1988 BMW M5

$_57 (6)

As much as we discuss 80s M car values getting pulled up by the E30 M3, they aren’t insane yet. There are still some great drivers out there for the same price as a brand-new economy car, which will always be a great argument for getting adventurous and buying a fun classic. This 140k-mile example isn’t the cream puff some middle-mileage examples have been, but it’s pretty well sorted with enough minor blemishes to keep the price in check. Buying an E28 M5 for reasonable money has been one of the most educational and fun experiences in my car-loving life, and this one is a good opportunity to get a decent driver without breaking the bank.

Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

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1976 BMW 2002

While I’m an 80s fan myself, it doesn’t take much imagination to see why the classy Bimmers of the 70s have so many fans. From the E9 to the Bavaria, this was the era that really saw BMW gain worldwide acclaim as the people’s sports car. The 2002 is one of the main reasons BMW is still cashing checks on their reputation for sports sedans, bringing great handling and smart styling to the world, along with some delightfully funky colors. Today’s Golf Yellow example features one of the hues that might be maligned on most cars, yet seems playful and fitting on these machines that seem to perform so many duties well. Quite clean at first glance, this example is not without its share of needs, but none severe enough to keep it from being a fun driver immediately. A 5-speed from an E21 helps perk it up from the original slushbox, along with headers and exhaust. There are many tasks to be completed if you want this to be among the super clean Neue Klassen, but the tinted windows will help hide the inside while the attractive exterior distracts.

Click for details: 1976 BMW 2002 on eBay

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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

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2006 BMW M Coupe

The E86 Z4 M Coupe is one of those vehicles I never much cared for until very recently. When it debuted in 2006 I remember being aware of its existence and that’s about it. I’d bet I’m not the only one with a story like this either, as the M was always in the shadow of the Cayman S and its design was divisive to say the least.

I think the years have been good to the car and its certainly one of the better designs from the Bangle era. Look at it long enough and lines that at first seem frivolous begin to soften and become pleasing to the eye. The most offensive visual issue I have with the E86 is that it can be kind of dorky looking from a head on perspective. The car appears oddly wide in the front before tapering off in the back. I blame this on the bulging fenders that should have housed wider wheels from the get go. I’ve seen models with staggered setups and meaty tires that properly fill the wheel wells, giving the car a seriously badass, aggressive look. Were I to get one of these getting the stance right would be thing to do right away.

Beyond getting it setup to maximize the curb appeal, there’s not a whole lot you need to do with an M Coupe. The M didn’t suffer from the much criticized electro-mechanical power assist steering like the regular Z4’s and the high revving S54 engine is the stuff of legend. Known for its durability and the noise it can create, the iron block was given one piece aluminum head castings for reduced weight, modified camshafts and 87mm bore cylinders that increased displacement to 3,246cc. Suspension wise these cars were pretty hard edged in stock form and that has always been the major gripe about it in the automotive community. Furthermore, for about the same money you could get a Cayman S, which could be optioned with PASM, allowing you to choose when you wanted to realign you spine and when you wanted a more comfortable ride. Also the Cayman S is in my opinion is a much better looking vehicle but the M Coupe does have the edge on the Cayman in one very important category, the interior.

Having test driven a 2007 Cayman S just this past week I can tell you that the seats and the steering wheel left a lot to be desired, and those things shine on the M Coupe. The wheel in the Cayman was large and thin whereas the wheel in the M Coupe is thick and just about the perfect size. The Cayman I drove did have the sport seats but they sure didn’t feel like it. I’ve only sat in the M Coupe once and boy I tell ya, those seats leave no question as to the sporting intentions of the car. I suppose that makes sense as from what I’ve read, the Cayman S is much more useable as a daily driver than the M Coupe, a conclusion that I find surprising. A Porsche that’s not as hardcore as a BMW? Just sounds wrong but the mid Aughts were a strange time for everyone I suppose.


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2003 BMW 540i M-Sport

Lets get this out of the way right off the bat. The E39 BMW 5 series is the best looking sedan ever made. It is the pinnacle of balanced design and it’s beauty is only accentuated by the garish abomination that succeeded it. Show me someone who says they love their “Bangle Butt” 5 series and I’ll show you a person in serious denial. BMW tired to scale back the ugly on the F10 but it’s still a bloated boat compared to the clean, svelte E39.

