Honest Driver: 1985 BMW E30 325iC – SOLD!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

It’s always refreshing to come across an honestly written description of a private party car for sale such as this RADwood eligible 1985 BMW E30 325iC automatic posted on Craigslist in Bivale, Maryland where the current caretaker is asking $8,500. The Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their E30 priced $300 less than the #3 “Good” level of $8,800 before factoring out a discount for the automatic transmission.  

BMW produced the second generation E30 Three-Series from 1982 through 1994 with factory-built, four-seat convertibles offered to start in 1985.  The E30 is the sports sedan that the automotive community set as the bar for steering feels and handling prowess.  E30s are so highly regarded by enthusiasts it’s becoming very rare to find examples that haven’t been ravaged by a tuner or two.  Consequently, this example appealed to us as it has the much more desirable 5-speed manual transmission connected to the wonderful 2.5-liter inline-six that appears to be bone stock.

We like how the seller has completely gone through what appears to be an honest, if high mile, E30 BMW. As long as the seller can provide a well-documented service history in addition to receipts for all of the items mentioned below while on his watch, you’ll be buying a nice example of an E30 that is RADwood eligible that will be a joy to drive to the event, especially an unmolested example like this one.  We hope the next caretaker keeps it that way and doesn’t do anything to modify their new E30. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling my nice 1989 E30 convertible. I won’t claim that this car has been “restored,” but since I bought it last summer, all the necessary refurbishing and repairs have been done to make it a very presentable, totally reliable driver:

• New top
• New leather upholstery
• New Coverlay dash cover
• New tires
• New timing belt/water pump
• New A/C compressor, condenser, receiver drier, hoses, etc. — System converted to R-134a
• New Front and rear OEM bumpers
• New odometer gears
• New blower motor
• Rebuilt steering rack and one new lower control arm
• Replaced auxiliary fan
• Other small parts too numerous to mention
• Removed crappy aftermarket radio and installed OEM blanking plate (wiring and speakers still there).
• Repaired some surface rust under the trunk lid; previous owner said he had also repaired some rust in trunk area.

Yes, it does have an automatic, and yes, that automatic is a 30+ year-old 4-speed. Shifts just fine once it warms up. Car starts and runs perfectly, and everything works. Overhead warning light will sometimes tell you that the brake lights are out, but they actually always work just as they should–not sure what that’s all about.

Passed MD inspection last summer, and there’s no reason I can think of that it wouldn’t pass again. Showed 173xxx miles when I bought it, but the odometer was obviously running slow and I have no idea for how long, so just to be safe, I guesstimate actual mileage at somewhere around 185,000. Odometer now runs properly with new gears. Carfax report is available for serious buyers. I will not respond to scams that request (and provide a link to) other supposed car reports.

Convertible season is upon us, and there are no restrictions on going for a nice drive in your classic E30.

Do you have a BMW E30 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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