Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute

Let me go on record as stating that I personally have no problems with replica cars. Especially when you consider the price of exclusive originals or cars that are non-existent, tributes and replicas offer people the opportunity to see cars they would otherwise never get to experience. Several of the Auto Union Grand Prix cars, for example, have been built as exacting replicas of the originals that no longer exist; see them in the flesh, and they’ll make your spine tingle just as much as if Nuvolari or Rosemeyer had piloted them originally. But then there’s a secondary tier of making replica cars that are either just expensive or hard to come by; Sport Quattros, S2s, AMG and Ruf models as well as the exclusive RS have always been popular, and an increasing trend over the past few years has been replica M3s. Of course, when the real deal is only a few thousand dollars, making a replica isn’t economically viable. But prop the price up to near six figures, and suddenly the pain and expensive of creating a replica becomes not only popular, but perhaps even lucrative:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute on eBay

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Motorsport Mondays: 1986 BMW 325 NASA Spec

Most of us who are car enthusiasts have a desire at some point or another to go racing. Ever since watching my uncle work the Sports Car Club of America ITE circuit with this ’88 Corvette, I was hooked. The constraints of urban living make having a dedicated race machine a bit impossible, but one can dream. This 1986 BMW 325 built to National Auto Sport Association specifications seems like a good place to start satisfying the urge for those who have track day visions.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325 NASA Spec on eBay

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1986 BMW 325es M60 swap

Motor swaps are always a lot of fun, especially when someone else has done the heavy lifting. In the case of the E30 platform, it seems there is no end to the different motors that get swapped in. We’ve seen S14 retrofits into 325s, plenty of S50, S52 and even a few S54s pop up. But let’s say you really like torque. And aluminum. What’s an E30 enthusiast to do? Well, of course you could swap a M60 4.0 V8 out of the E34 540i into a 325es. In its original form, the 325es was a bit of a slowpoke good handler looking for more power. The E34 540i was a great motor toting around a fair amount of weight. Couple the two together, and Viola! You make the folks at the local tire depot quite happy. Take a look at this tuned 325:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay

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2001 BMW 325xi Touring

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The same neighbor that I’ve written about pampering a sweet, sweet 1996 911 Turbo daily drives an E46 Touring that I covet. Even as just a plain 325i, it is simply attractive and seems to be a great mix of entertaining and useful. While his rare drives in the 911 must be a revelation, the ability to have fun every day in a great wagon must be nice. Thought automatic, today’s 325xi adds all-wheel drive to create even more versatility. With just 54k miles, this could make a great DD for years to come.

Click for more details: 2001 BMW 325xi Touring on eBay

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Very Rare Manual 2001 BMW 325iT For Sale

These 3 series wagons are becoming a rare breed, one with a manual transmission is almost unheard of.  So, what’s the big deal?  As you may have heard the automatic transmissions in the 3 & 5 series cars of this era can be kind of fussy.

Granted, that is the exception and not the rule.  But why take a chance on something that is unreliable and less fun to drive?

2001 BMW 325iT For Sale:

“I am the second owner (both from Northern California) and purchased the car after a long search for a M/T wagon.  These are very hard to find.  I only wanted a car that had never seen salt/snow.

The car has 118k miles on it.  Many of the common issues have been addressed.  VC gasket, window regulators, front control arm bushings etc.  Owned by an enthusiast before me so most things were up to date.

Options on the car are Sport Package, Premium Package, xenon lights and Harmon Kardon Audio.  It does have a moonroof.  It does not have heated seats, navigation or park distance sensors.  The trim is wood.

Work I have done since purchase:  Tinted rear glass, OEM homelink, oil level sensor with LOF, final stage resistor, new cowl trim, new a-pillar trim, new hood emblem, new front grille, various clips here and there.

Pros:

Original paint – no accidents. I measured all the panels with a paint depth guage prior to purchase

Unmodified – completely stock

Runs extremely well.  Smooth and quiet.  Transmission shifts well and clutch take up is good.  Ride quality is amazing with no squeaks/rattles of any kind.

Color – I scoured the internet for Alpine White Sport Package wagons.

All controls work – power window, mirrors, A/C, moonroof, steering wheel controls etc.

Michelin Tires matching and in good shape.  Full size matching spare.

Folder full of records

Clean Carfax

Has the tonneau cover/dog guard missing on most cars

Tags current til October 2012
Brand new cargo mat

No CORROSION!  Super easy to work on.  Engine bay is beautiful

Cons:

The wheels have some light curbing here and there.  Still look great overall – no structural issues.

Paint has some chips that have been touched up by me.

Slight crack in the shift knob clearcoat – I replaced all the other wood with better stuff from other E46 wagon

Driver’s seat needs some attention.  Two common seams have come apart.  One in the bolster and one in the cushion.  I did not address this as I was considering changing the seats to alcantara from a ZHP.

Rear exhaust and front/rear bumper valances are scraped.  Previous owner had very steep driveway.  I planned on installing a Dinan exhaust and putting on a ZHP front bumper anyway. Can’t see unless you bend down and look.

That’s pretty much it.  I am sure there are some normal maintenance items that will need to be addressed in the future.  Front brakes should be done in a few thousand miles (I planned the Brembo upgrade), the oil pan gasket or oil filter housing gasket is beginning to leak, diff bushings and flex disc starting to crack etc.  Nothing immediate

Considering the limited number of manual transmission wagons available pricing is market based.   There are very few vehicles that offer the driving enjoyment and practicality for this kind of money.”

