Now’s the time to snap up a classic BMW E30s while you still have the chance. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 325is looks pretty swell in its Zender effects, but will that make its price extra chancy?
Picture yourself on a Vespa, wending your way through the narrow streets of a small Italian village, or perhaps down a bucolic country road. You lean into the wind, urging the small bike forward while your smokin’-hot companion (I’ll leave the gender up to you in this hypothetical scenario) presses against your back and pulls tightly around your waist. Behind you and your passenger sits a wicker basket containing your artisanal picnic lunch and a good Chianti. Nice image, right?
Now picture a scene with yesterday’s 1999 Honda Helix. Its ‘80s-imagined future styling likely provokes some sort of vision of dodging pedestrians in a Blade Runner-esque mise en scène while your clone leans back coldly behind you, staring at the falling rain and pondering the subsistence of the human soul. In the trunk sits your government issued unflavored nutrition cake and a black market bottle of bathtub gin.
Pretty different images, wouldn’t you agree? That’s probably why the Honda got such grief, especially at its $2,499 price. It just seemed to embody a vision of a two-wheeled future that was perhaps too bleak to contemplate. In the end, that drove home its narrow 54-percent Crack Pipe loss.
Here’s something else to contemplate: there will come a time—not long from now, really—when BMW’s E30 will prove to be just too old for many car enthusiasts. That younger crowd will just naturally gravitate to the little Bimmer’s more capable and more modern successors. This happens with every generation. How many contemporary teens do you think ever look at an old Shoebox Chevy and think, man that thing would be rad as a high boy?
Until that day comes however, BMW’s E30 remains as popular as ever, and values on the mainstream models seem currently to be held aloft by the crazy prices people are paying for the M3 editions.
This 1987 BMW 325is comes to the party dressed in white and with and ‘80s appropriate Zender body kit. That was da’ bomb back in the day. Today, it looks a little tacky, but like screaming chicken decals on your Trans Am, it feels totally appropriate and ‘of the age.’
The body and that kit all seem to be in fine fettle, as do the deep dish BBS baskets that underpin. Yellow lens covers mask both highbeams and fogs, but both could be changed without too much trouble. More importantly the extremely low airdam in front seems free from damage from parking berms and curbs.
Inside things get a little more funky. The red leather sport seat for the driver displays some wear, and a literal tear on the outside bolster. Meanwhile the passenger seat is missing entirely. The seller says that it’s sitting in his garage, and is rip and tear free. It does come with the car, however if you have a close friend in the NBA you might want to leave it out for their comfort.
There’s a crack in the dash, as they do, as well as a modern stereo because who wants to listen to cassettes these days? A five speed stick sits below that and is connected to the car’s 168-horsepower M20. That 2494-cc straight six, in general, has a reputation for sturdiness and creamy smoothness. Here we don’t get much info on how this one is getting along, however the seller does note that the car is ‘a damn good daily driver.’ He also says that it [d]rives and pulls very healthy.’
Coilovers and fatter swaybars have been added to help the handling, while freshened motor and transmission mounts keep the driveline in check whilst checking out those capabilities. There’s 194,000 miles on the clock and the car comes with a clean title.
In case you haven’t noticed, asking prices on E30s are going up. That’s a factor of the model’s age and the fact that all the less desirable models—325e automatics and the like—are all going the way of Elvis. That leaves the more scarce and desirable models, like this 325is, to address the demand. And, if Econ 101 taught us anything, it’s that a diminishing supply meeting a sustainable demand will engender a rising price point.
This one asks $6,000, and seeing as the model is considered almost as capable as its M3 sibling, that seems like a steal.
Or does it? What do you think, is this Zender-draped 325is worth that $6,000 asking? Or, do you find that price to be more coup d’etat than coup de grâce?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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