Cars & TV – Evil Drives a Mercedes

3 05 2015

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If you’re not familiar with ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”, you may find it a bit (ok, a lot actually) out there. The show has the liberty to explore a whole universe of fairy tale characters and, because ABC is owned by Disney, the whole Mickey Mouse catalog is on the table as well. Beloved classics like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Peter Pan”? They’re in there. A “Frozen” mashup? Why not? All that was missing was “let it go”.

For those of you who never watched the show, Once Upon a Time (OUT) is anchored around the story of classic characters Snow White, her step mother the evil Queen and of course, Prince Charming (I know…but bare with me). Departing from the traditional depiction of a girl who cleans random houses she finds in the woods (because no one wants to trespass and crash on a dirty cabin, right?), OUT’s Snow White is a seasoned fighter whom, along with “Charming”, wages war against the evil Queen Regina in order to take back the kingdom. Things seem to go well for #teamheroes until the Queen comes up with the ultimate curse, banishing everyone from their wondrous land to a magic deprived place, a little town in Maine in which people forget all about who they are, doomed to live mundane and unfulfilled lives, out of sync with real time. The Queen reinvents herself as the all powerful Mayor and, since she’s the only one who retains memory of past events, revels in tormenting and ruling over her now depressed and miserable subjects. However, things change when Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter Emma arrives in town.

Not gonna go deeper into the plot because, despite how it sounds in this little synopsis, the show has fantastic actors and has been worth the watch, so give it a shot when you have the chance. As in every show, there have been hits and misses…the writers/show runners have dropped the ball lately, something which creates concerns for the future of OUT, but the series still developed a very loyal fan base and that’s in no small way due to some great acting.

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While you’re supposed to be rooting for the good guys, the villains steal the show, namely Robert Carlyle as “Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin in an underrated but amazing performance which puts a lot of the best Hollywood has to offer to shame, and of course Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills/Evil Queen, an absolute fan favorite who had everyone rooting for the bad guy (well, girl in this case…) from day 1. It’s because of the character Regina that AV is focusing on OUT today, more particularly because of her car: a sexy, sleek – and sinister in a really good way – black Mercedes Benz 560SL. Had to be black, right? What kind of self respecting villain would have a ride in any other color?

The R107 Mercedes Benz is a thing of beauty. For a long time it was overlooked by classic cars enthusiasts, who were lost in the endless pit of charm, class and glamour which is the W113. But those days are over, so if you’re thinking about picking up a great, cheap R107…you probably won’t be able to, not a good one at least, because that ship has sailed and it is never, ever coming back. But there’s still hope in case you really do fall hard for these and absolutely need one in your life. As with every collectible car, there are a few years and specs more desirable than others, so you can still find something relatively affordable from the mid/late 80’s (since enthusiasts usually want the early stuff; let’s not forget Mercedes made the R107 for almost two full decades). If you want to spend 20 grand or so in a super clean SL with no need of any major overhauling, now is the time. And with that kind of money you can do like our evil, sarcastic, charming and glamorous Mayor did and pick up a 560SL.

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Sometimes shows just get stuff right and this particular car for this particular character became one of those fortunate occasions. I wish it would fit the timeline of the story perfectly, but that’s a detail that only car people would give a second thought to. You see, Mills drives a 560, a model focused for non-European markets, predominantly the US one. This spec was introduced in late 1985 and sold from 86 on; the evil Queen´s car – now there’s something I didn’t think I’d ever write – is a 1988 or 1989 model; we know this because the brake lamp at the back is particular to those years. However, the show’s (main) story starts in 1893. As a little extra in one episode some day it would be interesting to see the origin story (if you will) of the car, how the character came to own it and why that gap…but I might very well be the only person in the whole world interested in seeing that…

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[Wanna make sure to say a big thank you to Tamar V. for very kindly allowing the use of the above picture here on AV. Stop by Tamar Loses It to check out all the nice rides that wonder around “Storybrooke”]

So what’s particular about Regina’s 560SL? Well, a couple of interesting things. As mentioned, this is a (mainly) US model, so it does have the ugly US spec bumpers on it. The European market models had far better looking ones. Curiously, the car has European headlights on it which, again, are much more attractive than the US versions. Someone made a great decision changing those. The rims are not stock nor are they period correct, which is a shame. R107’s always had fantastic options (common to other Mercedes models) in this department, but someone chose to go with 7 spoke factory OEMs from a W208 CLK 320 on this one. It’s an interesting option, it doesn’t look terrible but still, stock would be a lot better.

Can’t really tell under the hood for obvious reasons, but originally the 560 had an interesting V8, common to the 350 to 560 range, the 5.6L being the bigger displacement one obviously. Interestingly enough, because the European 500SL spec had fewer restrictions in terms of emissions, it was faster than the 560.

The R107 is not a hard core sports car; it’s a comfortable, charismatic 2 seater cruiser that can move along at a brisk pace if you need it to do so. It looks incredible (the optional, factory Pagoda style hard top upgrades it to achingly beautiful), especially in black and it’s a home run choice for a villain’s car.

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However, these days our beloved evil Queen is not so evil anymore, transitioning steadily from villain to hero. The character’s path has been very interesting and Lana Parrilla did an incredible job at humanizing  Regina Mills, making her transition from murderous megalomaniac, to honorable ally, to love struck champion for the good guys. But all that change doesn’t mean the stylish Benz has to go though…

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Image credits: Screencaps: Episodes “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” and “Heroes and Villains”

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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For Sale! [Artcurial Retromobile 2015 Sale Special Edition]

21 01 2015

For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.

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Welcome to the New Year! We’re starting this one off with some very special stuff. Next February 6th, Artcurial Motorcars will be holding its Retromobile Sale in Paris. Now, there are a lot of great cars in the catalogue but this particular event will be especially interesting because it features some of the gems from the big, BIG barn find from December of last year which uncovered treasures like Alain Delon’s 1961 SWB California. You can read about it see some astonishing pictures of the finds in their untouched condition on this Classic Driver article. I felt Automotive Views simply could not let this Sale pass without focusing on a few of the precious entries, so this month’s “For Sale!” invites you to grab your wallet and head straight to the city of lights.

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All the ads for cars featured in this article can be found here

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1988 Lamborghini LM 002

Lamborghini LM002 Do you really need a V12 off roader made by Lamborghini and which only uses special 1000 dollar a piece Pirelli tires? Of course you do, especially if your name is preceded by “Sultan”, “Emir” or “Sheikh”. In 1977 Lamborghini came up with the “Cheetah”, a prototype military vehicle which was meant to be pitched – I kid you not – to the US military. Can you imagine US forces driving around in Lamborghinis instead of Humvees? Well that – sadly – never happened, so Lamborghini ended up losing the rear mounted Chrysler V8, stuffing one of their Countach V12 in the front and voilà, the “Rambo Lambo” was born. If you absolutely need to cross deserts in style and in a hurry, this 290 liter tank mammoth is definitely the ride for you.

Price: Auction – estimated 110.000€ to 140.000€
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1959 Facel Vega Excellence

Facel Vega ExcellenceOld world charm with new world muscle. The Excellence is one of the very best French cars ever made, certainly one of the most beautiful ones as well. Luxurious, fast, rare, and exclusive, this particular Excellence was completely restored (body off) a little over a decade ago so it should be in pretty good shape. No other car in the world will make you look as stylish as the Excellence.

