Home Acura NSX 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

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


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 radiator. 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.

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.

We 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

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.

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.

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.

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:

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 Ballard 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 Ballard Sports CR-X speaks volumes about the identity of the rider.

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Facebook Seller

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.

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

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:

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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