The time has come to sell my Delphin Metallic 1987 325is. I started driving E30’s back in 2003 after purchasing my first 325i for $700. It was arguably the coolest cheap car you could buy back then. These days, a 325is in original form commands more dollars and more respect after many years of flying under the radar. The secret is out: the E30 is a bonafide cult classic.
The 1973 2002 was the last year of the round tail lights and arguably one of the best years. This desirable Tii model was one of the early fuel injection cars from BMW though it does not sport an original Tii motor. It’s hard to say which is more desirable, a Metric Mechanic built S14 engine from an E30 M3 or an all original Tii motor. This tastefully modified engine-swapped car boasts 275 horsepower with a 2.5 liter stroked S14.
While perusing eBay for the latest vintage BMW listings I came across a rare gem from Dinan. This 1989 325ix is the all wheel drive model of the E30 sedan, designed for cruising the back country roads of Greenwich in all seasons. The seller says this car was owned by a Doctor who had a custom turbo kit installed at Dinan in California at around 17,000 miles. The cost for the turbo kit and Dinan upgrades back then was $32,000 – the same amount it cost to buy a new 325ix.
This weekend I came across a 1987 325is which has been converted to E30 M3 bodywork and listed on eBay. This M3 tribute car appears to have been done rather well and was built with some authentic E30 M3 body panels. It doesn’t have an M3 c-pillar however, which certainly gives it away that it’s a standard E30 body.
Today’s Craigslist find brings us to Ventura, California. A 1987 325is with automatic transmission is listed for only $5400 which seems to be well priced for the condition. Of course, the automatic transmission detracts from the value a bit compared to an original factory 5 speed model.
We have seen this 1991 M5 for sale for the last few months, and it is in beautiful condition considering it’s high mileage. This M is one of the last of the hand built cars coming out of Germany and has seen 245,000 miles. The car has a long list of repairs, though some areas still need attention.
While browsing for E30’s this morning I came across a beautifully maintained 1991 318i sedan. Grab a fresh cup of your favorite coffee and dig into your E30 search. This five speed sedan located in Baltimore has beautiful paint and interior, and is listed for only $7500. You’ll find it here on Craigslist until the listing is deleted. The VIN is WBAAJ931XMEJ00140
Searching for an E30 M3 in 2016 is no easy task. The classic German car bubble has been inflating since 2010 and has yet to lose any momentum. The days of ratty $10,000 range E30 M3 finds are long gone, now just old legends that we will reminisce about for years to come. These days, even a heavily road worn M3 can command big dollars. That brings us to today’s eBay find, a 1988 model with 325,000 hard earned miles.
The E30 318is is commonly referred to as the poor man’s M3. It shares some traits with the M3 including a 4 cylinder engine, near perfect 50-50 weight distribution and a thrilling driving experience. While it’s 1.8 liter M42 engine boasts a modest 138 horsepower compared to the M3’s 197 horsepower, it is still a fun little drive.
Finding a rust free E30 325ix these days can be extremely challenging, considering they were designed for traversing snow, ice and salt covered roads. The best region to buy any vintage car is obviously in the South or West, far away from any frozen precipitation. Today’s 325ix find brings us to Costa Mesa, California. Listed on Craigslist for $6,000 this iX boasts a desirable 5 speed manual transmission and a rust free sun baked body. Always choose faded paint and a dry body over gloss and rust.