I’ve been very out of touch with this website for years but I’m hoping to change that in 2017 with the introduction of my new to me 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster!
This is the first picture I took of the car, while I was still on the test drive actually. We drove a few cars that day and within 5 minutes of seat time in this car and I knew we were buying it that day.
Some details about the car:
41k original miles
2 owner car
Set up for track days with H&R springs, Strong strut brace, solid transmission mounts, and camber plates.
With those modifications, the car has a little extra presence with it’s stance and backs it up with very quick direction changes at any speed. I’m sure it’ll eat up tires pretty quickly but then again I only put about 7k miles on my cars a year so not too worrisome.
My first order of business was to take care of the BMW Inspection II service which was due. This includes all fluids, filters, spark plugs, and the S54 engine valve adjustment. This service was expertly carried out by J&J Werkstadt in Albany, Oregon. This shop is owned by my lifelong friend Paul Breen, who has always been the best tech I’ve ever known, and also BMW certified when this car was new. The service took all day but I was pleased when Paul gave her a clean bill of health and provided a baseline for me to work from. While records were included with the car, with just 41k miles there hasn’t been much work to report on either and it was nice to eliminate concerns of a car that has obviously been sitting for extended period.
In terms of condition, the car is excellent mechanically but does have some exterior blemishes. A handful of tiny door dings, a few scratches, and some curbing on all the wheels show what life must have been like with the first owner in Santa Barbara. But the 2nd owner kept this car garaged as his weekend fun toy and track day warrior. I’ll be signing up with the local BMW club again to make sure I can get it on the track as well!
This feels like the right place to put an apology for not maintaining this website for the past 4 years (gulp!) but I’m eager to get back in the saddle so to speak. I’ve already got some more updates and look forward to sharing what I’ve been up to in the meantime and how I’d like to move ahead. Thanks for reading and chime in below with your comments.
It is time to part with our faithful ‘77 Rabbit that has served as a great entry into amateur motorsports over the last 7+ years. We’ve done numerous track days at Portland International Raceway (where the Indy cars used to race), autocrosses, and several runs at the Larison Rock Hillclimb. Unfortunately the car has been sitting for a couple seasons and just isn’t being used anymore with other projects in the stable. It’s time for a new owner.
This car was built by a professional Volkswagen mechanic who was working at Independent Auto Werks (Bug Werks) here in Corvallis at the time. Together we carefully pieced together all the proven parts for this MK1 platform:
– Engine is an MK2 2.0L bottom end with 1.8L 16 valve head. This combination is well documented to provide an immediate 15hp gain over the base 2.0L 16v configuration for 155hp total. At around 1850lbs it really scoots! We opted for the simpler CIS-E fuel injection as it’s easier to work with than the later Motronic setups. While the motor has seen action over the years, it still provides lots of power. It is still fitted with stock cams to maintain reliability and driveability to and from the track.
– Exhaust is optimized with a dual outlet manifold for reliability, then routed to a Techtonics race downpipe and on to a matching Techtonics exhaust with Magnaflow muffler. Yes it’s noisy but not in a ricey way. Very distinctive tuned 4 cylinder VW water-cooled sound.
– Engine is coupled to a lightweight VW Motorsports flywheel and Sachs clutch combo which allows the motor spin up with ease. Power is sent through an 84 GTi close ratio transmission. The transmission makes some noise on deceleration but has since we built the car some 7+ years ago. I expect it’ll be fine for limited track usage as there is no issue finding or using all the gears, but may require a rebuild at some point considering.
– Suspension is simple but well sorted. An H&R Cup Kit consists of matched springs and shocks (non-adjustable) for a mild drop and more sporting ride. Front upper and lower stress bars are fitted along with a rear strut tower brace. Also a heavy duty rear sway bar is fitted. All bushings were refreshed when fitted. The ride is very flat but not harsh. This combination helps to dial out a lot of the understeer and cornering is easily controlled with gentle throttle response.
– Brakes are upgraded discs up front from an MK2 GTi and we retained the drums in the back. We had originally fitted rear discs as well but had issues with lockup in the back due to the light weight. Willwood proportioning valves are installed for fine tuning.
– Two sets of wheels are included. The car is currently riding on “snowflake” GTi rims with mismatched tires to get you to and from the track. Also included are aftermarket alloys with used road racing slicks. Available for separate negotiation are some very rare, period correct Intra 14×6 German alloys that replicate the look of early Porsche 928 rims. The Intra rims would be perfect if you’re considering this car for a GTi restoration.
