For Sale! [April 2020 – Usable Classics Edition]

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

 

“These are uncertain times” for new and classic cars alike. Nobody knows exactly what will come of the current situation or what the future will bring for car enthusiasts. Until we find out, car sales are – understandably – way down and classics are mostly hanging around the garage. This made us think of the “usable” classic status; if you want to make a frequently driven, family/supplies hauler out of a classic car, what can you find to fit the bill? It’s an interesting exercise to embark on because whatever you choose has to be practical, reliable (as much as possible; as we’ve mentioned many times over the years, in 99% of cases, reliability isn’t a given, but instead the result of a series of factors) and fairly easy to work on yourself, at least as far as basic maintenance is concerned. From just under 4.000 Euros all the way to 50.000, these are our suggestions to keeping the love of classics alive while still assuring functionality.

 

1982 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D

1982 Mercedes Benz W123 300D

Arguably the greatest Mercedes-Benz ever made. The W123’s reputation as an unkillable car is both well known and justified. Created to be the very best product it could possibly be, the W123 is a rare blend of comfort and ruggedness. As at home on silky smooth motorways as on crater ridden unpaved roads, the W123 has proven itself over many decades as the ultimate usable classic. There’s nothing you can throw at it that will make it break a sweat and for just over 5.000 Euros, you should be able to pick up a superb, rust free example without having to spend more than a few minutes looking for it. The example we’re featuring here is a 300D, meaning it has an OM 617 five cylinder 3.0 diesel engine which will outlive us and our grandchildren’s grandchildren. The green on green combination is fantastic and although this isn’t a particularly well equipped example (with what it looks to be a later installation of electric windows in the front, which needs some aesthetic attention), being in such great condition inside and out still makes it a very tempting proposition.

Price: € 6.000 (6.497 USD)

For Sale in Spain

Seller: Auto Salon Valencia

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1989 BMW 318i E30

1989 BMW 318is 

For most people, when talking about BMWs, characteristics like simplicity and reliability are certainly not attributes one usually associates with the brand. But that shouldn’t put you off getting one; you just need to look at the right generation. For BMW, that generation is the 3 Series’ second incarnation: the E30. Simple, dynamic, pretty. The E30 is a great option for people who want to try out BMW ownership without most of the hassle newer models would entail. And you don’t need to go to the top of the food chain either. Sure, the M3 is one of the best cars ever created, but something cheaper and more daily-driving friendly can be a lot of fun as well. Take this gorgeous red 318i sedan; the 4 cylinder, 100 and something bhp engine won’t set the world on fire, but the car is light, agile and fun to drive. You get a very nice 5 speed manual and a responsive accelerator pedal with the practicality of 2 extra doors and a fairly large boot.

As with any other car, a classic BMW is only as good as the previous owner allowed it to be. Deferred maintenance is a no no for these Bavarians, but find a solid one with good records and there shouldn’t be anything special to worry about.

Price: € 6.310 (6.865 USD)

For Sale in the UK

Seller: HPC Classics Limited

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 300 GD

1990 Mercedes G300 D

Long before Gelandewagens were power crazy, AMG tuned, super luxurious toys for trust fund kids with a street cred deficit, G-Wagens were true workhorses, resistant military grade offroad vehicles capable of enduring through rough conditions and even rougher treatment. As far as usable classics go and if iffy roads are a factor towards your choice, you’d be pressed to find anything more suitable than a G-Wagen. The example we’re featuring is a W460 (1979-1992) 300 Diesel, equipped with a 5 cylinder derived from the one used in the W123 we feature above, so absolutely nothing to worry about there. A spotless, no nonsense, functional interior with beautiful plaid cloth seats, just over 100k on the odometer and a seemingly irreprehensible dark green exterior make this short wheel base 300 GD incredibly desirable.

Price: € 28.000 (30.331 USD)

For Sale in Portugal

Seller: Aguiar Automóveis

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1988 Range Rover Classic

1988 Range Rover Classic

Range Rovers are a temperamental, sometimes problematic works of art. On the one hand, a Range Rover provides you with one of the most successful blends of offroad capability and car like usability ever achieved, all packed in a museum-worthy vision of beauty. On the other, they’re cars given to extremes; when they perform, there’s nothing quite like it…but when they fall victims to something, they fall HARD. Should this put you off Range Rover ownership? No, you just need to take into account a few things. Rust goes through Range Rovers like wildfires through dry vegetation, so unless you’re a good welder with plenty of time on your hands, you should start with the very best example you can find. They’re heavy, so suspension components won’t last forever but that’s true of any SUV-like thing and mechanically, if you pick the right power plant, they’ll basically last forever. For instance, the one we’re featuring today is equipped with the 3.5L “Rover” V8 that was used since the dawn of time itself, all the way up to the late 90’s, making it a tried and tested option especially when coupled to a 5 speed manual (as is the case here). Thirsty, sure, but dependable. Plus, this particular example doesn’t feature the problematic air suspension, so that’s another point towards reliability. Overall, a Range Rover Classic with the right features is a great option for people who want timeless good looks on their comfortable, unstoppable offroader.

