Just Plain Rare: 1987 Mazda 626 LX 2.0i Hatchback


This is a second generation Mazda 626, produced from only from 1983-1987. It was available in coupe, sedan or hatchback.

These are all but absent from today's roads, especially in the Northeast, where snow and salt take their toll on cars, especially older vehicles more susceptible to rust.

So it's quite interesting to see one in this good shape. Not surprisingly, it's down in Florida, where good weather keeps cars on the road longer.


Styling is rather interesting. It wears typical staid and boxy Japanese angles of the time, but the rear hatch is incorporated nicely, blending into the trunk deck and tail well. The straight lines and simple edges of these cars meant large greenhouses, and this one is no different. Despite the hatchback, I bet visibility is still good. Note the use of black trim around the glass that gives the windows a flush, sleek, uniform look.

Underneath the hood is a basic 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels. It will not be a fast car, but it will perform adequately and be reliable. It's made it this far, anyways.


The seller is a dealer and states the mileage is 178,000. In the photos the odometer reads 178,731. They state it is a one-owner vehicle with a clean history, and was recently traded in at a Mazda dealer.

The mileage is high, but the dealer says everything "is in working order". This thing only makes sense in the sub $2k range. It's really nice to see a survivor in this great shape, though. This was before Mazda produced the very bland generation from the late 1990s that became a staple of rental car fleets and had absolutely no special qualities. I feel like this Mark 2 generation belongs in a car museum devoted to Japanese cars of the 80s and 90s.


Find it here on ebay in "Sunny Fort Lauderdale", Florida with a buy it now of just $2,499.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Yes, They Did: 1975 Jaguar XJ6 Coupe


If you ever wondered why Jaguar never made a coupe version of their smashing XJ sedan...it's because you didn't know that they actually did. You're be in good company.

At first I thought it was a photoshop job or even dare I say a custom shortened chassis or something. But no. Between 1975-1978, Jaguar pumped out over 10,000 of these, small figures but enough so that a few have survived today.

The idea is really attractive. Their XJ sedan was already legendary. The ancient, gothic styling. 6-cylinder powerplant. Royal credentials. Any anglophile automatically loves Jaguar. So why not a coupe?


Fortunately, the XJ body translates really well into a 2-door coupe. It looks long, low and sleek. Suddenly, you can visualize yourself taking day trips from London to the English countryside and back.

That's about where the advantages end, though. To make the doors longer, Jaguar just welded extensions on to the standard XJ sedan door. The seams are often visible on the other side. Since there are no b-pillars, the roof flexed, causing paint to crack and chip away. Jaguar covered the roof with vinyl, but not only does it look in poor taste but was also a rust trap.


The seller of this example states it was restored in 2003. Their pictures are from 2011. They say it has a new biscuit interior, which does indeed look good. They say the car is otherwise original down to the chrome hubcaps.

I would try to swap the clunky 5 mph bumpers for slim Euro pieces, and maybe take the vinyl off and take the roof down to the bare metal then repaint it matching the bright red body color. Other than that, it's fine cosmetically.


The seller makes no mention of the mechanicals, however.

Find it here on craigslist in Minnesota for $10,500.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

1989 Cadillac Allante


The Allante was Cadillac's first serious attempt at taking on the Mercedes SL.

After decades of European automakers seemingly trumping America's premier luxury brand, General Motors needed a car that could look and perform with the best of the best. Their answer was the Allante.

The first step to ensuring that goal was hiring an outside designer to craft the body. American auto design in the 1980s was at a crisis point. After the whimsical tail fins of the 1950s, big muscular shapes of the 60s and 70s, they were all but out of ideas by the dawn of the Reagan Bush Era. So they continued to adopt hard edges and angles that were clean and efficient to pump out of a factory stamp but largely uninspiring. At the worst, they were downright ugly.

The designer that GM eventually contracted was the very established and renowned Italian design house Pininfarina. Supposedly, the outsourcing so infuriated GM's in-house designers that they developed the Reatta for Buick to show what could have been. Unfortunately for those designers, the Reatta didn't go so well.


