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USED European Luxury Cars (pre 1990)

bcathcartbcathcart Posts: 54
edited March 6 in Audi
SPORIN.Iwould rate the audi 100 as your best option.Best spec is the 2.2litre 5 cyl model. A good one from a reliable source with a service record ,moderate miles,and good body, no rust,is good for 200k miles. Better if available in US is a 200 looks like 100 but has turbo engine and is fully loaded,a really nice car .Body trim is expensive so make sure none is missing.Be fussy when buying, a nice one will hold its condition for years if looked after.In general a mutch under-rated car.


  • I'm also a big Audi get a Benz-like car for much less money. But as bcath says, you must buy the best possible car you can in the very beginning. I think you might find a 100 automatic a bit dull, whereas a turbo or turbo quattro is an awesome car. They are not really fast cars, but they are solid and handle impeccably. When shopping, avoid any with a damage history or any with excessive mileage. Service records would be nice. Figure $100 a month for top notch maintenance (spring and fall major service plus midterm oil changes 4 times a year plus occasional bit and piece to be replaced. This will be an average, since every fourth year or so you'll spring for tires or or somesuch more major expense).

    Since Audi resale isn't that great, expect to pay a bargain price but also possibly take a beating on a resale later on. The Benz holds a much higher resale value, but you pay a lot more in the first place. You will find all German car parts expensive, including VW, so no getting around that.
  • I did not realise that the US imported Quattros. Its the best.I have a 230 bhp version .its the dogs balls as we say here.Get one before you die.
  • Well, it's a luxury car...even a Benz would cost that, if you really did excellent maintenance...I'm figuring major spring service, major fall service, and incidental items to keep the car top notch.

    You can drive the car for less per month, but it won't be getting the best care. I always have to laugh, my friends say "Oh, I don't spend that much and my car is great!" So I drive it and before I'm around the block I noticed 27 things wrong with it that they have easily come to live with that would drive me crazy..."oh, I never use the rear window, so why fix the motor?" "Rattle, what rattle?" "Do you think the muffler has a hole in it, I hadn't noticed"..."just wiggle the wiper blade, it'll kick in" get the idea....there's maintenance and there's me, give an expensive and complicated car what it needs now, or it'll ask for way more later on.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I agree, believe me, I am not sulking, I was looking for an honest answer and you gave it, I appreciate that. I would rather know now, then find out down the road.

    I guess the safest thing for me to do is continue leasing every 3 years. This has worked out great for me, low monthly payment, bumper to bumper warraty through the life of the lease, inexpensive servicing. I can lease a 99 Saab 9-3 locally for $299.00 per month with almost nothing down, hard to beat that.

    Thanks for the info.
  • You know, you can't be a warranty...that's what makes it "worth it" to buy or lease a new car...economically it may not make sense, but if it breaks, you just dump it at the dealer...I find great comfort in that, especially when the cars are so least now I can fix just about anything on the cars I drive, so I'm my own "warranty" I long as I have the time, and a second old car in my back pocket to drive.

    I didn't think you were sulking, I thought you took it very bravely.
  • I've been driving a BMW 3.0cs for 25 years and yes I've put a lot of $s into it. Although I have been looking to replace it, I'm having a tough time cutting the umbilical cord. This dude must be an exception, no mechanical problems, runs great and is a "head turner".So, my experience has been positive. If the truth be known, the bimmer is probably in better shape than I and it's time for an automatic.
  • If you can get ahold of a 3.0 that isn't rusted and that has had Weber carbs installed, right there you've defeated two of its major problems....and by your model, the overheating had been tamed, I believe. But if you don't mind putting money in now and then, it's a perfectly okay everyday car to drive.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I am still going to look at some older Audis, I don't think that rattles and maybe small things that need fixing is what worries me, I would fix those when $$ permitted, and put the neccessary $$$ into the parts that keep the car running.

    I am more worried about getting stranded somewhere. This will be our only car and I don't want to worry about my wife if she is out driving. Obviously, I am not expecting Accord/Camry reliability, but shouldn't a well maintained 7-10 year old Audi be mechanically realiable?

    Again, thanks for all the good info, I want to make sure I am going into this with all the information I can.
  • yes, an older (but not too old) Audi should be fine, but I'd stay away from those high mileage cars..that's where the trouble starts...
    I think it's a Japanese conspiracy towards the West that automobile dirvers shoud expect the boring and be able to drive them into the ground with little or now maitenance.

    I like Audi a lot and I KNOW the the press was full of B.S.about the 5000 here in the States. M.B. just had the fortune of making boat loads of cash off the Nazis so that they've been able to dominate the world market for German automobiles ever since.