Price: Auction – estimated 170.000€ to 210.0000€
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1965 Aston Martin DB5

Aston Martin DB5Let’s face it, no one is completely immune to the Bond magic and ever since “Goldfinger” the DB5 is synonymous with good old James. But that’s definitely not the totality of its merit. The DB5 is a gorgeous, capable grand tourer that helped define performance and luxury standards in the 1960’s. An inline 6 with 282bhp gets the DB5 running all the way up to 143mph and this particular example was already equipped with the better ZF 5 speed gearbox (originally these models had a 4 speed with optional overdrive). Mechanically in good shape and painted in this particularly fetching “Goodwood green” tone, this lovely DB5 should fetch quite a good price.

Price: Auction – estimated 625.000€ to 675.0000€
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1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada

1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT StradaAgain, you’ve got to love the American muscle/European design “marriage”. Sure, this kind of cars can be a pain (maintenance and reliability-wise) due to component compatibility (more specifically, the frequent lack thereof) but just look at how unique and amazing these creations are…and amongst this already very restrict and distinct automotive family branch, few things are as unique and as amazing as this: the Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada. Just look at that wonder of a body; the complexity of the shape alone would confuse the hell out of any computer trying to come up with something even remotely similar today. The 5300GT Strada is heartwarmingly fluid and natural; you can see the old fashion genius and craft that went into creating this unbelievable design. Plus, the Corvette heart insures the Bizzarrini is no slouch either. If you don’t know much about the Bizzarrini/ISO relationship (and subsequent “wonder twins” Grifo A3C and 5300 GT Strada), go read a little bit about because it’s a fascinating story. From the great master’s (Giotto Bizzarrini) depart from Ferrari to the split between Iso and Bizarrini, there’s information and fun facts to keep you busy for hours.

Price: Auction – estimated 550.000€ to 650.0000€
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1989 Citroen CX by Nilsson

Citroen CX NilssonFeeling Presidential? Have I got something for you…heir to the DS legacy of luxury and comfort, the CX was always a unique looking automobile (personally I’d call it handsome but, as with all old Citroens, looks are a highly subjective issue and beauty is, in this case, truly in the eye of the beholder); however, this Nilsson version is even more interesting and appealing. Back in 1989, a big celebration was being prepared in the GDR (German Democratic Republic): its 40th anniversary. French President François Mitterrand was a guest of honor and as such, the GDR government commissioned 2 special limousine CXs from a Swedish company called Nilsson. Thus, this stately creation was born. Sadly though it would prove itself useful because, as you know, 1989 was also the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so no visit, no celebration, no CX limo glory. On the plus side you can now buy a – pretty much – new, charming and unique limousine for a relatively low price.

Price: Auction – estimated 40.000€ to 60.0000€
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1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta Frua

Maserati A6G Frua BerlinettaThe first of the 2 barn finds I selected to feature on this special “For Sale!” edition is the elegant A6G Frua. This is one of the very best, rarer mid/late 50’s grand tourers with a total of just 4 units made by Frua in this berlinetta configuration. This isn’t just an achingly beautiful car; it was also tremendously advanced for his time. Several coachwork A6G Maseratis were made in this period (Zagato, Frua, Alemano, Vignale) with the Zagato Berlinetta – I believe – being the most loved and celebrated variation. Don’t get me wrong, I also think that’s one of the best designs Zagato ever came up with and certainly one of the greatest looking cars of the 50’s…actually, one of the greatest looking cars ever; however, I’ve always felt the front is just a little bit too familiar with the 54 Gullwing Merc.; maybe it’s just me but I believe the resemblance/inspiration is there. This however, the Berlinetta Frua is more sober, the straight lines make it look leaner and meaner despite not being as performance oriented as the Zagato. It’s just one man’s opinion, but I truly love that about this car. This particular example has been parked alongside a California since 1971! It is finally seeing the light of day and going off to a new owner which will lavish immeasurable attention and TLC on it, as it should be.

Price: Auction – estimated 800.000€ to 1.2000.000€
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1949 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB by Saoutchik

Talbot Lago T26 by SaoutchikIf there ever was a definition for “rusty gold”, this is most definitely it. Here’s looking at you Mike Wolfe @AmericanPicker! One of the most incredible things to come out of the previously mentioned barn find, this Talbot Lago is no longer a car, it’s art. Nature and time made it into art and if I could afford it, hell, I wouldn’t touch it. I’d display it just the way it is in my living room or something…This car was featured at several automobile Salons before being “lost” in time until now. It would be pointless of me to copy/paste this car’s history so go here and read all about its absolutely fascinating life. This is a barn find legend if I ever saw one and that reflects on the price, even in this condition.

Price: Auction – estimated 400.000€ to 600.000€
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1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster

Mercedes Benz 540K Special RoadsterThis is it, THE pre-war Mercedes, the car to put all other cars (of the period) to shame. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 540 Special (“Spezial” if you wanna be language-accurate) Roadster. Bask in its magnificence. No really, go ahead. I’ll wait.
It truly is a thing of beauty isn’t it? Personally I believe only the Autobahnkurier beats this configuration in terms of sheer, jaw dropping, bone aching beauty, but since that was a one of one, I’ll go ahead and attribute the “production car” (using that term loosely, of course) crown to the Special Roadster. How exclusive were these? Well, professional real life super villain Hermann Goring had one so that should give you some clue about the kind of person who could afford a 540K SR back in the day. Reportedly only 26 Special Roadsters were ever made. The 540K Mercedes have picked up a bit of a bad rep due to alleged extensive ties to high ranking Nazi officials, but as Michael Daly states in his fascinating article “Driving Notoriety: The Vilified Legacy of Mercedes’ 540K”, only 3 Mercedes 540k have ever been conclusively linked to that kind of proprietor. But back to the particular example at hand: this stunning feat of Karrosserie Sindelfingen mastery is without a shadow of a doubt one of the big stars or Artcurial’s Retromobile Sale and I definitely wouldn’t be surprised at all if it were to surpass its estimated sale priced.

Price: Auction – estimated 2.000.000€ to 3.000.000€





For Sale! [November 2014 Edition]

12 11 2014

For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.

1998 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR

1998 Mercedes Benz CLK GTRIf there was ever a time in which Mercedes truly outdid itself in the performance department, it was with this: the CLK GTR. Only 25 of these outstanding rides were build and they certainly command – as you’d expect – seriously high asking prices but oh boy, are they worth it…Back in 2012 I wrote a little bit about another one that popped up for sale (that time down in Ft. Lauderdale, FL) so, for more info on the CLK GTR click here to go to that previous AV post. This particular one being offered for sale right now has less then 1000kms under its belt, which although not being something unheard of with cars of this caliber (people tend to lock them up and not enjoy them), it’s still pretty impressive.
Oh, and did I mentioned the same seller has an FIA GT spec, Le Man participant CLK GTR for sale as well…?

Price: P.O.R.
For sale in France
Seller: Classic Sport Leicht
Click here to view ad [Road going]
Click here to view ad [Competition]
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1965 Mercedes Benz 600 SWB

Mercedes Benz 600 W100I want to stop fangirling over the W100 600, I really do but I can’t…it’s just such a perfect thing…I’ve been on and on about it in the past, so if you want to read more regarding the 600 you can check out these previous AV posts here and here.

Price: P.O.R.
For sale in the Netehrlands
Seller: The Gallery Brummen
Click here to view ad
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1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1All black, all beautiful. Every once in a while (ok fine, almost every month…) I feature a Mach 1 on “For Sale!”, but not just because I personally love this version of the 1969 and 1970 Mustang (I’m ok with the 1971 too, but that’s a whole different story); they’re properly amazing cars by any measure, not just some of the best looking rides ever made. This particular Mach 1 probably has a 351 Windsor 2-barrel; the seller lists the engine in the specs as a “5.7L, 233hp”; the 5.7L I assume to be a typo, since both Windsor and Cleveland – for 1970 – 351s are 5.8L and the horsepower figure is closer to the original 250 of the Windsor 2-barrel than to the 290 of the 4-barrel version. The 4 speed manual is definitely a good selling point in Europe and the fact that this is originally a California car with a full restoration done not so long ago are also strong arguments to help convince potential buyers. Despite their originality, it begs for new rims, but otherwise it’s absolutely perfect.

