For $6,000, This M50-Equipped 1985 318i Takes A Stance

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

At what point is it safe to make someone else’s project your own project? Ever? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 318 looks to be a work in progress, but will its price make you want to go back to the start?

The teeth gnashing and pearl clutching that accompanied the discussion on yesterday’s special edition 1974 Porsche 914 proved that few of us are ready to live in a world in which the “Poor Man’s Porsche” might actually require a second mortgage to possess.


That had a lot to do with the imperfect but still pretty sweet car’s massive 87% Crack Pipe loss. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the car eventually sells somewhere in the $22 -$25K range, and that in a year, you’d be able to add ten-grand to that.

Of course, should your predilections lean less toward old German classics and more toward not so old German mashups then maybe this 1985 BMW 318i will be more your cup of schnapps. It’s not just one of our favorites, an E30, but it also brings E36, E46 and even some 5-series parts along for the ride.

Okay, now just to get this out of the way up front: no, YOU would not lower a car the way this one has been dropped. YOU would also most likely not stretch the tires over the wheels like they’re Sasha Grey’s Lincoln Tunnel of an afterburner. No, you would not do any of those things, but keep in mind that those, and other mods, are easily changed to meet a new owner’s particular wants, dreams, and desires.


Let’s start off with the parts of this car that you might like however. That includes an M50TU (Technical Upgrade) Vanos six in replacement of the puny 1.8-litre four. Behind that is a Getrag five-speed stick and the party gets started with an AC-Schnitzer ECU chip. An E36 radiator keeps things cool while a steering rack from the same newer model keeps it company.


The model mix continues on the inside where set of E46 sport seats reside. There’s no picture of the dash in the ad so no idea if it’s all it’s cracked up to be, but the rest of the trim looks, well, okay.

The model mashup continues on the outside where E36 rocker extensions feature. Who knew they would fit an E30? This guy, obviously. There’s also a switch to single high-lows for headlights, and those are hid units, according to the description. That description also notes a clean title and 133,000 miles on the base E30 platform.


What’s not to like? Well, the front end, under the nice teal paint, looks to be eff’d up where the bumper should go. There’s also those wheels and tires that stick out like a sore thumb, the suspension that’s been lowered by way of Riceland coil-overs (how long has that been stressing the inner suspension bushings?) and, oh yeah, the diff’s been welded.


So, this car’s kind of like the Three Bear’s house - full of elements both bad (in most of our minds) and good. You now get to play Goldilocks and decide if the seller’s $6,000 price is too high, too low, or just right.

What do you think, could this Frankenbimmer command six grand?

You decide!


Greenville SC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Daniel for the hookup!

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