Presentable Pagoda: 1966 Mercedes 230SL


This beautiful Mercedes is being offered up by a seller who's had it for the last 30 years.

The SL "Pagoda" W113 chassis cars were produced from 1963-1971, resulting in 48,912 built, with 19,440 sold in the U.S. There were three versions: the 230SL, the 250SL, and the 280SL. All had 6-cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive.

This is a 230SL Automatic. It features a 2.3-litre 6-cylinder engine producing an impressive 150 horsepower for the time.Pagoda cars were known for their good performance and handling, thanks to disc brakes, good tires and a wide body. This sporting character was somewhat lost and less-emphasized in the succeeding R107, making the Pagoda cars a unique entry in the Mercedes line.


It looks stunning in bright silver over red interior and no bumper guards give the front end a clean, minimalist look the wonderful body deserves. I love red interiors. Nobody does them anymore. Silver/red is a classic sports car combo and this car does it complete justice.

The styling by Paul Bracq one for the ages. Talk about a classic. It's probably the most tasteful car of all time. It instantly whispers class, but never excess. The beauty is in the simplicity. The car takes Mercedes design cues from the era and perfectly molds them into this whole new sprightly character. The shape is amazingly well proportioned and looks gorgeous from any angle, especially the  squared-off rear with the small taillights. It's a car that is sexy and sophisticated, sporty and relaxing, the ultimate expression of personal comfort, a couple's romantic weekend getaway car.


The seller states this car comes with the desirable hardtop. I've always wondered if these had VIN or serial numbers on them to match the cars. If you thought this 230SL looked good top-down, the hardtop only enhances the beauty and is truly cool looking, despite the odd inverse c-pillar angle and concave roof, which only add to the charm. The seller mentions this hardtop has received new headliner.

The seller also says the car was given new headlights and tires, and has 73k miles, which could be original given how these were mostly carefully and infrequently driven by adoring owners. I would just check for any rust.

Find this lovely classic car from a more innocent time here on craigslist in Boston, Massachusettes for a pretty fair $27,500. This one looks terrific and seems to have been given great attention from a long-tome owner, so it's the one to have if you're on the east coast and want one. The W113 value only nowhere to go but up.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Club Racer: 1975 Ferrari 308 GT4 Custom Outlaw


This rare Ferrari 308 GT4 has been made even more unique with an appealing custom widebody kit, 16" HRE wheels and Recaro seats.

The 308 GT4 was the first production Ferrari to feature a mid-mounted 8-cylinder engine, setting the template for many future models from the company. Production lasted from 1973 to 1980, resulting in a scarce 2,826 vehicles made. It was also the first Ferrari not to be styled by famed design house Pininfarina. Body work was instead penned by Bertone. All subsequent Ferrari designs would return to Pininfarina.


Not that there's anything wrong with the GT4. In fact, it fits right in with the Ferrari line and had I not discovered otherwise, would have just assumed it a Pininfarina body. The shape is pretty cool, the front end just like every other '70s supercar wedge, hidden headlights, slim black mandated bumper jutting out, very Lotus Esprit-esque. It widens to a boxy rear with trademark Ferarri round taillights housed in a rectangle. The most striking aspect is the rear air intake cut on the c-pillar that mimics the quarter window angle. The seller states the vehicle was widened by 6" in the rear. For a custom body, it looks terrific, right down to the lower triangular air intakes seen on later factory Ferrari cars. Coupled with the deep set chrome star wheels, it gives the car new aggressive stance for the 21st century.


Mechanically, the seller says the vehicle retains its Ferrari engine but the size has been increased to 3.3-litres and electronic ignition was added. They say it was rebuilt in 1999 and only has 3,500 miles on it.

The seller mentions some flaws as being the speedometer not working, a/c compressor removed, power windows are slow, and the paint shows some age. None of those are likely major problems.

On the upside, they say it's currently running and comes with a current registration and clear title.


Find it here on craigslist in Westminster, California for $19,500.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

One Year Only: 1991 Audi 200 20v Turbo Quattro Avant


File this under 'cars I desperately want but are hopelessly endangered and outdated anyways by now '. In other words, I'll probably never own one.

