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At $12,000, Could This Rehabilitated 1991 BMW 318is Restore Your Faith?

Graverobber Oct 23, 2018. 24 comments
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

If you don’t have anything to do today, you can take a look at the build the seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bimmer undertook. You’ll have to decide if a better use of your time might be just buying it.

How’s your week going so far? You made it though Monday at least. Monday’s are usually pretty rough—it’s the start of a new work week for most, and there’s probably stuff you put off from last week still piled up. Ugh.

I can tell you one person who probably was probably having an alright Monday, and that’s the seller of yesterday’s 2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD . He had set a $5,500 price tag for his red rocket, and that seemed spot on for the majority of you. An 87 percent Nice Price win is a good way to start anybody’s week.

If that Volvo was joy bringing, then today’s majorly resorted 1991 BMW 318is might just make you giddy. It’s pretty nice, rarer than a blue steak, and probably one of the cleanest examples around.

Now, the 1991 318is is a bit of a cult classic. Playing scrappy little brother to its 325is sibling, the four-cylinder car still carried the same aero aids and suspension upgrades as its bigger bro. This is a great example of a slow car car that’s fun to drive fast.

How slow? Well, from the factory there was only 134 horsepower on tap. The car makes the most of that through a five-speed Getrag manual and posi rear end. The smaller engine’s lighter weight makes the 318 a bit more flingable than its six sporting counterpart, if a little rougher when you put a foot into the revs while doing so.

This one has a few tricks up its sleeve. First off, it’s a two-owner car, and its second owner has imbued it with a freshening that would make Professor Henry Higgins tear up with pride. The years-long build was completely documented on the r3vlimited E30 forum and man what a job.

We won’t go into that here, but we can revel in its completion and hit a few of the highlights along the way. Let’s start with that M42 under the bonnet. This was the only year the E30 got an is with the DOHC 16V four, and this one has been groomed with updated oiling, new gasketry and timing chain, and a coil on plug ignition.

Behind and below that is a refreshed and rebuilt suspension rocking Bilstein shocks and lowering (but not too low) springs. The front subframe has been welded in and the bushings have gone all poly want a cracker.

Other updates and changes include rebuilt sport seats in natty corduroy, a dash out of a European 316 which the seller says is ‘more-symmetrical and “de-cluttered.”’ If that’s not your bag, the original dash is included in the sale. The factory tiller has also been replaced, in this case with a Momo wheel. That brand’s pedal covers and floor mats really tie the room together.

The exterior is painted in Brilliant Red and looks sweet as a beet. Dark-painted BBS basket weaves underpin and bookend Racing Dynamics side skirts. Those could be considered questionable but are subtle enough that you might not care.

Plus you’d probably be pulled into this car’s siren song as the seller describes it as “Magical” and claims the 153K car drives like “NIRVANA.” It comes with a clean title an exclamation mark-free Carfax, plus all that work that you don’t have to do to enjoy it.

What you do need to get behind this sweet E30’s wheel is $12,000. That’s the asking, and I’m going to preface the vote solicitation by noting that these cars are rare and ones like this are getting even more so. This is also a situation where rarity does indeed equal desirability.

With that in mind, what’s your take on this 318is and that $12,000 asking? Does that seem like a fair price for the destination if not for the journey? Or, for that much, would it just need to be a six?

You decide!

Madison, WI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Twowheelsev AND Jason for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

24 Comments

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