Home » Here Are Four Cars And A Fantastic 1940s Streamlined Scooter That Look Fast Sitting Still: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

Here Are Four Cars And A Fantastic 1940s Streamlined Scooter That Look Fast Sitting Still: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! One of my favorite pastimes is searching for rare and weird vehicles for sale online. I’m always looking for something cool to look at and maybe buy, so I have a hilariously long list of vehicles just gathering virtual dust on my computer. I don’t always know what I’m looking for. Sometimes I find a Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI and buy it, and sometimes I find a lightly-used Boeing 757, but that’s the beauty of the internet.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness cracks open a morsel of my search history to show you the vehicles I’ve been looking at, lately. Some of the vehicles are affordable, after all, I do try to buy some of them, while others are better fits for a collector like our Beau Boeckmann. Some of the vehicles are just silly. I mean, who sells commercial jets on Facebook?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

We’ve decided to reformulate this series. Admittedly, researching and writing about 9 completely different vehicles takes loads of time. I could start a Triple-M in the morning and it’ll be the evening when I’m finished. I still want to provide you with some cool car history, so I will be experimenting with reducing the number of vehicles in each entry to something more manageable.

I’m not sure what will be the optimal number of vehicles, so bear with me here. We’re also experimenting with a new headline style. Without further delay, let’s jump in! This week, I chose five random vehicles from my list of vehicles for sale.

1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiesta – $24,900

1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiest
Classic Auto Mall

Here’s a sleek classic wagon you won’t see often. As Hagerty writes, Chrysler launched new designs for 1957 with long and low bodies featuring prominent fins. These clean designs captivated the American public and put Chrysler ahead of its competition. General Motors wasn’t about to give sales up, so it rushed together its own competing designs. And, as Mac’s Motor City Garage writes, General Motors went big with over-the-top styling for ’59.

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The Oldsmobile 88 rode on the 123-inch wheelbase B-Body, which offered that low and wide look people were going crazy for. Oldsmobiles had a smooth space-age design to them and big, wraparound windows. The automaker dubbed its design the Linear Look.

1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiest (1)
Classic Auto Mall

The Dynamic 88 was a lower trim level for the 88 and a 371 cubic inch V8 rated for 270 HP was standard. In 1959, Oldsmobile advertised 40 percent more window area, bigger trunks, and pencil-thin roofs. The Dynamic 88 Fiesta wagon was marketed as a practical with more space than before and a rolling trunk window. Other features included a new armrest design, a new speedometer design, and a slew of power equipment.

This 1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiesta wagon has a lot of original parts, including the original interior and engine. The selling dealership notes that rust is beginning to show in some areas and the interior could use a refresh. It’s $24,900 from Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, Pennsylvania and the vehicle has 70,983 miles.

1977 BMW 630CSi Coupe – $15,750

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Hemmings Seller

Classic BMWs always tug on my heart. I’d love to own something like a 2002, an 850i, or today’s 630CSi Coupe. The E24 is the genesis of the beloved 6 Series that ran from 1976 to just last year. Here’s a little piece of history from BMW:

The first generation of the BMW 6 Series Coupé saw its debut in 1976, causing a stir not only with its elegant lines and sporty driving properties but also featuring pioneering innovations. The two-door model was the first serial-production vehicle with a Check Control system. Its direct successor went on the market in 2003.

Between 1976 and 1989 the first 6 Series Coupe was exclusively equipped with straight 6-cylinder engines. At that time the 6 Series Coupe was the epitome of sportiness and elegance. This car served as a model for racing cars and it proved on the racetrack its enormous potential when it comes to sportiness.

139541717
Hemmings Seller

As Hagerty writes, the E24 replaced the E9, got styling from Paul Bracq, was bodied by Karmann, and it was launched at just the right time. The Mercedes-Benz SLC wasn’t as sporty while an Aston Martin was more expensive. Its best competition was something like a Jaguar XJ-S.

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This 1977 BMW 630CSi comes equipped with a 3.0-liter M30B30 inline-six good for 176 HP and 185 lb-ft of torque. Power reaches the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. This example has 61,808 miles and it sounds like its two caretakers have given the car a good life. The first owner kept the BMW for 46 years, selling it in 2023. The engine is said to be leak-free and the vehicle was given fresh paint just five months ago.