Giving styling duties over to Pininfarina did pay off, however. Their interpretation of Cadillac themes is brilliant. Interestingly, one of my favorite designers, the legendary Bruno Sacco of Mercedes, is quoted as not liking the Allante very much. Perhaps because it debuted in 1987, beating the much-needed R107 replacement, the R129, by a couple of years. Were they genuinely threatened that America had finally caught up?

The design is really good looking though. It's deceptively simple but infinitely pleasing to the eye. The front end wears these handsome flush rectangular headlamps with a wide stretched trademark Cadillac gridded grille and logo. There are no hood tacky emblems, thankfully. The sides are simply streamlined with horizontal lines. The rear wears large, broad taillights that feature what could be the first production use of the frosted "iceberg" look.


The Allante had several major problems, however. The first was production. The bodies were made in Italy, then flown here for remaining assembly, a costly and inefficient process. This was handed down to the consumer with an inflated list price. Secondly, they were front-wheel drive. Since powering the front wheels balances the car least, it is not considered ideal for sporty driving. But since the cars looked sporty, they ran a high risk of seeming like another all-show, no-go kind of car. And for the first few years of production, the Allante was offered with a small and poorly performing V8 engine. Thankfully in 1989 a new 4.5-litre V8 arrived. The stigma of FWD remained, however.

Fortunately, this is a 4.5L model. The seller says the car is mechanically sound, and wears the original paint. Furthermore, they state the digital instrument cluster is working fine and the leather seats have no rips. They state the odometer reads 108, 325. Since the engine and transmission were sourced from GM, parts are plentiful and the cars aren't known for having many mechanical issues. This could be good for another 100k miles.


I would love to bomb around in one of these. Take it to the beach, cruise with the top down at night, goof around with friends. It's not a collector car that people take remotely seriously, but it is fast and good looking. Prices are dropping hard for them. I selected this one because it looks good in black/black (too many are in red) and is really cheap. For under $5k, you can have a interesting and entertaining footnote in Cadillac and Pininfarina history. Only 21, 430 were ever made, with production ending in 1993.

Find it here on ebay with a buy it now of $4,600.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Racing Cred: 1967 Lancia Fulvia Rallye 1.3


The Fulvia was produced by Lancia from 1963-1976.

There were three variants, a 4-door sedan, a 2-door coupe, and special Zagato-bodied coupe.

This is the regular 2-door coupe.

Power came from a narrow angle V4 engine and was directed to the front-wheels. This Rallye 1.3 Fulvia is claimed to have an aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid so the weight only comes out to around 2,300 lbs.


In 1972, a Fulvia won the World Rally Championship. Cup titles don't personally do much for me, although other car blogs do emphasize racing history in cars. But as a child of the middle class suburbs of the 80s and 90s, racing credentials don't nearly speak as loudly as solid build quality, comfort, refinement, reliability and everyday functionality.

The seller states this is a three-owner vehicle. It is in clear need of a total restoration. They say they did get the engine running remotely, but it clearly needs work. Also, the body has rust and has clearly been "bondoed".


Fortunately, the interior looks decent.

Overall, it looks like a partial restoration that was never finished.

Find it here on ebay in Denver, Colorado.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Tri-Diamond Days: 38k-mile 1988 Mitsubishi Galant Sigma LX


I love you, ebay motors.

Only there do impossibly immaculate twenty-something year old cars show up with fifty high resolution photographs documenting every angle inside and out.

Who cares if a presumably tiny percentage of ebay motors auctions actually result in a sale, given how legally non-binding the format is?

It's the world's best and mot entertaining car show, and it never ends.


Such is the case with this ridiculously pristine 1988 Mitsubishi Galant. I didn't even know there was a Galant in '88. When most Americans think of a Galant, they think of a dinged up economy car from the 90s and 00s that their neighbor is driving into the ground. No better, no worse, and (perhaps most fatal) no more interesting than your average Taurus, Camry of Accord.

