Shopping for a Virago and Stopping by the Portland Historic Races

This blog post could also be titled, “How to Get an Awesome Sunburn on a Perfect Sunday in July”… Who would’ve guessed that not wearing suntan lotion on a partly-cloudy July afternoon and being in the direct sun for about 5 hours (at least) would do any more than add a little color. You’d think I was 14 or something.

Part 1

I started the day by driving the S2000 up to Portland (top up actually) to meet friends who were shopping for their first motorcycle. I was coming up to help out with the test ride and once over for overall condition. Twist my arm right?

{Mark 10:00am: Dropped the top after a quick stop for a bottle of water.}

Danno wanted a beginner bike that was somewhere between a standard and a cruiser. We went to look at a 92 Honda Nighthawk 750 and an 82 Yamaha Virago 750. To be honest, the Nighthawk looked pretty promising in the ad and I was secretly pulling for this one over the Virago — mostly because it’s newer, I know a guy who’s put a ton of miles on one, and it’s more familiar in terms of the riding position I’m used to.

Unfortunately as is the case with many Craigslist sourced leads, those re-sized (and generally crappier) photo’s they host for you make it difficult to tell just how nice the bike really is. In short, the Nighthawk was generally not well cared for. Maintained just enough that all systems worked ok, but in general needed a thorough service front-to-back to be right. At $2000 it didn’t feel right to me. One sentence review of riding experience: Even though it’s power is pretty good for it’s age, the bike didn’t feel well balanced and in fact felt pretty heavy and a bit awkward during transitions.

So we decided to consider this bike as a ‘maybe’ and decided to break for a quick breakfast since it was still only mid-morning at this point. A quick stop by was needed at Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village, where we were quickly served a great breakfast. Now we were ready to check out the next potential ride.

Next up was the Virago which was actually in Vancouver across the river. We met a nice retired man who had probably 6 Japanese bikes of this vintage in his garage, all in mostly good condition. Initial impressions were really good as the bike had obviously received some recent care with good tires, new starter, and very clean overall. Compared to the Nighthawk that had a brutally filthy chain, peeling paint, and a leaky caliper, this bike was ready for sale: clean, similar miles at under 15K, and was priced at only $1200. Granted it’s ten years older and power was no comparison to the Nighthawk, it was really easy to ride. It can’t weigh much and dipped into corners with ease. The riding position was somewhat new to me and I actually put my feet on the rear pegs the first time I sat on it. But after riding it for 15 minutes, I see the appeal. It’s totally relaxing and I’ll be damned if those vents on the front of your jacket don’t work 100% better when air is actually hitting them head on instead of getting the leftovers just above the tank!

My advice was to sleep on it and offer $1000 the next day. Danno replied, “I’ve got a thousand on me right now…” and then walked back to the front door and made a deal. We’re going back next week to get it. Congratulations guys, it’s a great first bike!

Part 2

Then I continued top-down in the Honda to the racetrack for the Portland Historic Races around 1pm. This is a great event in our own backyard, and Bob and Joe from Sports Car Shop were racing as well. I was looking forward to putting the 70-200 F4 L into the field again and the weather was perfect.

Sports Car Shop got a great spot for their team and was in the parking lot just behind the clock tower. Plus their close friend decided to add to the general Feng Shui of their pad with his recently acquired Ferrari F430! Beautiful car!

I then puttered around the paddock and club parking areas while grabbing a quick bite to eat before Joe and Bob went out in back-to-back sessions between 3 and 4pm. Once they were out, I grabbed my favorite spot at the track even though the light was facing me. Nonetheless, it was worth the full frontal sun assault considering some of the resulting pictures:

Leaving PIR with the top up, I washed up in the bathroom before hitting the road and when I saw myself in the mirror, my cheeks were definitely a little pink, but not bad. But now that I’ve cooked dinner (on the BBQ outside, doh!) and sat down to edit photos and blog about the day, I’ve gone from pink to full on red — all over. Like an idiot I failed to remember, like I do every year after the first good drive with the top down, that when the top is down = you’re outside and getting burned. Maybe I’ll remember next year…

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Partial Gallery of 2010 Portland Historic Races Sunday Afternoon

Photographing a 2006 Ford GT for Sports Car Shop in Eugene

I’m a pretty lucky guy to have landed the webmaster gig for Sports Car Shop in Eugene. Not only do I get exposed to all kinds of great sports cars, I get to photograph most of them as well. My photos aren’t pro yet, but good enough to represent the inventory. We take the pictures at Skinner’s Butte Park, which is right downtown and only a few blocks from their showroom. And most times that means I get to take them for a short drive too. Last Friday, that was this amazing 2006 Ford GT:

