For $7,495, do nice E21s finish last?

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

The seller of today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe E21 claims it's the nicest on Craigslist. That might just be so as it looks to be in remarkable shape. Its price however, as is often the case here, may not be so nice.

I love sellers who feel the need to provide options for prospective buyers - and this one's no exception. The individual offering this 1978 BMW 320i suggests in his ad that alternatives for the new owner include keeping the car completely stock. . . or not. Truly visionary.


Well, obviously hiring him as a life coach might not be the best choice, but he does claim that this lipstick red Bimmer, with but 68,000 documented miles, is the best on Craigslist, and my apathetically non-exhaustive search of same seems to back that up.

Not only is the car apparently dest and rust free, but it also sports a set of stock, and period appropriate 13" Turbines. Other exterior accouterments include Bosch driving lights in protective cages hanging under the ample overhang of the front bumper, and a smoked plastic sunroof deflector which likely is the singular reason the interior is un-marked by bug spatter.

That interior in fact looks remarkable for its age, the fantastic Recaro seats showing little if any wear and the dashboard seemingly completely intact. That last fact is notable because BMWs - hell, almost all German cars - of this age usually have more cracks in them than an M. Night Shyamalan movie plot. It almost seems like their makers intended cracking dashboards as the indicator of when it was time to get a new car, sort of like the plastic dog peen pop-up on a holiday turkey telling you it is done.


This one obviously is far from done as its dash remains mar-free just like you and me, as does the rest of the cabin. The best selling point of the car, however - in my book at least - is what sits on the floor, protecting the wall-to-wall. This Bimmer rocks classic Sisal mats! These were all the rage back in the ‘70s and their unfortunate falling from favor was the likely death knell for catalogers like MG Mitten and Vilem B. Haan. R.I.P.. Here they need a good de-sepia-toning to bring their color back, but like the rest of the 320i they appear perfectly serviceable.


Servicing the little Bimmer will be helped by the complete tool kit resident beneath the boot lid, but considering the car's condition, who's to say you'd ever even need them? Under the clamshell hood sits BMW's old-school M10 four, in 2-litre form. This engine was a staple of BMW's small cars from the sixties almost until the nineties, and here, with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical injection, it pumped out 110-bhp. Behind that is a Getrag 4-speed stick so you can all breath a sigh of relief knowing that the nicest 320i on Craigslist isn't burdened with the optional 3-speed suck-o-matic.

The seller says the car has had but one owner, and has spent much of its life sitting in a garage. That would go a long way in explaining how a car with Massachusetts plates (albeit advertised in New York) could look so good. No offense intended Bay Staters, but y'all drive like you're in a House of Pain video.


The big question of course is what does the nicest 320i on Craigslist cost, and is that price as nice as the car? Well, the seller wants $7,495 for this one, which could be deemed a lot of bread for what's commonly considered the Jan Brady of BMW's smaller cars from the 20th Century's 4th quarter. What you have to decide is whether its condition and desirability warrant that kind of scratch. Or, if the seller is being a total Masshole for asking so much.


You decide!


New York Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter