Preserved Sport Package Car: 1987 BMW 325is – $13,400
The first cars to enjoy a ride on the Radwood wave were the most iconic models from the 1980s, those vehicles that seemingly defined a particular niche or segment of the consumer population. Much like today, the entry-level BMW – the ubiquitous 3-Series – is the vehicle of choice for anyone sensing their career is on an upward trajectory. The E30 chassis cars remain the high water mark for the platform, and original cars like this sport package-equipped 1987 325is here on Craigslist in Bethesda, Maryland are considered the most prized models outside of the exceedingly expensive M3. The seller is asking $13,400, which compares favorably against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool which pegs an “Excellent” car at $20,700 and a “Good” quality example at $13,200. Finding a first-year IS car with all of its original equipment intact isn’t easy, so get a hold of the seller through email by contacting him here. Be sure to tell him you saw his E30 on GuysWithRides.com.
The 3-Series was offered in a few different flavors, ranging from fuel economy-minded-“E” models to the more sporting “I” and “IS” editions, which offered the same 2.5L fuel-injected M20 inline-six, with different equipment packages to set them apart. What made the E30 chassis so special was its ability to offer absolutely unflappable handling with a torquey and willing six-cylinder upfront at a price point that didn’t rule it out for all but the highest income earners. Of course, BMW has abandoned many of these qualities that earned it a loyal following among enthusiasts beginning with the venerable 2002, which helps explain why the E30 – seen by many as the last truly great car the company built – remains so popular today.
The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel Features this interesting video comparing a very similar 1988 325is to BMW’s K100RS motorcycle of the time:
This example is the coveted Sport Package model, which featured stiffer suspension, heavily-bolstered sport seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, rear spoiler, front air dam, and a limited-slip differential, among other add-ons. Many times, one or all of those components are missing by this stage in the car’s life, either lost to time or to young owners who sell the parts off to buy a subwoofer or aftermarket exhaust. The seller’s pictures show an ideal color combo too, with the desirable cardinal red leather inside, still in a good state but with some signs of age evident. The seller is asking a fair price, but the cracked dash and aftermarket radio will likely dissuade purists from making an immediate offer. Fun fact: the ’87 IS cars had brake cooling ducts plumbed into the lower air vents on the front air dam; if you find a car with them still attached, make sure they’re attached securely, as you’ll never find another set. Good luck with the purchase if you choose to take this clean sport package E30 home!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1987 BMW Black with Classic Red 325 is 5 speed. Thousands of dollars in recent service work, it is in extremely good condition for it’s age and drives beautifully. Service receipts date back to 2012 from 2 previous owners. Carfax shows no accidents but true mileage is unknown as it appears an odometer replacement occurred in 1996. I can find no evidence of paintwork anywhere on the car minus the front air dam which I had repainted. All scans with a paint meter are good. Beautiful Red Leather interior.
Serious inquiries only, please don’t waste my time and I promise I won’t waste yours. If it does not sell before winter I will put it in for finishing touches, use it, craigslist, and sell it next spring. Send your name and number and enough in your reply for me to know you are real, been craigslisting a long time, if you have too you know what I’m asking.
I will show it by appointment in order. Thanks for looking and be safe.”
Do you have a BMW 3-Series story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!