Price: Auction, estimate 32.000€ to 40.000€ (39.685 USD to 49.572 USD)
For sale in Germany
Seller: Auctionata
Click here to view ad
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2014 Bentley Mulsanne

2014 Bentley MulsanneLet’s say you’re a wealthy individual, a particularly sophisticated bon vivant of impeccable taste. You appreciate the finer things in life of course and as such, you understand that an automobile must be more than a means of transportation from A to B; it needs to reflect your image, speak to your personality, be a statement. In the top luxury range, you’re faced with only two choices: Rolls Royce or Bentley. German cars are for executives and politicians, so you have to go British (well, as British as possible anyway…we could argue about just how German RR’s and Bentley’s are, but we’re not getting into that now). Being chauffeured around all the time isn’t quite your style, so a Phantom would be inappropriate since it can’t exactly be called a “driver’s car”. You could get a Ghost, but that would mean you’d have to live with the knowledge that there was something better and more expensive, so that simply won’t do. The solution? Forget Rolls Royces and focus on Bentleys, more specifically the gorgeous, exclusive, refined, incomparable Mulsanne. Not only does it have exquisitely luxurious interiors, but it’s also more than capable of being absolutely ferocious on the road. The twin turbo V8 puts out 500+ bhp, making sure you’ll only ever be as fashionably late as you desire to any of you charity Galas in London or Riviera soirées at the Hôtel de Paris.

Price: 222.747€ (277.792 USD)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Bentley Leicester
Click here to view ad
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1997 Porsche 993 GT2

Porsche 993 GT2The 993 was an amazing 911, it is – pretty much – universally loved, especially since it was the last of the purist-approved Porches (last of the air cooled). On top of the 993 food chain was this, the monstrous (and I use that term in the most positive of senses) GT2. Bred for racing, it was a nice little step up from the already very impressive Turbo. The huge fenders were bolt on plastic pieces to accommodate the bigger tires and also to make them easier to remove and replace in a racing scenario…talk about a focused machine. The extremely rare, extremely desirable GT2 featured here for sale has under7500km and is one of just seven right hand drive cars produced for the British market.

Price: P.O.R.
For sale in the UK
Seller: DK Engineering
Click here to view ad
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2000 Aston Martin V600 Vantage Le Mans

Vantage Le MansI won’t say much about this little know but oh so perfect Aston because I’m actually preparing a full article about it; however, I will state that this is one of Aston Martins’ greatest accomplishments as far as road cars are concerned. A lot of people didn’t get the Virage, they didn’t get the Vantage either; but for those who truly understood…it was love at first sight. This is the pinnacle of that Virage/Vantage evolution; a limited series of 40 earth shattering cars that marked the end of an era. The one featured in this ad is one of THE Le Mans to have, a V600 (there was a choice between V590 and V600 spec). Although no information on that regard is currently available from the seller, I checked the registry and believe this to be either chassis number 13 (10/03/2000) or 37 (31/03/2000). I personally have a bit of an issue with the color because I always think of these in Aston Martin Racing Green and this particular example is a Bowland black, but don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad color by any means, it’s just not the iconic one for this model in particular. Again, according to the registry, there were only 3 Bowland black Le Mans and they’re said to have tan (2) and charcoal (1) interiors; this particular car has Magnolia interiors, so perhaps the registry is at fault there or the car got reupholstered at some point. Even if it had been the case [second hypothesis, strictly speculative] it would certainly take nothing away from it.

Price: 535.988€ (665.911 USD)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Classicmobilia
Click here to view ad
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1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Brougham Castilian

Cadillac CastilianIn the immortal words of Monty Python’s John Cleese: “and now for something completely different”. I love wagons, I love old Cadillacs and I most certainly love old Cadillac wagons. Look at it, how cool is this!? It’s a Fleetwood Brougham, but a wagon…in wagon form…wagon shaped…WAGON! Am I the only one ridiculously excited over this!? I knew there have been a few custom Caddy wagons over the years – even Elvis had one – but what makes this particular “Castilian” exciting is that it is a part of a series! I admit to my previous complete ignorance on this model, so I checked with Conceptcarz.com  and Farcereplace.com and found out that the Castilians were a creation of Traditional Coachworks Ltd. of Chatsworth, California. They made about 50 of these (weren’t cheap either…30 grand each!) and they also came up with a cool El-Camino like version called “Mirage”. What a great company! The one being offered for sale in this ad looks absolutely wonderful and it is simply beautiful. The lines are astonishing and I am in love, so please buy it before I get in debt over it…

Price: 26.800€ (33.296 USD)
For sale in France
Seller: Auto Gallery
Click here to view ad





The Transporter(s)

9 11 2014

Nowadays when you need to haul you race car(s) around, you have a wide range of very modern, practical and convenient trailers and trucks that will do the job beautifully. One annoying little thing though: they all look pretty much the same. Sure, you can customize them, throw some paint on, some graphics…but the basic shape doesn’t vary that much. Gone are the days when race car haulers were truly a part of the show, properly admired by the Team/Drivers fans and coveted by kids that would pick them up as scale models from companies like Matchbox and Corgi. Today on Automotive Views, we take a trip down memory lane, back to the good old days (done with cliches, I promise) of race car haulers. Here are a few of the very best ever made.

Citroen DS Tissier Car Transporter

Citroen DS Tissier 1976

Citroen DS Tissier 1976If you don’t know about Tissier Citroens I’ve gotta say, you’re missing out on something amazing! Back in the day, Pierre Tissier had a problem. He was a Panhard agent in Paris, but frequently needed to transport cars to/from Spain as well. Tissier found that there really wasn’t anything available that he considered to be up to the job. So, following that “necessity being the mother of invention” rule, Tissier decided to come up with something appropriate himself. His amazing company was born from that decision, ending up becoming “the” expert at making the most of Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspension, building some of the most extraordinary vehicles you’ll ever see in your life. From ambulances to motor homes, carrying anything from stacks of newspapers across France to helicopters in Africa, the Tissier Citroens (DS, CX, XM…) are serious pieces of machinery in any form. You can take a look around this Otto6 page and be amazed at the sheer volume of variations, but today, we’re focusing solely on the car hauler. Now, you may be tempted to say: “but this post is specifically about race car haulers, you can load up any vehicle on one of these, not just racers”; well, you are of course completely right in that observation; but, since these did perform that task as well, I felt it was only fair to include them. Let’s face it, if you get to the track in one of these it really doesn’t matter how the weekend goes, you already won.

Ecurie Ecosse Transporter

Ecurie Ecosse Transporter

Ecurie Ecosse Transporter“Team Scotland” was a heavyweight name in racing back in the 50’s. They won the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans in both 1956 and 1957 (with their D-Types taking first and second that year). However, Ecurie Ecosse failed to perform well at La Sarthe every single year after that till 1962, when the original team was no more. Accompanying the team through good and bad times was something even cooler than the metallic Scottish flag blue D-Types: the Ecurie Ecosse one of a kind, gorgeous Transporter. Imagined by chief designer Selby Howgate, the Transporter started life as a simple Commer truck chassis. Over time, it was shaped by Howgate (and built by Walter Alexander & Co. Coachworks – Scotland) to the immediately recognizable form we know and love today. Debuted in 1960 and immortalized by Corgi the following year, the Transporter has room for two cars on top and a third one down in the back. Inside, it has a shop area as well as crew sleeping quarters. Retired in 1971, the Ecurie Ecosse Transporter lived a rough life untill it was restored to its former glory in the 1980’s. It sold in late 2013 for a whopping £1,793,500 (that’s $2,931,411). You can see and hear a bit more of the Transporter in this Hemmings Blog post.

Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter

Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter

Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix TransporterTalk about an illustrious career. This particular 306/2, a Fiat chassis with a Bartoletti body, started life as the transporter for the Maserati Formula 1 team during the 1957 and 1958 seasons. By 1960, the Grand Prix Transporter was in the hands of Lance Reventlow’s racing team, an American entrepreneur and car driver. For the 1960 and 1961 seasons, the Bartoletti Fiat served as Reventlow Automobiles Inc GP team hauler until being sold in 1961 to none other than American legend Carroll Shelby. Shelby added a second rear axle to the Grand Prix Transporter in order to make it more stable and to handle the weight of the Daytona Coupes better. After leaving Shelby’s employment, the Bartoletti Fiat was used by Lotus and by the racing teams of David Piper and Alan Mann before being cast in the Steve McQueen movie “Le Mans” in which it apparently needed to play several roles, being painted and repainted according to whichever team it needed to belong to on screen…so much work…After Le Mans, the Grand Prix Transporter had a couple of more owners, ending up for sale in 2011 at the RM Monterey Auction. At this point, the Bartoletti Fiat had already experienced a detailed process of restoration and that reflected on the price: almost one million US dollars. You can read more about the history and specs of the blue giant in a 2012 RM article here.

Pegaso Bacalao

Pegaso Bacalao

Pegaso Bacalao“Codfish” (Bacalao) is a weird name for…pretty much anything but the actual fish, really…however, it looks particularly out of place in a car hauler. Nonetheless, the strangeness of the name takes absolutely nothing away from how astonishing this Spanish creation is. Where did it come from? Well, bear with me: the Spanish part of Hispano-Suiza was bought by ENASA (Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones) which was in term owned by INI (Instituto Nacional de Industria), a state owned industrial holding company. ENASA built vehicles under two brand names, Sava and Pegaso. The latter made a little bit of everything really, from trucks, to buses to sports cars. Of those sports cars, I’d like to take a moment and single out the gorgeous Z102B Saoutchik Berlinetta; if you don’t know it, click here and enjoy, you can thank me later. So we already know Pegaso made a bunch of different commercial vehicles, but where does the Bacalao fit in? Well, apparently Pegaso needed something nice to haul their Z-102 race cars around, so they took one of their Z-401 truck chassis and made this one off, awesome transporter. According to Pasión Pegaso Forum member patanslot68 who did some more extensive research on the matter, the Bacalao saw the light of day in 1952, being presented to the public the following year. By 1954, the Pegaso had a slightly different front with a smaller grill and a different paint scheme; originally white, the Bacalao then wore a two tone blue paint job with a white roof. During the following decade, the Bacalao had a long career in several rallies and motoring/racing events. By 1968, it was a support vehicle for an F2 team, a job that it apparently maintained for a while until it got abandoned in Barcelona. In 1970, the Bacalao was retired in the worst way possible, being scrapped unceremoniously. A loss not only to car transporter enthusiasts, but to Spain as whole, since its now missing an extremely relevant piece of Pegaso history.

Rennstall Bunker’s VW T1

Rennstall Bunker VW T1

Rennstall Bunker VW T1Not a lot to tell here, but what a way to make a T1 pickup really special…the American Rennstall Bunker (“Racing Bunker”) team found a way to haul its Porsches in style with this extended bed T1. I can’t find much on the success (or lack thereof) of Art Bunker and his team, but they sure hit a home run with the VW hauler because to this day, it stands tall as a favorite amongst car hauler enthusiasts. The original was unfortunately lost…however, a lovingly crafted replica made its debut at the 2007 Techno Classica in Essen, causing quite a stir. Welcome back, little big Volkswagen!

Fiat Tipo 682/RN-2 Transporter

Fiat Tipo 682/RN-2 Transporter

Fiat Tipo 682/RN-2 TransporterAnother Bartoletti Fiat you ask? Yes! Most definitely! Gotta love those things…This time, Ferrari’s 1959 682/RN-2. Used by the Scuderia alongside another Bartoletti, the 642 RN-2, Ferrari’s (at the time) new toy featured slightly different looks than its predecessor. However, in my humble opinion, a few small changes added up to a huge difference. That amazing round front grill alone (the 642 had a square one with no chrome strips in the middle) makes it twice as beautiful. For 11 years the 682 safely carried some of the best, most astonishing race cars ever made from one track to the next. By 1970 it was sold to – I kid you not – a circus promoter that toured it all over Italy. After being retired from his stretch as “circus folk”, it remained stored for about 20 years, being bought in 1995 by SoCal specialists that arranged for a full restoration according to the website boldride. The 682 sold at Pebble Beach in 2011 for just under one million US dollars.

Mercedes Benz 0317 Porsche Transporter

Team Transporter by Porsche Gulf Collection Salon Privé 2012

Mercedes 0317 Porsche TransporterYou take what’s already a cool looking Mercedes bus, throw everything away but the chassis and that pretty “face” (as you can see in this amazing picture), send it off to the Schenk Company for a functional body capable of hauling 4 of the most badass race cars that ever existed and, to top it all of, you give it the incomparable Gulf livery. Now you’ve got yourself a proper, astonishing hauler. According to ClassicDriver.com’s Alex Easthope, only three 0317 Porsche Transporters were built, of which 2 remain. This particular one, the 1968 Gulf-Wyer hauler remains absolutely immaculate in terms of conservation and those beasts – also known as 917s – look right at home in it…

Cheetah

Cheetah Transporter

Cheetah TransporterNorman Holtkamp, a fabricator who was also a Porsche and Volkswagen dealer at Inglewood California, looked at Mercedes’ “Blue Wonder” (we’ll get to that beauty in a minute…) and thought “Hmm, that’s kind of amazing”. So, he decided it was worth giving a shot at building something as cool as the astonishing blue Mercedes. Staying true to his inspiration, the Cheetah is based on a Merc, a wrecked 300S to be exact. Holtkamp then raided a few parts bins looking for stuff to bolt on the salvaged 300’s chassis. The engine for the Cheetah is a small block Chevy V8 coupled to a 3 speed Vette transmission; the “cab” came out of a 59 or 1960 El Camino (depending on which source you consult; in an article for Barnfinds.com, Tom Cotter, author of the popular book “The Cobra in the Barn” states that Holtkamp bought the 1960 Camino cab straight off GM’s Truck Assembly Plant in Van Nuys); the headlights and front bumper belong to a 1960 Corvair and the rear bumper looks like it was taken off a 59 El Camino as well (correct me if I’m wrong, Chevy experts). The one of a kind hauler was then taken to LA’s Troutman-Barnes (popular race car body builders in the 50’s and 60’s) where it got its sleek aluminum shape. The Cheetah Transporter was ready to work by 1961 and according to this Hemmings Blog article, Holtkamp planned for a limited production run that would carry an asking price of 16 grand per transporter. However, that was a particularly high price at the time and as such, the Cheetah ended up being a one off. After 3 years in service, this second Hemmings article tells us that Holtkamp messed with the dimensions of the Cheetah, discarding parts of the stunning Troutman-Barnes body in the process. He ended up selling the Transporter to builder/racer Dean Moon who, while in the process of updating the brakes from drums to disks, saw the 1971 San Francisco earthquake destroy the building in which the Cheetah was being worked on. Despite not suffering major damage, the occurrence was enough to let the Transporter sitting on jack stands in Moon’s shop till his death in 1987. It’s unclear why he never completed the work prior to his passing. The Cheetah was then purchased by car collector Jim Degnan who in turn, sold it to Geoff Hacker in 2006. Who is Geoff Hacker you ask? Well, it’s complex to explain but he certainly looks like someone with a fun job…finding and bringing back to life the unique and the obscure. You can read more about Hacker here. As far as I can tell, Hacker still owns the Cheetah; at least he did 4/5 years ago, can’t really find any information or pictures after that. I hope one day the unique Holtkamp Transporter will be brought back to its former glory and, I don’t know if at any point this complete body shown in Cotter’s article was actually on the car or if it never left the concept/sketch stage, but if the Cheetah looked like that it would be about 10 times even more stylish/cool/pretty than it already is.

