Cracker Jack is a tasty treat that comes with a toy surprise inside the box. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW E34 looks pretty tasty, and the surprise 6-speed inside makes it ready to play. Will its price however, make you think the seller is just toying with you?
When I get old, I want to wear those sternum-hugging pants that old guys get to strut their stuff in. And when I get old, I want to have a baroque beauty dripping in chrome like yesterday's 1964 Chrysler New Yorker wagon - which by the way, I wouldn't be selling. Fortunately for some lucky soul, the older dude who currently owns that one is putting it on the market, and lucky for him, 75% of you thought its twenty-five grand price was nice.
What constitutes a family car has changed somewhat over the years, as have the families that buy them. Most dads no longer smoke pipes or mow the lawn in khakis, and for moms, wearing pearls while vacuuming is no longer high on the to-do list. Kids however are just as snot-nosed, and while cars like yesterday's New Yorker wagon gave them copious room to bounce around in, today's 1995 BMW 540i demands that they get, sit down, and shut up. And take your fingers out of your nose!
The E34 is arguably one of the best looking saloons west of the Pecos and in arctic white, this one is nondescript as well. That may not be a plus when trying to one-up the neighbors, but will be by providing a semi-cloak of invisibility from the po-po.
That paint looks to be in excellent shape and the car benefits from not having a bunch of owner-added doodads and visual fappery like M5 valances or M-tech anything. Over the car's 112,000 mile life someone has removed the model badge from the trunk lid, leaving it bare save for the roundel. On the downside, the center caps for the basket weaves seem to be missing.
Inside it's also white on rice with what is claimed to be ‘dove' colored leather set off with contrasting burl wood. The sport seats show minimal wear, with the exception of the driver's throne which has an not unreasonable patina gained from years of obvious ass-time. The black rubber mats down below the seats may have saved the carpet, but look a little industrial in there. The original mats are included in the trunk, which also contains the original lid-mounted tool kit.
The big deal in the interior is the shifter which here is a Getrag 6-speed stick. That's attached to the 3,982-cc M60B40 V8 which was once feted by Wards Automotive as the greatest engine. . . in the world. That makes this a 282-horse, manual transmission, 3,500-lb sedan with a body that could easily outshine its newer siblings. Appropriate response here.
Changes and updates to this car include HID headlights, clear corner indicators (although the amber ones come with the car too) powder coated cam covers and a neighbor-vexing muffler delete. The seller also notes a slew of recent maintenance activities the car has received, if that might sway your opinion. You might also be swayed by the M60's well known Nikasil/Sulphur fuel issues. Thankfully that's not that much of a problem on the older cars with present-day gas formulations, but still, you might want to check this one for a noticeable palsy.
The question of course is not about engine shake, but whether the seller is trying to sake down buyers with his $6,500 asking price. What is your take on that, is this E34 stick worth sixty five large? Or, is this a Bimmer that needs its price to be slimmer?
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