All posts tagged 1988

Double Take Litmus Test: No Reserve 1988 BMW M5s

Fans of the venerable and arguably original super sedan, take note! This post – and the included auctions – are two that you probably want to pay attention to. Why? Well, we have two examples of the awesome 1988 BMW M5 – not unusual, in all honesty, over the past few years. But the two examples differ in many ways; one is a flawed but original, lower mile example, while the other has high miles, plenty of modifications and is generally very clean. The kicker, though, is that both auctions are no reserve and with a few days to go on each, they’re racing for the top spot. Which will be garnished with the highest bid and where is the market heading?


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1988 Volkswagen T3 Tristar DoKa

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It’s always a fun day when you see a DoKa in real person. These funny Vanagaminos definitely cut a unique profile, always looking like they should be a commercial vehicle delivering for a home-made hipster artisan honey and hand-hewn furniture outfit. Today’s example was imported from Germany and given a full mechanical restoration along with a new GoWesty engine. That all sounds pretty great until the seller comes right out and says he’s going to break the cardinal rule of used-car pricing: ask for exactly what he put in. It was clearly quite an undertaking to ship this thing from Germany and then get all of its moving bits redone, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get all of that money you spent on labor, shipping, etc. back in your pocket. Exterior blemishes underscore the point, showing that this is a nice but imperfect DoKa proposition.

Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen T3 Tristar DoKa on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1988 BMW M3

Remember 2007? I know, it doesn’t seem that long ago, right? Yet, back in 2007 you could take a pretty nice E30 M3 and turn it into a race car, and no one would scream at you, call you bad names, or think you insane. That’s because back in 2007, though many appreciated the E30 M3 it wasn’t the superstar of the German car market that it is today. As a result, it was still reasonably common to see E30 M3s turn up at the track, and properly built they were still the match for many newer cars. A friend of mine moved from a 2002 to a M3 in the early 2000s; after an engine rebuild, he needed break-in miles on the motor, so at a Lime Rock Park event he tossed me the keys. Out on track, it took me approximately 3 turns to instantly feel comfortable. The poise and balance of the E30 was amazing, and though I couldn’t use the upper range of the S14 and had to lug around one gear up from where the car should have run I was able to run down many E36 and E46 M3s without much difficulty. Coming off track, the owner was all smiles and laughing – “Imagine if those other M3 guys knew you were running a gear up!” he laughed. Today, E30 M3 racers may be one of the cheapest ways to get the M3 feeling – but while even the most nicely prepared ones were at most $20,000 – $25,000 only a few years ago the market surge has reached even non-street legal cars:


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Coupe Week Feature Listing: 1988 BMW M6

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I think it’s fair to say that there are quite a few of our readership that came of age in the 1980s, and the cars from that era hold a special appreciation in our minds; this author included. As we work our way through our celebration of “Coupe Week”, I went bank into my memory banks a bit. Growing up flipping through car magazines every month, I studied and memorized the horsepower figures, the 0-60 times and scrutinized the driving impressions of every single car, but there were some that caught my attention. Admittedly, in the early 1980s I had a predisposition to the Porsche 928. It looked so futuristic, and with its big aluminum V8 the performance figures seemed otherworldly to someone who grew up with Toyota Tercels and learned to drive on a early ’60s Beetle with no clutch. But towards the late 1980s, a car came to my attention that I had largely ignored up to that point; the E24 BMW. Sure, they were good looking 2-doors, but to a young man power was everything and the 928 was top trump. But then my father sold his RT1100 BMW motorcycle and bought something the family could enjoy; a 1982 633CSi. My appreciation for the BMW instantly grew. The long hood and delicate A and C pillars were a symphony of design; the sharply angled nose and BBS Mahle wheels hinted at a connection to motorsports. Inside, I still remember the smell of the luxurious leather and the sound of the M30 heading its way up the tach. Solidly in “Camp 6″ now, my new favorite car was the fastest version of the E24 that was available to U.S. customers – the M6.

Later on, my father’s priorities changed slightly and heading to the track more, he opted to get into a 1988 BMW M5. But as much as I respected and liked that car, the M6 still had my fascination. I still remember the first time I got to drive one; I detailed the car for a friend of the family. It was not my car to drive with reckless abandon, but still I was able to revel in the growl of the S38, the directness of the steering, the way the transmission seemed to perfectly slot into each gear. It was driving bliss and I felt invincible. Unfortunately, at that time M6s commanded a strong premium over the M5 and M3, and all were far outside of my income bracket. Fast forward to today, and the M6 has become perhaps the best performance bargain from BMW in the 1980s; find a good example, and they’re sure not to disappoint still:

Click for details: 1988 BMW 635CSi at Sun Valley Auto Club

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1988 BMW M5

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As we saw last week, higher-mileage M5s are starting to get pulled upward. Shredded front seats, a dirty engine compartment, and lost history were the main gripes with last week’s, but it still got snatched up locally, indicating the seller got something close to his $15k asking price. This one has a more complete history as it belonged to the seller’s father, but its story includes several missteps. The most-referenced in the ad is a decent-but-not great respray after a hailstorm. Next are the recovered seats – better than having them torn up (I guess) but the black piping makes them look cheap. Mechanically and electrically, however, it appears sound, running strong at a mileage where many receive rebuilds (though for some unknown reason the top end was already rebuilt at 125k miles). With no reserve and sitting just over $10k, this could be a good chance at driver for someone who doesn’t care too much about originality.

Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

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