1988 BMW 320i Touring

The E30 Touring I wrote up last week was a fine example but not for me as it was a.) Red and b.) a RHD model. I quickly moved on from that vehicle and wasn’t really giving the E30 Touring much thought, that is until I came across this beauty on eBay.

Certain cars just catch my eye and immediately I feel a connection to them. Such is the case with this 1988 320i Touring that currently resides in New Jersey. The overall condition of the car looks to be quite good for its age and living in a state that still thinks it’s ok to use road salt. Most people think silver is a boring exterior choice but here, I think it works splendidly. The blacked out kidneys are a nice touch, something I would have wanted to do myself. It’s such a minor detail but one that really makes the car pop given that the window trim is also black, not of that chrome garbage. The 15″ BBS mesh wheels also look to be in good condition, some scratches and curbage are present but not so much that I’d take issue with their condition.

The interior of this car is what really sells me on it, no tears, cracking on the dash or droopy headliner. The grey cloth seats are wonderfully simple and the grey door cards only add to the clean, elegant vibe of the car. It’s getting harder and harder to find BMWs with appealing interiors, whether it’s the condition or the color choices, that makes this car even more of a rarity in today’s market. I’d go so far as to say this is the most lust inducing classic BMW I’ve come across in over a year of carefully watching the used market, that includes M variants as well.

Click for details: 1988 BMW 320i Touring on eBay

Year: 1988
Model: 320i Touring
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 100,122 mi
Price: Reserve auction

FOR SALE IS MY 1988 E30 BMW 320I TOURING WITH ONLY 100K
THIS BMW WILL COME WITH NJ CLEAN VIN MATCHING TITLE
CAR RUNS AMAZING IT HAS 6 CYL ENGINE AND 5 SPEED MANUAL TRANS.
MANUAL WINDOWS
BLACK HEADLINER
SUNROOF
15″ ORIGINAL BBS WHEELS
GOOD TIRES
CLOTH SEATS
NO A/C
NEW MUFFLER
FOR MORE INFO OR QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE
CALL OR TEXT ME AT 201 259 7370 MATT

Now there are a few negatives present on this vehicle, the small dent in the trunk, no A/C, no radio and no map lights. Could I live with that small dent? Damn right I could, gives the car character. Can you pop in a period correct radio on the cheap? Of course but who needs music when you’ve got the M20B20 to sing to you. As for the map lights, I’m not sure why they even put these in new cars anymore, who carries a map when you’ve got a phone? More importantly, why would you need to know where you’re going in this car? These E30 Touring models should inspire spontaneity and fuel a sense of adventure. Throw a blanket and a sleeping pad in the back and just hit the road. Where ever you end up is where you should be.

I’m going to be watching this auction very, very carefully because I’m quite curious as to what this vehicle will pull in. With just over a 100k on the clock and appearing to be very clean, I’d expect the reserve on this car to be set around $5,000 given the current state of the E30 market. With bidding already sitting at $3,050 I would imagine that the buyer’s reserve will be met but if not, that only gives me a little more time to sell the S4 and then get straight out to Jersey to pick this thing up. The Silver Bullet I would call her and we’d have all kinds of adventures, starting with a cross country road trip back to California where she could live out her days free from the icy grip of winter and road salt.

Cheers,

-Andrew

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11 Comments

  1. I can live with most anything, but not a lack of a/c.

    Not in Texas.

  2. This is a nice car but… not as nice as you make it sound. The drivers seat is torn, the sunroof crank is missing the plastic trim piece, the front spoiler is dented and missing the chin trim (hard to find a replacement), and the radio is missing. From looking at the photos the left fender has a large dent near the rocker panel, RF fender is dented, hatch has a dent and so does the RR quarter below the tail light. I would like to see photos of the hatch since they are prone to rust. In addition, it looks to me like the RF strut tower has paint drips. Why would that be? Also, the owner claims the BBS wheels are original. The BBS wheels are period correct, but are not original.
    Yes, a very cool car and I too will watch the bid. As a avid BMW collector, I hope this car sells for many $$$ but for my 2Cents, it’s a sub $6K car.

  3. Those BBS RAs are the biggest lip late RAs I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen (and owned) quite a few of them. From what I can see, it looks like they’re 15×7 et 25, but it’s hard to make out the exact model number and specs from the photos provided. That’s a rare set of RAs by themselves.

  4. I think what determines the value in these last two E30 Touring posts is what the writer “wishes” they would sell for. Does the the touring shown here look like a $2500 E30. You stated that the reserve should be around $5,000? What about the cost of the car being imported? Should that be a factor in calculating the value of one already here? The already spray painted center-grill, now we are talking about some serious value indicators.

