There’s a clean red 318is I see around the island I live on fairly regularly and these Sports Sedan Lite models have always intrigued me. While my E28 is an engine-first beast, the E30 318is has always held the same allure that my later-Golf-engined Rabbit Pickup had – a light, direct driving experience with an enthusiastic but modest engine that rewarded momentum driving. Without the inline-6, the 318is becomes all about the chassis. And when said chassis is one of the most legendary ever built, that’s a good thing.
This 318 has covered 171k miles but looks like a car with half that. The silver exterior and black interior both look outstanding – someone has taken serious care of the paint and leather. The chrome/gold ESM wheels that come with the car are hideous to me, but it comes with the original wheels so the costume jewelry could be sold to get some classier rollers. Some 16” Style 5s would do the trick just perfectly. That’s really my only complaint, though, as the higher mileage has been mitigated with outstanding maintenance and care.
We don’t see much of the 325ix around here (though Carter’s recent 325ix touring was a special treat), as they seem to have mostly died undignified deaths in Colorado and the northeast. This Vermonter has somehow survived without too much damage, not even showing any of the usual rust that appears around the M-Tech II bodykit. It’s covered the better part of 200k miles and has a few flaws (note to the seller: saying that “the car need a power sterring holes fot the power streeing to work again, and the paking brake is not woking now” four lines after “a lot money spent to keep it in top running condition” does not inspire trust. However, this is a rare 5-speed coupe E30 with all wheel drive, so it still warrants a close look.
The new Golf R is a force to be reckoned with, making the first appreciable increase in power since these MkIV R32s brought 4WD performance and the R moniker to the VW Golf lineup. While the new 2.0 liter turbo four may produce a lot more power, the open-flapped exhaust on these 3.2 liter VR6s will still turn more heads. Having covered just over 40k miles means this is one of the best examples on the market, so the seller is going big and asking for $20k. Yes, that’s well on its way to a new GTI or slightly used Golf R, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the original R32.
The S52-E30 swap makes a lot of sense to me, and I hope to some day try one out – if not own one. We’ve seen examples that range from Eastern Europe-y to So-Cal slacker, but today’s silver 325is takes a decidedly more subtle approach. Yes, it’s modified, but the E36 DS2s look good, as do the Alcantara centers on the seats. Overall it’s a pretty great package that, if the seller’s claims of no issues at all hold true, make this an exceptional E30. My biggest issue with this sale is that the motor came from an M Coupe, which makes me sad. Maybe that M Coupe got was totaled… but let’s just pretend it got an S62 swap. Either way, this seller took an opportunity and did an E30 swap right.
The Vanagon Weekender is a nice alternative to the full-on Westfalia treatment, lacking the fluid, electric, and gas inlets/outlets, but still possessing great campability with a pop-top, table, and folding rear bed. Today’s Weekender has undergone the popular Subaru flat-4 conversion, bringing a little more power and reliability compared the old VW wasserboxer. You could see the Weekender and non-turbo Subaru engine as compromises, or as very capable options that keep costs down. That’s the lens I choose to see this Vanagon through; it’s not a high-powered, fully-optioned and mega-expensive model, but it has the right bits to get the job done.
It is with a slight bit of envy that I’ve noticed that each Jetta Sportwagen I pass in the Bay Area has the little TDI emblem on the back. It is the mark of the modern young suburban professional family that is environmentally friendly but doesn’t quite have the cash or ostentatiousness to buy a Tesla. When the Sportwagen TDI first came out, there were waitlists here and even today they hold their value remarkably well, with low-mileage examples demanding anywhere from the high teens to the mid-$20ks. To find one for cheaper than that, you’re usually looking at high-mileage commuters or dealing with rebuilt titles, but every once in a while you can find a middle-grounder like today’s 2009 model that won’t break the bank.
With 80k miles, DSG, and a 4-year warranty this silver Sportwagen is a great all-around commuter or roadtripper for a nice price.
We’re hitting an interesting time in which the initial generations of truly tech-laden cars are starting to “mature,” and we will begin to see how these various forms of packing 10 pound of technological crap into a 5 pound bag will age. At my Bimmer shop, they noted how they love working on the older cars because they are “real,” and most things can actually be repaired. The owner pointed to an early E65 745i sitting outside the shop and lamented that “anything breaks on that piece of s*** and you might as well buy a whole new car.” The Touareg V10 is certainly on the overwrought spectrum of things, and maintenance on this generation of VW/Audi luxury cars is notoriously spendy. I choose to ignore this reality when V10 TDIs come up because they are such beasts. Not the best looking, not the best value, but hell yes it’s a VW SUV with ten cylinders of diesel-compressing fury.
