E30 is the new 02 – 1988 BMW 325is

It’s probably no revelation to anyone reading here that BMW’s E10 series of cars (2002s, 1600s, and their derivatives) are rising in price. And it’s probably also no surprise that while the E10’s successor, the E21 (sold in 320i and 320is form in North America) is not so prized by enthusiasts due to a less-than-exciting driving experience, that car’s replacement was a great comeback for BMW. The E30, initially released as the BMW 318i, soon sprouted a 6-cylinder engine and a 4-door version, as well as a touring (station wagon) version not sold in North America. You can find today’s 1988 BMW 325is listed for $3000 in west San Jose, CA.

1988 BMW 325is left front

Mostly, E30s in this price range come in boring colors like gold, or have an automatic, or 4 doors, or a combination of all of those. This car has glossy black paint, tasteful aftermarket wheels, and a manual transmission. It’s also a 325is, instead of a 325e. It does have a salvage title, so you’ll want to investigate very thoroughly to make sure the repairs were properly done, and that the salvage was the result of the car’s low resale value rather than critical damage.

1988 BMW 325is right rear

The seller lists off many new parts in the cooling, exhaust and suspension systems, as well as some needs. The most critical of these is a timing belt, as well as the accessory belts and water pump. Find out when the last belt change was, and if there’s even a shred of doubt, have it flat-bedded to your garage. Apparently the belt change is pretty straightforward on these, so why not learn on a relatively inexpensive car?

1988 BMW 325is interior

The interior is where the car has the most cosmetic needs – the seats are torn, dash is cracked, and the driver’s door handle and glovebox latch are broken. It does have the cool sport steering wheel – again, what is up with the steering wheel cover? Unfortunately, the seller does not offer a picture of the engine – but hey, that’s because nothing’s wrong with it, right? Anyhow, if you’re willing to do a little wrenching to get things going, you could have a fun ride for reasonably short money.

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