This 1989 BMW 325iX started out with an automatic transmission in Dayton, Ohio and currently sports a 5 speed in Los Angeles. Even though it has accumulated 190k miles in the intervening years, it still looks excellent. A good deal of recent service, including the 5 speed swap and a suspension only adds to the appeal.
The 4 door E30's are our favorite body style for these BMW’s, and the AWD system only adds to the appeal (and complexity). Many of these "snow tigers" were hampered by automatic transmissions (which makes sense, if you're buying for practicality) but this one received a 5 speed 5 years ago at 167k miles. No details are given about the donor transmission, but we'll take our chances that if someone went through the pain to perform a swap, that they used a solid transmission.
The car has been detailed inside and out, and it presents extremely well in photos. The interior looks incredibly clean -- nearly verging on "Armor All commercial" level shine overkill. Outside, things are straight with the original paint shining up nicely.
Minor issues are listed including some seepage from the transfer case and some problems with the central locking system. The seller stresses that his mechanic says the seal in the transfer case is not a pressing matter, and the central locking system is always a weak point in these E30's.
Of greater interest, is the extensive maintenance records and recent work. New tires, a stater, head gasket "rebuild" (?), a new DME, and a new idle control valve have all been fitted / performed in the last few years. A few CV boots have also recently been replaced along with the catalytic converter. A "suspension swap" was also performed when the new transmission was installed though no details are given.
We dig the basket weave wheels (though we wish they were gold) and that the original steering wheel and head unit are included.
There are definite risks to buying a car with a major swap like this, though even sight unseen we feel better about this E30 than many of the "original" specimens that are out there.
Find this uber-E30 on eBay in Los Angeles, CA.
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