Home » Honda CRX Straman Convertible, Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG, BMW 2002: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

Honda CRX Straman Convertible, Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG, BMW 2002: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars, motorcycles, and campers, and then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. I’m always looking for the next deal, but most of the time, I’m left empty-handed. At the same time, I love building a list of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that I would buy if I had the money.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness turns the long list of vehicles I’d love to buy into something for you all to enjoy. Some of them are cheap and some of them are not. Some of the vehicles I find are purely window shopping for everyone other than a collector like Beau or Myron.

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Last week, I handed the key to MMM to Adrian, who wrote an astounding Adrian’s Auction Anarchy. Now, I’m back in control and am continuing to stick to the price ceiling theme. This week, I set a price limit of $20,000 but allowed myself to choose one vehicle above that amount. Check these vehicles out!

1948 Peugeot 202 Commercial Estate – $12,629 to $18,943

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Aguttes Auction House

This classic wood-bodied wagon captured my attention with its streamlined body and headlights behind its grille. This is not a classic you’ll see every day! Our friends at the Lane Motor Museum provide some history:

The Peugeot 202 was the smallest car made by Peugeot in the pre-WWII era. It had a very stylish and somewhat streamlined body, and sales were very good, with over 100,000 cars produced in its 7-year production life. Another unique feature is that the headlights are set behind the radiator grill to give the body a more clean appearance. Early 202s had cable brakes, but by 1946 the cars were equipped with hydraulic brakes.

This 202 is said to be a rare Canadian model. Due to a post-World War II shortage of steel, about 3,015 units were built with timber bodies. Power comes from an 1133 cc four making 30 HP and is paired to a manual transmission.

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It will go up for auction at the Aguttes Auction House in Sochaux, France, on October 15, where it’s expected to sell for between $12,629 to $18,943.

2005 Pontiac GTO – $15,000

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Facebook Seller

Here’s a car we’ve called criminally underrated in our GM Hit Or Miss series, and for good reason. Here’s what Thomas said:

In the early 2000s, GM was sunsetting its pony car production, but Bob Lutz still wanted something muscular in the lineup. However, the General was in a tight spot. With the F-Body exiting production, the Kappa platform still several years out, and Cadillac looking to hog two rear-wheel-drive platforms, the company didn’t have many options for something that could take the role of the Firebird as a halo car for Buick-Olds-Pontiac showrooms. Fortunately, GM’s excitement brand ended up getting by with a little help from its Australian friends.

[…]

Relatively unbothered by the corporate overlords in Detroit, possibly because they were dealing with a domestic clusterfuck of their own, Holden kept cranking out rear-wheel-drive V8 passenger cars long after, say, the B-Body exited production. The was really a simple matter of taking an Opel Omega, changing everything, and dropping in an Aussie-built version of GM’s third-generation small-block V8. Americans will better know this engine as the LS.

Along the way, Holden cooked up a large, rounded coupe variant called the Monaro, a moniker throwing things back to the heyday of Australian supercars. As the story goes, Bob Lutz took one look at this big bruiser, imagined it ripping up American highways, and then moved heaven and earth to bring it to America, because fast, rear-wheel-drive coupes are an American thing.

America called it GTO, or Gran Turismo Omologato, Italian for Grand Touring Homologated. And what we got was a refined touring machine with thundering power and subdued looks. In 2005, GTOs came equipped with a 6.0-liter LS2 V8 making 400 HP. That power goes through a manual transmission and is good for a sprint to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

This GTO is said to be all stock, save for an exhaust system. It’s $15,000 from the seller in Modesto, California with 112,000 miles. Be sure to ask for more pictures.

1967 Oldsmobile Toronado – $13,967

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Past & Present Motor Cars

The Oldsmobile Toronado has a special place in automotive history. It’s a vehicle famous for bucking convention and expectations. Launched in 1966, the Toronado was America’s first mass-produced front-wheel-drive car since the Cord 812 from 1937. The first-generation Toronado was a personal luxury car meant to go up to bat against the likes of the Ford Thunderbird. As Hagerty writes, the drivetrain in the first Toronado worked using a two-inch-thick chain that rode on a carrier bolted to a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic turned 180 degrees. The chain transferred power from the torque converter to the transmission’s planetary gears.

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If you read our RV content, you also know the Toronado gave up its innovative powertrain to a wonder of the 1970s, the GMC Motorhome. Today, Toronados are affordable and powerful classics.