  5. Blacked out kidney is simply dopey to most anyone over 30.

  6. @a Brad………totally agree.

    As for the car it hits most of the right marks as for build. Sunroof, 5 speed. A/C would be nice but not necessary in Cali as long as you have a sunroof IMHO. I even think the color looks good on the E 30 wagons. The engine looks like it needs some serious detailing and a ppi but with a 5 spd and sunroof if I were close I’d go look at it nothwithstanding the obvious body and parts missing problems as cited above

    Though all those missing bits on the interior are strange.

    I’m perplexed by the sellers lack of info on the origins and history of the car. Potential rust on the wagon door is of concern..also some underneath shots would help. It is afterall an import most likely from some very wet European area. Don’t know but it would be nice to know. Also a little info on whats been done to it since its been imported……….

    That said the seller obvously thinks he can move it without any info.and he may be right.

    Almost a perfect E30 wagon. Next one bring some a/c. Then whoa Nelly…..

  7. Shadow Line (blacked out trim) and kidney grills look really good to me. I’m old so the “garbage chrome” as they call it here looks pretty good too. The fact the car was obviously imported recently and is here in the states, titled and ready to go, I would think would be an obvious factor in considering it’s selling cost. I’m sure so many people would love to import a car into the states, but there is so many factors that can go wrong. A. You buy the car sight unseen and there is major issues, or the expense of your time off from work and your European Vacation if you have to see the car before your buy. B. Shipping, customs, and potential legal issues. C. Finding a reputable and affordable way to ship the car. ( I have had to pay double shipping on one car due to someone not doing their job correctly on the other end. Once it arrives here, there is the transport costs from port to your doorstep. If you don’t have a transporter or dealer tag then you get to tow it to and from your States Vehicle inspection office so the VIN can be verified. Lots of work, money, patience, and some risk. Any thoughts?

  8. Richard, Importing a car is easier these days. These guys at http://orchideuro.com will handle it for you. Here are a few tips from Cameron at Euro Orchid.

    VEHICLE IMPORTATION HINT SHEET
    • All vehicles that are being imported must be equal to or older than 25 years old from time of manufacture to time of importation. This includes the month of the build date (MM/YY).
    • All paperwork must be in good order. Confirm with the seller that the VIN on the paperwork matches the VIN on the car. Make sure they have the ownership paperwork! You should also ask for a Bill of Sale, which should include price of vehicle, VIN, date, sellers details and buyers details. If any are not in English, they may need to be translated at additional expense.
    • Have the VIN double checked (Seriously!). If it is incorrect it will cost time and money to have it investigated and corrected (if possible), and may result in the vehicle being refused importation.
    • Shipping in a open vessel starts at $2,600.00 which includes the ocean transportation and our local port clearance including standard paperwork filings for US Customs. Shipping in a closed container starts at $3,500.00 which includes the above but also means there is no transportation costs from our facilities in Europe to the port, and that the final destination will always be our Norristown, PA, 19401 address.
    • The prices do not include transportation to our foreign location or the docks in the foreign country (unless closed container shipping), transportation inside North America except to our location, Customs exams, fees, import duties etc. We try to keep the costs down, but at a minimum suggest that you expect $300 per vehicle in port fees and import duties – but if your vehicle was expensive and / or receives multiple examinations etc this can obviously be greater.
    • You must confirm the true value paid for the vehicle, in US Dollars. If you sent a bank transfer or PayPal for the vehicle, keep the paperwork. Keep all paperwork anyway, but this is especially important. Any suspected incorrect value listed can cause delays and increased costs.
    • If you are utilizing our services, please pay any invoices as soon as possible. Delays in payment can mean you are accruing costs from the ocean shipping line, from us, or other third parties. All payments must be made in advance or within 5 days of invoicing.
    • Have the car exterior cleaned. No mud on the underside, no loose dirt etc.
    • The car must have 1⁄4 or less tank of fuel. It still needs enough to move around so it shouldn’t be empty, but 1⁄4 is the maximum allowed so aim for just under 1⁄4 tank. The battery must be easily accessible and disconnected.
    • If the car is to be transported on a open vessel it MUST be safe to drive and start/stop reliably. The tires have to hold air etc. If it ceases to function, additional costs may be incurred. If there is no chance it can be driven (blown motor, no motor, etc) then you must have it transported in a closed container.
    • Have the car emptied inside. You cannot ship personal or car items inside the car. There may be the ‘normal’ items that come in a new car – a spare tire, jack and tool set, owners manual, stereo. No ‘spare parts’, winter wheel sets etc inside the vehicle. We can’t accept any liability for anything left in the car.
    • Insure your vehicle at all times. There are several USA based companies who offer classic or specialist car insurance – Hagarty is one example. They may assist you with insurance covering transportation of your vehicle from a foreign country.
    • Arrange to pay your seller ahead of time so as to avoid any delays. They may only accept a bank transfer or similar. This is at your own risk. Remember you are sending money to a third party in a foreign country, do so wisely!
    • Transportation within Europe is expensive! Please consider this before trying to purchase a car that is in Latvia that you want to have shipped from a country 700 miles away from there.
    • Transportation times are estimates and Customs clearance times can vary greatly. We will keep you informed as you wish and as we are able to, but we can’t guarantee schedules.