Price: € 15.999 (17.326 USD)

For Sale in Belgium

Seller: PCH Automotive

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1980 Volvo 245GL Estate

1980 Volvo 245 GL

The undisputed queens of boxiness, Volvo estates (wagons) may not be the best looking classics, but they certainly hit every mark when it comes to usability and reliability. The fact that you still spot these running around all the time is a strong testament to their will to just keep on going. Now, bear in mind that you won’t be getting anywhere quickly in one of these; the enormous 245 isn’t as heavy as you’d expect it to be, sitting at just a hair over 1300kg, but the engine is a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder making under 110bhp, so…yeah. However, speed is not what a Volvo estate is about. There’s all sorts of space in these things and Volvo’s obsession with safety guarantees that, despite this being a 40 year old car, it won’t crumple like a soda can if you happen to get hit by some modern behemoth of an SUV.

Price: € 7.950 (8.610 USD)

For Sale in the Neatherlands

Seller: E&R Classics

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1969 Chevrolet C10

1969 Chevrolet C10

The very definition of a good ol’ gal. C10s are a staple of Chevy’s pickup history and it’s not difficult to understand why: they’re simple, dependable, tireless machines. If a utilitarian classic is a concept that appeals to you, an American pickup from the 60’s/70’s may be a good choice. There’s zero complexity to their mechanical components, everything about them is designed to take a beating and persist with little maintenance. Plus, the ability to carry large items is another aspect in favor of one of these. Are we suggesting that you run a gasoline powered, 5.7L V8 truck in Europe as a daily driver? No, no we are not, but if you have a business and go on occasional, short distance transport/deliveries, something like this isn’t just useful, but it becomes a great promotional tool as well, especially in a time in which people tend to pay less attention to regular means of advertising. The C10 we’re featuring here came from a dry state (Arizona) and seems to be in beautiful shape. Sadly, the seller doesn’t provide a lot of info, but everything looks very neat and the truck obviously had some recent work done. Although being known for their reliability, if you do happen to need a part, with over 400 thousand C10’s being made in 69’, spare parts aren’t exactly a struggle to find (although the shipping will be painful). So if looking like the cool dad from a classic American sitcom sounds appealing, this is the ride for you.   

Price: € 27.950 (30.287 USD)

For Sale in the Germany

Seller: RD Classics

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19?? Peugeot 504 Break (Fasmiliale) Renforcé

Peugeot 504 Break Renforce

The 504 break is to wagons what the W123 is to sedans (and yes, we’re aware there’s also an estate version of the W123 but the air suspension problems and more prominent rust issues limit it in the reliability department). Peugeot broke the mold after the 504. Sure, there have been lots of other amazing little cars from the company, but nothing that lasts as long as a 504 does. Either directly by Peugeot or under license, this model was in production since 1968 until 1997! The Break and Familiale (7 seats) versions are by far the most iconic variations of the 504. In Africa, especially throughout the northern part of the continent, these wagons rule supreme. Their rugged construction, the amazing suspension, the large cargo space and the fact that they willingly take decades upon decades of merciless abuse like it’s nothing makes them one of the ultimate choice for a practical, useful classic. A few years back you wouldn’t be able to throw a rock in southern Europe without hitting one of these; today however, with lots of folks shipping them off to African countries, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good, affordable example. Portugal is still the best bet to find yourself one of the greatest estate cars ever to see the light of day; in fact, that’s where we found this example for sale. Original pain in good condition, original interiors as well with some minimal wear; just a nice all-round example. So nice in fact that you’ll notice the seller didn’t even bother to inform us of the year it was made…so let’s just say it’s timeless. For under 4.000 Euros, this is the cheapest suggestion on our list and yet, one of the more capable and easy to maintain. 

Price: € 3.750 (4.059 USD)

For Sale in the Portugal

Seller: Private Seller

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1995 BMW E34 M5 Touring

1995 BMW E34 M5 Touring

And from the cheapest option we jump right to the most expensive one. And this may seem like a bit of a tough sell in this context, but we’ll stand by it. Although the E39 is the best of the M5s, its predecessor is anything but unimpressive. The E34 M5 is a hell of a car in sedan form, but the Touring version takes it to a whole other level. BMW only made M5 wagons twice and for the E34 incarnation, production numbers stopped at just 891 examples. The one we’re featuring today from Gallery Aaldering in the Neatherlands is just drop dead gorgeous, seems in fantastic shape and has a bunch of desirable extras. Being a 95, it also has the more powerful 3.8 straight six (good for just under 340 bhp; previous models had a 3.6) coupled with a Getrag six speed manual. This E34 M5 Touring is the definition of an enthusiast’s car: not only is it a manual, naturally aspirated, hand built piece of machinery, but it’s also exclusive within its own lineup. If you drive one of these, you’re a connoisseur. Plus, regardless of how fast it can go, this is still a wagon if you need it to be and, unlike anything more modern, there is still plenty of basic maintenance you can do on one of these yourself; it’s not that the E34 M5s are trouble free cars – they most certainly are not – but a good example is really not the nightmare most folks make it out to be. The trouble with E34 M5 is that they go cheap, they have multiple owners who neglect maintenance, embark on questionable mods…and then a bad rep. starts to build up. The powertrains on these are fairly bulletproof, so the big boogieman with 3.8s is the EDC suspension. However, if you like, you can always convert it to coilovers and it will not be the end of the world. There are conversion kits and pretty detail explanations on how to proceed (once you sort through a few dozen pages of BMW forums in which every single new post is about how the previous one is dead wrong).

At just under 50.000 Euros, the E34 M5 Touring isn’t just a fast, rare, pretty, interesting car…it’s a statement.

Price: € 49.950 (17.326 USD)

For Sale in the Neatherlands

Seller: Gallery Aaldering

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