That's how most Japanese cars were in the 1990s. Manufacturers cut costs and dumbed their cars down. And the American middle class bought them in droves.

In the 1980s, however, there was clearly a much different school of thought reigning. Japanese manufacturers were still emerging and competing on a relatively even playing field. Any car could become what the Camry and Accord have become today (which is, unfortunately, still nothing great, and now just overpriced). Their cars offered efficient engines, a plethora of interior gadgets and chiclet buttons to satisfy even the most geeky of tech-heads, and solid build quality all at affordable prices. Stylists were designing the cars if they were still auditioning for a background spot in Blade Runner. There was just something cool and slightly avant garde about them I can't quite put my finger on. Is it details like the latticework rear taillights? Or the overall obsession with rectangular shape forms? There is something at once generic and yet infinitely ornate about them.


Mitsubishi clearly felt they were on to something with the Galant, especially for 1988. The nameplate has been used for nine generations of cars. This is a fifth generation example, which were produced from 1983-1989. It was also the first Galant to feature front-wheel drive, which it has remained (although 4WD has been an option). This example is nicely powered by a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder engine.

The seller of this example is a dealer, so we're sadly not privy to any kind of loving story one would expect from the original owner of a 1988 Galant with only 38,992 miles on it.


However, the dealer does say the vehicle runs and drives great and has never been "smoked in" (just how do they know that, anyways?). They say the body is straight, the paint glossy and there is absolutely no rust.

The vehicle really begs for a big confessional by the original owner. Just who barely drives their 1988 Mitsubishi Galant over the span of  24 years? And when they did drive it, they never smoked in it, trashed it, crashed it, or drove it excessively on wet salty roads. Job well done.

I rarely say this about the cars I blog about to avoid being cliche (even though I secretly believe it), but this thing really does belong in a modern car museum, maybe one that specializes in Japanese cars. Is there even such a thing? Before you blink, there might not be any 5th generation Galants left.

Fortunately, I have a feeling this one will be around for a long time. And that makes me very happy.

Find it here on ebay in Philadelpha, Pennsylvania for a buy it now of $7,995 and a the make an offer option.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

1996 Alfa Romeo GTV TB 5-Speed


This interestingly styled Alfa Romeo was never offered in the United States.

Alfa Romeo was actually without a hardtop coupe after production of the 1974-1986 GT ended. In 1995, they pulled out of the U.S. market altogether. That same year they debuted the GTV.

The technical specifics aren't too impressive - it is front-wheel drive, after all. But they were significantly better cars than the previous GT and were given a whole new range of peppy engines. This one has the 2.0-litre "TB" V6 under the hood.


Styling is courtesy of Enrico Fumia at Pininfarina and is visually intriguing. The whole front end is swept up into a notch line that wraps around the c-pillars and rear windshield, from which juts a seemingly separate part that becomes the tail end. The rear features a single-strip taillight that the Alfa's164 sedan had pioneered as a design trademark. When I was younger I had a diecast 1:18 scale model of a burgundy convertible.

The seller states they have owned the car for 6 years but imported it themselves 3 years ago. The U.S. government typically doesn't allow importation of vehicles newer than 25 years old, so this one somehow passed underneath the radar. I'm sure there are some legal loopholes. I'm not complaining. It's great to see one here.


The odometer is most likely in kilometers and the seller says it reads 133,582 which converts into about 75k miles. Mechanically, they say the engine runs and doesn't burn or leak any oil. The say the brakes and tires are new and the air conditioning is cold. Cosmetically they say it has no rust, and the paint is "perfect", although they state it has some minor dents and scratches.

These do pop up for sale in North America, but they are usually in Canada. This could be an opportunity for lovers of Alfa Romeos or just funky Italian cars from the 90s to own a very rare car in the U.S.

The seller says it is titled in Vermont (confirmed by the green license plate) and is ready to be transferred to anywhere else.

Find it here on ebay in Bronxville, New York.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Der Zukunft: 47k-mile 1989 BMW Z1


The 'Z' in Z1 stood for zukunft, which is german for 'future'. This was BMW's vision of the future.