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Past & Present Motor Cars

This Toronado is up for grabs today and comes equipped with a 425 cubic inch V8 rated at 385 HP. That fires power at the front wheels through the aforementioned transmission setup. The selling dealership states that the vehicle is mostly original, save for some floorpan that has been replaced in the past. Its paint also shows some blemishes. This Toronado can be yours from Past & Present Motor Cars in Ocoee, Florida for $13,967 with 36,750 miles.

1974 BMW 2002 – $17,500

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Auto Trader Seller

The 2002 is a car coveted by fans of vintage BMWs. It’s the car that made BMW famous in America and cemented its identity as a manufacturer of great driving machines. Here’s what BMW has to say:

The 114 range, also known as the 02 Series, was produced from 1966 to 1977 and was derived from the BMW New Class 1600. The sporty medium-sized vehicles were fitted with a four-cylinder engine (type M10) and were two-door cars. That is why the model names ended in 02 from 1971: BMW 1502, BMW 1602, BMW 1802, and BMW 2002.

The first two digits refer in each case to the capacity of the M10 engine – with the exception of the BMW 1502 “economy model,” which came out with a slimmed-down 1.6 liter engine from the BMW 1602. The successful 2002 Series with a capacity of two liters and between 100 hp (BMW 2002) and 170 hp (BMW 2002 turbo) went into series production in early 1968.

The “Oh Two” series was replaced in 1975 by the first 3 Series models in the BMW program. Today, the tradition of the famous 02 Series is continued mainly by the BMW 2 Series Coupe.

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Auto Trader Seller

What BMW doesn’t include is the fact that the 2002 was developed after the encouragement of BMW importer Max Hoffman, a man known for so many awesome European imports during the 1960s and 1970s. The 2002 was available from 1968 to 1976.

This 1974 2002 is said to be preserved and its carburetor has been upgraded to a Weber unit. The vehicle has recently gotten an interior refresh. That 100 HP engine sends its power to the rear wheels through a manual transmission. It’s $17,500 from the seller on Auto Trader in Redmond, Oregon with 153,000 miles.

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1949 Ford F-6 – $17,000

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Facebook Seller

Ford’s famous F-Series was born in late 1947 for the 1948 model year. Blue Oval says it watched as post-war Americans moved to cities and suburbia, taking their pickups with them. Before, trucks were meant for work, though, now they were taking on more roles. This gave Ford the idea to expand its pickup’s scope to cover a variety of purposes. The new trucks would be easier to drive with bigger cabs, better visibility, some creature comforts and style.

Of course, they’d still be able to do work. The result was the first generation of the Ford F-Series, and Ford built enough classes to cover a half-ton capacity (F-1) to cabover heavy-duty commercial trucks (F-8).

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Facebook Seller

This F-6 slots in closer to the heavy end of the scale. In 1949, the F-6 had what Ford called the Million Dollar Cab with the engine sitting low and the driver riding in a hydraulically sprung seat. Power comes from a Rouge 239 Truck V8 making 90 net HP and 178 lb-ft net torque, that goes to the rear wheels through a manual transmission. Depending on wheelbase and tires, the truck weighs 4,680 pounds to 4,985 pounds. The front axle is rated for 4,500 pounds while the rear axle can carry 12,000 pounds.

This truck is dolled up as a vintage tanker truck. It’s $17,000 from the seller in Spring, Texas with 49,393 miles.

Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG – $32,117

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Winding Road Motorcars

For the one vehicle breaking the $20,000 limit this week, we have a speedy minivan multi-purpose vehicle thing with a burly V8. I’ve written about this car before and here’s some background:

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The R-Class originates from a concept presented at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept car was called the Vision GST and at the time, DaimlerChrysler said that the vehicle was designed to meet the changing requirements and wishes of its customers. DaimlerChrysler admits that the vehicle is a mix of “Saloon, Estate, MPV and Sport Utility Vehicle” blended together into one vehicle.

The marque explains what those customer needs and wishes were for a car that could do it all. Customers apparently asked for a Mercedes-Benz that was stylish, technologically advanced, and with plenty of space for family, leisure equipment, or work materials. On top of that, this vehicle would have the handling and performance expected from a Mercedes-Benz. Basically, DaimlerChrysler wanted the R-Class to be a jack of all trades.

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Winding Road Motorcars

The R63 houses the 6.2-liter V8 that powers the ML63 AMG. You’re getting a V8 firing out 505 HP and 465 lb-ft torque, good for getting the kids to school after you hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. This particular model is noted to be a rarer short wheelbase R63.

The selling dealership said it was sold new in Japan and imported into Canada. We did get the R63 here in the United States, but it’s unclear how much grief you’d get trying to bring it over to our side of the border. Either way, it’s $43,900 CAD ($32,117) from Winding Road Motorcars in Langley, British Columbia, with the equivalent of 56,544 miles.

