Sometimes the pieces just don’t fit, even if they’re good pieces. We’ve explored this theme (or lack thereof) a few times, most notably the over-accessorized 740i and the “magnet” Yellow E30 M3 with a turbo S52. Today’s find is a combination of the two, with the confused style of the 740 and an S52 all imposed on an otherwise unsuspecting E30 M3.
It’s not all bad. Sacrilegious as it may be, an S52 and 6-speed in an E30 must be awesome. It’s backed up with other fun goodies like E36 brakes and steering, coilovers, etc. Really the biggest highlight about this car is simply the fact that it’s an E30 M3; again, it’s not all bad.
But it’s mostly bad. All of the swapping and “scrubbing” transmission strike fear in the heart of the maintenance-minded and livid ire from the E30 crew. Even if I liked Hartge wheels, 19s are much, much too large for an E30 and much too bright amidst the (also dubious) smoked theme. And I know nearly every one of these cars has a rough drivers seat, but this one is truly cringe-worthy. And $14,500 for this? We all know E30s are collectible pieces of automotive gold, but this seller has only decreased its value and collectibility.
The thing that really grinds my gears is that this E30 M3 went from a car that was magically and uniquely greater than the sum of its parts to one that is the exact opposite. I’m sure its parts could do well on another auto; they just don’t belong here, nor do they fit together. Make a reasonable eBay offer, sell the parts, and try again.
Reader Jaymes forwarded us his buddy’s listing from the MyE28.com forums for this unique 528 project. It’s been through a few owners and iterations as is thoroughly documented in the ad, and while it has definitely been a work-in-progress, it looks to be fairly well set-up for driving at the moment with great potential if you’re looking to continue the project.
It started life as a standard 528e and stayed that way for most of its 25 years, staying with the first owner until 2001. A friend of the seller bought the car in 2004 and apparently let its condition slip a little, so when the current owner bought it in 2008 it was ready for a refresh. The seller sounds very thorough and honest, coming clean about the few rust spots but assuring the reader that it’s still better than the vast majority of E28s. Since then he’s done some work inside and out, highlights being Euro bumpers, an M30B34 swap with a 3.23 LSD, and some suspension work. It’s not a beauty queen, but it’s no ratrod either; I like the style of rugged aggression.
1985 BMW 528e/M30 for sale on MyE28.com
At $4000, there’s plenty of fun to be had here. The seller seems to have his head on straight when it comes to E28s and Bimmers in general and I like what he’s done to it so far. My main reservation is that, despite a thorough and detailed ad, I can’t quite tell how much the car is going to need in the near future. Swaps always sound to me like there will be significant work in the future to keep it all square, but perhaps it’ll be no more work than any other 25 year-old BMW; I just don’t know.
I like the look, the power, and the price, but it’s up to you if the work is worth it!
This eBay auction for a red 87 BMW 333i swap states that is the second car the Dinan ever converted! Check it out here on eBayMotors with a buy-it-now of $8k!
quote from seller’s eBayMotors listing:
For those of you who know, this car needs no introduction. For those of you who don’t, this is the BMW tuner DINAN’s second car ever built.
1978 BMW e21 320i converted to 333i
Approximately 35,000 miles on the original odometer. The car came with a certificate of authenticity/validity of the odometer, but the OD stopped working shortly after purchase. This car has never been a daily driver though, so current mileage estimates are probably no more than 50k. The certificate is no longer available.
3.2L Turbo charged M30 “big six” motor, non-intercooled, no BOV or DV valve.
The turbo is a t3/t4 hybrid, currently boosting 9psi with full boost achieved at 2500 rpms
I’ve been following a discussion on BimmerForums about the car and most in the know agree it’s worth $8k, even if the pictures and exact details aren’t perfect. While I agree in terms of the effort that took place to assemble, but the interior pictures are a little scary with seats that need recovering, center console with wires hanging out, and a sad and worn steering wheel. But it would likely cost at least $8k to get a similar car together, and this one is low miles with a history.
As a tuner, Dinan is so respected that their parts are sold and installed at BMW dealerships in North America — and they don’t void the warranty! So if this car represents the early history of the tuner, it could be a really cool pickup and should be a car that climbs in value with the continued success of the company.