Only 8,000 were ever made between March of 1989 and June 1991. They were never sold in North America, probably in large part because the slide-down doors were deemed illegal. The majority of Z1 cars, fittingly, were sold to Germans, where the quirky shape and driving configuration would be literally right at home carving a route along the autobahn or an alpine pass.

Although it shared some parts like the legendary M20 inline 6-cylinder engine and accompanying transmission with the E30 325ix, the Z1 featured a completely new chassis and multi-link suspension. The engine was mounted behind the front axle. Power was sent to the rear wheels. It accelerated from 0-60 mph in just under 8 seconds, not as fast as you'd expect but still acceptable.


The most interesting aspects of the Z1 are design and construction. The seams were continuously welded with zinc. The entire body is composed of removable plastic parts. The sides and the doors were made of high-strength thermoplastic that could withstand 5 mph impacts. BMW actually encouraged owners to buy an additional set of body parts to change the color of the vehicle at any time. The Z1 could also be driven with all body panels removed.

The entire underbody is covered in a flat composite tray to increase aerodynamic flow and decrease turbulence and rear lift. The whole vehicle achieves a drag coefficient of 0.36.


Styling is extremely interesting. It doesn't look like any other BMW, although a lot of small details seem to have inspired subsequent models. The whole shape is wedge like, particularly the down sloping front nose and small twin grille holes which are reminiscent of the later 8-series. The large square taillights might have inspired the 1992 E36. And of course the whole compact two-seater idea eventually led to the Z3.

Despite the good looks and impressive stats, the Z1 was not a big seller. Apparently BMW was unable to manufacture more than 10-20 units each day. The car is in no way seen as a failure however, as it debuted dozens of innovations, but more of an exclusive, low-volume piece. However, one can't help but wonder what would have become of the car had BMW made it slightly more conventional, as it arrived at the same time as the Mazda Miata. The Z1 could easily have beaten it in performance and possibly even sales.


Fortunately, a few examples have since been independently imported here. This is such an example, and it looks terrific in deep green (the seller says the exterior color is black but it sure looks to have a green tone in light) over red and black two-tone interior. A lot of these were painted red, so it's nice to see a dark color that flatters the shape. Red leather interiors were quite rare, but I don't know if this interior is original or modified. It looks good either way.

The seller is a dealer and states the mileage is only 47,246. Since these are the ultimate open-air cruisers, it's not surprising to find them with low miles, as most were used as third cars only on weekends.

They also say it has never been in an accident, and has no visible dents or rust. Since the body was plastic, I wouldn't expect any rust. I would check the undercarriage just in case. Maintenance records (or lack thereof) will flesh out the rest of the story.


Another nice aspect of this vehicle is the removable hardtop that comes with the sale. I'm assuming these are rare (as most removable hardtops are a hassle to store and install and are therefore often not ordered) and it's great to have one with this vehicle. It flows perfectly with the design and looks sharp.

The seller is mum on how it got here but says it is "imported legally and ready for your enjoyment." Cheers to that. This is an extremely rare car that featured a lot of technologies innovative for the time and still intriguing today. It is unknown how BMW intended for the Z1 program to go, but one thing is certain: it's almost guaranteed to be a collector classic soon, if not already.

My friends over at germancarsforsaleblog.com had featured this back in April here.

Find it currently here on ebay in Westchester, New York, with bidding already at $12,445 but reserve not met.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Only In Florida: 1986 Mazda 929 Coupe


I love the state of Florida. Not only is it a wonderful vacation land, with pristine beaches and endlessly sunny weather, but apparently you can get just about any imported vehicle titled there.

One such vehicle would be this right-hand drive Mazda, never officially sold in the U.S.

This is a third generation 929. They were produced from 1981-1986, making this a final year example. The Coupe is even more rare, wearing a completely different front fascia than the sedan, with pop-up headlights and a thin-slot grille.


These were also known as the HB Cosmo and the Luce.

