For $15,000, What Sorcery Is This?

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

For his Otis video Jay-Z (along with Kanye West) messed up a Maybach, which he then went on to sell for sixty grand at Barrett Jackson. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW 330ci has also been altered up by a JZ, but does that mean its price needs to be Auto-Tuned down?

Universal health care, Tom Green, and Mr. Tambourine Man as performed by William Shatner. To these things for which Canada must atone, one must add yesterday's loonie tuned Tercel riding a Caddy, which - at a two grand asking price - 73% of you told to take off, you knob.


Now that we've settled on what that Tercelebration was all aboot, let's have a go with another Toyota fabrication.

Typically of late, it seems that owners of Japanese cars have demanded of their rides a certain amount of BMW-ness. Whether it be oddly discordant twin kidney grilles affixed to a common man Civic coupe, or the barely trying M badge slumming on the ass of an Avalon, there's a certain sense of wannabe-varian going on. In a strange twist of fate fit for an M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong movie, today's 2002 BMW 330ci has gone the other way, as underhood it is - as once warned by the Vapors - turning Japanese.


Normally popping the bonnet on an ‘02 330ci would expose a double VANOS-equipped M54, a 2,979-cc straight six worth about 228 ponies and as smooth as 20-year old scotch.

Popping this one's hood like your polo's collar reveals a six of a different flavor - that being a Toyota 1JZ. Which one he doesn't say, aside from it being the VVTI edition, so it's hard to gauge what kind of power this thing puts down, or if the ratios in the stock ZF box match the peakier torque curve of the turbo motor. He does say that it's fast and that the A/C blows cold, so at least you know it'll keep you cool which is important as you'd have to go the Florida to take possession of the car. The remainder of his description revolves around multiple references to how professional the installation is and how often he waxes the car.


That wax covers what looks like a reasonably stock 330ci, with only an M-tech front bumper housing a massive and unavoidable intercooler, and some unfortunate wheels to detract from the factory appearance. It's also been lowered so railroad crossings and sleeping policemen should probably be approached with trepidation.


Inside it's all beigy BMW goodness with the wonderful sport seats that luxuriously cosset your thighs. Overall there doesn't seem to be anything in here to let you know that a JZ is how this 330ci sushi rolls.


As much of a nut-scratcher as the engine swap is, there's also the unanswered question of why it was necessary. The seller claims the car only has but 70K on its clock, and that's hardly the lifespan of even the brightest burning of BMW's candles. Quite a few questions to be sure, but one certainty is that the seller is asking $15,000 for this Frankenbimmer.

It's up to you to determine if that's a deal or a steal. KBB currently puts a quality ‘02 330ci at an RCH over ten grand, and eBay has a butt-load of 1JZs for sale at between fifteen hundred and two thousand. That means the blood sweat and tears that went into making this heart transplant work needs to be worth three thousand to thirty five hundred. What do you think, is that the case? Or, is this a JZ that won't be topping our charts?


You decide!


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H/T to Boraxo for the hookup!

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