May 22, 2009

Race & Bake: Rare Euro-Spec BMW E30 Touring On eBay US


Though it's not rare anywhere else, the BMW E30 3-series station wagon was never imported to the US, so this 1991 6-cylinder Touring is a find. Loaded with $35,000 in restoration and tuner receipts, the seller says this little wagon is one of just 10-15 in the country, and that it was imported grey market--and titled in Massachusetts without being federalized. While the seller pays attention to every detail of every mod, I confess I actually can't figure out which inline-6 he has, whether it's a 323 or 325. Also:

Originally a german car the cluster was in KM. I found a used US cluster that was 250 mi MORE than the km one (when converted to Mi) I drove the car around with tools until the clusters matched and then swapped in the US cluster (photo documented) so it reads actual chassis mileage!
--and no A/C. Because who in Germany gets A/C? No one, that's who. $35,000, chassis-matched KM-to-MPH speedo conversion--and you'll be frying your ass off in your black barnstormer for the first four months after you take delivery.

1991 BMW E30 Touring, BIN for $25,500, hurry, only 18 hours to go! [ebaymotors via dt reader dt]

interesting update:: the secret wagon fans and restoration experts at Bring A Trailer have come out in force to talk about this car. Long story short: it's awesome, but probably hot in the summer.

update: after a couple of price drops and relists, this rig finally sold for $12,201 this week.


I've actually seen a couple of these for sale in Canada a few years ago but I have no idea if they were imported to this country. What it really made me realise is that I don't recall ever seeing an E36 wagon, not even in photos (although I've probably walked right by them on the street in Japan while gawking at GT-Rs). Pretty sweet looking car, as was that E30.

While we're on the topic of 3-series wagons that will never be sold here, after driving the 335d sedan at a BMW test drive track event last month, I can't believe they don't sell a touring wagon with that (ridiculously over-torqued) diesel powerplant here. You think the wagon body style would appeal to the same people who like diesels, especially if the crazy numbers for the Jetta Sportwagen TDI I've heard are true.

(And since I'm segueing all over the place here, can we talk about this next? :) )

Neat, but silly. You can pick up a 2 year old BMW CPO 325 wagon for about the same price as this car, and still have warranty coverage.

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