Still, my pulse quickens at the sight of this Audi in the perfect shade of gunmetal grey that contrasts beautifully with the black plastic trim and gorgeous silver recessed cross-spoke alloys. Cars just don't have these sleek and tasteful details anymore. Heck, cars don't even have anti-ding side molding anymore. Why get rid of something when it served a great functional and aesthetic purpose? Oh the wisdom of horizontal lines on cars.


You also have to just 'get' this thing. Audi in the '80s were still pretty underneath the radar and not the upper-crust bling mobiles they are today. Their cars still shared a lot of DNA with Volkswagen, and the styling was extremely conservative but still more forward than old-world rivals Mercedes and BMW. Then there was also the acceleration debacle when a slanderous 60 Minutes report that was later dis-proven supposedly showed Audi 5000 cars with unintentional acceleration. Audi renamed the 5000 to 100 and 200, but the damage was already done. It hurt their car sales and reputation so badly Audi only came out of the darkness by the new millennium, around the time they introduced the TT and revived the brand. So an Audi car from the '80s is a rare, dark horse, best-kept secret kind of thing.


This '91 example comes from their their old heyday - or lowday if you consider that according to a comment on Bring a Trailer citing that only a mere 157 were imported for one year only, 1991. How many can be left? Half? A third? These were bought in colder climates with harsh weather and driven a lot, so finding any surviving, intact example is near-miraculous.


What makes this so special aren't just the depressingly low production and importation numbers. It's the car itself. This car has a 2.2-litre inline 5-cylinder 20-valve turbocharged engine producing a very healthy 220 horsepower powering all four wheels with Audi's patented 'Quattro' 4WD system and mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Try saying that in one breath. All packaged in an attractive body with power leather seats and a huge wagon/hatchback trunk. There aren't many other cars with that much power and practicality. In fact, there are just about none, save for perhaps Audi's latest wagons at unattainable prices.


Find the autotrader listing here and the dealer page via autotrader here in Sugar Creek, Missouri for only $2,500.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Post-Space Age: 1988 Subaru XT GL


Sigh. Oh to live in the Northwest, where an abundance of forgotten Japanese cars from the '80s and early '90s still live peacefully, mostly spared from rust and neglectful owners. If it weren't for this region, we might not be privy to this lovely vintage Subaru for example.

The XT was produced from 1985-1991. This was back when Subaru still made cutting-edge vehicles, literally and figuratively, as the XT is a brilliantly sculpted wedge of lines, angles and creases. It's a far cry from today's Subaru of politically correct blob-like L.L. Bean-mobiles.


This one is a base model, with only front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine, making it pretty basic transportation. However, the XT also came in turbocharged and all-wheel drive form. Later, the 'XT6' was offered from 1988 onward with a more powerful 6-cylinder engine.

The seller is a dealer and they provide no backstory, but they list the mileage as 94,658. The car looks great, straight and clean with no major damage visible, and the pale blue exterior over blue cloth combo is bright and unusual looking and shows off the car's striking design.


Find it here on the dealer's site in Silverdale, Washington, for $3,288.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

The Ultimate Sleeper: 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32


This car is in Canada but it is so cool I can't resist posting. It was one of the fastest four-door sedans in the world.

The Lancia Thema was a relatively mild-mannered front-wheel drive sedan produced from 1984 to 1994 and was based on the Type Four Platform shared with the Saab 9000 and Alfa Romeo 164.

Then, in 1986 Lancia debuted the 8.32, which stood for an 8 cylinder engine with 32-valves from a 2927 cc Quad 4 Cam Ferrari V8. It produced 212 horsepower and rocketed the car from 0-60 in around 7 seconds.


The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

With a body wrapped in Giugiaro's typically boxy and conservative styling and a Ferrari engine underneath the hood, this thing was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I can't really imagine what this is like to drive. With power being directed to the front wheels, it must give the phrase 'torque steer' a new meaning. But, it's probably a hoot on the freeway.

Styling touches included special wheels and a retractable rear spoiler, among other details.

