The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice 325i does an exemplary job at detailing the car’s features and options. That’s helpful since the car seems to be almost exactly as when it left the factory. Let’s see if that originality is worth its asking price.
I think I speak for most of us when I say that the use of a foreign language can make even the most mundane of phrases seem far fancier. Think about Coq au Vin. That sounds like drunken sexy time, right? In reality, it’s just chicken and cheap wine. Car companies use this trick all the time too. Consider Maserati’s Quattroporte. Ooh, that sounds so exotic, Well, you and I both know that just means four doors. Cue the sad trombone.
Yesterday we looked at a 1987 Volkswagen T3 DoppelKabine or Doka and not being well-versed in German, to me, that name sounds foreign and intriguing. Of course, if you’re following along you’ll know that the name refers to the two-rows of seats and an extra back door making DoppelKabine little more than the German term for double cabin or crew-cab here in the U.S. You may find that disappointing, but not nearly as deflating as you found the Doka’s $15,500 price. That earned an 82 percent No Dice loss, or a kein würfelverlust if you want to be fancy.
BMWs are pretty fancy. Well, at least the current ones are. Go back a few years, though, and the marque’s offerings were far more focused on sportiness than on some overall chichi experience.
This 1995 BMW 325i saloon is a sample of that former glory. And, considering how stock and apparently well-maintained it is, it should prove to be a pretty solid exemplar.
The E36 was introduced in 1990 in replacement of the E30, a model that, at the time, was loved by BMW fans but had yet to reach its current pedestal placement given by those very same supporters. The E36 was in almost every way a better car than the E30, featuring a much more capable suspension and a slipperier, more aero-efficient body design. Handily, the E36 was still a generation or two away from the era of BMWs becoming technological testing labs and suffering the gremlins inherent with that status and then coupled with advanced age.
This one’s not too terribly old — 26 years to be exact. Still, it doesn’t seem to exhibit much wear and tear for even that age. And that’s not to say this car hasn’t been used. There are 139,951 miles on the clock, a mama bear-esque not too little/not too much number.
Those miles have been made possible by the 189 horsepower 2.5 liter M50 engine and Getrag 280/5 five-speed manual transmission. Those are pretty nice specs and should make this a capable cruiser that’s also fun to fling around when the roads are more than just straight.
Other attractions here include a decent option sheet that included sport seats, the M Sport suspension upgrade, and leather wrapping for both the steering wheel and shift knob.
What’s pretty amazing is just how good all of that looks. The Montana Gray leather seating surfaces in particular look a lot better at this age than they ought to. In that way, they are sort of the Marisa Tomei of car seats. The remainder of the interior looks pretty good too, and happily, at no time over the course of the car’s life has anyone seen a need to replace the factory stereo.
The only real issue in here — if you want to pick nits — is the netting on the backs of the buckets. Those are drooping as these things always do, giving back seat passengers a view akin to staring at two very old men sitting naked in a sauna and dangling their saggy scrotums. And yes, I’m aware you’re going to have that image in your heads all day. Sorry about that.
The exterior is equally as nice as the interior, although also not without its flaws. There is evidence of some peppering on the nose and hood, although it does appear to be minimal. That’s to be expected on a car of this age and mileage, and the car otherwise appears clean and without issue, right down the plastic rockers that seem to have been properly maintained over the years and as a result, aren’t dry and flaky gray. On either side of those sit lovely Style 30 wheels. No age is given for the tires wrapped around those.
In fact, the ad doesn’t go into great detail as to the running condition of the car at all. One can assume from the care given to the rest of the ad and the car’s visual condition that it can’t be all that bad. Also not bad is the car’s clean title.
The asking price is $9,500 and while that once would buy you a somewhat janky E36 M3, those days are likely long gone. Today, your safest bet is to find the best example of whatever car you’re seeking and go with that. This looks to be one of the best E36 325is around and so we’ll now need to ruminate together over whether or not it’s worth that $9,500 as it sits.
What do you think, should someone plop down $9,500 for this time capsule from an age when BMWs were lean and mean? Or, is that price just plain mean?
H/T to Paul Heaner for the hookup!
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