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Scotty
05-23-2006, 04:54 PM
Hi Everyone,

FNG here. :rolleyes:

I'm looking for a relatively decent E30 coupe for street use and track days. Manual trans only. Prefer a1989-1991 325i or 325is. Not interested in "eta" models, sedans, convertibles, 4 cylinder engines, or M3's. (Well, OK, if you have an E30 M3 for sale, I'm listening.)

Any leads or pointers to reputable dealers would be appreciated. High mileage, overhauls, motor swaps, etc. are not an issue as long as the new parts are equivalent. Rust and collision damage are issues.

Thanks very much!

M-technik-3
05-23-2006, 05:26 PM
craigslist.org is your friend.

Scotty
05-24-2006, 02:03 PM
Thanks. It's been a long time since I visited that site. Not bad!

Scotty
06-05-2006, 03:55 PM
Still looking for the elusive 325i/is 2-door. I'm monitoring several web sites. I also left a note at Dan Martin's shop.

If you have any leads, please feel free to post a reply here or call me at 240.274.3988. Thanks!

M-technik-3
06-05-2006, 04:39 PM
Budget?

SharkD
06-05-2006, 05:37 PM
I'd argue that E30 325i/iS are ubiquitous, not elusive. ;) It took all of 30 seconds for me to find mine. Literally.

In the D.C. area, $2,500 - $3,500 should net you a solid car with a documented history. $1,750 should net you a solid track rat with cosmetic "issues".

1996 328ti
06-05-2006, 06:04 PM
I'd argue that E30 325i/iS are ubiquitous, not elusive. ;) It took all of 30 seconds for me to find mine. Literally.You were lucky. The ones I was finding where very ragged out. Torn seats and rust.

But I did just find a 91 Convertible. :)

Scotty
06-05-2006, 08:35 PM
Ubiquitous? OK, I guess I'm not trying hard enough. :redface:

I'm prepared to pay a fair price. Like you said, Dan, the going rate for a late-model with 150K+ miles is somewhere around $2500. I don't have any serious budget constraints; I just want enough money left over for maintenance items, overhauling (if necessary), and performance upgrades.

Cosmetics are not an issue - dings, scratches, torn seats, cracked dashes, and oxidized paint are not a big deal. I'm not interested in rust buckets or bent salvage cars. Low-mile specimans with good maintenance histories will be considered if the price isn't too high.

The hazy plan in my car-addled brain looks something like this: prep the garage, retool myself (I sold all my tools during a move to Arizona back in 98 :frown: ), and then prep the car for track days and sporting drives around town. If all goes well in the first year or so, either set the car up for club racing (probably SCCA ITS) or get rid of it and buy a ready-made competition car.

Your input is very much appreciated. If you guide me to a car, I'll guide you to the bar and buy you a pint.

1996 328ti
06-05-2006, 09:17 PM
Rust buckets is all I found for $2500. And no one off of Craig's List seems to return emails.
Keep your eye on the classifieds on the website. That is where I picked up mine.

SharkD
06-05-2006, 10:22 PM
Bought mine for $2,500 -- junky seats, soggy carpets, sans clearcoat; mechanicals guaranteed by Dan Martin.

Most of the SpecE30 guys are finding (grungy) cars for $1,000-1,500.

If you're planning on eventually running in a racing series, you'll pay 10-20% less by buying a pre-built car, although the incremental build approach that I went with has the advantage of spreading the cost out over a much longer period.

Check out the classifieds of the other BMWCCA chapters within what you'd consider to be a reasonable distance, www.E30tech.com, www.r3vlimited.com, www.NASAforums.com, the classifieds at www.SpecE30.com, eBay and the classifieds of the major papers in the same geographic spread as the BMWCCA chapters (you never know).

M-technik-3
06-05-2006, 10:57 PM
I bought the 89 off of craigslist tonight the 89 325is auto. It's nice one tear in the seat the rest was minor TB and major maintance has been completed.

Now to convert it to a stick. damn I have 6 e30's in the fleet now.

David Hicks
06-06-2006, 05:15 PM
I bought the 89 off of craigslist tonight the 89 325is auto. It's nice one tear in the seat the rest was minor TB and major maintance has been completed.

