A few weeks ago, Paul wrote up a low mile 1995 740i, always a favorite of ours here at GCFSB. Also a favorite is the D2 S8. Together, they represent in our minds the pinnacle of large executive designs – fast, comfortable, quiet, and with enough presence to draw respectful looks without being overstated, showy or brash. We also think that these two executive sedans are better looking than the multiple generations that have replaced them. While performance and luxury have increased in both BMW and Audi, in our opinion both of these cars are the high-water marks for their respective brands. So, which would you rather have? Let’s start with the S8:
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E30 values seem to have matured to the point that consumers aren’t phased by high prices for the right car. I’ve noticed over the last few months a sort of cooling of heads, and less turmoil when a car is posted outside of the $4-$6K comfort range so many E30s tend to fall into. Examples like this 1990 325is from California, which is in immaculate condition and sports some hard-to-find period Dinan modifications (good luck finding the exhaust – lots of “Wanted to Buy” threads that go no where fast), are the outliers that everyone generally agrees is worth the asking price. Perhaps it’s because the market has settled to the point that we know what generally counts as crap, what’s a decent driver, and what’s truly becoming unrepeatable as E30s get snatched up and either restored or modified beyond recognition. This car, for my money anyway, edges towards the unrepeatable category.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 325is on R3VLimited
This particular BMW 325is brings back a lot of memories for me, as it is almost identical to my first car, an Alpine White 325is. Mine was of 1988 vintage with the larger bumpers, tan leather interior and slightly smaller basketweave BBS wheels with gold centers. A great car that was, and this ’89 example for sale in Georgia has me pining for another E30. With the slimmer bumpers and nicely contrasting red leather interior, this one is a looker and a decent alternative to those who pine after an E30 M3 but are on a budget.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325is on eBay
The BMW Breadvan. The Clownshoe. Ugly. The Z3 coupe (and its M sibling) have been called everything under the sun, but I have always found the shape extremely eye-catching and funky. You may not like funky, but I think it works in this application, with those deeply flared haunches and angry nostrils. The car has attitude, especially when clad in screaming Dakar Yellow paint. Though this car also has a rebuild title, I am firmly in the camp that a salvage title does not necessarily sound the death knell for a car, especially one that is so desirable someone saw it worthwhile to fix back up. Although I’d never want to see the photos of the tree that landed on this low-mileage Z3, I would gladly take a chance on one that’s relatively affordable compared to its counterparts with repair-free histories and rapidly-climbing price tags.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe on eBay
Even though I often think I could never buy the same car twice, the idea of owning an IX intrigues me. This is pretty close to how I’d spec mine (aside from being Alpine White, of course), in a coupe body with a black sport interior. This car still wears its factory 15×7 basketweaves (with center caps!) along with a very fresh-looking interior for the miles. No mention is made of the condition of the transfer case or the presence of rust underneath the factory bodykit, but for a car to look so tidy after nearly 300,000 miles, we’re hoping the mechanical and cosmetic health is excellent. IXs are usually subjected to the worst that conditions have to offer, which typically means lots of road salt and sitting encased in a frozen concoction of winter mess for weeks on end. My E30 hibernates all winter for exactly this reason, but it’d be nice to have one to go play in the snow with.