Time and distance are great equalizers. Wait long enough, and eventually cars may fall into your price range. Nice Price or Crack Pipe has been pretty patient, and now has an E30 M3 that may have been worth the wait.
Yesterday's Mistral narrowly missed a mistrial as 57% of you were overcome by its beauty, and, as is frequently the case with curvaceous Italians, cost became suddenly irrilevante. Not so curvy, but at a fifth of the price, is today's candidate, which is also a speedy coupe from Europe. We've seen an E30 M3 before here on NPOCP, albeit one that seemed to have been hermetically sealed so as to prevent even one mote of road grime from adhering to it. That car came with fewer than 40K on its clock, and a price commensurate with so few turns of the tire- $39,000. Today we have a 1989 BMW M3 that has a few more tire turns under its beltline- 200,180 of them to be exact. That's the most likely reason why the asking price is in Kia Country rather than Lexus Land.
At a price of just $13,500, suddenly an M3 becomes a realistically obtainable goal. Now of course the modern M3 - with its eleven million horsepower V67 engine and thirty-one and a half-speed gearbox shifted telepathically by Tibetan monks - would naturally cost a tick more. That's why we need to look at an older car that - like that divorcee down the street - has some experience and looks like it doesn't give a shit. This car, like that single neighbor, has been around the block and is still standing. As that divorcee's made it through some hard times and has survived, so has this Bimmer. And if you got to make some time with either one of them, you know it would still be a blast.
Belying the odometer reading, this M3 looks good- at least from the distance of an AutoTrader slideshow. The seller says he's re-chipped it, K&N'd it, and has stuck in a new windscreen to keep the bugs out of his teeth, and the amazingly ancient mobile phone dry. The later, 16" wheels don't appear to be on a first name basis with the curb, and he says it's been garage kept and professionally serviced. Typically red and with a tan interior that doesn't seem to be missing any bits- although it does look like it's suffering a case of Toyotafloormatitus in the driver's footwell, which might be good for the car's excitement factor. Still, that's something that could be cleared up quickly with a long term regiment of sisal mat application. That'll add a couple hundred to the cost, but it'll be well worth it for the long-term health of the car.
About that cost- while thirteen grand doesn't seem like a lot of cheddar for a first-gen M3, this car is priced three grand above Kelly Blue Book for a 1990 M3 (KBB doesn't go back any further) in excellent condition. That being said, it's not easy to find this series of M3 that are anywhere near what Kelly says they should cost in her little blue book. Most E30 M3s are a lot more, and many have been dicked-out by their owners. Finding a clean, relatively unmolested example is the exception rather than the rule, and so, this price may be reasonable.
So, what do you think, does $13,500 seem worth the wait for this '89 M3? Or, does the price, plus the mileage, mean the seller will be waiting a long time to unload it?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.