The only engine available for the 929 Coupe was a 2.0-litre four cylinder producing around 120 horsepower, not much by today's standards. Fortunately, power was directed to the rear wheels, as so many cars used to be but are no longer.

The seller is scant on details, but records the odometer as reading 52,341 miles (unclear as to whether in miles or kilometers). Cosmetically, they say it has newer paint and upholstery and has been "mostly" garaged. Mechanically they say it drives "like new".


The seller also says it is the only one in the U.S., which could very well be true. Fortunately the laissez-faire Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has enabled this vehicle to land on our shores. If it's titled in Florida, it could be transferable to any state. If not, you might face an upward battle driving this anywhere other than Florida.

Find it here on ebay.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Fastback Flashback: 1976 Lotus Eclat Sprint


The Lotus Eclat was a fastback version of the Elite. It also looked much, much better.

Very few of these were made, and even less are around today. Lotus only built 1,519 between 1974 and 1982, according to the seller.

Styling is classic 70s wedge shape. When Lotus debuted the similar-looking Esprit a year later, their range was suddenly thoroughly uniform and updated, with all their cars having fiberglass bodies, tapered snouts, hidden headlights and funky interiors.


While these were powered by only 2-litre inline four cylinder engines, they were mated to manual transmissions and directed power to the rear wheels. Thanks to the fiberglass body, weight came in at under 2,000 lbs, helping to make this a relatively sprightly performer, once it got going, that is.

The seller is this example says the odometer reads only 78,587 miles. Lotus cars were rarely driven regularly by owners for various reasons, so low mileage is actually the norm.

Mechanically, the seller proclaims it starts and runs fine, and list a host of repairs done.


Cosmetically, they say the cloth seats do have a seam parting and have some sun damage. However, they say the paint is all-original and the vehicle was garaged.

I like these. They are extremely rare, but still look cool. This one seems to be without any major problems, but it's still an old British car, so reliability and build quality will not be top-shelf. But if you're a die hard Lotus fan, this could be a great snatch. Hemmings CPI Value Guide estimates a 1975-80 Eclat Sprint Coupe in fair condition to be worth $1,700, good condition $3,550 and excellent condition $8,150.

Find it here on ebay in Santa Rosa, California with bidding at $3,250 and a buy it now of $7,900.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Pleasant Pleiades: 83k-mile 1985 Subaru GL 4WD Turbo


It's just not everyday you come across a 27-year old Subaru GL in this kind of condition.

Subaru in the 1980s were a really cool car company. This was before they became the dull L.L. Bean-mobiles of today. It was when they still placed an emphasis on all-wheel drive, but their cars were economical, compact, and relatively lightweight.

They were also styled somewhat provocatively with hard, crisp angles and edges. Their XT coupe is a new classic of modern auto design, and it featured a lot of technology that was ahead of its time.


The GL was close behind.

Japanese manufacturers had finally emerged from the shadow of European design and came into their own. The fuel crises of the 1970s combined with form over function design principles forced the Japanese to create highly utilitarian products intended for maximum usage while also being aesthetically pleasing. Although even the best Japanese designs were usually inspired by something from Germany or Italy, it was their entry-level economy cars of the 80s (something that the Germans and Italians hadn't quite mastered, at least for the U.S. market) that defined Japanese design as clean, simple, and uplifting. They were family-friendly but still sporty looking. They were distinctive without being decorative. They just fit on modern American roads.


Subaru used the GL nameplate for several generations of vehicles. This is the first year of an all-new body that lasted until 1994.

The seller is a dealer who have done a phenomenal job photographing the car with a ton of high-res photos and offering documentation and proof of the low mileage and careful ownership that car has. They state the odometer reads only an utterly remarkable 83,520 original miles, and the car has spent its whole life in California, before coming to Nevada where it is now.

Perhaps even more impressive is the condition. The deep "Crest Brown" metallic paint looks new. The vehicle has no rust. The interior is nothing less than immaculate. The owner wisely realized the dry and sunny west coast climate usually cracks plastic dashboards so they placed a nicely fitting mat over it. Note the digital speedometer, a visual treat for fans of vintage electronics.