Inside, occupants were treated to a hand-made wood and leather interior. This one has Alacantra seats. Note the array of nifty round gauges in the instrument cluster.


The seller is clearly a fanatic and seems to know what they are talking about. They imply they are the second owner, the first being the original Italian owner, then the car was brought over to Canada where it resides now. They say the odometer is in kilometers but converts to around 73k original miles, and that the car has no rust, wears its original paint and was never smoked in. They say they have full service history from a garage in Ontario.

Only 3,971 Thema 8.32 cars were ever made, and the seller estimates this is one of possibly just two in North America.

Unfortunately, I don't see how anyone in the U.S. could enjoy this example, as the vehicle won't be be legal for importation until 2014 - unless the ban on importing vehicles 25 years old and newer is lifted. Make friends with a customs agent? Just let them test drive it?


Find it here on ebay in Toronto, Canada with a buy it now price of $22,900.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Well Sorted: 1979 Porsche 911 SC With Sunroof


This Porsche comes in a rare factory color the seller says is a special order called "medium ivory". It looks great against the blacked-out factory Fuchs. Porsche cars look best in earth tones or dark colors.

The 911 SC was introduced in 1978 as a new version of the 911. It featured a rear-mounted 3.0-litre 6-cylinder engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and a 5-speed 915 transmission Output was around 180-188 horsepower.


The seller says they've been the second owner for the last 10 years, and the car now comes with new tires, new window seals, new brakes and smog tailpipe delete.

They say the mileage is 108k. I love high mileage Porsches. It means they been driven, and if they are still running, most likely maintained along the way too. Much better than garage queen cars that start hurting the more you use them and keep you hostage to around the block, and definitely better than neglected units.

I like the Porsche logo on the non-airbag steering wheel, you don't see that often and it was later deleted with the addition of the airbag.


They say everything works great, including the air conditioning (what is it about the Porsche 911 and a/c issues anyways?). Even if the a/c didn't work, the rare factory sunroof option will cool you off. I love the idea of a sunroof on a 911, although purists will probably scoff at the slight loss of structural rigidity.

Cosmetically, they only point to a few flaws: some chips in the front spoiler and wear on the driver's seat. No big deals.

With a car this nice, the only real question is: why would anyone want to get rid of it!?


Find it for sale here in South Central Massachusettes for $17,900.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

On Cloud Nine: 1987 Citroën CX 25 Fastback LWB


The Citroën CX was produced from 1974 to 1991. It was a front-engine, front-wheel drive executive car with four-cylinder engines.

It was never officially offered for sale in North America.

I don't know much about Citroën and I may never understand them, but I do like their cars. They are boldly engineered, oddly styled, and often surprisingly sporty.

Exterior design is still fresh, remarkable given it that conceived the '70s. This one looks good in silver, showing off the clean lines and flat planes. Citroën are known for their futuristic styling. They embrace design cues few automakers will touch like covered rear wheels and four-door hatchbacks bodies.


The interior is awesome Note the luxurious buttoned seats, single-spoke steering wheel and instrument cluster pod. 

The seller doesn't say much about this car, but they mention it's the long-wheelbase model, so it has extra rear in the back seats. The trunk is equally cavernous.


They state the mileage as reading 91,381.

These cars were famous for their height-adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension, which gave them unparalled ride quality. While the system is known to be expensive to fix, the seller says it works on this car and it drives and rides "like riding on a cloud".



Find it here on ebay in Tate, Georgie with and opening bid of $8,500 and no takers so far.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Endangered: All-Original 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco


Hagerty Classic Car Insurance released this fascinating but alarming list a couple years ago of cars once built in great numbers that they now insure very few of.

One of them is the first generation or Mark I Scirocco produced from 1974-1982. Hagerty says they insure fewer than 15 of them.

Well, I found one. This gives new meaning to the term 'survivor'.


The Scirocco was a front-engine, front-wheel drive two-door hatchback with four-cylinder engines.

