For $12,000, This M3 Is Not Going To Drive Itself

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

The E30 M3 is the lowliest performing model in all of M3 history, that is a fact. So why do we love them so? Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '88 looks pretty lovable - despite not getting any recent action - but will you love its price?

A bone was thrown yesterday, in the form of an apparently drivable 1987 MR2 for fourteen hundred bucks. Fully 88% of you thought that asking was a Nice Price based on the info offered in the ad, and in fact the car's seemingly greatest issue was that it was located in Ohio, which skeeved a few of you out. Fortunately for us all, today's candidate is in a state that sows no controversy, and no drama, that of course being the Garden State, New Jersey.


The seller of this 1988 BMW M3 claims that the sale of his beloved Bimmer is being forced by financial difficulties owed to a daughter not getting a free ride for college. You see, this is why I tell my kids that there's no shame in just having that GED, and that the world needs ditch diggers and car bloggers too. As you would imagine, they don't listen to me much these days.

You'd kind of have to wonder, if this proud father is so enamored with this silver over Corbeau M-machine, why has he not driven it at any time while his offspring has been my-so-called-living-it through high school. Yep that right, he (she?) claims that while having purchased the the car in 2002, they haven't exercised it in the past five years. Geez, that's like a Promise Keeper going steady with Belle Knox.

Other tidbits gleaned from the ad - a new stainless steel Borla exhaust has been bolted where the sun don't shine, H&R springs, and a set of Bilsteins - sound more like it. There's also a set of 17" five-spokes and tires that have literally no miles on them - remember, the car doesn't get driven - so include that in your calculations. The title is clear so there should be no issue with putting the car in a new name, preferably one with places to go.


There is the odd sentence in the ad - '227K Engine Rebuilt $150K (Previous Owner)' that I can't quite make heads or tails of. Does that mean that the S14 was rebuilt at that mileage and cost by the previous owner? If so, and if he spent one hundred and fifty thousand dollars on the refresh, then I wonder how many bridges he presently thinks he owns.


Anyway, back to the car's non-driving current owner and the ad, both say that the car has been chipped and in fact comes with a laptop so you can do further tweaks if you're really interested in getting your nerd on. All receipts for work previous done are said to come with the car.


Visually this M3 seems pretty tidy, evidencing no major flaws in either the body or paint, and aside from the wheels and mirrors, comes with all its bells and whistles intact. On the inside the Corbeaus keep you snug as a bug with four-point belts and sizable side bolsters. There's no shot of the dash to show whether it's crackalicious which is too bad as that an issue these cars tend to exhibit. We'll just have to guess this one's okay.

Over the past couple of years the E30 M3 - much like the Porsche 901 - has been transitioning from desirable and near-affordable old car to jaw-droppingly expensive classic. Once cars cross a certain threshold in value many owners tend to only take them out sparingly. I don't think that the first-gen M3 has gotten there yet and so it seems a crime to let this one go fallow. Perhaps the seller's daughter going to college is the break this silver bullet needs to go to a new owner who will - as they say - drive it like they stole it.


Obviously I don't advocate actually stealing it, and you might not either given its price. The seller of this loved but underused M3 is asking $12,000 for the title. Where do you sit on this car - as presented in the ad - and that price? Is that a screamin' deal for an early M3? Or, should the seller be the one going to college, where he should be taking BMW Pricing 101?

You decide!


New Jersey Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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