For $4,000, Could This 1995 BMW 530iT Make It A Wrap?

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

The ad for today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW 530iT notes that its paint is in fact a red vinyl wrap. Audiophiles may like vinyl, but will you auto-philes like the price on this vinyl’d and five-speed equipped wagon?

I think it goes without saying that should you attempt to sell a limited production object from days gone by, you should meticulously document its provenance and the specific elements that make it special.


The seller of last Friday’s 1977 Greenwood GT—a Corvette-based special designed and built by legendary Corvette racer John Greenwood and his brother Burt—did little of that. Not only was its “back not got” by the seller, but it featured an odd and inappropriate kamm back in place of its rear bumper, and was missing its special badging and hand-painted logo. All that conspired to doom the $27K price on that Greenwood to a 90-percent Crack Pipe loss, meaning most of you decided your green... wait for it... wouldn’t.

I like estate cars. In fact I gave one to each of my daughters to drive—respectively a 1998 Volvo V90 and a 1999 Audi A6 Avant. The Volvo has since made its way to a new owner owing to some driveway shuffling, but the Audi’s still classing up the joint.

There’s just something intrinsically appealing about a long-roofed car, something that tall wagons and crossovers all seem to miss. Add to that appeal some enhanced driving dynamics by way of a decent motor and a manual transmission and well, waiter, I think we’re ready for the check.


This 1995 BMW 530i comes with an M60B30. That’s a DOHC V8 of 2,997-ccs displacement and good for 215-bhp and a similar quantity of torque. These all-alloy engines were noteworthy for the Nikasil bore liners, giving it up in areas where petrol had high sulfur content. BMW replaced a lot of M60s under warranty, but it may be a good idea to do a compression test on this bad boy should you be interested in its purchase.

And why wouldn’t you be? After all, it’s an E34 Touring, arguably the most attractive of BMW’s wagons, and it sports a swapped-in five-speed manual behind that roarty V8. It also has a number of… well, let’s just call them interesting aesthetic choices.


First off, there’s the vinyl wrap, which honestly looks pretty nice in the ad’s pics. It’s extremely red and, according to the ad, matches the factory color underneath. What that paint actually looks like is anybody’s guess, but the vinyl should be good for a couple of years at least if you don’t live someplace like the Sahara or Phoenix AZ.


The body seems straight, and there’s carbon fiber-looking grille frames up front if you’re into that. There are no roof rails since top storage is negated by a huge sunroof. That centers the other update that you might find of questionable taste, which is a quilted headliner.


Seriously, it looks like it’s made out of one of those smoking jackets Bond villains wear when they’re off the clock. That extends down to the gunwalls under the hatch. The rest of the interior looks appreciably stock and in perfectly serviceable condition. The dash is crack-free, and the non-sport seats are seemingly ready for your ass. It even has the factory cassette stereo for all you old-school audiophiles that we mentioned above.


What’s not to like here? Well, there’s that headliner. When will auto makers build a headliner that lasts? The ad notes that down below, the car needs an alignment. Perhaps more troubling than that, there are a number of lights of ill portent illuminating your concern from the dash. The seller notes the CEL is caused by a disconnected O2 sensor (I HATE replacing O2 sensors, btw). Then there’s an SRS light that “just needs to be reset after the interior swap.” Uh huh. Finally, the Traction Control lamp apparently takes issue with the tranny swap. These are all things that could be as described in the ad, or they could be forebodings of untold heartaches to come. You be the judge.


In fact, you can be the judge right now. Why don’t you swing down there to the poll and let us know whether or not this 166K, clean titled touring Bimmer is worth its $4,000 asking price? What do you think, does that price and the overall condition wrap it up for you? Or, does this vinyl-clad 530iT just have too many issues to command so much?

You decide!


Fairfield, NY Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Paul Malboeuf 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.