Clean E30 Coupe: 1990 BMW 325i
A few years ago, if you said you were selling your E30-chassis BMW to fund the purchase of an air-cooled Porsche, the other party in the conversation would have said you were crazy. However, those days are gone, as a nice E30 will net you a decent number, even if it’s only a down-payment on a decent air-cooled. That’s the seller’s plan for this clean 1990 325i listed here on Craigslist in Owings Mills, Maryland for $16,000 with the rare cloth “Sport” interior. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has priced his E30 fairly, as a “Good” condition car is $14,000 and a model in “Excellent” condition is $21,900.
When BMW created the E30 chassis 3-Series, the company effectively found a way to marry the fierce handling abilities of the 2002 and the refinement of the E21 series. It was an impressive feat, as both preceding generations were distinctively different in terms of their virtues, with many enthusiasts missing the out-of-the-box abilities of the 2002 but appreciative of the reductions in N/V/H made possible by the 320i (even if the drivetrain was a bit of a setback). The E30, introduced in the middle 80s, put compelling handling, willing inline-six engines, and comfortable – if not luxurious – interiors into one sensibly priced package. Today, they are sought after for these reasons, as well as the fact that it’s getting increasingly difficult to find good ones.
We sourced this 1990 BMW 325i commercial currently posted on YouTube as it reminds us of how performance-oriented BMW used to be:
This example definitely appears to be such a car, and it’s been treated to some OEM+ upgrades along with $8,000 in claimed receipts from the last several years. Some of the big-ticket maintenance items include a new head gasket and machined head, all new rubber components (hoses and suspension bushings, presumably), and lots of other items detailed in a generous photo gallery of records. The seller also notes that the air conditioning works, and the typically cracked dash shows no such flaws. There is one accident noted which resulted in a repair and paintwork to the passenger fender. The real bonus here is the cloth “Sport” interior, which is rarely seen and in excellent condition. Other work worth nothing includes a full respray and suspension refresh by a previous owner. A lot of work done for the money, and likely worth every penny if it looks this good in person. Good luck with the purchase if you choose to take this E30 home.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Full photo album here:
Numbers matching E30 325i, sterling silver on blue cloth. 121k miles. Odometer has never stopped working. I have owned it for 4 years and now I’m selling to make space for a classic 911.
3 owners, previous owner added a bunch of 325is and euro bits, did a windows-out respray, had some interior bits re-upholstered, timing belt, and suspension overhaul.
Everything works except for the things listed below. AC blows ice cold. Crack-free dash. I frequently use it for ~200-mile weekend trips from MD to NJ.
Has never let me down in the ~30k miles I’ve put on it. Clean carfax except for a low-speed fender bender in 2018, which dented the front passenger fender. Hammered out, resprayed, & blended. See the last pic in the photo gallery for damage.
~$8k in receipts over the last 4 years. New head gasket, head re-machined. No leaks since 2018. Almost all rubber in the engine and throughout the car replaced. All work is done by BMW master tech. Service records available in the linked photo gallery. Oil changes every 5k.
Comes with an e30 cup holder, original steering wheel, Mtech 1 steering wheel, dash mat, e30 sunshade, and some spare fluids.
Car is available to view in Baltimore County, Maryland. Test drives with proof of funds. Not trying to hide anything. Please see the list below for the known flaws. I’m sure that the first person to see this car in person will buy it.
– Intermittent long crank when the ambient temp is near or below freezing. Solved by letting the car spin up for a couple of minutes before cranking or giving some gas while starting the car. Hunts for idle and then is perfect once warm.
– Driver and passenger side bolster have ~1″ of the seam starting to separate.
– Driver side door pocket partially detached. Pic shows that it’s held in place by a clip.
– Clutch pedal squeaks. Spring needs replacement or lubrication.
– Passenger side window intermittently sticks.
– Power antenna intermittently sticks.”
Do you have a BMW 325i story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!