Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. I've been neglecting the big BMWs for most of this series, so it's time to follow up the the '86 735i with another E23 from the cocaine-and-S&L-money-mad mid-1980s. Remember the Savings And Loan Crisis? Wild West loans on worthless assets and egregious fraud following in the wake of deregulation of a once-staid sector of the financial system, ultimately costing 160 billion bucks in taxpayer money? Wait, that sounds familiar, except for the bargain price tag… anyway, here's the kind of car that a low-level S&L scamster would have bought with the proceeds of his first "dead horses for dead cows" loan.
Now that I'm looking for these cars (and don't worry, 5 Series fans, I'll get some of your cars too), I'm seeing them all over the island. This '84 has seen shinier days, but it still gets its owner to work every day.
The list price for one of these babies? $36,335, or $76,510 in 2008 dollars. For that, you got BMW's 181-horsepower six, leather, and an instant credit line with your local retailer of white powder.