Now to convert it to a stick. damn I have 6 e30's in the fleet now.
Have you given any thought to becoming a dealer? :tongue:

M-technik-3
06-06-2006, 08:01 PM
Yeah it's an addiction, I know and I don't give em up. Sad thing is I have number 7 lined up but it's not mine. I found a white 88 with a toasted HG on Cape Cod while visiting Mom last month cheap $700 runs needs tlc and some work but.

It's a stick and has low mileage blue top and blue leather. Looks good. Need help from a car doctor or something. How much is a license in VA?

David Hicks
06-06-2006, 08:26 PM
How much is a license in VA?
Not sure. I looked into it though. It varies by county and is kind of a pain in the ass in addition to the cost.

Scotty
06-06-2006, 08:33 PM
If you're planning on eventually running in a racing series, you'll pay 10-20% less by buying a pre-built car, although the incremental build approach that I went with has the advantage of spreading the cost out over a much longer period.


Yeah, when I get to club racing, I'll probably end up buying someone else's race car. Several race veterans have given me the same advice: buy, don't build. Of course, some people build right from the start because that's what they want to do. I'm sort of in-between.

I decided to get a street car for two reasons: 1) I can drive on the street regularly to acquire a feel for the car -- maybe even start learning a little heel-and-toe; 2) by doing some of my own work, I can get familiar with the mechanicals so that I can support myself (to some degree) when I'm at the track.

Thanks for all the pointers!

M-technik-3
06-07-2006, 07:26 AM
That is a fact, and any error if the car has a log box should be corrected.

SharkD
06-07-2006, 01:31 PM
...I decided to get a street car for two reasons: 1) I can drive on the street regularly to acquire a feel for the car -- maybe even start learning a little heel-and-toe...

I wouldn't advise practicing heel-and-toe on the street, especially in traffic -- if you slip (and you will), you run the risk of rear-ending somebody. The best place to practice is in your driveway, with the engine off; the second-best place is an interstate clover-leaf interchange at 3am.

ChosenGSR
06-07-2006, 02:24 PM
I wouldn't advise practicing heel-and-toe on the street, especially in traffic -- if you slip (and you will), you run the risk of rear-ending somebody. The best place to practice is in your driveway, with the engine off; the second-best place is an interstate clover-leaf interchange at 3am.

This brings out that whole can of worms on how to "properly" heel-toe, if you really are using the heel to blip the throttle you shouldn't experience any slipping. As much as I am trying to learn the "proper" technique I am not having much success.

SharkD
06-09-2006, 08:42 AM
This brings out that whole can of worms on how to "properly" heel-toe, if you really are using the heel to blip the throttle you shouldn't experience any slipping. As much as I am trying to learn the "proper" technique I am not having much success.

As an aside -- it depends on your pedal configuration: in my Mustang, with a floating accelerator pedal, I do actually use my heel on the accelerator; in my BMWs, with the bottom-hinged pedal, I use the outside of my foot on the accelerator (also, despite my E-width feet, I added pedal side-extensions onto both BMWs -- I could almost fit my entire foot between the brake and gas pedals on my 6er).

Back on topic... I found a gorgeous zinnabarrot E30 a quarter mile from my house... unfortunately, the owner wants $4,500 for a 1986 325es with 215,000+ on the clock. :eek:

M-technik-3
06-09-2006, 09:34 AM
He must be smoking some good hemp for that price. My Zinno cleaned up very nicely after many a long night in the garage.

Now I debate selling it. Red's such an awesome color and never having owned one... Wife is saying something must go soon thou.

Dan are you going to Fed Ex this weekend? I doing a random drop in due to I was supposed to fly but now I'm not.

SharkD
06-09-2006, 02:31 PM
FedEx is a bit of a hike for me these days -- it'd take me about 5 hours, not counting traffic. ;) (I'm in Durham, now.)

M-technik-3
06-09-2006, 03:05 PM
when you move out there...