What makes this GL an extra special treat is the equipment level. This example has a 1.8-litre SOHC 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged, on-demand 4-wheel drive, and on-demand pneumatic air suspension with height control. Awesome. Cruising down the highway at 80mph? Lower the suspension. Need to maneuver through water, mud or snow? Heighten the suspension, switch on the 4WD. Nowadays, most Subaru owners don't have these choices, let alone almost all vehicle owners. When the consumer loses choices, we all lose.

The seller states the vehicle has recently been given new axles, distributor cap, plug wires, battery and an a/c charge.

This car is not only a low-mileage survivor, but it's in unusually good shape and has some really cool optional equipment. It definitely deserves a new owner as loving as the previous was apparently.

If you are a Subaru fanatic or just have an itch for this, grab it. There probably isn't another one like it.

Find it here on ebay.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Glamtastic Voyager: 41k-mile 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280C


This is totally something you would have seen parked along the curb of a well-manicured lawn on Long Island or Beverly Hills in the 70s. What I love is how accessible they are now, and yet also on the cusp of becoming a true classic.

Production of the W114 lasted from 1968-1976 and resulted in almost 2 million units made, although only about 67,000 of those were two-door coupes like this.

In the U.S., the W114 was offered with fewer engine choices and DOT required alterations, which meant inferior headlights and larger bumpers. Fortunately, this stunning example wears slim bumpers, although it does have the poor sealed-beam headlights.


This is a 280C. It features the 2.8-litre M110 inline 6-cylinder engine and produced somewhere between 145-160 horsepower, ok for the time but will probably seem slow today. Still, the Germans designed all of their cars for solid and stable Autobahn cruising so this is probably pleasant once up to speed.

The seller of this vehicle claims it has only 41,499 miles and no rust, except for a dime-sized bubble on the driver's side. That's nothing considering how quickly these rust when exposed to the elements over time.

The tin-foil gold exterior color would be atrocious on any other car but works perfectly, especially with the charming matching tin wheel covers.


The seller mentions the leather seats were refreshed and it shows. The tan leather looks smooth and soft. I appreciate owners who re-do their interiors, especially on older cars. It's smart and goes a long way.

This 280C is equipped with an automatic transmission and air conditioning. They make no mention of mechanical status, but with the low mileage and clean body, hopefully the inner workings were cared for as much too.

Hemmings CPI Value Guide estimates a 1973-1974 280C in fair condition to be worth $1,850, good condition $3,900 and excellent condition $8,850, with a 4 point percentage increase over time.

Find it here on craigslist in Braintree, MA for $7,950.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Sole Survivor: 1976 Fiat Polski 125 Pickup


How adorable is this little pickup?

Unfortunately, it's also quite the endangered species.

According to the seller it is most likely the only surviving officially imported example.

FSO produced Fiat-based cars made in Poland. When they decided to branch out into U.S. sales, they brought over three examples, one of which was this pickup body based on the Fiat 125 sedan. While the other two met their fate, this one managed to live on.


Power comes from a small pushrod 4-cylinder engine directed to the rear wheels.

The seller says this example has an odometer that stopped working at 20,029, but they estimate the mileage can't be much more.

Cosmetically, they say the vehicle was repainted once. They say the body is free of major damage and rust, although the floors have holes and need new welding.

Mechanically, they say it starts and runs fine but will probably need a new clutch and oil filter.


How do you put a price on something so quirky, and apparently so rare? You really have to be a diehard fan, as vintage Toyota micro pickup trucks from the same era are just as charming but probably much more reliable.

Still, there's a lot to love and smile at here.

Find it here on ebay in Minneapolis, Minnesota with no reserve bidding at $4,000.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

*LISTING UPDATE* 1987 Acura Integra

UPDATE 9/12/2012: The seller has since lowered the advertised price to $3,199.00. We wonder if our comments with the help of avid COTC reader Larry helped influence any decisions! Best of luck to the seller and buyer on this vehicle.