1987 Honda CRX Straman Convertible – $5,800

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Facebook Seller

Here’s a rare sporty kammback-turned convertible. According to Honda, the CRX was created for people seeking individualism and a sporty ride. From Honda, translated into English:

It has been a long time since people began to call it the era of individualization. Reflecting these voices, cars have also begun to follow the path of respecting individuality. However, for future users who will base their choices on things based on their own firm beliefs and lifestyle, faking individuality will not work.

Cars are now required to have true individuality that responds to their sensibilities. In order to respond to the young-at-heart people who are leading the era of individualization, Honda aimed to create cars for a new era from a completely new perspective, taking into account the era’s background of resource and energy conservation. From the design stage to the materials and manufacturing methods and methods, we pursue a vision for the future. And so Ballade Sports CR-X was born.

This is a front-wheel drive lightweight sports car that seeks to enjoy the fun of driving rather than just a car. What you’ll find here is the joy of driving, backed by outstanding performance and extremely well-shaped styling. Driving a Ballade Sports CR-X speaks volumes about the identity of the rider.

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Facebook Seller

(Correction: Due to a translation error, the original version of this story said the Japanese version of the CRX was called the Ballard. We regret the error.)

In some markets, the car was sold as the Honda CRX and Honda Civic CRX. Reportedly, the CRX has a design inspired by the Alfa Romeo GT Junior Zagato.

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Honda never built the CRX as a convertible, so this car is a bit special. It was converted into a drop-top by R. Straman Coachworks of Costa Mesa, California. The firm is better known for converting Italian exotics but chopped the roofs off of 310 CRX along the way.

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Facebook Seller

This CRX Straman is far from perfect. There’s rust present on the body and apparently, Straman never rust-protected the steel bars used to strengthen the car post-roof delete. As a result, there’s a pretty gnarly rust hole just behind the rockers. Though, if there’s any group who could save this car, I bet Autopians could do it!

Power comes from a 12-valve 1.5-liter four making 76 HP. That reaches the front wheels through a manual transmission. It’s $5,800 from the seller in Colorado Springs, Colorado with 113,018 miles. If the rust is too much for you, there’s a 1985 Honda CRX Si Straman Convertible over at Cars & Bids. That one is currently bidding at $5,600 with six days to go, so it’s going to be more expensive than this one.

1957 BMW R26 – $5,512 to $7,717

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Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

Classic BMW boxer motorcycles often fetch a pretty penny. Don’t overlook this classic BMW single. It may not have an iconic boxer, but look how pretty it is! After World War II, BMW was restricted from building motorcycles. In 1947, the first motorcycle BMW offered to the public after the war was the R24 250cc single cylinder, essentially a warmed-over prewar R23. It wasn’t until 1956 that BMW redesigned the motorcycle into the R26.

Here’s some history from BMW:

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Right up until the 1990s, the BMW R 25/3 was the most successful BMW motorcycle with a production run of 47,700 motorcycles. In January 1956, the BMW R 26 was launched as the successor model with a completely new full-swing chassis such as that introduced as part of the Boxer series in the previous year. The power output of the engine was increased to 15 hp. This raised the top speed to 128 km/h and made the BMW R 26 one of the fastest 250 cc motorcycles of its time. The fact that the BMW R 26 was not able to continue the successes of the BMW R 25 Series, despite the refined technology was due to the gathering crisis in the motorcycle sector.

This motorcycle comes fitted with a 247cc engine bolted directly to the frame and making 15 HP. Power reaches the rear wheel through a shaft drive. It’s also been restored and repainted at some point in the past. The motorcycle is expected to sell at the Oldtimer Galerie Toffen auction tomorrow in Switzerland for between $5,512 to $7,717.

1957 Pontiac Star Chief – $18,000

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Facebook Seller

As Hagerty writes, Pontiac’s lineup was revamped for 1955. The line received new frames, bodies, and windshields. The Star Chief made its debut in 1954 and initially, it was powered by a 268 cubic inch straight eight. 1955 brought on a new body plus new V8 power. The Star Chief rode on the top of Pontiac’s line and was offered as a convertible, a four-door sedan, the Catalina two-door hardtop, and the Safari wagon. You could then choose Deluxe or Custom trim to determine your interior fittings. Back then, the Star Chief was $2,362, more expensive than a $1,932 Chevrolet Bel-Air sedan and roughly the same price as an Oldsmobile 88.

In 1957, the Star Chief relinquished its position as the top Pontiac to the Bonneville convertible. That year, the Star Chief grew in size and engines got a little bigger as well.