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

Never in my entire life has the Ferris Bueller line been more applicable, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Well I won’t add any more drama; I did take it back right away. My Powerball ticket hadn’t hit the previous Wednesday for $212mil, so I tip-toed downtown to the park and back… and loved every minute of it. But the drive back to the shop was a real challenge as there’s an on-ramp to the Beltline just a block further…

Even in my short and pedestrian paced time in the car, it’s very clear this car was built with a lot of care and thoughtful engineering. Not only is it capable of hanging with the best that Europe can offer, it’s also totally easy to drive around in. As low as it is, the front clearance is actually quite good. The clutch that has to manage 550hp is easy to engage and is very light in fact. And the gearing is perfect for that big lump. I think first gear actually goes all the way to 60mph, but with all the torque available so early, you can just lump her along in second and still have plenty of power to make her jump with a squeeze of the accelerator.

Almost more impressive than the engineering and ease of use, is the cars wonderful body. It’s low and very wide. And inside, it’s the business: you sit down deep in the car and the cockpit is all about driving quickly. Sitting in a slung back position, you turn to the right and see the glass back window is right behind you. And right behind that is the supercharger pulley spinning behind your head. Awesome!

Then there’s the sound. Crank it up and make sure to have big speakers attached for the best sound!

My previous benchmark for best performance had been to the Lotus Elise, which Clayton drove back from So Cal when he could’ve just used auto transport. This was a truly wonderful car to drive and a perfectly balanced platform. But this Ford GT takes it to a whole new level in terms of refinement, driveability, and raw performance. I mean with 550hp under foot, you can turn any situation into a tire smoking felony in mere seconds.

Thank you to Bob at Sports Car Shop for the opportunity to sample such a fantastic vehicle!

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My 2001 Honda S2000, Let Me Show You It

2001 Honda S2000 at the car wash 3.26.2009

After years of lusting after an S2000, I finally have one. I rule! In all seriousness, it was a tough call between this car and a Boxster. Regulars know that I’ve been on the lookout and waiting for the right time since I sold my M3. I was pretty certain I wanted Boxster as I had convinced myself it was more special. But all the examples that have come up for sale near me, that were in my price range, were all 97-99 models for the most part, and most had higher miles than I was comfortable with. There was also that little voice that kept telling me that I’d have to have a 2000+ in the ‘S’ variety — which in almost all cases was out of my range or would require a dedicated trip to source.

2001 Honda S2000 at the car wash 3.26.2009So I hit crazedlist.org for S2000’s on a whim and I was shocked to see how much the values had fallen for these cars. 18 months ago, most clean and cared for examples were nearly $20k. Now the market is plentiful with lots of variety in the 13-15k range. Which is when I spotted my 01 in Medford. Only a 4 hour drive away, I just needed to find time to get down there! This proved difficult as I spotted the car before leaving on a trip to Georgia to see our man Ed for his birthday. Then I returned to catch up on work and my brother made a surprise trip out for two weeks. During that trip we made several trips to Portland and a long weekend in Seattle. Nearly 4 weeks later, the car was shockingly still available for sale! So we made another long weekend of it and drove the car. The previous owner is realtor and grandmother who only put 4k miles on the car in a little over a two years of ownership. And the owner before that must have hardly driven the car either as the car sits today with less than 35k miles on the clock! Combine that with the factory fitted hardtop and zero modifications, I knew we were going to buy.

And then we test drove the car. If you’ve been skeptical about this car from what you’ve heard or read, forget about it and find one to drive. This is a real sports car and Honda did an amazing job with this package. I keep describing it as focused and the best value out there right now. The motor is flat out amazing and perfectly matched in this balanced package. Plus we got 27mpg on the way home, with several spirited runs up the rev range!

As you can tell I’m smitten with the purchase and ready to drop the top this spring! I’ll have the occasional update related to the S2000 on this blog, but I have also started a new S2000 blog that will detail the experience of ownership, the best of the aftermarket, and buying tips for those now in the market.

Click the pics for full size links.

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BMW e30 M3 Alert: The Henna Red 38k mile eBay car is now No Reserve

BMW e30 M3 for sale in Henna Red 38k miles on eBay

This car has been listed on my blogs a couple times, but it never met reserve, reaching as high as $23,900. Now the Henna Red e30 M3 listed on eBay is back and no reserve.

I actually wonder if the auction will end up higher than $23.9k due to it’s no reserve status. If the background checks out on this car, seems like this could be a great opportunity for a collector and frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t sold previously.

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1988 BMW e30 M3 For Sale: Low Miles and Great Condition!