– Interior is stripped and focused on only what is needed for track work. An early Passat steering wheel is fitted for better feel and textured race pedals are in place. A Sparco Pro 2000 race fixed back bucket is fitted for the driver and a generic aftermarket seat is in place for the instructor. Both seats have 4 point Schroth harnesses. The stock dash is removed and a custom console is fitted with gauges to monitor oil, water, charging, and revs. The heater core is still intact but it blocked off at the moment. Can be reactivated to warm the interior on cold mornings. Rear defroster works as does instrument lighting. Most carpet and sound deadening is removed, so it’s very loud inside the car and you hear every creak, rattle, bang, and bump. But with a helmet on it’s just part of the experience.
– The exterior is a decent 5 footer. In honesty it’s a poor Maaco paint job that was applied before we acquired the car, but it can be made to look decent as seen in the photos. There are lots of chips, dings, dimples, and yes surface rust. I have tried to capture the worst of it in the photos. This car is not ready for the show circuit but plenty presentable as you make your entry into amateur motorsports. Features GTi fender flares and aftermarket replica European bumpers. All lights work. Headlights are European H4’s with city lights in the park position. Color matched GTi airdam is also fitted.
The good: This car is very well sorted and should clear inspection for autocross, trackday or hillclimb. A simple tuneup should be applied but runs fine with no stumbling and tracks straight. To be used for road racing or rally you’ll need additional safety equipment like a rollbar or cage, fuel cell, window netting, fire suppression, etc… But even after sitting for a few seasons it is running well with just a new battery and a full tank of gas. I also put new tags on the car today so it’s registered until 2013. I drove the car in a spirited manner this afternoon and it made me wish I had space to put it on jack stands and come back to it someday.
The bad: It does have some surface rust on a 5 foot paint job and a couple holes in the floor boards. But for what it was built for it’s ready for more action with just minor TLC. After a thorough once over, I wouldn’t hesitate to drive up to Portland, track it, and drive back like we have numerous times over the past several years.
This car is perfect for someone who is looking to get into local amateur racing or a GTi restoration project. Please email me for more information or to arrange for a look in person. Here are links to my personal blog with stories about how we used the car (note the time stamps):
Please email me if interested in more information or a closer look at the car. I am asking $2350 obo and the Intra wheels mentioned are available at additional cost. With a full price offer I’ll include a used but legal autocross helmet, magnetic numbers, and the fire extinguisher. I’d love to see this car find a home that will appreciate it and the time spent putting it together. Thanks for looking.
This post has generated the most comments ever on a single post on my website. The seller is quote eccentric in his presentation and demands of the potential bidders. It’s a very rare opportunity to own a new 1992 KR1-S for sure!
Rare Sport Bikes
Mike hits the Las Vegas Mid-America auction and files his report. He is definitely inspiring me to make this a company trip next year! Great post Mike, thanks so much for the first hand account!
German Cars For Sale Blog
Steve McQueen’s 1970 Porsche 911S is being offered soon at auction and the classic car blog world is abuzz. We didn’t miss it either! We’ll be keeping an eye on the result of this sale for sure.
I was doing some late night surfing on German eBay last night and came across this rare piece: A 2.1L Hartge motor for the e36 3 series and the current bid is only 188 Euros! Check out the pics:
I remember European Car’s e36 project from the mid-90’s and their rave reviews about this motor. Naturally I went to bed with visions of that badass motor in something like Paul’s 2002 project. I should’ve realized that the price was far too low, but I wanted to believe it could be possible. So this morning I ran the page through Google Translator and discovered this is actually just a display engine and is missing many key internals, like the pistons! Oh well, it was a fun pretending for a little while!
Metric Mechanic 3.7L and System 300 exhaust ~330hp with 30K miles on the engine (147K on the car), SplitSecond MAF fuel controller, Dinan Chip, Dinan Cam Gears, BBS RK wheels, SS brake lines, UUC Short shift, Bilstein Sport struts, Suspension Techniques springs, BMPD strut bar, Kenwood CD/AMP/Infinity speakers, Sirius satellite radio, Zimmerman drilled rotors, PBR pads, painted calipers, new battery, light tinting of rear windows, new front spoiler and fog lights, new factory leather on seats and door panels, A/C fully operable, heated seats Fully maintained with comprehensive maintenance records since new- all synthetic trans/LSD/motor/brake/PS, always garaged, I drive 100 miles roundtrip on the freeway- so all highway miles, no accidents; needs nothing until next scheduled maintenance. Also have Frank Fahey track pipe with factory muffler and misc spare parts: old front spoiler, idle control valve, fan clutch, Dinan Stage 1 suspension, original radio, etc. Enthusiast owned- selling to make room in the garage
Check out the price on the Metric Mechanic 3.7 S38 motor. Yeah that’s ten grand; not to mention installation. At $17k, this M6 is looking like a really good buy for the e24 enthusiast.