The seller is correct, it is tough to find a 3 series wagon for this kind of money regardless of the transmission.  Given how thorough the seller is I would say any and all flaws have been disclosed so there are no surprises on the horizon.

… well there can always be surprises but you know what I mean.

Anyhow, a wagon such as this for under $10k is a good value.  It does have some patina but nothing that can’t be sorted out by the next owner.  I am curious to see if the market agrees with my assessment.

~Aaron.

1990 BMW 325ic Offered by EuroWerkz

Every time an E30 BMW 3 series comes across on our site, I get nostalgic about my ’88 325is. I can’t think of a car that epitomized the optimistic atmosphere of the ‘80s more than the E30 3 series convertible. Introduced in 1987 amidst a rapidly expanding 3 series lineup, the convertible was offered with the 2.5 liter inline six found in the 325is producing 168 horsepower. This convertible became the face of BMW in the media almost in the same way the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL became the de rigeur Stuttgart darling. The convertible 3 series made appearances in a number of movies including PCU, Revenge of the Nerds and Pretty Woman, as well as television series such as Perry Mason, Columbo and Beverly Hills 90210.

Here is a very clean example for sale at EuroWerkz in Pleasantville, Iowa.

1990 BMW 325ic with 48k miles for sale at EuroWerkz

From EuroWerkz:

What is better than a barn find? How about a heated garage find? We have been trying to buy this car for two years. Finally early last winter we did and I spent many hours putting this ONE owner since new BMW back to as close to perfect as I have ever seen in a car like this. This car is like stepping back to the 90’s as not only does it look the part but it drives as new too. This was a fair weather third car for a Doctor in Des Moines and the rest of the time it spent in a climate controlled garage at his homes in the area over the past 21 years. The condition is nothing short of amazing and this could well be the nicest example of this car in the country. A once in a lifetime chance at a resonably priced beautifully preserved near classic.

This is by far one of the cleanest, lowest mileage E30 convertibles I’ve seen in a long time. The red paint appears flawless and suits the character of this car well. I’d be hard pressed to find a more original and well preserved example. For those looking for a classic, open top BMW tourer, the automatic transmissions is a logical pairing, especially for the US market.

This car’s iconic status was recently highlighted in an episode of Top Gear last season, as we see here. Thankfully, the boys didn’t get their hands on quite such a pristine original, like our subject car.

-Paul

Please note this is a sponsored listing. We welcome EuroWerkz as our latest sponsor and are proud to feature their inventory on the site. Please contact me directly with any questions about sponsored listings. Thanks for looking! -dc

1988 BMW 325iX

You don’t come across these very often, but every now and then they crop up. The all wheel drive 325iX was produced from 1988 through 1991 and was available initially as a two door model and available with four doors after 1989. The iX model had a viscous coupling to split torque to the front and rear wheels with a rear differential to provide limited slip to the rear wheels. Those who are astute with their BMWs can spot an iX instantly, as this model has flared wheel arches and, after 1989, 15″ BBS wheels. Amazingly, the iX only suffers about 1 mpg less in fuel consumption than the more popular iS model.

Description from the seller:

How is the interior?: Look at the pictures! The interior is indistinguishable from when it was new. That is a bold statement, but I will stand by it. The back seats have never been used. The front seats (super nice sport seats) have been covered for years with the sheepskin covers you see in the trunk picture. I have known this car for a very very long time and I have never actually seen the front seats until today, when I removed the sheepskins for the pictures. The seats literally look brand new! No cracking, no wear marks on side bolsters, and the leather is as soft and supple as the were in 1988. The dash is perfect…not a single crack or imperfection anywhere. The headliner is perfect–no sagging and no stains anywhere. The carpets are perfect–always protected by rubber mats, which are also in the trunk. Never ever smoked in. Still smells new–I swear. Look at the pictures. This is the nicest E30 interior you will ever see. Even the AC/Heat knobs look brand new. Interior is a 10/10.

Body: The body is also gorgeous–no rust anywhere on this E30. Denver does not use salt on our roads, and it’s previous home was WA, which also does not use salt, hence this very rare rust free example. The paint is thick and lustrous and shines even in direct sunlight. There are a few imperfections here and there, but you have to get very close to the car to pick them out. The rear quarter flares have some road rash from winter driving, but I imagine these plastic pieces could be resprayed very easily to make the car perfect.

Glass: No cracks or chips anywhere.

Tires: Winter snow tires are currently on the car and they are almost new–85% all around.

Electrical: Everything works perfectly. windows go up and down perfectly, signals work perfectly, etc etc

Heated seats: work!

AC/Heat: blows ice cold and heat is very hot

Mechanical: best part of the car. over-maintained if anything. car needs absolutely nothing, not even an oil change. doesnt leak one drop of anything–could park it on your kitchen floor and wouldnt leave a drop of anything.

Suspension: very tight–not a single rattle or squeak anwhere on the car.

Brakes: 75% all around

These iX models do not come up for sale that often, which makes placing a value on them difficult. Given the rarity, I would think close to $10,000 would be a reasonable guess for such a fun and capable machine. My first car was a 1988 325is and seeing an E30 this mint brings back fond memories. As good as the new 3 series is, the E30 is my favorite, due to their simplicity and fun to drive factor. For the iX, reliability is pretty decent, as I would regularly see a few of these chugging along the streets of Boston when I lived there a few years ago.

Source: BMW325iX Registry FAQs

-Paul