Growing up I was obsessed with the hottest version of this beautifully thought out machine, the E39 M5. One of my favorite pro skateboarders had two of them and could be seen thoroughly enjoying them in his video parts. At age 15 a blacked out M5 with “peanut butter” interior was THE car and it remains a vehicle that I am still in lust with. However I’m a bit more educated than I was back then and I know that while the M5 is the lead, there is an equally impressive supporting player in the cast, the 540i M-Sport.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW 540i M-Tech on USE

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1991 BMW E30 Touring w/ M3 Conversion


DISCLAIMER: This M3 has caused a lot of commentary today, both on the site and our Facebook page. You can read the build thread here, if curious and make your own conclusions. As always, the cars featured here on GCFSB are not our own, rather, we provide a forum for enthusiasts selling their German vehicles. We try to be as fair as we can in our posts and provide as much background information as possible.


Well, close the search engines: I think I just found my dream car. I don’t know who will buy this off eBay, because I certainly don’t have the cash right now, but this is the direction I want to go some day. An E30 Touring has been through a thorough transformation, now sporting E30 M3 fender flares and the S50, Estoril blue, and caramel interior from an E36 M3. That’s a pretty serious combination of BMW all-stars. The conversion looks well done and cost-is-no-object, which is great in terms of overall package but tough on the wallet. The asking price is the main detraction here unless you care about E30 M3 provenance, in which case your panties are in all probability already in a tight bunch. But unlike the M3 convertible conversions, which are imitations of a rare-but-real car, there was no M3 wagon. This makes this extra awesome, irreverent, and understandable to me.

This is my favorite eBay find in a long time. I covet this car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW E30 Touring converted to M3

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2001 BMW 325xiT

It’s no secret that I love wagons, my first car was a wagon, and I still drive one to this day 16 years later.  Here in lies my constant struggle, I’m a car enthusiast and a wagon lover, 2 things that are generally at odds with each other. If I lived in Europe this would be more the norm, than a problem, as the European market understands the need for practical performance. Sadly though, in the states this is not the case

Historically few marques like BMW, and Audi have understood the need to practical performance, and have offered options for a rare breed like myself to satisfy both needs in a car.  Though as the model years progress, sport wagons are becoming a thing of the past, and sport wagons with manual transmissions are approaching extinction.

In my constant quest for the perfect sport wagon, and the eventual replacement for my aging Audi, I came across this stunning 325xi for sale in Riverdale, NJ.

2001 BMW 325xit on eBay.com


2001 BMW 325 XIT 







This 325 was clearly owned by someone after my own heart, with the stunning silver exterior, Imola Red leather interior, and the ever important 3rd pedal, this is exactly how I would outfit my wagon.

This one owner beauty looks to be well cared for, and saw just over 10K/yr, which by today’s standards is less than average.  At $11,499, they’re a about $2K strong on the price, but if you’re like me, and have to have a manual transmission in your sports wagon, this clean BMW may just be worth paying over market value.  If this car were just a bit cleaner, with less mile I’d be willing to go upwards of $10K  because there just aren’t a lot of options out there anymore.



1976 BMW 2002

One of the most iconic BMWs (second only to its successor the 3 series) the BMW 2002 has to be one of my all-time favorite cars. Light and nimble these cars were the inspiration for the hot hatch movement almost a decade after.  Out of the box, the 2002 sported a 1.9l 4 cylinder, with 108bhp, not a muscle car by any stretch, but in a chassis that weighed just a tick over 2200lbs, it was enough to make this car a blast to drive, and a motorsport favorite.

This 1976 2002 in Colorado Springs, CO spent a good part of its life on the track, which is evident by the list of modifications. With the built 2.3l on ITBs and Haltech management, this 2002 is closer to 200bhp, than the 100bhp that the 1.9l put out. To make use of all of the power, the chassis and brakes were upgraded, making this BMW the total package. Whether you’re looking for a car to use on the track, or just a fun driver, this car would be happy to oblige either.