It’s $15,750 from the seller Burbank, California.

2006 Pontiac GTO Ute – $37,000

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Facebook Seller

For many, including our lovely Australian readers, the ute is the ultimate form of car and truck. It’s a car you can take to the shops on the weekend and a truck that can do work during the week. Even better, the bed in the back is nice and low! Some Americans go through the painstaking task of converting Pontiac GTOs and G8s into utes, but most of them are turned into two-door utes. Here’s a ute of a different color.

This particular vehicle started life as a Pontiac GTO, then someone grafted on the body of a Holden Crewman. As Australia’s Drive notes, “dual-cab” utes are popular in Australia, with a variety of automakers selling their own variations. Here in America, we’d call trucks like these crew cabs, and they allow you to take your whole family in your truck. Drive notes that the dual-cab phenomenon isn’t new. In 2003, Holden saw a market for a four-door ute. Thus, Holden took its VY Commodore cut it up, and slid a tub onto the rear.

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Facebook Seller

Unfortunately, Drive reports, the Crewman suffered from some issues. The primary problem was that adding a second row of seats meant taking a chunk out of the bed, reducing the ute’s practicality. The Crewman was also a subpar family vehicle with its rough ride and uncomfortable rear seating. There were also some problems with reliability and an apparent thirst for fuel.

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Still, this is a weird vehicle to have in America. The seller of the ute doesn’t explain what happened in the conversion, but you can see that the GTO’s front end remains in place. The GTO’s dashboard is also carried into the interior. Power comes from a 6.0-liter LS2 V8 making 400 HP. This goes to the rear wheels through an automatic transmission. There are leaf springs in the back and apparently, a 5,000-pound tow rating. So you could use this as a truck if you want to.

It’s $37,000 from the seller in Longview, Washington and the vehicle has 34,300 miles.

1947 Salsbury Rocket 85 – $9,000

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Facebook Seller

One of my favorite eras of vehicle design was when designers penned vehicles that looked like they slipped through the air like rockets. Cars and trains were given streamlined style, but so were scooters. The Salsbury Rocket 85 is one of the cooler examples of this, and it looks like it wants to break the sound barrier just sitting in a driveway.

This scooter was sold to post-World War II Americans as an easy way to get around. Its internals are shrouded and it has a step-through design, great for riders in dresses. The scooter was also marketed as being easy to ride, with the kind of automatic functionality expected from today’s scooters. I’ll let the Lane Motor Museum take it from here:

In 1935 Californian E. Foster Salsbury, an innovative businessman, was impressed when he saw pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart using an old small motorized two-wheeler Motoped around Burbank’s Lockheed Airport. He had a vision for “a cheap and cheerful vehicle that would propel the country forward to prosperous times.” Salsbury hired inventor Austin Elmore to construct his first endeavor. In 1936, during the Great Depression, the world’s first commercially viable motor scooter, the Motor Glide, was born. This scooter was an instant hit, especially among celebrities in Hollywood, with record-breaking American aviator Colonel Roscoe Turner as the public face of his company. The Motor Glide was first shown in 1936, and about two dozen were manufactured. They used a friction roller against the rear wheel, which proved an impractical design.

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Facebook Seller

Salsbury’s second generation of scooters incorporated lessons learned from the early scooters. His later scooters were truly revolutionary, both in design and performance. A revolutionary and patented variable speed transmission the Constant Velocity transmission or CVT, was far better than anything competitors had for years (including Vespas in the early 1950s). The Super-Scooter Model 85 or the “Imperial Rocket Scooter”, seen here, was designed to entice car owners into considering a scooter for transportation. Historically, scooters and motorcycles had a twist throttle on the handlebars, which Salsbury thought car drivers might be unaccustomed to using. Instead, the 85 was touted as, “The most completely automatic vehicle ever built.” with a simple foot-operated brake and gas, and no shifting required. Another interesting mechanical feature was the one-sided front and rear forks, with stub axles inspired by airplane strut design. The front suspension was provided by two, dual-rate coil springs housed within the elongated steering head. At the rear, a single coil spring did the dampening.

