The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe E36 says it’s a project that’s seventy-five percent done. You’ll need to determine if the car and its price are together a project worth that final twenty-five.
Playing dress up is fun, it lets you step out of character, and be someone you’re normally not. Plus, high heels! Pretty much everyone saw through yesterday’s 1977 Porsche 911’s ’93 RSA attire, but its 74% Nice Price win proved there was no disguising the attraction of a cheap Porsche.
If you really want to talk cheap, as in getting the most bang for your buck, then there’s little doubt that Ford’s 302-powered fox body Mustang is the way to go. You can pick up those up 24/7, seemingly for the change scrounged from between the sofa cushions.
But what if you wanted that cheap power, but still didn’t want anyone to know just how miserly you really are? Well, the macho Mustang’s attraction lies in its drivetrain, the rest of the car ranging from being (sorry Mustang lovers) mediocre to outright awful. That's especially the case with the really dog's-ass cheap ones. How could you mask that Dollar Store power delivery so the neighbors won’t start questioning your faux-lex watch and lady friend’s amazing cans? Enter the BMW E36 coupe.
Much like the Wolf was there to clean up maladroit situations involving brains and back seats, BMW’s ‘90s 3-series is ready to race in and cover for your threadbare ass. Hell, there’s even a Website that’ll tell you how to mate 3-series and 302.
Clicking a link takes up valuable time, and you’ve got ground to scratch and eggs to lay, am I right? In that light, how about this 1995 E36 Coupe that already has all the best Mustang bits installed, and that needs only 25% of the work done to be completed?
You might remember the E36 as the 3-series that usurped the beloved E30’s place in BMW’s lineup. While vilified by many for this heinous act, the E36 is - in almost every way - a better car than its predecessor. This one - in Hell Red - features painted rockers, M3 Throwing Stars, and a front bumper that looks like it might be off an E46. Both the exterior and interior seem to be in decent shape, that is if the Instagram’d ad photos are to be believed.
In fact, aesthetically, the car seems 100%. It’s the mechanicals that are claimed by the seller to meet only three-quarters of a tank full of doneness. Under this E36’s hood lies that paragon of power to the poor, Ford’s venerated thin-wall 302. This engine is said to have once called a 1994 Mustang its home, and when living there, the then 215-horse mill sported fuel injection. That makes its current induction through a Holley 660 a bit of a head scratcher.
In fact, the litany of engine “upgrades” reads like a JEGS catalog offering up all the usual suspects. Behind the small block sits the tried and true T5 gearbox, a transmission so common Marie Antoinette could have sparked the French Revolution by announcing let them shift Borg-Warner.
The engine supposedly starts and runs, but the car is not complete and the impression is that a buyer would need to show up with a flatbed to cart the car away. Still, the seller makes it sound like that final 25% is accomplishable, and the sale is not a sign of his giving up, but instead his having giving shtup. That’s right, he says that he has just found out that a human baby will soon be replacing the automotive baby, and hence both money and time will be in short supply.
Any engine swap worthy of its own Website possess some validity. Also, replacing even the hottest of BMW sixes with a romper stomper American V8, while crude and and uncouth is still the cheap man’s way to copious power while still maintaining a certain sense of style. This one is claimed to be 75% to that goal, and is asking $6,500 for the honor to make that final 25% come true.
What do you think about someone adopting this three-quarter M302 for $6,500? Is that a price that warms your potentially cheap-ass heart? Or, is that $6,500 one hundred percent too much?
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