With its light four-cylinder, gutted interior, and two scoops of racing seats, today’s Nice Price or No Dice 318is looks to be as bantam-weight a track toy as you could want. Let’s if it’s priced to make lightening your wallet just as fun.
As it was fairly well unloved when new and suffers from a beat-up butt in the here and now, the 2002 Lincoln Blackwood pickup we looked at yesterday really didn’t have a lot going for it. A salvage title served as the coup de grâce for the bemoaned truck, and in the end, not even a $3,995 price tag could save it from a 53 percent No Dice loss.
If you’re going to participate in any sport, it’s important to have the right equipment. If you’re going skiing, you need skis. Baseball naturally requires a bat and gloves. And when auto racing, you’re pretty much going to be needing a car.
Today’s 1993 BMW 318is is already set up for racing, with a roll bar, chassis stiffening that includes poly bushings, and a pair of Kirkey racing seat shells that look like they will make up in third-degree burns for what they lack in comfort.
The full list of updates noted in the ad also includes Bilstein shocks and struts, stainless steel brake lines, and a six-point belt for the driver. The passenger has to make do with a five-point harness. Pfft, loser.
Power comes from a 1796 cc M42B18 four-cylinder. The M42 features a cast-iron block and aluminum head, and in the U.S. edition of the 318is, manages 138 horsepower out the gate. This one is claimed to sport an aftermarket tune flashed to its ECU and has a somewhat interesting coil-off-plug ignition setup. The mechanical fan has also been supplanted by an electric unit which opens up the engine bay a bit.
According to the ad, the car has no mechanical issues with either the engine or the Getrag five-speed that backs it up. It also is apparently rust-free and comes with either one or two sets of wheels/tires. The ad shows different sets but doesn’t mention how they all fit into the picture.
The interior has been denuded of all extraneous bits save for the factory airbag-equipped steering wheel and dash top. In place of things like carpet and door cards, it now sports a four-point roll bar which also serves as the mounting point for the racing belts. The seller says that the stock seat belts have been left in place for “street driving.”
The ad notes that there are 180,000 miles on the clock — although how many of those were added in anger goes undisclosed. Remarkably, considering how much else of the car has been given the heave-ho, the factory tool kit remains in its plastic tray on the underside of the boot lid.
A clean title means you can actually drive the car to the track without shame, do your racing thing, and then head home, likely with the satisfaction of a day well spent. There are a couple of questions we will need to ask before that vision can become a reality. The first is what kind of racing are you really going to do in this car? You could do gymkhanas, dodging cones in big parking lots for fun and profit. Those are usually run-whatcha-brung. Actual track racing — like SCCA or VARA events — might prove a different story, though, as those could require substantial reconfiguring and additions to the car’s safety equipment.
That may require additional spending before the fun can begin, which brings us to our next question, which is whether or not this 318is ‘race car’ is worth its $5,000 asking price. What do you think, does the ad’s description add up to $5K of car? Or, is that just too much for a car that now offers too little?
H/T to Michael Brown for the hookup!
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