It’s believed that not even 1,000 Model 85 variations were built between 1947 and 1950, making this scoot a rare find anywhere. Power comes from a 320cc single good for 6 HP. The scooter runs, but it’s noted to have driven just 3 miles in the past decade. It’s $9,000 from the seller in San Jose, California.

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Renault 5 Turbo 2 – $79,000

Renault 5 Turbo
Facebook Seller

The last time I featured a Renault 5 Turbo, it was located in Sweden. Readers have been asking for more finds that don’t require importation, and your wish is my command! This Renault 5 Turbo 2 is asking for some serious coin, but it’s cheaper than several Bring a Trailer auctions. If I had to wager a guess, the lower price may be reflected in the fact that this example, which was imported from Japan in 2022, is not stock.

The 5 Turbo 2 (also sometimes called the R5 Turbo 2) is one of a handful of homologation road cars built so that Renault could enter its racer into Group B rally competition. Our friends at the Lane Motor Museum explain:

In 1972, Renault brought out, a front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 3-door hatchback called the Renault 5. By the time the original 5 was replaced in 1984, nearly 5.5 million had been made. In 1978, a remarkable version of the 5 was announced—the 5 Turbo. The body was made of light alloy rather than steel and the hood and fender flares in fiberglass. The engine was mounted behind the driver and took up all the space between the seat backs and rear hatch, and a switch was made from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive. To make room for the engine, the Renault 5 Turbo’s rear track was 10” wider than the standard car’s. Even so, to save space, the rear suspension had to be upgraded, which added benefit of improving the car’s handling.

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Facebook Seller

Seeking to lower production costs but not suffer from a loss of performance, in 1983 Renault pared down the Turbo into what would become the Turbo 2. The Turbo 2 version was introduced using stock Renault 5 parts replacing many of light alloy components in the original 5 Turbo version. The 5 Turbo was intended as a rally car and was one of Renault’s most successful but it was also a popular road-legal car. Around 250 units of the Turbo 2 were imported to the US market.

Power comes from a 1.4-liter turbo four that made 158 HP from the factory. The seller notes the engine was given a Renault Sport turbo upgrade, which now sees the engine putting out 185 HP. Also new is a roll cage and purple Sparco seats. The seller also notes a set of aftermarket wheels, though the factory wheels do come in the sale. You’ll also get black Recaro seats, new carpet, and door trim.

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Facebook Seller

The listing says the vehicle has the equivalent of 16,466 miles on its odometer. Sadly, that low mileage is betrayed by a poor-quality repaint. The listing notes the original paint color was red and the respray isn’t holding up well. Also bad is the fuel level indicator. So, either enjoy the car as-is or return it to stock.

It’s $79,000 from the seller in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you want one that’s in better condition, I found another on Facebook for $110,000.

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That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading.

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Wayne Rudiger
Wayne Rudiger
1 month ago

Fewer cars featured makes a lot of sense. The quality is certainly there. That 630CSi looks timeless – it’s almost 50 years old!

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

Now that I’ve gotten the Benzes out of my system (at least until I find a nice W126) I really want a 635csi. The most beautiful BMW ever made.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
1 month ago

I’d replace the battle ram bumpers with European ones…

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

Since it’s theoretical money and ownership, the shark nose, the r5 and the scooter. In the real world, I’d take the scooter. The other two would be like having two hot but volitile girlfriends.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
25 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

You have obviously never had two hot but volatile girlfriends.

James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Au contraire, I had three hot girlfriends at once, …. exhausting.

James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

They were not too volitile, although I was careful not to mix them.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
25 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

Mix them and they end up running off together. Or setting your clothes on fire. It’s hard to tell.

James Carson
James Carson
25 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

It was an exhausting experience. I limited myself to a maximum of two concurrent girlfriends at a time after that mistake.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

I’d love to have a Dynamic 88 Fiesta just so I could have the opportunity to say to people, “Hey, let’s take my *Dynamic 88 Fiesta.”

BMW big sixes from the 70s and 80s are great cars! E24s got a new chassis around the end of 1981, and older ones like this one share a lot in common with the E12. As such, some parts are hard to find.

I’m a bit suspicious of that “Pontiac GTO” – I’d bet better than even odds that it actually *is* a Holden Crewman with a LHD cowl and VIN from a G8.