Perhaps the most notable feature was the lovely styling by Giugiaro from his heyday. It's typically well done, perfect proportions and still cool and fresh looking today. I especially love the quad round heallights which contrast nicely with the angular shape.

The seller says this surviving example has a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, 149k miles and the original motor, transmission and 13 inch alloy wheels. I could immediately tell this was original. It has none of the tacky aftermarket tinkering so many of the Scirocco cars left suffer from.


The seller does mention the car has rust, but says the floors and frame rails are solid. They say there is some penetrating exterior rust on the passenger side door.

Mechanically, they say it will need a fuel pump and starter.

The price for this rarity? A mere $1,000.


Find it here on craigslist in Greensboro, North Carolina.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Oldie But Goodie: 83k-mile 1973 Saab 96


The Saab 96 was produced from the remarkable length of 1960 to 1980. It was based on the 93, which was based on the 92, which was introduced in 1949 (!) and was Saab's first production car.

In today's car manufacturing years, 20 years for the same body and chassis is a lifetime. But unusually long duration was just one of Saab's many quirks. In fact, a lot of European auto manufacturers tended to keep body styles for what is now considered long periods. But back then, a lot of European cars, even in the '50s, '60s, and '70s were still innovative and very well made; so from the manufacturer's point of view, hey, if you make a great product, why replace it when it's still got a lot of shelf life left?

Such must have been part of Saab's strategy with the 96.


The 96 was an important and iconic car for Saab, sort of like what the Beetle was for VW, though on a much smaller scale. It was a two-door coupe featuring a front-engine and front-wheel drive. The Saab 95 was a two-door station wagon variant.

The engine was a very small Ford V4 that produced a measly 65 horsepower. This one is mated to a 4-speed synchromesh manual transmission. The gear lever is mounted on the steering column, a rarity. This was appreciated by driving enthusiasts as it is easier and quicker to shift nearest the steering wheel than it is to reach onto the floor.


The seller is a dealer and doesn't elaborate on any back story with this example. Although over 547,221 were made, most were probably sold in Scandinavia and you can bet not many are here.

This one looks great in flat tan over caramel seats. The pictures don't show any close ups but the car looks whole, clean and tight. I can't see any major damage. The interior looks amazingly clean and neat. The engine bay only shows typical wear.

While not a sports car and no other really standout features, these are still unique little vehicles, and with Saab going out of business, it's the old survivors that will bring a twinkle to a fan's eye and be a hit at the local car show.


Find it here on the dealer's website in Lisbon, Maine for $5,995.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Fast And Furious: 1992 Acura NSX Type-S Zero


This wild Acura NSX custom is like something out of movie.I've been meaning to come across a good NSX for this blog. But most out there are marred with amateur mods, and the pristine untouched examples are too pricey.

This one is however is leagues beyond anything else I've seen and definitely merits a spotlight.

It's been the beneficiary of an extensive custom body and engine job by Kaotic Customs and LoveFab. Those names meant absolutely nothing to me before but certainly command my respect now. Together, they transformed the already superb NSX into an all-out street racer rocket machine.


The NSX debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February of 1989 and was an instant classic. With a weight of under 3,000 lbs, a mid-mounted 6-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive and fantastic styling, it was as good a performer as it was a looker. On top of that, it was comfortable to use and relatively simple and inexpensive to maintain, earning it the nickname 'everyday supercar', which it definitely was, although most owners wisely kept use to a minimum. It gave every other exotic car serious competition and is one of my top favorite cars of all time.

Then, the late '90s and new millennium era saw an explosion in car customization, the second great wave of hot rodding since the '50s. This time, generation-x twentysomethings outfitted Japanese cars from the '70s, '80s and '90s with modifications to make them lighter and faster.


This car seems like a full-on professional transformation. In addition to cosmetic changes, the seller says they've added a turbocharger on the engine that produces a jaw-dropping 550 horsepower. These things were quick stock. With this modification I can't really imagine what this is like to drive.

The car now looks like a sneering python. It all works quite well, actually. The color is appropriately loud and is a refreshing change from the usual red. The additional air intakes jive with the rest of the design, including the very cool openings underneath the headlights. There are a lot of small changes, but all well done.


