Euro Market Import: 1991 BMW E30 318i Touring – SOLD!

Feb 2022 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

March 22, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “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.

February 19, 2022 Update – We just came across a new listing designed to replace the expiring original Craigslist ad for this 1991 BMW E30 Estate.  The description, pictures, and asking price of $16,500 all remain the same.

It’s interesting: if you’re hot for a Japanese market vehicle and have a connection to an importer, you might jump right onto the Skyline bandwagon, or find an off-road-ready Pajero. But if you’re all about that European gray market lifestyle, you may be more likely to consider something like this: an E30 wagon that was never sold stateside. This 1991 BMW 318i Touring was originally listed in February 2022 on Craigslist in Lakeland, Florida, and presents well with excellent cosmetics that seemingly survived the ocean journey over to the U.S.  The seller is firm on his price of $16,500, and while there’s no direct comparison in the price guides for a long-roof E30, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool at least confirms that a 1991 325i in “Good” condition is worth $16,200.

The world of imported vehicles can be a tricky place for anyone, but especially for first-time buyers who love the idea of some forbidden fruit but haven’t fully thought out what their best move is. With a car like this, you are getting an incredibly clean specimen of an E30 wagon, with an awesome factory color in excellent condition and an interior that looks like it was barely used. The tricky thing about buying a car like this is being aware that from a trim standpoint, this is a base model that wouldn’t get a second look in Europe. I would likely ask similar money to what the seller is looking for, but that doesn’t mean as a buyer I’d pay it. The 318i is powered by the venerable M42 engine which is certainly a fine performer and great on gas, but it’s not silky smooth like the classic M20 2.5 liter inline-six.

The creator of the Skrrt Garage YouTube channel provides a review is virtually identical BMW E30 318i Touring and why he finds it so special:

If this were an IX wagon with all-wheel-drive or a leather-equipped model powered by the standard-issue M20, I could see the seller getting his price – but even with a rare color like this wagon has, many buyers don’t want the four-cylinder if they’re going to pony up and spend real money. There’s been a rash of these low-spec imports that get trotted out like the best thing since sliced bread, and it makes you wonder how many buyers spend too much getting it here only to realize that even with the rarity of the wagon, you end up upside down on it in a hurry as the shipping costs are yours to own; the next caretaker isn’t going to pay the same amount that the importer did. Regardless, if you’re a European car fan, you’ll love knowing this wagon has all the overseas features we didn’t get standard on the E30, from the first aid kit in the boot to the “Smiley” headlights to the whip-style antenna on the roof. It’s a conversation piece for sure, and far easier to acquire when it’s already stateside versus trying to find one yourself overseas.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“91 318i 5speed with 114,000 miles (184k km), completely stock and in amazing shape, sunroof, crack-free dash, working odometer, good headliner, has all floor factory mats, factory euro smiley headlights, just had a paint correction (polish) done and the color shows really well.

 

This car was imported from Germany last year and currently has a clean Florida title. All paperwork comes with the car.
Price is firm, email for more info.
Located in Lakeland, FL.

Do you have a BMW 3-Series Wagon story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. tbm3fan

    I like older BMWs but there is a caveat. At 30 years old there will be little, if any, BMW OEM parts available. That means having to use generic OEM parts with all the variable fitment and quality issues which I why I avoid the cars. Also why do cars out of Lakeland FL always ring a bad bell in the back of my head?

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