Forgive me: I’m guilty of cheating on this blog with a number of other blogs. But before we get too far ahead, let’s get caught up on some great looking German Cars and Rare Sport Bikes that have been listed for sale over the past several weeks.
Beautiful 1983 BMW e21 320i For Sale in Oregon – Paul went so far as to say he was almost considering buying this car himself, but was instead inspired to continue the work on his own classic BMW after seeing Richard’s car! Considering he’s only asking $3200, someone should snap this up cheap!
1983 Alpina B9 #312 For Sale in Florida – The $14.5k buy-it-now option seems like a pretty good deal. There are very few real Alpina’s in this country anyway, and this one still has almost all of it’s original details. While I’m not an experienced collector, I have to imagine that 5-10 years from now, this car will have appreciated considerably. Then again, with over 100k miles and an approachable entry price, maybe it would be better to enjoy immediately. Can you imagine the response at your next BMW club day when you roll up in this?!
1985 Honda VFR400 NC24 – First things first, this is not an 85. According to this Wikipedia article, the NC24 wasn’t introduced until 1987, and this bike definitely sports all the important features of the later NC24 model. But when I first saw the listing as an 85, it made me wonder if the 25 year rule works the same way it does for classic cars in the U.S. – no import or registration issues with models not previously imported. Anyone know for sure? Also, was there a Rothmans edition of the NC24? It’s a cool bike for $3500 either way though!
Irish Green Porsches for St. Patrick’s Day – As you can probably gather by now, I think the 912 is definitely the better value; especially at $15k! Of course a 912 is not a substitute for a 911. But it’s also not to be dismissed as anything less than a fantastic sports car. Add the fact that this one has an expensive rebuilt motor assembled with such focus and dedication, you can tell that this car is at least 85% of the experience of a 911 of the same era.
Two Very Low Mileage M3’s, $60,000 Each! – Not to play that overused ‘economy’ angle yet again, but these seem like high prices to me in today’s market. On the other hand the owners clearly know the rarity of their cars and are counting on educated and wealthy buyers. Who knows when we’ll see examples like these for sale again.
1986 GSX-R 750R Limited (GSXR750 RG) – Don’t you just love homologation specials?! The very best of everything and no expense spared. And when they’re nearly 25 years old and never raced, AND hardly even ridden, they’re truly a rare find. This one is currently at $12k (appears reserve has been met) with about 4 days to go.
1988 BMW e30 M3 in Diamondschwartz – The owner even has a picture of him doing a compression test on the motor. Assuming the car needs a few things here and there and you had to drop two or three grand into it right away; could be a a really nice car in a pretty desirable color.
Porsche 996 Prices are Dropping – It’s no secret the 996 is not one of my favorite Porsche 911’s. That said, I’m a big fan of the Boxster of the same generation; and when the the 996 and Boxster suddenly share the same price point, well let’s be serious, which would you really rather have? My thoughts exactly.
1985 Yamaha RZ500 with Clean U.S. Title – Wouldn’t hurt to have a description on this listing, especially with the high opening bid of $12,500. This one is a bit higher than other RZ500’s listed on this blog, but the pictures sure do look good! 4 days left, bid now!
Alex alerted me to this beautiful BMW CSL on Craigslist earlier today. We both remarked how awesome this car is but wondered if the Batmobile’s actually fetch $130k. Take a look for yourself at this 1973 BMW 3.0CSL on Craigslist:
quote from seller’s listing:
This beautiful 1973 BMW Series 2 Batmobile is 1 of 57 of which ONLY TWO were produced black!! The other is parked in a museum in Europe. All parts are the original parts, with only 46,397 original miles on it! This is a one time oppurtunity, check this baby out! It has a 4 speed manual, 3.2L all original!!! and this beauty drives clean! The interior still looks like new and has no weather damage or stains, it’s super clean. The wing kit is still brand new wrapped in bubble wrap sitting in the trunk.
After doing some brief digging on the Sports Car Market website, they have two CSL’s in their auction database. One that went for $154k at auction and another that sold on eBay for $73k, both in 2006. With this car’s super low, original miles, $130k may not be that outrageous. As they say, it’s only original once…