Inside, we have very slick 4 point harness leather seats, a Momo steering wheel and a Sony DVD system, among other amazing features. It looks really good and would be an incredible place to be.

The seller says the chassis has 100k miles but the engine is rebuilt with only 10k miles on it.

It's hard to put a pricetag on this but the modifications have doubtless costed tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention time, energy and sweat. The NSX cars weren't the most expensive exotic in their heyday but values have barely depreciated, so typical examples go for $20-$30k.

Bidding right now is at $25k.

Find it here on ebay in Park Ridge, Illinois.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Rocket from Crewe: 1990 Bentley Turbo R


The Turbo R was Bentley's flagship performance model from 1985-1997. It is based on the Mulsanne, which heralded a totally new platform for Bentley/Rolls Royce in 1980.

Initially, the Turbo R merely carried over the engine featured in the Mulsanne Turbo albeit with sport tuned suspension and wider wheels. However, from 1987 onward fuel injection was added for more torque.

Bentley increased roll stiffness by 50%, achieved by upping anti-roll bar rates, increasing damping, and adding a Panhard rod to anchor the rear-suspension, reducing side swaying.


Underneath the "bonnet" was an enormous 6.75-litre 8-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 296 horsepower.

Couple with rear-wheel drive and all the suspension stiffening, you can bet this thing was an engaging performer.


Inside we have massive Connolly leather seats and a dashboard bathed in wood and chrome accents.

There is also plenty of room in the rear. I'm not sure if this is a short or long wheelbase model. It appears to be a short wheelbase, but certainly not cramped quarters though, and a shorter body must be slightly better in terms of weight and handling.


The seller states this vehicle passed through them once before, was used sparingly and is now back. They list the mileage as 99,793, more than the average Turbo R, but reassuring that most major services were probably performed to keep it going this long. The seller says the paint and body are good, but the a/c needs a recharge.

The seller is asking $15,500. That's a 92% decrease from the original sticker price of $195,000. Considering that, the price doesn't seem to bad. Maintenance could be costly though. But you're getting a fast and comfortable sedan. Only 7,230 Turbo R cars were made. And how many new turbocharged V8 cars are on the market today? Certainly none at this price point. You just don't find these credentials anymore. Haul you and your friends around and pretend to be royalty.


Find the autotrader ad here and the dealer listing here in Marina Del Ray, California.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Flying Brick: 1988 BMW K75C


Allright, I know this blog called Check Out This Car but I can't help and post this nifty motorcycle. Besides, 'car' can be interpreted as generally alluding to all motor vehicles.

A lot of people forget BMW not only makes (or made, depending on your opinion) great cars but also great motorcycles. Although their cars have changed much, their motorcycles have always lived in a separate universe were they still remain very cool.


The K75 was BMW's entry-level motorcycle, produced from 1985-1995. Various models were offered at various times. This is a "C", which added a handlebar mounted cockpit fairing. All had the same liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder engine that produced 65 horsepower for U.S.-spec bikes, 75 horsepower elsewhere. The engine is longitudinally mounted, giving it an appearnce that lended to the nickname "flying brick".

They shot to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and were capable of a 120 mph.


The seller says this one has only 14k miles, which I think is about average for a bike. They say it runs fine, with a recent service, full spline lube, new battery, new fork seals and progressive fork springs.

I became interested in the K75C specifically when I saw Pierce Brosnan driving a silver one in the obscure '80s Cold War film The Fourth Protocol co-starring Michael Caine. It was available for viewing on Netflix last time I checked. If I hadn't seen the film, I probably would have never found this model.


I like the styling a lot. It's a cross between Japanese racer bikes, Harleys, and dirt bikes, kind of taking a bit of everything. It's very modern but not too "new" looking. They look sharp, fast and unusual. BMW bikes exude the same aura their cars used to, something very confident, specialized, rarefied. They seem like great all-purpose motorcycles.

The seller notes the aftermarket seat shows wear, but they do have the original, and also have the service manual and cover.


Find it here on craigslist in New Palestine, Indiana.