For $10,000, It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s E30 Man!S

The Man of Steel - yet another Superman reboot (yay?) - opens in the US today. Much like the way Clark Kent’s starched white button downs mask the S on his chest, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 318is conceals an S52 of its own. The question is, will this car's price prove to be its Kryptonite?

Fully 70% of you were up with yesterday’s rolling Canasta Parlor, even if its camping capabilities only extended to eating and sleeping. Of course, I guess that totally makes it a Bed and Breakfast as none of those places advertise other than offering a spot to sleep and a morning meal. With either option your daily dumps will have to happen elsewhere.

Perhaps however, neither camping nor doilies are your bag. Maybe you're more inclined to simply drive through the night, preferring to sup at places where the waitresses call you ‘hon, and value caffeine over sleep, then perhaps today’s frankensteinian wolf in sheep’s attire will start your right foot to twitching.

Starting out as a 1991 318 - the most mild-mannered of the E30s sold in the US - this car now sports a romper stomper S52 six, that of the M variety, as well as some related hardware upgrades to prevent the rest of the drive line from shitting the bed when you set the spurs to it.

For $10,000, It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s E30 Man!S

I don’t really want to go through the list of updates and upgrades the seller offers - I mean, come on, it’s Friday - but I do want to point out one thing, that being line that says "no CATs." Now, I assume that’s not a protest of BMW’s rumored Concept Active Tourer, but in actuality an admission that one of the mods to this E30 was the elimination of its catalytic converter.

That of course means that while being sold in San Francisco, and with an ad that features an Instagram’d shot of the car against that city’s skyline, the lack of appropriate smog hardware makes title transfer in California a sketchy proposition. It also makes the other line about a cat-back exhaust kind of dumb, but that's not important.

But let’s say you live in one of those more freewheeling and graft-conscious states where such things are dealt with simply by the sliding of a few bills under the table. In that case you might well be interested in a few factoids about this particular cat-free car. Especially if you're a dog person. The ad notes that the chassis sports a commendable 190,000 miles, while the mill has done 100K and the ZF 5-speed (S5d?) a relatively parsimonious 80,000.

For $10,000, It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s E30 Man!S

The seller also claims the body to be 8/10 despite a noticeable dent on the front fender that I think makes it a 7,or a 7.5 at the most. That’s because the rest of the body looks pretty clean and is still in possession of its front airdam, a part usually sacrificed to the parking berm gods. That's especially impressive in light of the fact that the car appears to be modestly dropped.

The interior is best described as what a maroon, and the seller gives it an 8 as well. There is a sizable de-leathering of the driver’s seat bolster, and that’s got to cost some coin to repair. The rest of it looks okay, but it’s no fortress of solitude, I can tell you that. No shots of the dash are provided so it’s impossible to tell if it is intact or has gone crack happy as these things are wont to do.

For $10,000, It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s E30 Man!S

The seller isn't the builder of this Frankenbimmer, and that can either stand as testament to its build quality, or as evidence that he’s had too much of its foibles and wants it gone at all costs. I think that it’s the former. Maybe its the breakfast booze talking, but considering the fact that he is asking $10,000 for the car, I don’t think he’s in any hurry to sell.

What do you think about that price for this Clark Kent of a car? Is ten grand reasonable, or does this car of steel come with a comic book price?

You decide!

San Francisco Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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