1976 BMW 2002 on pelicanparts.com

I bought this car in June 2007 from the prior owner in New Jersey who used the car primarily for DE and autocross events. At the time, the car was stripped down for lightweight advantages and only contained the bare essential performance upgrades and safety equipment needed for performance at the track.
Though my goals for the car were for more street use, it came in great shape and had most of the go-fast parts already installed. First, I removed the roll cage, replaced the solid suspension components and mounts with urethane, and removed the EPO switch. Then I went overboard with the engine and driveline, upgrading from it’s already potent condition with a hot cam and twin Weber 40 carburetors to a fully rebuilt, stroked and bored (2.0 to 2.3L), beast.
The rest is sort of unfortunate, as I never got it fully sorted out and tuned. Then I moved from FL to CO, where I had even more trouble with the finances to support the re-tuning and sorting out some bugs. I just now finally got it sorted. The major culprit ended up being too much voltage, which was cured by replacing the ignition control module. It now purrs like a kitten, but needs further tuning to unhide the beast within. The timespan between the rebuild and now stretches back about 4 years, and have unfortunately just lost emotional interest and have already moved on to a ‘91 Porsche 964. I can only afford one car, so this one has to move on to someone else’s care.
I’m not selling a perfect car, but a car with lots of goodies and tunability, so I’ve priced it to reflect this. I haven’t added up the receipts yet, but it’s probably nearing $25k in total. It’s a little finicky when starting cold, but once warmed up, it runs great. Depending on your desires, I believe it can be fine-tuned for much better performance. It handles like a dream. I love the suspension and how it feels in the corners. The fully rebuilt motor has approx 3,000 miles.
Details of work and upgrades are listed below:
Motor/Driveline: – TWM individual throttle bodies – TWM intake manifold – TWM throttle body spacers – TWM airbox – TWM fuel rail – TWM air horns – S14 crank – JE pistons (machined by Eric Kerman) – E12 head – Bosch fuel injection pump – Haltech E6X EFI
– IE aluminum radiator w/overflow tank – IE stainless intake/exhaust valves – Schrick valve springs – Schrick 304 cam – Aluminum alternator pulley – Used 320i 5-Speed – Aardvark 5-Speed Conversion Kit
– New clutch (can’t remember type right now)
Brakes: – Dual Tilton custom remote master cylinder (boosterless) – Interior brake bias adjustment valve – Volvo discs/VW calipers
Exhaust: – Stahl header
– Magnaflow exhaust and muffler
Suspension: – Urethane rear subframe mounts – Rear subframe mount inserts – TEP rear strut tower brace
Electrical: – new EFI with nicely sorted engine wiring – Battery relocated behind rear strut brace
Interior: – Esty carpet – E21 cloth rear seat – Rear seat belts – E30 rear view mirror – 5-speed shift pattern stickers
Exterior: – E-code headlights – Plug for former EPO switch hole on c-pillar – Door handle gaskets – Door seals – Recently fixed a few dents, dings, and paint scrapes; freshly painted engine bay
Wheels/Tires: – Superlite GTR 15″ wheels – Sumitomo HTR-Z tires
I am asking $13,000. The title is free and clear. It’s been in one stop light rear bumper bender that I’m aware of, but I had that fixed perfectly. The registration has expired, but there are plenty of nice winding neighborhood roads to take it out for a test drive. Unfortunately the expired registration may cause an issue for getting it to a mechanic for a proper PPI. There’s one close by that I’d risk driving to, but it’s not a European car specialist and I have no history with them.
I can be reached for further information at the email address below. I’m fairly quick with my email replies, so that’s a good way to reach me. Then if needed, we can exchange phone numbers and go from there. The car is located at my residence in north Colorado Springs, Colorado. Personal visits and test drives are welcome.
Michael mrnvgtr@gmail.com
Youtube Vid: 1976 BMW 2002 For Sale.m4v – YouTube


What I like about this car is that the seller is not out in the stratosphere with price.  At just $1,500 over average retail, this car is priced to sell at $13,000.  While not an all original museum piece, this is an exceptional driver with just the right amount of upgrades to make it a blast, but not so many that it’s overly needy.  This is a prime example of a car that was loved by the owners, but as in many relationships, it becomes time to move on.  With good looks and turn-key readiness, this car would be a great addition to any garage, but if it were me, it would spend as little time in the garage as possible, and more time tearing up the back country roads.