Trevlington
Trevlington
1 month ago

Every. Single. One.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago
Reply to  Trevlington

Ya. Strong finds today

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
1 month ago

For several years I had an E24 633i. It was an automatic with crazy tall gearing, which made it a dog around town. But it was a magnificent highway cruiser, and felt like a flying dream sweeping around interstate ramps. It was also very reliable and comfortable. A very very good car.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

I have an E12 530i with an M30B35 and 5-speed swap and I agree that these cars are fantastic highway cruisers. 70, 80, 90, 100 – all feels the same, just gets louder. Hands-free stability at any speed.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

I’ve got an E12 530i with an M30B35 & 5-speed swap and it’s a terrific highway car. 70, 80, 90, 100 – it all feels the same, just gets louder. Hands-free stability at any speed. Thirsty, though.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago

On another note, I actually think five is a great number of items for Marketplace Madness. It’s enough to still feel like a substantial piece, but cuts out a lot of work from trying to do nine at a time.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

I’m not usually a fan of 50’s Americana, but that 88 is so insanely over the top that even I think it would be fun to own and marvel at.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
1 month ago

I would love to have a 1950s wagon some day and that Oldsmobile would be a good place to start.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago

The wagon brings back memories of heading to surf in my cousins ’58 Brookwood wagon, just with smaller wings.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 month ago

The shark nose and the R5 are an easy yes. The GTO ute should be a single cab.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Sorry not into trading a lot of crap. Is the new article ugly cars that are way overpriced? Some are okay looking but the prices are insane.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

The R5 and 630 are widely considered very good looking cars

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Did I not say some are good looking but overpriced? WHY WHY WHY do I get told I’m wrong when people don’t read what I wrote?

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You could try less petulance

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 month ago

Yes, please to the BMW, the Scooter, and the Renault. As a good Autopian I can intellectually admire the Olds wagon but really it’s from the era of automotive design (American iron from 1958 to about 1962/63) that I find completely overwrought and ugly and generally leaves me cold.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago

That 630CSi is so choice.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  JerryLH3

Top-5 best-looking car body of all time, IMO.

OttosPhotos
OttosPhotos
1 month ago

Passenger side headlight of the R5 looks misaligned.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
1 month ago

God, big old sharknose BMWs are just fantastic. What a lovely thing it is.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
1 month ago

That ute seems pretty neato.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

I’m really interested in that ute. It’d be very difficult to justify that price for a conversion of unknown provenance, in my mind. It looks great. It’s almost certainly worth the money. But I don’t trust myself to look it over and determine the quality of the conversion.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

“They used a friction roller against the rear wheel, which proved an impractical design.”

THERE’S NOTHING IMPRACTICAL ABOUT… Well, okay, maybe a little impractical.

https://live.staticflickr.com/1272/5187435727_83bf4fa4dc_c.jpg

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 month ago

Man, that GTO either underwent some SERIOUS surgery to become a ute, or there’s some hanky-panky going on here. Like, they cut the VIN plate from a GTO and slid a Holden ute under it, then gave it a nose job.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

It’s more than just a VIN swap as the car is LHD and the original Holden would have been RHD. Also looks like the wipers have been swapped to a LHD orientation something which is sometimes omitted on right to left hand drive conversions.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Wonder if it was done by Left Hand Utes in Co.? While their gallery does not show any conversions with a US nose, I believe they do(did?) such conversions. My understanding is that they bring in the Aussie utes sans engine and add an engine from a donor GTO to qualify as a kit car to circumvent the 25 year rule.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
1 month ago

Automotive names often fail to deliver on expectations, but the “Imperial Rocket Scooter” is pretty much right on the money.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago
Reply to  DialMforMiata

I can picture Imperial Stormtrooper scouts mounted on these while pursuing Luke Skywalker through the forests of Endor.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago

I get that people have their interests, so I don’t mean this in a gatekeeping way, but there’s no way I could justify $9,000 for that scooter. That’s crazy to me

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

I agree, that’s way too high of a price!

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 month ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

$9k for a scooter is objectively insane, but it’s also a very attractive and rare collectible in excellent shape.

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