Let’s face it – while the E30 is recognized by some as the last real BMW, or (take your pick) cult classic, future classic, or “modern” 2002, it’s still a fairly common used car, at least in the drier states. Finding one requires sifting through piles of beaters, and once you get through that you might also want to eliminate the automatic transmission cars from consideration, as well as the iX models with the needlessly complex all-wheel-drive, and the early 318i with its gutless four-cylinder. That really doesn’t leave very many cars, so it’s nice to find a clean, affordable car with a manual transmission and a top that goes down. Kind of. You can find this 1992 BMW 325iC for sale for $3595 in Berkeley, CA.
Calypso red metallic is a rare color, and this car’s body appears to be in very good condition – no lifting clear coat, and no noticeable dents. It’s less common that the later versions of a car are more appealing, but later E30s benefited from smaller bumpers and the attractive BBS mesh-style wheels. Fortunately, this car doesn’t succumb to the typical red-on-tan color scheme, although the black offered here is rather bleak, as well as getting awfully hot if you leave it parked top-down in the sun.
Speaking of the top, the mechanism has apparently failed, and while it does go up and down, the seller says the movement is less than perfect. The back window also needs replacement, so you’ll definitely need to count on spending some repair time and money on that part of the car. The car has about 185,000 miles on it, and 25,000 on the timing belt – if the owner has not replaced that in the last 3 years or so, you’re probably best off replacing it as cheap insurance.
The car is said to have a new battery, recent tires and a new front end a few years ago. It also shows a history of consistently passing smog tests – if you can get records, you might want to check to see if there are any trends in the results to get an idea of the engine’s health. The engine compartment looks fairly clean, if a little dusty, so perhaps a round of preventative maintenance will be all you need to do.
Considering the mileage, the interior looks to be in excellent shape. There is a hint of light wear on the driver’s seat bolster, but no visible tearing in the leather. As it’s a convertible, a thorough cleaning and conditioning of the leather would probably be a wise investment of your time. These cars are known for their longevity, and the appearances suggest this one’s had a life of good care – with continued maintenance, you could easily several more years’ service before major service is required.