    I personally love driving huuuuuge older American automobiles on a daily basis but I think that oldr Audi's are really good buys. I like the lack of driver feel for the road in American land barges but I admire Germans for their superior quality engineering. I've spent well over $200/ month keepeng my old Cads and Lincolns on the road so I see $100 as reasonable.

    Compare a 15-20 year old Japanese car and with a similar German auto of that era and you tell mee who made a better car.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I'm sorry, but I couldn't support anyone buying a used Audi 5000...that was not a good car, but rather a great concept of what a car should be, IMO. Just didn't work out. Me? I'd advise people to avoid 'em like the plague, but not for the "sudden acceleration"...more for the "sudden deterioration".....But I like later Audis a lot.

    Japanese cars aren't my cup of tea, but they did crush the American car industry in the 1970s, ...beat 'em up bad...and quality had something to do with it. The Germans didn't sweat the Japanese until the Lexus came out, I think, and then they really starting worrying, for good reason.
  • SammyPSammyP Posts: 6
    First of all, I own a W126 chassis 1985 Mercedes 380SE---S-class, short wheelbase.

    Look at the 1st gen Lexus LS400. It is nearly a blatant copy of the 1981-91 S-Class Mercedes. No telling where they got their design parameters from, right?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    That's what the Japanese are good at...taking cues from successful products and developing them from there. It's just good business sense. Last time an American company did that, was, I think, with the Chrysler minivan, taking the old VW design of the roomy box and giving it FWD and more power. Ford Taurus, too, took its styling cues from the Audi 5000 and produced one of the mot successful cars in its history. And look how many people have copied the basic BMW sports sedan of the 1960s.
  • Bought a BMW L7 (735 variant) last month as a family car. Couldn't take a minivan or a toyota crayola. LOVE IT! Loads of room, smooth power, solid feel. Great leather interior. Looked at a lot of cars, and we did buy the best we found. I expect some repairs are inevitable, but that's life. Why not drive a car that makes you feel like a millionaire?
  • By the way, if anyone knows where I could get a microfiche for the parts I'd appreciate it- I work for a BMW motorcycle dealer and can get parts for cost- another plus...
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I know a guy locally who is selling his 1972 Mercedes 250 SE. It is about the size of a 70's compact and it has a straight six, AC, and automatic. The A/C has the belt cut off but the compressor turns OK. It has a bad oil leak at the back of the valve cover (leaves cat sized puddles overnight and drips a drop every ten feet on city streets). It also needs rear shocks badly and possibly a U-joint since the car leaps up (rear bumper goes straight up!) almost a foot when placed in reverse. It drops down a few inches in drive. The interior is nice (the little chrome cap on the speedometer needle fell off and rolls around in the bottom of the glass...) and the car has 172K miles. For $1000, is this a car worth fixing up to be a daily driver? Or would the costs of repairing any leaks in the A/C and getting the suspension brought up to spec be prohibitive? The car is beige on brown perforated vinyl and it has new Michelins on original painted hubcaps. The rust is confined to the left front fender skin, there is NONE underneath and even under the carpet it is untouched. Does anyone know what kind of money shocks and AC repairs cost on a 27-year old car?
  • Wee, xtski, this is an expensive car to fix, so you'd better find out what that leak is all about, or you'll have another $3,000 in there in a blink of an eye. These are good sturdy cars, but you have to go over them carefully before buying, because they cost just as much to repair as new BMWs, and 146K is a lot of miles. So be extra-diligent in checking it out. If you can't afford $100-150 a month to keep it going (on average, to keep it totally reliable and safe) then shop for something else, that would be my advise.

  • I found a mechanic with an 87 325i convertible. It's only got 66K and he's asking $7K. He said that he's changed the water pump, timing belt, and a few other things. Given the low mileage, would you say the $100/$150 month maintenance costs still applies?
  • No, rkcrawf, I think the 325 is a much better car than the old 7-series, and if it's been as well cared for as you say, I think more like $600-700 for the year should take care of all normal maintenance, not counting the major expendables that all cars need sooner or later, like tires and shocks. Timing belt is very important on these cars, as they will break around 60K.
  • What can anyone tell me about a Mercedes 6.9? I understand that they are rockets. For how long were they manufactured (1978 - 1984?). Are they a good vehicle? Did they have any problems. Where can I purchase one and what should I expect to pay? I'm currently living in the UK, consequently, if need be, I can go to the source. I've seen them in the United States for approximately 10-12K. Notably, there's one here in London for sale at "best reasonable offer." Should I even be interested in a 6.9? I'm a family guy who likes fast cars -- on a budget. My wife is extremely cool, however, she expects solid reliability. Please advise on a 6.9 and/or something else cheap, big and fast. Thanks.
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