This car really strikes a chord with me. It has a striking period pose with subtle but tasteful upgrades that make me like to think this is exactly what I’d love to have in a BMW 2002.
Many opponents of the M20 conversion state that it upsets the balance of the car, but everyone who has one says it just takes a bit more on the loud pedal to balance the car with oversteer. And with this setup from a 1989 donor car, it should behave amazingly well even as a daily driver.
And I really dig the upgraded interior and audio treatment. The kind of setup I used to read about in car audio mags in high school!
from the seller:
1969 BMW 2002 with a M20 6 cylinder engine out of a 1989 BMW 325i (E30). One of the cleanest, straightest, best performing BMW 2002’s around. Gets thumbs up everywhere the car is driven. Motor is strong, the sound of the engine/exhaust is AMAZING and the car rolls solid and straight.
The ground up restoration was completed in 2008 by a true BMW enthusiast with no corners cut. Since the rebuild, the car has been driven 15,700 miles without a problem. Speaks to the quality/reliability of the build.
Really this car totally does it for me. About the only thing I’d take issue with is the wheels, which look great but seem to modern for what is otherwise a smooth period-correct operator. A set of Minilites, BBS, or even Ti rims would fit a bit better if I was a buyer.
Bidding is currently at $17k+ with reserve not met. With a few days to go, how high will it go?
Our friends at Turner Motorsports have an incredible 2006 Hartge H50 available for sale. Less than 10 worldwide and the ONLY one in the U.S.!
from the Turner website:
Started life as a 2006 US Spec 325i shipped to Germany.
Current Mileage: 24,532
Power: 550 hp @ 7750 rpm
Torque 391 lb-tq @ 6100 rpm
Weight 3676 lbs
0-60 4.3 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph
There is only 1 Hartge H50 in the United States. Less than 10 exsist worldwide.
The H50 conversion package costs roughly $220,000 (new E90 325i included) and takes 7-8 weeks to complete (not including shipping time to germany).
This car was built to be 100% legal in the United States. The HARTGE H50 Conversion is done at the highest quality of workmanship. All factory features are still functioning. This car has not been compromised in any way during its conversion. The OBD port and factory check engine lights function like stock.
“A 200-mph BMW 3 Series is one of those deviant cars that we’re just happy to see from time to time. The fact that this one is every bit as easy to live with as the slightly more upmarket M5 makes it the ultimate sleeper.” — Edmunds Inside Line
“Beyond such shenanigans, everyday use is absolutely not out of the question. Just leave DTC on and Power off. The default setting for the seven-speed SMG III (pulled also from the E60) shift rhythm, however, is always at Level Five. For me, this is great since I do that anyway in either the M5 or M6. You can tell Hartge that you don’t want full-time Level Five as the default, sure, but that would, in turn, make you a wuss.” — European Car
“On the plus side, the H50 has the practicality of a 3 Series, including four real seats, highway cruising capability and all the storage any human being could reasonably want from a 200-mph car.
Of all the generations of M5s that have come and gone, the E34 is my favorite, even over the considerably faster V8 powered E39. The current E60 never did anything for me and it remains to be seen how good the upcoming F10 will be. The E34 just embodies the peak of BMW styling mixed with their fantastic, breathed on straight six engine. Here is a relatively low mileage 1991 E34 out in the midwest. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but generally looks sound.
Up for auction is a rare 1991 BMW M5. These cars were handbuilt in Germany and there are not too many around these days. The car has 89,000 miles, is a two owner car, and has full service history.
Now the car is not concourse ready but a nice example for someone who wants an everyday driver or too spend a little time on it and make it perfect. The car has spent its life in the midwest so there are a couple of spots were rust has formed on the bottom of the doors and the door seams(see pics). Has had some paintwork (20 year old car), all panels are original except it does have a r-dot hood.
Mechanically the car feels very solid and strong. The transmission has no syncro issues and the clutch feels tight and it pulls hard, the car starts right up and the engine is strong. I do have a extra set of snow tires and BBS rims that do come with the car that in my opinion look better than than the factory wheels(forgot to take pic).
The interior is in good shape for a car of this age but does need some work to be perfect. The drivers bolster is torn and missing a chunk of foam.