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Facebook Seller

This Star Chief Catalina appears to be in overall good shape and it has a few modifications under the hood. Stock, these came with a 347 cubic inch V8 rated at 270 HP. There’s now a 455 V8 in its place, shooting power to the rear wheels through a TH400 transmission. It’s unclear what that engine is making. The seller states that the vehicle’s front floorpans have been replaced and a disc brake conversion has been started. Those parts come in the sale. The vehicle needs exhaust work and there’s a crack in the driver door window.

It’s $18,000 from the seller in Spokane Valley, Washington. That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!

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Myk El
Myk El
8 months ago

I’d go for the GTO, except I’ve already got one. Lots of good stuff, but that Peugeot….

[insert French woody joke here]

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
8 months ago

Toronado would get my money. Wouldn’t mind that 02 or Star Chief either.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
9 months ago

Heck of a lineup this week, not a loser in the bunch. The Peugeot wagon is the sex, tho. With a revamped or replaced tank the Ford would make a wild beer truck.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
9 months ago

Growing up riding in my dad’s ’71 BMW 2002, my desire for the 2002 is palpable. I wish I could find one in driver condition for a reasonable price, but all I seem to find is garbage for way too much or a show car for absurd money.

As for the Mercedes R63, when these were new, one of the owners of the company I worked for bought one for his wife. The thing was awesome when everything was working right, but the thing spent WAAAAYY too much time at the dealership with warranty repairs. A friend with an R350 had a similar experience, so while I think the R-class is neat, I won’t be buying one myself.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago

Some really nice iron. Not sure that beautiful Ford tanker has the tank on it. I think the only nogo was the over limit car. Just did nothing for me.

JDE
JDE
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I always wondered why at least one or two of the old doodlebug texaco tankers never survived to be converted into something else, this one kind of needs the tank right sized to really be cool to me. or a matching streamilner cab fabbed

Neomancer Nz
Neomancer Nz
9 months ago

If it was sold new in Japan, why is the steering wheel on the wrong side?

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
9 months ago

I’ll take that Toronado. Wrong color for me though.

Richard O
Richard O
9 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Sorry Adrian. Wrong year too. 1969 was the best. That’s the year they finally got the front and rear treatments right. My dad had one and 17 year old me got to drive it. (16yo me wasn’t allowed to.)

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard O

And our survey says….

EEEHHHHHHH EEEEEEHHHHHH. 68 is much better, but I get your attachment to the 69.

Richard O
Richard O
9 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I guess I could suffer with a 68…

SLM
SLM
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Wrong.
I think it’s the first time I disagree from one of your comments/articles (and I’m a colourblind owner of a white car) but I still think that this colour is perfect for the Toronado.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
8 months ago
Reply to  SLM

It’s perfect for most, but I’m all black all the time (with VERY few exceptions when it comes to cars).

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
9 months ago

Here’s one nit-picky point for you, Mercedes (though I’m blaming your spell checker): The Japanese version of the CRX was never a “Ballard,” but a “Ballade.” I kinda like “Ballard,” though….

Other than that, I’m there for the Pug, both Ponchos, the Toro, BMW (slight loss of enthusiasm because it’s not a Roundie), Ballard the Ballade and, the Merc, which would be turned around at the border and sent back to Maple Leaf Land (for another four years, at least).

Nice selection!

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
9 months ago

I dunno. I’m probably going to think of them as “Ballards” from now on!

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
9 months ago

I love Star Chiefs. Not a bad price either,although it will need some work.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

I think Mercedes does to they show up frequently in her madness column.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
9 months ago

To truly relive my childhood I’d need a BMW 2000 like we had in the 70s but a,2002 and an R26 would suit me fine.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
9 months ago

The Pontiac, the 2002, and the R26 please.

I actually like that the Star Chief is not quite original, as it significantly eases the expense of ownership.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
9 months ago

That Pontiac Star Chief needs to come to my house!! I’d rather have that than a ’57 Chevy.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
9 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Any day

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
9 months ago

3 winners on this batch. I’ll take the 2002, Toronado, and the Peugeot please.

Chris D
Chris D
9 months ago

The CRX would be a blast. It resembles the Geo Metro Convertible with its top down… the price is actually reasonable with such low mileage. If it were in my neighborhood I would be very, very tempted.

Goblin
Goblin
9 months ago

From the absolute CRX zealot that I am (I don’t think a better looking car than the 90-92 Euro and JDM versions has ever been made), the CRX, in all its iterations, must be the only car in existence that looks way worse in convertible form than in coupe.

This one is a pre-’88, so chopping off the top is not as sacrilegeous, but even that one looks better with a roof. Kudos for the later model wheels though. Those are from an 88 and up.

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