Americans may have a hard time trying to buy today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 5.0 M-Coupe by Hartge, but that doesn't mean they can't Google an exchange rate and see just how much they should care about what they're missing.
Small European car, big American V8. That's a combination that's been winning hearts and minds the world over for decades. Sadly for the seller of yesterday's Chevy-powered 1988 Porsche 944 his mash-up wasn't winning any wallets, and the car's price was deemed Crack Pipe territory by over 59% of you. There was also a heavy split on the awesomeness/awfulness of its custom badge, but that's another story.
Yet another story is the one about Herbert Hartge who in 1971 founded his namesake business the explicit purpose of which was to build faster and more musclier editions of certain products of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. Hartge has since expanded their attention to Mini and Range Rover, but being a traditionalist, today I want to focus on one of their more recent Bimmers.
Mary Poppins described herself as practically perfect - a lyrical bit of hubris that would either instill confidence that her oddball ways actually have positive purpose, or alternatively, that she was a nutter. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this one-of-one 1998 Hartge M Coupe with its 5-litre V8 seems, in the parlance of Poppins, to be practically perfect. At least from a desirability point of view.
The car was built as a factory prototype and according to the ad was used by Herbert (may I call you Herbie?) Hartge himself until 2002. The particulars of the car are: 5-litre V8; 420-bhp/383 lb-ft of torque; six-speed manual transmission; upgraded suspension and brakes. Good stuff, all of it.
That's been fitted into what's arguably one of the most unique and ski-boot emulating bodies ever created by BMW. The spiritual successor to the late great MGB-GT, the M Coupe truly put the grand in Grand Turismo. This one is now on its fourth owner and has done 118,000 kilometers over the course of its likely very raucous life. Despite the age and distance it still looks damn fine.
The M Coupe bodywork sports a re-worked clamshell hood with extra slats and slots punched through it and seemingly held closed with external latches. Other than that, it's pretty much how the M Group left it visually.
On the inside, the red over black leather seems to be in excellent shape and the seats look as pleasingly cosseting as a tailor-fitted athletic supporter. The under hood appearance proves just as tidy, albeit a little bit crowded, but in a good way, like Kate Upton's bikini tops.
The 18" wheels in the pics are apparently extra, the car actually coming with a set of original 19" Hartge jobs that I'm sure are just as kick-ass looking.
Here's the part that's going to be a major boner killer for many of our American readers: this Hartge is being offered in Overijssel, Netherlands. Yes, it most likely makes your nether lands tingle, but you can't have it, Freedom boy. In fact, it would probably be easier to bring into the country an Ebola-suffering ISIS rebel anchor baby showing signs of measles than to get this ski boot though customs. Don't believe me (I wouldn't), then just listen to DeMuro.
Could it be done? Yeah, I guess so, but it ain't gonna' to be cheap. Still, that forbidden fruitiness doesn't mean that you can't play the pricing game, and right now that's what we're all going to do. All of us. Kumbaya, y'all.
The asking price for this amazing piece of Hartge history is £51,600. which in Euros works out to about 70,000. In Greenbacks it's $78,922, according to to my Mac's conversion widget. What do you think - all of you - about this hot Hartge for that sort of money? Is that a screamin' deal? Or, is this a modded M with a price that's Hartge to love?
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