Mercedes Benz Rennstrasnporter (“Blue Wonder”)

Mercedes Benz Rennstrasnporter (“Blue Wonder”)

Mercedes Benz Rennstrasnporter (“Blue Wonder”)As usual, I saved the best (what I personally feel qualifies as such anyway) for last. Mercedes already had pretty astonishing machinery for the track; the Silver Arrows (W196s) were a force to be reckoned with. However, they needed a hauler that could match their superb cars…it wasn’t an easy job, but I’d say they pulled it off beautifully. Brainchild of Alfred Neubauer – Mercedes Grand Prix Team racing manager at the time – the “Blue Wonder” Rennstransporter was based on a 300S, but it was powered by the same inline-six that was providing the SL Gullwing with the grounds for its claim as the world’s first supercar. As a result, the “Blue Wonder” was the world’s fastest race car hauler of its day, capable of doing 105 mph! The amazing Mercedes Transporter served the company for over 10 years until its life ended far too violently and abruptly. Born in 1954, by 1967 legendary Mercedes engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut had it scrapped for unknown reasons. What an absolute senseless tragedy! Luckily, Mercedes attempted to undo Uhlenhaut’s horrendous and incomprehensible mistake by building an as accurate as possible replica in 2001. The Blue Wonder is reborn, thank you Mercedes.

Images used:
Tissier DS

http://www.gopixpic.com/1024/description-citroen-ds-002jpg/http:||upload*wikimedia*org|wikipedia|commons|a|a3|Citroen_DS_002*jpg/
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Citroen_DS_Tissier_000_1970_backright_2010-03-13_U.jpg

Ecurie Ecosse Transporter

http://www.hdwallpaperbackground.com/PCWallpapers/CarWallpapers/carwallpapers-984_3_2560x1600.html
http://toplowridersites.com/mille-miglia-photos/
Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter
http://www.wallpaperup.com/130117/1956_Fiat_306-2_Bartoletti_Grand_Prix_Transporter_towtruck_retro_f.html
Pegaso Bacalao

http://autoescala.blogspot.pt/2010/08/pegaso-bacalao-hispania-models.html
http://oldvan.exblog.jp/page/63/
VW T1 “Rennstall Bunker”

http://www.356speedsterclub.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=714
http://www.forum.mdiecast.com/topic/8944-renntransporteri/
Fiat Tipo 682/RN-2 Transporter
http://www.wallpaperup.com/130121/1959_Fiat_682_RN2_Bisarca_Bartoletti_towtruck_retro_ferrari.html
http://www.gopixpic.com/1024/fiat-682-rn2-fot-ape-fight/http:||s2*blomedia*pl|autokult*pl|images|2012|03|Fiat-682-RN2-fot*-Ape-Fight*jpg/
Mercedes 0317 Porsche Transporter
http://www.soloporsche.com/showthread.php?p=965600
http://www.talkmorgan.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/208422/all/Le_Mans_Classic
http://forums.autosport.com/topic/63980-transporters/page-39

Cheetah

http://barnfinds.com/cheetah-transporter-chase/http://www.undiscovered-classics.com/cars-in-the-que-awaiting-restoration/

Mercedes-Benz Renntransporter

http://en.autowp.ru/mercedes-benz/car3181/exact/pictures/
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mercedes-Benz_Renntransporter_1954_%289655917253%29.jpg

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For Sale! [October 2014 Edition]

28 10 2014

For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.

1981 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9

Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9The W116 S-class is one of the best looking sedans Mercedes ever made. The design is elegant, timeless and the capable technical platform underneath allowed for some very interesting developments, the most interesting of which is this: the amazing 450SEL 6.9. A showcase of Mercedes’ greatest skills from 1975 to 1981 (well, 1980 really…only 4 made in 1981), the 6.9 featured hydropneumatic self leveling suspension á la Citroen and limited slip diff, making it a very pleasant, steady ride. Power wise, it employs the same colossus as the W100 series; the M-100 cast iron V8 was upgraded from the original 6.3 to 6.9l, getting the 450 to run all the way up to 140mph after a 0 to 60 dash of just over 7 seconds. Not bad at all for a two ton car in the 70’s. The 450SEL 6.9 attracted the attention of people like legendary Ladies man James Hunt and Ol’ Blue Eyes; apparently it also won Ringo Starr’s heart because this particular example offered for sale was once owned by the drummer of the Beatles, a musical group of some sort that was apparently mildly popular at a point.

Price: 48.914€ (62.018 USD)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Duncan Hamilton &Co Ltd
Click here to view ad
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2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta

Ferrari 599 SA ApertaThe Ferrari 599 is a pretty cool car; not perfect, but quite good. It got dialed up to 11 with the GTO version and that’s great, but there’s another incarnation of the 599 that often goes unappreciated: the Aperta. Created as a very special tribute to Pininfarina’s 80th birthday, the Aperta is an exclusive ride because fittingly, only 80 were made. Featuring the same engine as the previously mentioned drop dead gorgeous, beastly GTO the Aperta packs 661bhp and reaches 202mph…how’s that for al fresco motoring?

Price: 920.000€ (1.166.468 USD)
For sale in the Switzerland
Seller: Private Seller
Click here to view ad
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1985 Lancia Delta S4 Rally Car

Lancia Delta S4 RallyIf there was ever a golden age of rallying, it certainly happened while the monsters of Group B were in play. Between 82 and 86, legends like the Quattro, 037 and R200 were tearing up dirt and tarmac all over the world at ridiculous speeds. In that final year, a brutal crash claimed the lives of Finnish driver Henri Toivonen and American co-driver Sergio Cresto; their S4 was unrecognizable after the incident which (coupled with a series of previous incidents involving Group B cars) became the proverbial nail in the coffin for this class. Loss of life is always tragic and Rally drivers can only be commended for their bravery to push bonkers machinery to the very limit on surfaces which are often barely fit to be called “roads”. However, I personally can’t help but wish the kind of lunacy common back then in Group 4 was still around on the WRC today. Sure, the playing field is leveled but…I just can’t get excited over the current cars. But back to what’s important. This particular, beautiful S4 being offered for sale is an original factory racer and the winner of the 1986 Rally of Argentina. The pedigree, the looks, the Martini racing livery…it’s simply perfect. Oh, and let’s not ever forget that this thing was relatively close to 600bhp and could do 0 to 60 in well under 3 seconds…on gravel…
Seriously, take a moment out of your day and marvel in the magnificence of an S4 taking off (click here to go to the video). It’s like an angry, nitrous oxide powered demonic bee. Love it.