Scotty
06-09-2006, 04:07 PM
I've come across several E30's that have -- shall we say, "optimistic"? -- price tags.

cars.com appraises a 1990 2-door 325is with 5 speed, 70K miles, excellent condition, DC area at $3400 (private party retail). Kick the miles up to a more realistic level and the price decreases dramatically to around $2500.

If anybody wants more than that (especially for a lesser car), then they've either installed a bunch of upgrades or they're dreaming. As for the former, I'll consider upgraded cars only if I can verify the expertise of the installer.

M-technik-3
06-09-2006, 07:25 PM
Hate to say thou Good E30's are becoming increasingly tough to come by. I agree with you thou on prices but most E36's are surpassing the E30 mileage and condition wise.

Scotty
06-16-2006, 08:18 PM
Does anybody know anything about this car (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-3-Series-Spec-E30-SU-BMW-325es-Track-Car-Spec-E30-Street-Legal-BMWCCA_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6007QQihZ002QQitemZ4651252502QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW)?

The low-hp engine is a strike against and I'm not impressed with the interior prep. Judging by the decals, it was run in a NASA SpecE30 "under" class, which is being eliminated next year.

Just curious.

M-technik-3
06-16-2006, 09:31 PM
2200 86 325 es

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/car/171843314.html

the bronzit is overpriced

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/car/171879803.html

high mileage

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org//car/166812934.html

4 door not bad if you don't mind 4 doors.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org//car/171431373.html

SharkD
06-17-2006, 08:40 PM
Does anybody know anything about this car (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-3-Series-Spec-E30-SU-BMW-325es-Track-Car-Spec-E30-Street-Legal-BMWCCA_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6007QQihZ002QQitemZ4651252502QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW)?

The low-hp engine is a strike against and I'm not impressed with the interior prep. Judging by the decals, it was run in a NASA SpecE30 "under" class, which is being eliminated next year.

SU is no more next year -- all SpecE30's will be a single class, though it remains to be seen as to whether the former 'SU' cars will be included, or if it will only be the 'SO' cars.

This car has not been raced in Mid-Atlantic (which is where NC falls), so I'm not sure why he has the NASA decals on it. The suspension looks awfully soft (it isn't Spec); the wheels may not be SpecE30 legal, either (14x6 or 15x7 only; >13lbs.) and that Kirk bar looks a little scary, especially as it's a bolt-in designed for use in a car with an intact interior & there's no footwell triangulation.


4 door not bad if you don't mind 4 doors.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org//car/171431373.html

Sedans are actually, IMHO -- as a coupe owner, better if you don't have a trailer: you can bring a second set of tires without resorting to a roof rack, like I did (even with a cage installed).

M-technik-3
06-17-2006, 09:00 PM
Oh agree with you but most don't like the style of the 4 door. B pillar shortens the door length = less sag and stronger chassis all the way around in my opinion.

Scotty
06-17-2006, 10:58 PM
Thanks for the links. I've been watching craigslist. I'm sticking to my guns: 2 doors, 325i or 325is, preferably '87 onward. If I don't find something soon, I might consider an engine and/or gearbox swap..

Speaking of that, does anybody know if it makes sense to swap an automatic for a 5 speed? I've passed up a few peachy cars because of the trans.

M-technik-3
06-18-2006, 06:49 PM
My 87 was an auto car. Now it's an M50 stick car. Info is available experiance and knowledge is there. So don't be to afraid, acquiring it at a good cost ot the hardest part.

Scotty
07-12-2006, 03:41 PM
Found an '87 325is. Going to look at it tonight. Cheap. Carfax shows salvage and reconstruct titles in 4 states circa 1994. Odometer probably somewhat accurate at 188K. For less than $1500, none of this is too surprising.

Anybody have any last-minute advice on things to consider when looking at this car? I'm mainly concerned with bent frame, bad welds, structural rust....

M-technik-3
07-12-2006, 06:51 PM
1500 for a previously bent up car? I would say nah avoid it Scott.

Have you looked on www.e30tech.com or www.r3vlimited.com

There is a not bad 89 delphin in Oregon for 1500 ship it here for 500 and you have a decent straight rust free chassis.

Plus there were a few in Ga recently on Craigslist.