Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW E30 spins all its wheels all the time, but will its price also leave you reeling?
When priced under two grand, a running NPOCP contender usually gets a hearty thumbs up for low cost mobility and why the hell not-ness. That's not however what transpired with yesterday's reintarnation S-10 Rat Truck, which wasn't even considered to have a real purdy mouth in its 62% Crack pipe loss. So much for lipstick on a pig I guess.
If you happen to live in Ixtapa Mexico then you probably don't have the need of the inclement weather capabilities BMW's early foray into four-wheeling. However, should you live where it snows, then this 1989 325IX might just be your cup of traction.
BMW introduced the 325IX to the American market in 1988 exclusively as a fully-loaded two door. By the next year, as evidenced by this car, the model range expanded to include the four portal models, and a lot of what was once standard equipment - Recaro buckets, trip computer, trunk spoiler - were relegated to the options list.
What remained standard was the Ferguson-style all-wheel-drive made possible by a central viscous coupling diff that could proportion traction to either end of the car as needed. The mid-line diff normally allocates torque 37%/63% front/rear and is complemented by another LSD diff in between the back tires. This system added only 150-lbs to the standard E30, not counting the additional rocker and fender moldings which were unique to the IX.
Being an ‘89, this IX benefits from the smaller bumpers and larger rear lamps introduced that year. Its body looks to be in decent shape and in possession of all its fingers and toes with the exception of the back light trim, which it should be noted, fails on 100% of E30s. The ‘89 IX received 15" alloy wheels and this particular one seems to have different ones front and back, although the ad says the other two matching the fronts are included in the trunk.
That trunk also includes its BMW-iconic tool kit, and ahead of that cargo bay the interior belies the car's claimed 156,000 miles by being in pretty much excellent condition. The seller says it runs and drives like new, and when it was new a number of the car mags picked the IX over Audi's 90 Quattro in what must have been a startling upset for the Auto Union boys.
Speaking of getting upset, you just might be so upon discovering that this IX is saddled with an autotragic transmission. That's attached to the maker's sweet as a fräulein's kiss 2.5-litre six. That SOHC M20 put out 160-BHP here in ‘Merica in '89, and it's hard to say how many of those ponies the three-speed eats up in moving the car's 2,990-lbs. According to Bimmerforums only 844 IXs arrived on these golden shores in this car's model year.
So, it's rare; an E30; seemingly well preserved; and all-wheel drive; quite the compelling combination. On the downside, there's the lack of a third pedal and the fact that it doesn't seem to have been an option-heavy car when first ordered. But could those factors be outweighed by this car's asking price?
The seller is requesting $7,400 for his IX, and you now need to vote your heart on whether that's a deal or a steal. What do you think, is this IX worth $7,400? Or, for that price, does this IX miss the mark?
H/T to Matt Turner Overdrive for the hookup
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