Price: Auction, estimated 650.000 to 750.000€ (824.135 to 950.925 USD)
For sale in France
Seller: Artcurial Motorcars
Click here to view ad – page 182 of the catalog
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1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

Lancia Delta S4 StradaleWhat a wonderful little matching set someone can make…after praising the Rally version, it only felt right to feature this stunning Stradale. Quite a bit less clinically insane than its Rally brethren, the Stradale version was a condition in order for the S4 Rally car to be possible. FIA regulations dictated that 200 road going models needed to exist in order for the Rally versions to be allowed to compete. The seller suggests that Lancia severely skimped on this number and that only about 65 got made of which 45 remain. Despite not being able to personally confirm, all I can say is that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all the information was perfectly factual. You see, the S4 arrived late at Group 4 so it makes sense that production might have been cut short. However, what matters here is that this is a stunning example of a Stradale. It is a superbly rare car and this is an excellent opportunity for a lucky someone to end up with one of the most unique creations Lancia ever brought to life.

Price: 304.917€ (386.604 UDS)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Joe Macari Performance Cars London
Click here to view ad
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Porsche Speedster (930 – 964 – 997)

Porsche Speedster 930

Porsche Speedster 964

Porsche Speedster 997From the granddaddy 356 on, Speedsters have always been cool. If you’re anything like me, you’d like a Speedster filled garage. Thankfully Artcurial has your back. Their next auction features 3 speedsters, a red 930, an also red 964 (with awesome or horrible red rims, haven’t quite decided yet) and a blue 997. Only missing a 993, what a shame…

Price: Auction, estimated
930: 170.000 – 190.000€ (215.543 – 240.901 USD)
964: 170.000 – 190.000€ (215.543 – 240.901 USD)
997: 210.000 – 250.000€ (266.259 – 316.975 USD)
For sale in France
Seller: Artcurial Motorcars
Click here to view ad – pages 182, 190 and 154 of the catalog
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1992 Mercedes Benz 500E

W124 500EWithout a doubt the most special of the W124s. This Porsche built, V8 powered German bruiser is a thing of beauty and at this price, a bit of a bargain too. You can read all about it in a previous AV post here

Price: 24.750€ (31.381 USD)
For sale in Portugal
Seller: Luxus e Veloce
Click here to view ad
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1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Twister Special

Ford Mustang Mach 1 Twister SpecialI absolutely love Mach 1s. They’re about half way in the (classic) Mustang scale, not quite as basic as the sportsroof/fastbacks but not super hardcore 302 style. Like the thing with the bears and the beds, these are “just right”. Now, we can argue till the cows come home about which Mach 1 looks better, 1969 or 1970. Personally, I’d be more than glad to own one of either year. The changes (to Mustangs in general, not just the Mach 1) are minimal and quite frankly you’re gonna look badass in a Mach 1 no matter what. The one featured in this ad is very cool and very rare, especially outside the US. The Twister Special was a limited edition of just 96 cars offered for sale in the Kansas City area dealerships; I’m still debating if Ford’s choice of name was cool or unbelievable insensitive…The Twister Specials were performance oriented and came equipped with either 428s or 351s. This particular example has a 428 Cobra Jet which is great! However, a decision was made which I personally think hurts this car considerably: the color change. Twister Specials were Grabber Orange, that’s it. Despite the graphics being correct and this metallic gold not being ugly, it just feels out of place. Still, beautiful ride and an extremely rare find in the old continent.

Price: 50.756€ (64.353 USD)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Mather Collectable Motorcars
Click here to view ad
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1967 “Eleanor” Mustang

GT500 EleanorWhen Gone in Sixty Seconds came out in 2000 I fell in love and in 14 years, that love only grew stronger. I wasn’t the only one impressed with her; “Eleanor” became one of the most famous movie cars ever and that’s been a huge problem. More concretely, the bad copies have become a huge problem. It seems that there are very few accurate “Eleanors” out there; the exterior is relatively easy to get right with the body kit, but the equipment, the interiors, rims…even the color, that’s where the challenge lies. I understand that a lot of folks don’t want an exact replica, they want their own car and that’s ok I guess; the problem is, when you change and redesign and cut corners in one “Eleanor”, it reflects poorly on all of them. This body kit/style has gained such a bad rep lately that people actively hate it and it’s so very unfair on the original concept. This particular example being offered for sale isn’t perfect (tail lights, reverse lights, etc) but it’s not that bad either (at least esthetically); Mechanics wise it does look super clean and owning some very nice quality parts; the 363 small block is usually more of a hot rodding focused engine, but it looks great in there. On the inside you’ve got the nice correct switches for NOS (which is indeed in the trunk, awesome!) but I wish it had the correct shifter, steering wheel, rev counter, etc. Still, certainly not a terrible conversion and “she” is numbered in the Eleanor registry.
You can read a bit more about the GT500E in a previous AV post here

Price: 124.990€ (158.475 UDS)
For sale in France
Seller: Private Seller
Click here to view ad





A Ride for the Ages (help me choose, take the poll!)

22 10 2014

Reliable. Contrary to what many seem to believe, the term isn’t necessarily synonymous with boring or bland. Sure, it’s a hoot having something quirky, spunky and unpredictable like an Alfa (for instance)…right up to the moment when you’re stranded by the side of the road at 3 am in a lousy part of town. The tow truck takes forever to get there, you get murdered in the meanwhile…it’s a hassle.

Right now I own two very modest hatchbacks; one of them I love more than Kanye loves Kanye and the other one, well…quite frankly it’s been driving me insane. For a long, long time now it’s been breaking down every day of the week that ends with a “y” so, it’s about time I stop just browsing and get real serious about evicting some bills from my account. The obvious question becomes “what to get?”. Well, I want something pretty much bulletproof, a car that – with the appropriate TLC – not only outlasts me but also my great grandchildren. It can’t be pricey enough to utterly bankrupt me, but it does need to have some personality and ideally, it should also be a good “multitasker”.

I’ve already narrowed the field down to a few models and I’m gonna talk a bit about each one, point some pros and cons. Hopefully soon I’ll pick one of these babies up and gain some peace of mind. Wanna weight in? Take the poll at the end of the article. Own one of these? Share some knowledge in the comments!

*Note* American models such as the Crown Vic or Roadmaster were left out because I simply can’t get them here.

Mercedes Benz W123 300D

Mercedes Benz W123
I have to admit that I’ve been wanting one of these things like crazy for the longest time, not just because they’re tough as roaches, but also because they’re so damn good looking! Mercedes hit it out of the park with the W123. It is the very definition of quality and the diesel versions…well, they just go on for a million miles (quite literally). I could keep talking about how these were made to last a lifetime instead of being restricted in their excellence by budget and production costs and, as a result, they’re perfectly happy soldering on with minimum (sometimes completely null) maintenance, but instead I’ll present the emotional side of it. Because they’re so damn good I still see these around often and absolutely every single time that happens, I think to myself “Wow, I need one of these!”. Within the W123 range, the 300D (sedan) is my favorite due to its honest simplicity. The epic 5 cylinder up front is certainly not gonna make the damn thing go fast (at all!) but it’s a heart that keeps on beating forever and that is more than capable of pulling the considerable weight of this car around over pretty much any terrain. Long story short:

Pros: Indestructible – Ridiculously comfortable (I have a buddy with one of these and once I sit down, I never want to get up again. Ever) – Great looking – Already a classic – Cheap to buy, cheap parts, cheap everything
Cons: Tectonic plates are about as fast as a 300D – Rust can be an annoying issue

