Hot on the heels of wagon week, we have another great little E30 Touring that was brought to Virginia from Germany (probably by an armed services member) a while back. In addition to the great looks of the original 3-series longroof, you get a dog cage, buttons in German, and that 80s cloth interior that reminds me so much of my childhood. Bidding is hot but significantly lower than most clean E30s out there as I write this. It seems like the allure and rarity of these wagons is starting to wane, bringing them to a much wider audience and taking them back to their original status as an entertaining, useful, and affordable daily driver.
All posts tagged 3 series
Need a little bit more space than the 2002 BMW M Roadster we featured yesterday but still lust after some al fresco ///M Motoring? Here’s a good compromise, then. While the M3 Convertible was nothing new when the E36 debuted, the US market was never privy to the E30 M3 Convertible. With the 1998 model year, sun worshippers got their wish with this car we see here for sale in North Carolina. Hardcore enthusiasts tend to take these open-roofed M3s a bit less seriously than their coupe and sedan counterparts, given their added weight and decreased rigidity. At least this car is equipped with the 5-speed manual which will help you make the most of this package.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay
For practical folks like myself (who also happen to be BMW fans) one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory is the lack of an E46 M3 sedan. I’ve always had a soft spot for the E46 3 Series in nearly all forms but aside from the legendary M3 coupe, it’s the sedan that I’m most drawn to and I’ve always lamented the fact there was no true M version.
However, never the ones to pass up an opportunity to squeeze some extra dough out of Yankee consumers, BMW offered us the “ZHP” package on the 330i from 2003 to 2006. For $3,900 you got a lowered ride height thanks to firmer springs and stiffer dampers. Special control arms, a unique light weight front underbody cross brace, staggered wheel/tire setup further contribute to the enhancement of the car’s handling prowess. Your money also gets you an slight bump in power, 235 hp up from 225 hp as well as a marginally higher redline of 6800 rpm up from 6500 rpm. A special final gear ratio and rear axle make the most of those gains and I’m willing to bet that these cars feel plenty quick but isn’t constantly reminding you that you’re unable to use every ounce of power in day to day driving situations. After all isn’t that what you want in a daily? That’s a question I’m asking myself more and more these days.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 330i ZHP on CarsDirect
It’s hard for me to believe that the M3 name is no longer in use for the two-door version of BMW’s famed sport sedan. Almost three full decades of building up a name just to relegate it to use on a version that didn’t exist at the outset (the sedan) seems a bit short sighted. It wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the near future we see another two-door M3, but until then, we have the classics to look back on. This M3 for sale in North Carolina is not a low-mileage garage queen, but a higher mileage, one-owner example that has undergone a good amount of work to appear as good as it does in the pictures provided. On an unmolested M3 with patina like this, Alpine White never looked so good.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay
As we round out Wagon Week, let’s take a trip to Deutschland to look at one of the cleanest, most compact longroofs around. The E30 Touring is just now importable to the US but is still quite a rarity on these shores. In Europe you can find them in all varieties and in all sorts of condition, but today’s little 318i is quite a gem. Having covered less than 50k miles in its quarter century, it looks stunning inside and out, especially with the always-excellent Shadowline trim option. The grey cloth looks clean as new and I much prefer it in these cars to the ubiquitous leather we get in Bimmers here; it’s a nice reminder that, while very cool, this is also a utilitarian, base-model little wagon. These days we Americans are starting to have access to some great E30 Tourings including the beefy 325ix, but it’s hard to beat this red 318i for good-looking simplicity and value.