Today’s Nice Price of Crack Pipe E30 has a V8 under its compact car hood. That means that there’s not enough room for the brake booster but also that’s it’s a freaking V8 E30. Will that be enough to make you think its seller can catch a break?
As far as get rich quick schemes go, getting a 2005 Passat TDi, taking out the balance shafts and replacing them with a six speed and then asking about four-times market rate for a stock one is perhaps not the best.
On paper it’s great, but in practice, its a 77% Crack Pipe vote. That’s just how these things shake out (pun intended) and is further proof that if you want money you have to make it the old fashioned way... by suing someone.
I’m just going to say two things about today’s 1986 BMW 325e - V8 E30. Whoa there, do you need to sit down? It looked like you were about to swoon there for a moment. Don’t get too excited however, as there are some caveats that need to be considered with this cylinderrific Bimmer.
First off, the particulars: this started out as a 325e, the lowercase e implying “eta,” efficiency, or perhaps “eh, the Americans will buy anything.” The model was U.S.A. specific and used a 2.7-litre M20 straight six. That’s all well and good but that 2.7 only managed to pump out 127-bhp as fuel economy was its main bag.
Okay, so that engine is gone and it’s been replaced by a V8, but what sort of V8 is that? Well, its a small one, an M60B30 3.0 to be exact. But wait, you might be asking, didn’t BMW build any number of inline sixes - smooth as the Hubble mirror - in displacements equal to or greater than 3-litres and which would easily fit under the 3-series hood?
Yes, yes they did.
Thing of it is, if the builders of this car - the seller and his brother - had gone with that more expected choice then they wouldn’t have the unique opportunity to be selling a V8 E30. Whoa, there you go again. I gotta’ stop saying that.
Whatever the impetus was for the choice of replacement mill, it’s here now. It’s also matched with a ZF 5-speed which send the goods to a 2.93:1 LSD pumpkin in back. A custom e30 to e36 wiring harness talks the talk while equally custom exhaust walks the walk. On the downside, the e30’s engine bay apparently does not offer enough room for both the V8 and a power brake booster so be prepared to build up those leg muscles.
There’s also no A/C, although that’s seemingly due to the builders running out of enthusiasm and not necessarily space issues. Also, the car comes with a rebuilt title (sorry guys) which is weirdly claimed to be due to problems with the original engine. In the plus column, there’s a ton of other work that’s gone into it to make it - in the words of the seller “drive like a proper BMW from the ‘80s.”
The interior comes across as okay in the pics with some cracks in the dash, some aftermarket seats. Of course on the outside, the long-gone brightwork around the windshield and back glass are notable by their absence. The car itself has 140,000 miles under its tires while the engine is a relatively fresh 87K. The seller says he’s put 3,000 miles on the combined marriage so far.
Okay, this is a frankencar - and no that’s not what Al Franken drives to Congress - and it’s clearly someone else’s project. It’s also an example of tradeoffs demanded by such an effort that someone else might not make. Lastly, it’s $5,000.
Five grand isn’t all that much for a decent-looking E30 these days. Add to that the uniqueness of having the little V8 under its hood and you’ve got a pretty compelling proposition. Is it compelling enough however, that someone should drop that kind of cash on it?
What’s your take on this V8 E30 and its $5,000 price? Is that low enough to make up for the title and other issues? Or, is this Bimmer just a hot mess with a price to match?
H/T to drdanteiii for the hookup!
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