I purchased this car in March from the original owner's son. It was brought over from Hanover and, in fact, had the original German plates in the trunk when I got it. It's 100% Euro-spec: headlights (with working adjuster switch in dash), taillights, bumpers, speedo/odo (km), dash trim (black, not Zebrano), manual windows, SLS rear suspension, no EGR, split Tex/cloth seats, trunk triangle, German first aid kit, etc... It also has a lumbar adjustment on the driver's seat. Starts very easily (though the coldest it has been since I got it was in the upper 20's). Previous owner was very forthright and said valves had been adjusted last fall. Car had been garaged from new until '02, and it's in pretty decent shape. The only rust-through I have found is in the pass. front fender at the lower mounting points and in the rear floor board (also pass. side). There are dings and some paint fade here and there, but it's very, very solid all things considered. Rockers are NOT rusty, amazingly. Inside the doors at the bottom there is surface rust.
Mechanically speaking, the car is pretty solid. Transmission flares a bit, but I think there were some vacuum issues happening, and have had some luck playing with the adjustments. If I were going to keep the car, I'd keep playing with adjustments before considering replacing the tranny. It has started well for me and oil pressure has never dropped below 2 bar at idle since I've had it.
Tires are excellent. New brake mc and motor mounts installed last November. According to p.o., odometer was replaced once at 125,000 KM, and stopped again at 177,000 KM (for a total of 302,000 KM or 189,000 miles) just before sale. I repaired it immediately after purchasing the car, and its working fine again.
I have flushed and replaced coolant (incl. a citric acid flush), and have several things that will go with the car (oil filter, transmission filter & gasket, trunk seal, t-stat, and so on). I have replaced lots of vacuum line and a few components and vacuum holds well now, though it will still usually bleed down overnight. I also replaced the exhaust with one off a low-mileage parts car, and added vent shades to the front windows. Priming pump was leaking, so that has been replaced, as was fuel line between the injectors.
Interior (tan) is solid, but faded. Dash has several cracks, but has a plastic overlay that looks quite nice. I replaced the crappy Craig AM/FM cassette with a period Becker AM/FM cassette deck.
As I think of more things to mention, I'll edit or add to this post. Car is in central IL (zip 61920) and I have only driven it short distances, so I can't honestly appraise it's roadworthiness. Thus, to err on the side of caution, I'd strongly suggest trailering it home.
1. I photographed the car wet because a) it was covered in cat tracks, thanks to the fruitcake neighbor who puts food out for every damned stray in my zip code, and b) I didn't have time to give it a proper wash & wax because I am furiously trying to scrape the paint off the garage you see in the background before my helpers show up this weekend to paint it.
2. There are few interior pics for similar reasons... no time to clean it up properly. Apologies for the dust, random stuff like electrical tape laying around & floor mats laying on the rear parcel shelf, etc...
3. The rust at the pass. front fender is pictured. It has been wire-brushed already, so the loose stuff has already been removed. It's fixable. I can send photographs of each jacking point to show that they are solid. I peeled some undercoating back to show that while there's surface rust, it's still solid. One exception MAY be the driver's rear jacking point -- there is some bubbling above that one, and I have NOT pulled away undercoating at that point. If that's a deal breaker for interested parties, I can peel it and see when time permits.
The car's solid, but I found a few more caveats to add when I started her up for the pics. There IS a clunk (likely exhaust?) in the left rear with bumps in the road surface, and the something in the steering is making a "rubbing" sound when the wheels are turned at low speed and when sitting still. Perhaps the car's just been sitting too long (???).
The open hole in the center console is where I was adding a fader control to the radio. This car came with front dash speakers only, so I ran wires to the rear deck for a second set of speakers and ran the fader control to the open position pictured. I just need to file the fader control ever so slightly and pop it into place, or I also have the blanking plate for that hole if one would prefer to leave the fader out of the wiring.