Best Colors: 1987 BMW E30 325ic – Sold?
December 1, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
It’s amazing to see a car like the E30 3-Series convertible become as valuable as it has given it used to be one of the most widely accessible classics in existence. Between its relatively manageable maintenance requirements and availability of spare parts, it’s not surprising it’s become so popular. The car seen here is a 1987 325i convertible that features one of the more desirable color combinations of Alpine White over Cardinal Red, and it was originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Burlington, Vermont with some cosmetic needs for $12,500. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his E30 priced fairly, with a “Good” condition model pegged at $18,300 and a “Fair” example at $6,400.
The lowest price offered by Hagerty used to buy you a very nice E30, but those days are long gone. Still, the positive aspect of the model’s popularity means plenty of examples ended up in non-enthusiast hands, especially the convertible, so you can still sniff out a good deal for a very nice car if you’re patient. Unfortunately, plenty of casual car fans have figured out that you can ask real money for one of these, so at the very least, you’ll want to make sure the maintenance is up to par before laying out the cash for a car that’s been valued according to current popularity. The timing belt and water pump is a must-do if you buy one without documentation of it having been done, so consider that a negotiating tool when trying to bring one of these inline-six powered convertibles home.
The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features this vintage road test of a similar spec 1987 BMW 325ic convertible:
The seller’s car does feature a few key must-haves, with the most obvious one being the manual transmission. The M20 inline-six-cylinder engine is a joy to drive, but especially when you have three pedals. The other advantage is the color scheme, which features the more desirable interior shade of Cardinal Red, but the seller’s car has been altered slightly with a non-factory-style retrim, which you can spot a mile away due to the lack of horizontal stripes on the leather surfaces of the front bucket seats. The rear seats still appear to be factory leather, and surprisingly, the top of the bench hasn’t split apart, which is a common fault of E30s that have been left in the sun with the top down. The seller doesn’t go overboard on the description but does mention that the 325i is originally from California and has no rust, and also features a crack-free dash and recent top. No mention of the timing belt, so take that into consideration if you head to the negotiation table.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1987 325i alpine white on cardinal 152k miles 5spd 1 previous owner California car, newer paint couple nicks here and there, radio is oem and I do not have the code unlock it. Newer top in good shape runs and drives great interior is in pretty good shape no tears but the top of the back seat is showing some cracking and shrinking, no rust crack free dash
Burlington vt 05403
Cash or bank check.”
Do you have a BMW 325i story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!