Check out this great looking e30 M3 for sale on eBayMotors:

I’m not usually a fan of the Cardinal Red interior, but it works well with the dark gray exterior. And with 44k miles, it should be in fantastic shape. Here’s a quote from the seller’s auction listing:

Up for sale low mile E30 M3, Diamantschwarz-metallic, cardinal red interior, Car is in unbelievable condition for age and mileage. It is bone stock except for two things, it has 16X8 BBS wheels and BORLA stainless muffler. Its defiantly collectors item, it have bean garaged all his life, newer tracked, two owner car first owner was 75 years old second 60 years old.. Car did got professionally detailed, it cleaned up awesome, interior looks like new, It has had some body work ( hood and right front fender and front bumper have bean sprayed) Who ever did job was a good painter it matches perfectly and you need to be professional to see that, None of panels have bean replaced all the vin tags are original and present. Headlight bezels are original to. I think it got sprayed due to rock chips. It has new tires, intake blocks. Full tune up was done 5K miles ago and I did change all the fluids. Car Drives quiet, smooth and tight, it needs nothing, it has clear CARFAX

I expect more and more of these low mileage examples to surface due to the crap economy. This one looks great with the BBS upgrade rims and diamantschwarz exterior. Any guesses on winning bid?

Update: Reserve not met at $19.3k

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Week In Review from GermanCarsForSaleBlog and RareSportBikesForSale

A short week since I was on the road with sporadic internet. But the rest of the week was pretty good! Check out these beauties:


Thanks for reading, and if you have an outstanding German Car For Sale or a Rare Sportbike, I’d love to list your ad for free! Just drop me an email.

Thanks!

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Super Low Miles BMW e30 M3 For Sale: As in only 4k Miles!

BaT has once again spotted an amazing e30 M3, but this time, it’s a museum piece with only 4k miles!


Museum BMW e30 M3 Alpine For Sale

The asking price is $59,500. Yes it’s alot, but as stated in their post, this could be the lowest mileage, privately held, e30 M3 in existence.

Question of the day: If you woke up and found $60k in your account earmarked for an M3, would you buy the original in like new condition, or would you buy a brand new e92? Leave a comment with your choice.

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1999 BMW M Coupe: Silver w/ 11k miles!

I’ve been off track alot in the last several posts. Lets get back on track with some great available cars for sale, starting with this extra low mile M Coupe:

1999 Silver BMW M Coupe with 11k miles on Roadfly:

1999 M Coupe For Sale Low Miles

Beautiful LOW MILEAGE M COUPE, 11,000 miles!!!, Arctic Silver Metallic, One Owner, Clean Carfax, 5 – Speed Manual Transmission, Sunroof, CD Changer, Heated Seats, Side Impact Airbags, S52 Engine with 240 hp, No paintwork or bodywork, Garage kept and meticulously maintained, This is RARE car and especially with so few miles.

Not sure I’d pay $28.5k for any M Coupe without the S54, but it is likely to be as close to a brand new as possible.

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1990 Honda RC30 For Sale: Less than 3k Miles

Check out this very clean Honda RC30 for sale on BARF (AZ, $25k!):

Honda RC30 For Sale1990 Honda RC30 For SaleHonda RC30 RC45 NC30 Gray Market

I have no business commenting on what this bike is worth. But I do know it looks every bit the perfect example of a RC30.

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Update: This listing is pretty out of date. Check out these other VFR750’s for sale right now:

[AffomaticEbay]Honda VFR750[/AffomaticEbay]

2000 BMW M Coupe For Sale with Very Low Miles and Obsessed Owner

This is the most incredibly detailed listing I think I’ve ever seen for a car under $100k. This car has clearly been owned by a devoted and obsessed M Coupe afficiondo ($23k, CO):

2000 BMW M Coupe For Sale by Owner linked on Roadfly

2000 M Coupe For SaleM Coupe InteriorBMW M Coupe Back End

You will find abundance information about this car and hundreds (literally) pictures on that site. I have gathered all the pertinent information that I have and presented it with honesty. This car is a true enthusiast car and has been maintained with the highest level of devotion and affection by a BMW enthusiast. I hope this car will find a new home where she will be treated as good as she has been.

[…]

I am the only driver, no one (no relatives, friends, even wife) allowed to drive the car

Subframe and rear floor pan are in pristine condition, no sign of stress, pop welds, or cracks

Never driven in snow, only caught in rain less than 10 times.

No burnouts, donuts, drag-races

No food or drink has ever entered the car

No smoke or pet

I love M Coupe’s and this one looks to be incredible condition with only 32k miles, extensive history, and detailing. Blue book is out the window when it comes to cars like this and I hope the owner gets his full asking from the right buyer.

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