For $26,000, Could This LS3-Powered 1988 BMW E30 Touring Make You Want To Sell Your Granny?

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

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW estate is said to have started as a 320, it’s listed as a 325, and it’s rocking a 350. That may all add up somehow, but you’ll still need to decide its price does too.

When it comes to grades, Bs are good. The may not be as good as As but they still show you’re above average and nobody likes a show off anyway, am I right?


When it came to the price on yesterday’s 2007 Subaru Legacy spec.B the best the seller could hope for was to be graded on a curve, and even then the car’s 66% Crack Pipe loss proved that maybe studying up—like checking out asking prices on similar rides—might have been warranted.

Okay, so far this week we’ve had a few clunkers price-wise, but we haven’t really had anything that pushes just about all your average Jalop’s buttons. I’m about to change all that.

Here we have what is described as a 1988 BMW E30 Touring that when brought to America was a nice but somewhat unremarkable 320i but which now has a romper-stomper Corvette mill throbbing under its forward-tilting hood.


Let’s just go over that one more time: E30, forbidden fruit longroof body, LS3 V8 engine… oh, it has a six speed stick too, and… HEY! Put that away. This is a family show.


Now for the details. The ad says that when imported the car was a “bone stock” 320i. Several of the pictures in the ad show it with bottle caps and the unmistakable sinuous intake of a straight six under the hood. The seller apparently lifted his LS3 from a previous installation in a ’91 318i and dropped it into this estate.

The ad notes that it’s an E-rod engine and came with all the bells and whistles. Behind that sits a T56 six-speed and out back is what’s claimed to be a “racing diff” that was built by a funny car builder. I wonder if that’s a “funny car” builder or a “funny” car builder?


The radiator is a custom job, there’s H&R suspension bits lowering the car front and back, and Ireland Engineering brakes to help keep the mayhem in check. The seller says he has 7,000 miles on the install. There’s no word on the overall mileage of the body, but the speedo and odo are matched to the driveline so at least keeping track of future specs will be easy.


The rest of the car looks to be in fine shape. The body, in dark grey over black OZs, seems free of major flaws. The interior likewise is in enviable shape with an un-cracked dash and handsome cloth sport seats for your enjoyment. Out back the car seems to still come with its tools, German market first aid kit and manuals.


The seller says that it is with heavy heart that he’s now offering the car up for sale. Hopefully that’s not literal. His asking price is $26,000 and before you leap up and shout that you could build one yourself for less let’s all just calm down and admit that you will do no such thing. No, instead you like, most of us, would prefer something already tried and passed the smell test.

With that in mind—and perhaps your own heavy heart—what’s your take on this LS3-powered E30 and that $26,000 price? Does that seem like a deal for the car as presented? Or, is that a price that would keep grandma off Craigslist?


You decide!


Portland OR Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to WindAdvisory for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.