  9. @Richard:

    The guys at http://orchideuro.com can handle the import logistics. I’ve attached an info sheet from Cameron at orchid euro.

    VEHICLE IMPORTATION HINT SHEET
    • All vehicles that are being imported must be equal to or older than 25 years old from time of manufacture to time of importation. This includes the month of the build date (MM/YY).
    • All paperwork must be in good order. Confirm with the seller that the VIN on the paperwork matches the VIN on the car. Make sure they have the ownership paperwork! You should also ask for a Bill of Sale, which should include price of vehicle, VIN, date, sellers details and buyers details. If any are not in English, they may need to be translated at additional expense.
    • Have the VIN double checked (Seriously!). If it is incorrect it will cost time and money to have it investigated and corrected (if possible), and may result in the vehicle being refused importation.
    • Shipping in a open vessel starts at $2,600.00 which includes the ocean transportation and our local port clearance including standard paperwork filings for US Customs. Shipping in a closed container starts at $3,500.00 which includes the above but also means there is no transportation costs from our facilities in Europe to the port, and that the final destination will always be our Norristown, PA, 19401 address.
    • The prices do not include transportation to our foreign location or the docks in the foreign country (unless closed container shipping), transportation inside North America except to our location, Customs exams, fees, import duties etc. We try to keep the costs down, but at a minimum suggest that you expect $300 per vehicle in port fees and import duties – but if your vehicle was expensive and / or receives multiple examinations etc this can obviously be greater.
    • You must confirm the true value paid for the vehicle, in US Dollars. If you sent a bank transfer or PayPal for the vehicle, keep the paperwork. Keep all paperwork anyway, but this is especially important. Any suspected incorrect value listed can cause delays and increased costs.
    • If you are utilizing our services, please pay any invoices as soon as possible. Delays in payment can mean you are accruing costs from the ocean shipping line, from us, or other third parties. All payments must be made in advance or within 5 days of invoicing.
    • Have the car exterior cleaned. No mud on the underside, no loose dirt etc.
    • The car must have 1⁄4 or less tank of fuel. It still needs enough to move around so it shouldn’t be empty, but 1⁄4 is the maximum allowed so aim for just under 1⁄4 tank. The battery must be easily accessible and disconnected.
    • If the car is to be transported on a open vessel it MUST be safe to drive and start/stop reliably. The tires have to hold air etc. If it ceases to function, additional costs may be incurred. If there is no chance it can be driven (blown motor, no motor, etc) then you must have it transported in a closed container.
    • Have the car emptied inside. You cannot ship personal or car items inside the car. There may be the ‘normal’ items that come in a new car – a spare tire, jack and tool set, owners manual, stereo. No ‘spare parts’, winter wheel sets etc inside the vehicle. We can’t accept any liability for anything left in the car.
    • Insure your vehicle at all times. There are several USA based companies who offer classic or specialist car insurance – Hagarty is one example. They may assist you with insurance covering transportation of your vehicle from a foreign country.
    • Arrange to pay your seller ahead of time so as to avoid any delays. They may only accept a bank transfer or similar. This is at your own risk. Remember you are sending money to a third party in a foreign country, do so wisely!
    • Transportation within Europe is expensive! Please consider this before trying to purchase a car that is in Latvia that you want to have shipped from a country 700 miles away from there.
    • Transportation times are estimates and Customs clearance times can vary greatly. We will keep you informed as you wish and as we are able to, but we can’t guarantee schedules.

  10. Agree with all of the above, I just got so jazzed about it as it is one of the better examples I’ve seen lately.

    If an interested party was within a couple hours of the vehicle, it’d certainly be worth it to go check it out, especially if you could get it up on a rack to have a look at the underside.

  11. Lucky I’m 29…

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