Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 325iX calls it a Winter Beast and says it’s ready for whatever Santa Season has to offer. Let’s see if its price really makes it more accurately a winner beast.

I think a valid point to make is that, on average, today’s cars are better than any that have come before them. Modern cars are on a whole safer, generally quicker, vastly more efficient, and lots cleaner. And this is all the while that they are more feature laden, and way more reliable.

That’s the situation that makes cars like yesterday’s super-dee-duper clean 1991 Honda Civic Si such a conundrum. On one hand, it’s a cool old car in a style that’s just not all that common these days. On the other, it’s an old car that can’t really compete with its more modern counterparts. It’s that nostalgic yin and yang that made its $8,000 price tag such a problem. There are so many just as engaging cars in this class that offer so much more—airbags for one thing—that can be had at the same kind of money.

That seemed to be the general consensus on the Civic and that was reflected in its 72 percent Crack Pipe loss. Props to the seller however for having kept it so clean for so long.

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I could be the case however, that you’re looking for something less pristine and original than yesterday’s Honda. Perhaps instead you want something that speaks to your unique perspectives and individual personality. Just maybe you want this crazy ‘Winter Beast’ 1991 BME 325iX.

Hey, here’s a joke for you: do you know how Helen Keller went crazy? Trying to read today’s crazy bumpy Bimmer, that’s how. I’m here all week folks. Remember to tip your waiter.

The E30 iX represented BMW’s first foray into production four-wheel drive automobiles. When new, they were praised for their execution, and where lauded by the car mags of the day for doing an even better job at keeping their shit together during less than ideal road conditions than Audi’s iconic Quattros. Remarkably, buyers for the most part ignored them.

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This one wasn’t ignored and today gives you all that AWD goodness and goosebumps to boot. No, I don’t mean goosebumps on you, I mean on the car. That’s because it’s been covered top to tarmac in what we generally like to call bed liner.

Rhino Liner is an industrial polyurethane coating originally intended for truck beds. It’s applied via spraying and which creates a durable textured surface perfect for protecting thee pickup truck’s work area. Apparently the seller of this all-season E30 thought it might also keep his Bimmer out of harm’s way.

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The ad is as humorous as is the car, opening with a bird call that the seller intends will imply the impending arrival of the cold season. It goes on to note that the bed liner paint job was undertaken to prep the car for battling winter and not to mask any issue with body or undercarriage. It’s described as solid and rust-free and in the pictures appears straight and complete save for an errant turn indicator lens.

This being a BMW, that missing semaphore likely won’t even ever be noticed. Black baskets with bright rims and no centers on one side fill the extended wheel arches, and those are shod with new Nitto winter tires. Up front a Groucho Marx eyebrow overhangs each brace of headlamps.

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The seller get’s so invovlved with showing us the spray liner process that he neglects to give us even a hint of what the interior looks like. Is the dash cracked here like they tend to do on E30s? Is the seat upholstery ragged or intact? We don’t know, but we can affirm that the brake lines have all been coated in bumpy black. What a worry resolved!

The ad does make mention of the mechanicals. Those include an M20B25 SOHC inline six and Getrag 260 five-speed as back up. The seller claims the addition of a larger MAF and higher flow injectors here, and even intimates the possibility of a longer stroke bottom end. Whatever the mix, the mill has thankfully been spared the spray tan treatment.

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Another omission in the ad’s description is the car’s mileage. That can go a long way toward determining desirability, but here we’ll have to do without. Instead we’ll just have to go on the seller’s somewhat limited description and all those wheel well pictures. We at least can confirm that the car comes with a clean title.

It also comes with an asking price of $4,800. Now, complete E30s, especially the rarer iX editions have been trending upwards for years now. This one—like Forrest Gump—is special. That decision to mask whatever paint issue that was bedeviling the car with bedliner will either make the seller’s day, or will haunt him for weeks as he tries to sell his asphalt camouflaged contraption.

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We’re here to see which way that will go. What do you think, is this 325iX worth that $4,800 asking as it sits? Or, is that too much for a Winter Beast that might just be a Winter Beater?

You decide!

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Denver, CO Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Hampton 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.