Click here to view our original spotlight.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

A Whole Lot Of Car: 96k-mile 1994 BMW 740i


This is a lot of car for not a lot of money.

The E32 was BMW's flagship sedan from 1987-1994. These are beautifully crafted cars, inside and out.

Styling is courtesy of Ercole Spada working closely under Claus Luthe. Together, they created a modern classic that finally brought BMW up to the level of Mercedes, at least in the eyes of critics and car enthusiasts alike. The car was meant to take on the legendary but aging W126, and if it didn't match that car's reliability, it certainly did match or even surpass in performance, handling, style and comfort.

The price of taking of Mercedes was that the 7-series would never again be like the smaller, lighter, and less complex E23 that came before this model. But for a moment, at least with the E32, it was worth it in an overall better car.

 
They were initially powered by either a six cylinder engine or the notorious V12. Then, in 1993 the 740i/iL 8-cylinder appeared and the 735i/iL 6-cylinder was dropped. The V8 provided similar performance to the V12 without the maintenance headaches (although the Nikasil engines proved problematic after all). E32 production ceased in 1994.

Even sweeter was the short-wheelbase 740i, forsaking the longer wheelbase variant's complex air suspension and lengthy body.

The 4.0-litre V8 pumped out 282 horsepower, healthy for the time and still respectable today, although we have six cylinders producing that much now.


Used BMW cars in the USA run quite the gamut in condition. "Everybody" wants a BMW, with the classy Claus Luthe-era styling, rear-wheel drive and powerful engines. Since they depreciate fairly normally, when prices drop they end up in a variety of different hands, some of whom don't have the means or dedication to maintain these properly. In short, finding clean, relatively low mileage examples like this is increasingly rare, especially for the E32, which have all but disappeared from US roads.

The seller says this car has under 96k miles and has had recent maintenance done. A Quick carfax check will flesh out the rest of the story and either make this the winner it looks like, or something to avoid.

But for only $3,800, this sure seems like a really slick, very comfortable and capable cruiser. Me want, very very badly.

Find it here on craigslist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Rally Cred: 70k-mile 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR4 Turbo AWD/4WS


This is one sweet car. The stats are almost too good to be true: 4-doors, 2.4-litre inline DOHC 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, powering all four wheels and with four-wheel steering.

That's right. All four wheel pivot with a turn of the steering wheel. Combined with the engine powering all four wheels, this thing must have incredible control and stability on the road, straightaways, curves, any type of weather, dry or wet.

There are no better known systems than AWD and AWS. And very, very few cars have coupled them together. Japanese manufacturers were experimenting with 4WS in the late 1980s, most notably Honda on their Prelude, which featured an entirely mechanical system. Mazda also offered 4WS on their 626. Sadly, this relatively simple technology that provides vastly better handling than a car without it was abandoned by the industry for no clear reason. File under 'suppressed technology'.

Origins of the Mitsubishi logo
The Galant was Mitsubishi's otherwise staid and tame compact mid-size economy car. In order to qualify for the 1988 World Rally Championships, Mitsubishi needed to make sell at least 5,000 variants of their potential rally entry. The result was the VR-4.

Only 2,000 were imported in 1991, and just another 1,000 in 1992.

Given the low production volume and the car's rally readiness, these were typically thrashed and trashed, so finding any example, let alone one in good shape and with relatively low miles, is rare.


The seller provides little backstory but assert the 70,019 miles on the odometer are original. They also say the car is "bone stock", another added bonus seeing how so many cheap Japanese cars from the 80s and 90s are distastefully and pointlessly modified.

Even the interior looks good, with no visible rips, tears or stains on the leather, possibly supporting the low mileage claim.


There can't be many left, although they do come up for sale somewhat frequently. But these are still rare, collector cars and definite future classics. The cheap, simple parts and construction also make it good for (very fun) daily driving.

I want it.

Find it here on ebay in Columbia, South Carolina, with 5 bids at $3,550 but reserve not met.