Mercedes Benz W124 300TD

Mercedes Benz W124 estate
The W123 was a hell of a hard act to follow and when the W124 showed up in 1985, it kind of dropped the ball to be honest. There were quite a few issues with the early W124s, especially related to gaskets. However, with time, Mercedes fine tuned its product and by the mid/end of their production run the W124s were already famous for their quality and reliability. By now you may be wondering: “if you love the W123 so much, why even consider one of these?” Well, this next generation of Mercedes was quite a leap forward in terms of refinement. Everything got upgraded: engines, suspension, consumption, interiors…even aerodynamics were carefully considered. The W124 is a serious car for people who like to ride in comfort and as such, it’s most definitely a strong candidate on my list. Again, I’m considering the diesel version, one of the late ones; more specifically the 300 turbo estate version. Although the sedan isn’t as charming or good looking as the equivalent W123, it certainly isn’t ugly either. However, I’m a sucker for estates/wagons in general and this particular version of the W124 is extremely pretty. It just looks so elegant and well balanced. Plus, I would welcome the extra space since I have the horrible habit of finding and stockpiling useless junk. The Turbo and the extra cylinder in the W124s 300s (l6) also helps to overcome the one major issue I have with the W123: speed (better yet, the lack thereof). In a nutshell, it comes down to this:

Pros: Versatility – Performance (well, in this context anyway)
Cons: (Very reliable, sure. But) not as reliable as the W123 – More complex mechanics translate to slightly more expensive and/or challenging maintenance. The more astute amongst you may point out that I could compromise a bit on the power/speed, go for a 250D multi-valves and spare the – possible – turbo related problems…and you’re not wrong…

Toyota Hilux N40 & N60

Toyota Hilux N40

Toyota Hilux Tracker
As Top Gear made clear , killing a Hilux is very, very hard work. So as a potential buyer, it’s already a relief to know that your car can survive being dumped on the ocean, set on fire and buried in the rumble of collapsing buildings. The debate around the Hilux is – for the enthusiasts anyway – SFA (Solid Front Axle) or IFS (Independent Front Suspension). Personally, I really like the older SFA stuff like the N40 but I’m also extremely partial to the N60 (IFS), especially the 2.5 “Tracker” version as pictured above (which is for sale right now…). Although seriously considering 4x4s due to my desire of moving to a very mountainous region soon, I wouldn’t particularly torture either one with solely recreational off-roading, so both generations are more than capable of meeting any occasional mountain climbing/mud diving needs I may have. Toyota pickups are a force to be reckoned with, time tested in the roughest of settings. If you turn on the news tonight, any footage of conflicts in Africa will feature a Toyota for sure; they’ve been transformed from work horse to war horse. Pushed to the limit, overworked and poorly maintained, they soldier on. Extraordinary machines.

(N40)
Pros: The “Terminator” of the auto world – Extraordinary off road abilities
Cons: Not exactly comfortable – Extremely hard to find (seriously, I haven’t seen one for sale around here in who knows how many months)

(N60)
Pros: Serious off road, comfortable on tarmac – Amazing looks
Cons: Not as reliable as its grandma (the N40), with all the cons that fact implies – Price! These things aren’t exactly cheap

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
Like the old Hilux trucks, the FJ40 is more or less unkillable. You can find these all over the world and that should tell you something about their ability to survive anywhere, doing anything. From transport, to farming, to war (yeah, Toyota seems to have cornered the market as far as war rides), the Land Cruiser is more than capable of handling anything you can throw at it. Plus, just look at the darn thing; such a good looking car! For me, the later models are the best ones (all-round) and engine wise, I wouldn’t mind a 2F l6 in order to make sure I wouldn’t be (severely) left wanting in the power department.

Pros: Already a classic – Timeless beauty – Extremely capable – Enormous bumper, perfect for ramming things out of the way if needed/wanted
Cons: Vague handling, weak brakes and rough ride…not a great daily driver – Rust!

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80 & FJ100

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ100
My last choices are also by far the most improbable ones due to price, at least for the time being. Meet the FJ80 and the FJ100. The 80 is one of the most extraordinary vehicles ever made, frequently acclaimed as the best of the Land Cruisers (that’s certainly saying something). The FJ100 is more refined, certainly more luxurious as well and it surpasses the 80 in terms of reliability in some important points. The 80 versus 100 debate rages on between Land Cruiser aficionados and I’m left here wondering which – given the chance – I’d end up settling on. The FJ80 is a tough, no nonsense exploration vehicle in which you just happen to be able to drive the kids to school in the morning as well. However, because so many covet its jungle/desert/mountain devouring abilities, it’s tough to find a stock example of the 80. Plus, the brakes apparently leave much to be desired and head gaskets get obliterated frequently. The FJ100 is reportedly a more refined creation with extraordinary reliability. It is however big enough to develop its own gravitational pull and not as rugged as the solid front axle equipped FJ80. These are not necessarily bad things though; the size can come in handy and the more precise approach to handling should prove very useful for the everyday driving. I love its abilities, I just wish it looked better. The 80s is gorgeous, the 100…is a bit like Ann Veal.

(FJ80)
Pros: Great build quality – Sober yet extremely captivating looks – Unstoppable
Cons: Key mechanical components can be sensitive

(FJ100)
Pros: Extraordinarily reliable and refined – A great multitasker
Cons: Looks about as exciting as a can of soup

(Both)
Pros: Endlessly capable pieces of machinery, fit for anything you can possibly throw at them
Cons: More than double the price of any other car mentioned on the article – Both can be expensive to run and maintain; just because a car is reliable doesn’t mean it can just be kept unmaintained forever. While stuff like the W123 soldiers on, these do require specific and timely attention
.

.
So, what am I really leaning towards?
As far as a daily driver, overall I believe the W124 would be the best choice. That being said, I keep teeter totting between that (which is the rational, logical choice) and the W123 (which is a much more emotional one). As I mentioned before, I hope to be settling down in a more rugged region soon, so a 4×4 will eventually become a necessity (or a sensible, practical option at the very least). On that regard, despite holding every model I mentioned dear, I’ll most likely be essentially torn between my genuine appreciation of the FJ80 and the fact that the FJ100 is a lot of bang for my buck and an astonishing piece of machinery in general as well. Hopefully in a short time, when my decision has been made, I’ll be sure to share. Until then, have your say:

Images used
W123: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W123
W124: http://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/showthread.php?t=71555
N40: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Toyota_pickup.jpg
N60: http://auto.sapo.pt/comerciais/toyota-hilux-tracker-1635518.aspx
FJ40: http://www.vintageoffroad.com/viewvehicle.cfm?id=812
FJ80: http://en.autowp.ru/picture/etoifs
FJ100: http://en.autowp.ru/picture/337454

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For Sale! [September 2014 Edition]

19 09 2014

For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.

1974 BMW 3.0 CSL

BMW 3.0 CSLYou can’t really go wrong with an E9, they’re just beautiful cars. The 2000C and CS were already pretty amazing and they only got better when they evolved to become the E9s, some of the very best of BMW’s “new class”. At the top of this “class” (in my opinion) stood the incredible 3.0 CSL, affectionately nicknamed “Batmobile”. 500 were made for ETCC homologation purposes, the ones built from mid 73 on being the best looking and most powerful. The particular CSL being offered for sale in this ad is a perfect looking 74. The seller claims a comprehensive restoration process was just completed last month and, from the available pictures, it does look like quality work. This is one for the serious BMW lovers out there.

Price: 259.900€ (334.543 USD)
For sale in Germany
Seller: Sportwagem Teiber
Click here to view ad
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1998 Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJROne of the bargains of the century. The XJR is one of the best, most wonderful cars Jaguar has ever made. The company took the X308 and elevated it to levels of excellence only comparable to the ones displayed by the M5. A no nonsense muscle car that just happens to be fit for British aristocracy, you can read all about how amazing the XJR is in previous Automotive Views posts here and here.

