagon. It always stuck with me that one of the reasons the Mercedes won out was because the seats in the bimmer “pinched” my dad’s butt. Probably more importantly, our family of five fit very nicely in the wagon, which had the optional third row seating.

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1985 Jaguar Series III XJ6: Bargain Brit Luxury

There is something utterly compelling about classic British cars. It was the Brits, after all, who really introduced America to the affordable sports car with the MGTD, Austin-Healey, MGA/B/C, Spridget, Lotus Elan, and a host of Triumphs. And those are just the regular production cars, never mind specialty cars from the likes of TVR, Morgan, and Ginetta. For many enthusiasts, however, the best British sports cars are unattainable due to price or rarity, while the affordable cars may not suit from a reliability or practicality standpoint. Enter the Jaguar XJ6. Taking the same basic venerable 4.2 liter XK inline-6 that dates back to the early XK120, the XJ6 represents an interesting bridge between the classic British sports car and a modern luxury sedan. Find this affordable example here at The New England Classic car Company in Stratford, Connecticut for just $3,500.
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