Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The ad for today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 325is claims the car to come with over $40k in maintenance receipts. It also notes an even more impressive half-million miles on the odo. Could those big numbers add up to a favorably low price?

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One thing that became plainly evident last Friday is that very few of you give a beaver’s buttcrack about old Ford Explorers. Those that showed even a modicum of interest did note that the ’97 XLT we looked at was of lesser interest even to them as it was not the V8 edition. That all being said, at just $1,995, few of you could get beyond the fact that it was cheap transportation and anointed the truck with a solid 87 percent Nice Price win.

According to space.com NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is over 13 billion miles from Earth. That’s an impressive distance to have traveled and still be working in reasonable fashion. When it comes to space, you really have to trek your ass off to get anywhere. Heck, our own moon is, on average, a substantial 238,000 miles away. Here’s an interesting thing—this 1988 BMW 325is has enough miles under its belt to have made the trip all the way there, and then back again.

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Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?

The E30 is perhaps the most iconic of BMW’s 3-series models with the ‘is’ being that edition’s most coveted iteration short of the OG M3. This one, in Alpine White over a Cardinal Red interior looks to have weathered the years and those extraordinary miles with seeming aplomb.

That’s not to say it’s been a cakewalk, however. The seller notes a binder full of maintenance receipts dating back through the car’s history. That is claimed to total over forty-thousand dollars worth of work, which is almost as impressive a number as the mileage.

Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?
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There looks to still be some work to be done here. As you can see from the pictures, the car looks to be in straight and solid condition, and the seller notes it to be free of rust. I guess interpretations can differ and there is a noticeable bit of pop-through evident above the right taillamp and well as on the windshield trim.

That latter is something that’s endemic to BMWs of this era. The plastic outer coating traps moisture underneath and that corrodes and discolors the metallic foil below. It’s ugly, but not structural. The front airdam extension is also missing, perhaps sacrificed to the parking berm gods.

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Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?

On the plus side, the factory BBS basketweave wheels look to be in terrific shape. The paint seems to be a re-spray, but that too seems to be a solid citizen.

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The interior has its share of pluses and minuses as well. The leather sport seats, door cards, and carpet all look excellent for their age. The dash wears a rug and like any toupée, it’s not fooling anyone. The sport steering wheel and three-pedal layout may distract from that, however.

Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?
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Mechanically, the car is claimed to “run and drive like an E30 should.” The is version benefitted from a reworked suspension and limited-slip differential in back. To exercise that, power here is provided by a 168 horsepower M20 six. That’s a single overhead cam mill that’s pretty simple in concept and easy enough to wrench on.

The Getrag five-speed behind that likewise carries a solid rep. There’s nothing noted mechanically about the car, but it does carry a rebuilt title (cue sad trombone) and hence should carry a lower price owning to that tainted title.

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Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?

Of course the over half a million miles on the clock should also impact the car’s value. The question is whether they draw that down owing to use or push it up due to uniqueness seeing as no one has ever seen an old BMW odo work after about 190K.

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Well, let’s talk about price. The seller is asking $6,500, and if you track E30 325is prices, you’ll likely know that nice ones typically go for a lot more than that. This one is interesting since it is pretty nice—with certain caveats—but it does have a rebuilt title and those miles which, honestly could sway either way.

Illustration for article titled At $6,500, Is This High-Mileage 1988 BMW 325is A Low-Down Bargain?
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What do you think, is this super-mileage 325is a super deal? Or, do so many pluses and minuses just not equal that asking?

You decide!

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Chicago, IL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Alejandro Molina Hoyos for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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