Price: 25.900€ (33.338 USD)
For sale in Germany
Seller: Autosalon Isartal
Click here to view ad
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1966 Lamborghini 400GT Interim

Lamborghini 400 InterimWe’re all thankful for Enzo Ferrari’s little episode with Mr. Lamborghini because without his particular…personality (let’s put it that way), the bulls we know and love like the Miura and Diablo would have never come to be. What started it all for Sant’Agata was the 350GT, a stunning piece of automotive design that evolved into the 400GT (and 400GT 2+2). This particular ad caught my eye because the car featured is one of a very rare series of just 23 that bridged the gap between 350s and 400s. The “Interim” model was simply a 350 GT with an enlarged engine (4.0L from the previous 3.5L) but because so very few were made, it’s very significant and of course, very desirable. I did some light digging and found that this particular chassis is in fact a retrofitted one, the 3.5 engine #0105 was replaced by a 4.0 #0129. The practice was not uncommon with these first 400s.

Price: P.O.R
For sale in Spain
Seller: Auto Storica
Click here to view ad
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1973 Monteverdi 375L High Speed

Monteverdi 375LHow often does a (proper) Monteverdi come up for sale? Not exactly a frequent event is it? And of the rare times it does happen, what’s the chance of the car offered being one of the very best, an icon: the 375L. This is what The Gallery has in its stock now, a rare 1973 blend of European style and American power. The 375L is right up there with the 375S and 375/4 as one of the most beautiful Monteverdis and, despite not being a huge admirer of the color in this particular example, I’d still gladly hand the almost quarter of a million Euros if I could. Stunning, elegant, powerful. Everything a care should be.

Price: 225.000€ (291.510 USD)
For sale in the Netherlands
Seller: The Gallery Brummen
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1983 Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte IIIFeeling like a million bucks for under 35 grand; doesn’t sound like such a bad deal does it? The most interesting of the Quattroportes (in my humble opinion), the III, was a star in Maserati’s DeTomaso years. Extremely luxurious and surprisingly reliable (to any modest degree of the definition), you can read all about the Quattroporte III in a previous Automotive Views post here

Price: 24.900€ (32.051 USD)
For sale in Germany
Seller: Movendi
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1969 Mercedes Benz SEL 6.3

Mercedes Benz 300SEL 6.3When we’re talking about Mercedes Benz, we’re not only referring to cars, to engines propelling structures on wheels. It’s more than that basic functionality; it’s luxury, presence, power, quality. The thing is, Mercedes cars do not always reflect the values of the Mercedes brand; some were and are actually quite faulty in many, many regards. But not this one. This is an item from an era when Mercedes were Mercedes, in all the possible connotations of the name/term. Back in its day, the 6.3 was the fastest sedan in the world thanks to a heart transplant from the mighty W100 600. This was one of the great original sleepers and if it was good enough for Steve McQueen (who owned one for several years), it’s certainly good enough for anyone who’s lucky enough to be able to afford it.

Price: 56.500€ (72.727 USD)
For sale in Germany
Seller: Movendi
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1963 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo Berlinetta

Ferrari 250 GT DrogoI’ve stated on more than one occasion that the 250 “family” is the very best Ferrari lineage that has ever existed; nothing will ever come close to it again. Despite the Nembo Spyder being my personal favorite I feel it’s impossible to overlook Piero Drogo and his legendary “Breadvan”. When we’re talking about special 250s, that one certainly takes the cake and, love it or hate it, it is superbly well known. However, another Drogo creation worthy of reverence is rarely spoken of: the 250 GT Berlinetta. By 1965, racer Ulf Norinder had worked his 250 GTO to exhaustion; the body was looking – shall we say – less than perfect so, a new one was required. He delivered the chassis to Drogo who was working at a company called Sports Cars di Benedetti & C. alongside Otello Benedetti and Mario Allegretti. Norinder’s GTO got a new, gorgeous body inspired by the Series II styling (GTO Series II – 1964). The front grill was wider and the windshield was borrowed from a 250LM. A rear hatch and larger side vents were also added. The original Drogo Berlinetta ended up being separated into 2 different entities in the 70’s: the chassis got a GTO style body back and the Drogo structure was reportedly restored and placed on a new chassis. This however is none of those; the car featured in this ad is one of 2 replicas made by Allegretti in the 80’s, this particular one being based on a 1963 250 GTE 2+2. It is spectacularly beautiful and a very rare find. This Drogo Berlinetta sold in 2006 for 275.000 USD and I can’t imagine that, in the meanwhile, it has gotten any cheaper.

Price: P.O.R
For sale in the UK
Seller: DD Classics (http://www.ddclassics.com/)
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1956 Lotus Eleven

Lotus 11A wonderful piece of automotive history and one of the pearls of Lotus’ Chapman era, the Eleven is a quirky super light racing car capable of putting a smile on anyone’s face. This particular example is looking particularly appealing in its original white.

Price: P.O.R
For sale in Italy
Seller: Motorstorica
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2005 Pagani Zonda S 7.3

Pagani Zonda S 7.3Before the 7.235.987 special editions of the Zonda that kept of coming out prior to the model’s (official) demise in 2013, we had the original C12/S/S 7.3 production run. Those are my favorite Zondas. Sure, some of the following were better made, capable of more speed, greater handling but…well, to me original is usually best. That is certainly true in terms of looks. No one can say these are discrete cars, but at least they’re not over the top like the final ones. The Zonda featured in this ad is being advertised as “prototype of the Zonda F with many improvements” (in a mechanics sense, from what I can tell/see) so it might be something truly special and ideal for the serious Pagani aficionados.

Price: P.O.R
For sale in Switzerland
Seller: Carugati Automobiles
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1982 Lynx Eventer

Lynx EventerThe Jaguar XJS: a car which was as beautiful as it was terrible (reliability wise). Technical issues aside though, it really is impossible not to admire the lines of the XJS. Sure, pretty much everyone hated it when it came out because people were still pretty stuck on the E-Type’s greatness, but it has been aging so gracefully and gathering so much affection that I have no doubt it will be well loved pretty much universally in the relatively near future. So the XJS had the looks to begin with, but Lynx Engineering kicked it up a massive notch when they came up with the shooting break version, the achingly stunning Eventer. Only 67 of these were made and the one now available for sale by the good people Knowles Wilkins Engineering looks pretty much brand new. V12, 5 speed manual XJS shooting break…doesn’t get much better than that.

Price: 95.223€ (122.164 USD)
For sale in the UK
Seller: Knowles Wilkins Engineering
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1977 Jaguar XJS Race Car

Jaguar XJS Race CarNow this…this is special! As I mentioned before the XJS kind of sucked (unfortunately); doesn’t mean I don’t love it, it is in fact one of my favorite cars of all time, it was just poorly made and plagued by numerous problems. Sure, we can stop by Knowles Wilkins Engineering these days and get a proper working, fully renovated XJS that looks factory fresh, but what if you want something packing a bit more…punch? Well, just in case you’re not great with a spanner you can now spend under 40.000 Euros and get this: a kick ass, menacing, and gorgeous XJS racer built by a proper engineer. The seller says that a German Chief Engineer at Pirelli bought a plain old XJS and then transformed it into this beautiful beast, proceeding to selling his creation due to lack of time. Well, that actually being the case, I guess his loss is now your gain because V12 with 6 Webbers. Click on the ad and at least check the photos out because this truly is a thing of absolute beauty; I know I’m in love with it…

Price: 39.500€ (50.884 USD)
For sale in Belgium
Seller: Albion Motorcars
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