With its drop top and automatic transmission today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW E30 325i is ready for you, or your sorority sister's summer fun. Will its price however prove the least of its issues?
What the Fuchs? That seemed to be the general consensus regarding yesterday's electric 1986 911 cabriolet. Not only did it cause conflicting feelings for its concept versus apparent execution, but at eighteen large, it was seen by an overwhelming 90% of you to have been priced in the batshitcrazypants range.
What's the one thing that Jalops hate? No, it's not Nachos, we love those. Why would you even say that? No, what we hate - what is kryptonite to our Superman, dog shit to the soles of our shoes, Bieber to our ears - is the automatic transmission. Duh-duh-duuuuuuh.
Now, just to clarify, we don't hate all auto-boxes, as there are a few out there that are plum amazing. But when the choice is presented as a 3- or even 4-speed traditional hydraulic slusher with no manual interaction other than sliding the lever back and forth at the start and end of any trip, well that's almost like having your soul sucked out through your butt. And I don't mean that in a good way.
That is all in prologue to today's candidate, which is… a… BMW (Ooh, we like those!)…. 1987 (yeah, yeah, a classic, go on)… three (yeah)… twenty (oh man!)… five (yes!)… convertible (okay, fun in the sun, I'm down with that)… that sports a ZF 4-speed automatic (aww, screw you, Graverobber!).
Okay, calm down, it's not as though I whizzed in your morning Wheaties or anything. It's just that this car has one strike against it - when considered from the traditional Jalopnik point of view. Well, it may have two if you're especially hardcore and are looking for a gymkhana king, as the removal of the roof makes the E30 cabriolet a good bit heavier and far floppier than its still-in-the-can counterparts.
Still, these have their advocates and those are usually the lovely ladies. Please excuse the dip into misogyny, but yeah, some people do think these have a rep for being a chick car. That's not to say that dudes can't enjoy them too.
This one looks to be in excellent shape and comes with only 141K on the clock. The paint seems serviceable, and the top - aside from the miasmic plastic of the rear window - looks like it will keep the bugs out, but apparently not the rain. On to the interior, the dash has a number of cracks in it, as do most of these cars. On the other hand, the sport wheel and seats seem to be in good shape, but I don't think I've ever seen upholstery like that on an E30 before. That seat pattern does match the floor mats so that's a nice bit of coordination, sort of like the carpet matching the drapes.
Mechanically, the ad claims the 2,494-cc M20 purrs like a cat - not like a kitten, but like a cat. That engine was good for 160-bhp and 167 lb-ft of torque from the factory. You'd likely lose some of that to the ZF 4HP22 4-speed, but then we already discussed that so deal. New tires, switches, and other ancillary bits make this E30 pretty much ready for summer fun.
And how much will that fun cost? The seller is asking for - in all caps no less, so you know they're serious - $2,500 to get the party started. They claim to already have a solid offer of two grand so low-ballers need not apply.
What do you think about that price for this auto-box ragtop E30? Does that make it seem like a good deal? Or, is that price just the final nail in this Bimmer's coffin?
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