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.
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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
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.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325ix on Connecticut’s Craigslist
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
This has been one tough winter for a lot of us. A part of me thinks “my, it would be nice to have four-wheel drive.” However, I just can’t bring myself to consider an SUV. Unless, of course, it’s a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen or Land Rover Defender. But for the world I live in at the moment, a truck would be a bit too much. The Audi S6 we highlighted last week got me thinking. If I go back far enough, I can find some interesting performance machines that offer all-season capability. Case in point this 1988 BMW 325ix for sale from our friends at Evolve Motors in Chicago. All-wheel drive BMWs seem commonplace today, but there were few takers for BMWs first crack at a car driving all four wheels.