The E30 Touring influx continues to flow, helping pull prices down and increasing the variety of available models. Having the fastest possible option is always a nice idea, but there is something extremely appealing about having a base model workhorse that wasn’t originally available here. This 318i won’t be a racer, but it will be useful! It’s right-hand drive, which immediately makes me think of using it as a small-town mail or newspaper delivery vehicle. With even US-spec E30s going for more money all the time, does rarity and a funny steering position rationalize dropping almost $10k on a base model?
All posts tagged e30
Alpina E30s have exploded onto eBay over the past year; I never remember seeing quite so many of these small tuned 3s for sale on a regular basis. In part that’s because so few were produced; with this B6 model for example, a scant 259 were produced, with just over 1,000 total E30s modified in all forms by the legendary company. The B6 wasn’t as wild as the later big-motored 3.5, but it was still much more than adequate with 210 horsepower from the M30 coupled with lower suspension, bigger wheels and brakes. Alpina, of course, added their personal flare of colors, stripes and awesome interiors, and the B6 is one attractive small sedan in such form. It’s easy to forget that there was a time before the M3, and in early 1984 this was the fastest small German 4-seater you could buy. That would change in mid ’84 with the introduction of the B6 3.5, but today it’s still a very desirable and rare to find package. That’s especially true when it’s presented in signature Alpina Blue with low miles and in pristine condition:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: “1984 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay
The 1989 BMW 325ix we featured last month did not sell and is back up on offer. With four doors and a five-speed manual, this one should grab the attention of the E30 fanatics.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325ix on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site June 30, 2015:
Edit 7/15/2015: This 1988 320is was relisted due to non-payment from the high-bidder!
This past weekend, Hagerty sent me a lovely email announcing the five cars that I should have bought when they were cheap. It should come as no surprise that the BMW E30 M3 was amongst them. Long considered the throw-away of the M lineup, their meteoric rise towards the top of the German collector car market has been pretty well documented. One of the lesser known aspects, though, is that combined with the Porsche 911 and a few other select cars, these market leaders have redefined the market in its entirety. Now all 1980s cars in good condition have been on the rise; we’ve seen $15,000 Volkswagen GTis and Audi 4000 quattros, mid 20s for good 944 Turbos and the R107 SLs have been the latest to surge upwards. So while I can gripe that the market is overpriced, it would seem that for the foreseeable future, the market is going to be high on these cars. How high? Hagerty now puts a condition 1-2 M3 between $45,000 and $70,000. We’ve seen even more for special editions. So, the clever and budget-minded enthusiast needs to look towards lesser known but equal provenance vehicles. Obscurity is your friend here, and the base 320is fades into the background of E30s perfectly. Outwardly, there’s nothing to hint that this is anything more than a stripped base-model 3-series. But as you can tell from the picture with the hood raised, the truth is far from that. That’s because the 320is was effectively a budget M3 underneath, perhaps in the most fitting tribute to the famous World War 1 “Q-Ships” the Germans have been able to produce. It is a truly special car, and this is a special example.
As the decent E30s still out there reach for ever higher miles or higher prices, engine swaps make even more sense. No longer just a tuner’s choice, this can be a great way to keep a high-mileage car on the road while simultaneously boosting performance. This clean 325i received the M-built S52 from a Z3M a few years back and was given a new lease on life. With 240hp on tap out of the same silky inline-6 that many fell in love with in the E36 M3, this car should haul some serious butt while looking fairly subdued other than the lightweight but pleasantly right-sized wheels. The interior is in nice shape given the age and mileage with a few cracks but impressively tear-free bolsters. The seller sounds knowledgeable and thorough despite the brief description, the real question is if a 230k mile E30 chassis can command $11k.