Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 7:51 p.m.

Hey guys,

Now that I sold my Datsun I am looking for a new car. I want a coupe/sedan/wagon/something with a rear seat,so no two-seaters. My friend suggested maybe an early 80's BMW 320is. What can you guys tell me about these cars? Are they reliable? Are they expensive to own,and fix? Any help/input is welcome.

Chris

bam2002 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 8:05 p.m.

before 85 they would be the e21.. they are slow and OK cars. I would go after 1985 and get 325is or 325E.

DO a search on e30.. here.. Also check out http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/index.php

Bimmerfest and http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/index.php

They have e30 . 325 areas.. In the Stickys on the top there is all you need to know.

They are fiun cars. I have a few of them.

Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 8:11 p.m.

Slow is a relative term. I own a mostly stock 78 RX-7,and I love the performance of it. I know it is a slow car,but it is fun,and that is what I care about.

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 4, 2009 8:20 p.m.

the E30 is one of the best affordible cars ever made. There is a reason it ranks up there with the miata in our books

Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 8:23 p.m.

I think my budget is more in the e21 range though.

mtn SuperDork
Oct. 4, 2009 8:31 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: I think my budget is more in the e21 range though.

Sub $1000?

Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 9:07 p.m.

No I have a budget of $4000-$5000.

RexSeven Dork
Oct. 4, 2009 9:15 p.m.

$4000-5000 should get you a very nice E30, or even an early E36. Problem is finding that nice E30; a quick search of CL yields only project cars. E36s are plentiful, however, and I even found a couple of E21s:

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/1393158159.html
http://worcester.craigslist.org/cto/1404935176.html

Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 9:28 p.m.

Wow I am such a dope!!! I can't believe I spelled school wrong in the title. Can a mod help fix my spelling error?

JeepinMatt Reader
Oct. 4, 2009 9:47 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: Wow I am such a dope!!! I can't believe I spelled school wrong in the title. Can a mod help fix my spelling error?

It's ok, spelling errors are allowed here. We're a bunch of people who take perfectly good cars apart, just to put them back together and occasionally fling them around around a track at speed for no reason other than for kicks.

4-5k will get you a very nice E30. In fact, I say find one for about 2k, which will get you a mechanically-decent E30 that will leave you money to upgrade what needs to be replaced.

TJ HalfDork
Oct. 4, 2009 11:36 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: Wow I am such a dope!!! I can't believe I spelled school wrong in the title. Can a mod help fix my spelling error?

It may take a moderator to fix the title but you could fix the first post where you call us gays....not that there is anything wrong with that.

mtn SuperDork
Oct. 5, 2009 12:26 a.m.

If you have a 4000 budget, I can't think of any reason to go with an E21 unless you have a bunch of parts cars already laying around.

nderwater Reader
Oct. 5, 2009 12:59 a.m.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/mid-80s-535i/14674/page1/

Mazdax605 Reader
Oct. 5, 2009 3:26 a.m.
TJ wrote:
Mazdax605 wrote: Wow I am such a dope!!! I can't believe I spelled school wrong in the title. Can a mod help fix my spelling error?

It may take a moderator to fix the title but you could fix the first post where you call us gays....not that there is anything wrong with that.

Wow I really messed up that post. I guess it was a longer day than I thought. All fixed,sorry about that.

Chris

gamby SuperDork
Oct. 5, 2009 7:58 a.m.

FWIW, the E21 is pretty rare in our area now. Plenty of E30's, but I don't see E21's on the road almost ever.

If you have a broad search area, then you'll turn something up. If I were still a BMWCCA member, I'd be able to track some down for you.

Finding someone w/ a Roundel subscription would help a ton.

stuart in mn SuperDork
Oct. 5, 2009 8:11 a.m.

Chances are an e21 wquld end up being more expensive than an e30 after you fix it up and get it roadworthy. 4,000-5,000 should get you a pretty decent e30, and it will be a lot better car.

Tim Baxter Online Editor
Oct. 5, 2009 8:17 a.m.

I loved my E21, but the E30 is a better car. Around here, 5 grand will buy you E30s all day long, but if you can even find an E21 it will be rusted to nothing.

walterj Dork
Oct. 5, 2009 8:35 a.m.

An E21 with 4 banger (mechanical FI), dogleg trans and a 4:10 is a marvelous thing to toss around a track but... in a world where an E36 328i is under $5k (and you can buy 5 running E30s for that money) it would have to be showroom perfect or have a racing logbook to make sense.

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 5, 2009 8:37 a.m.

I have seen fixer-upper E30M3s go for not much more than you budget. There is one on ebay now for around $6000... not that you would want it

Travis_K HalfDork
Oct. 5, 2009 9:27 a.m.

For a budget of $5k, I think you would have no problem buying a $1200 project E30 and fixing it up to be a reliable driver. They are getting pretty old for very many to be left that are ready to just get in and start driving. I wanted to get one, but I wasnt interested in driving my shelby charger another few months while i fixed one up, so i had to look elsewhere.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

From the GRM Vault: Our First Drive of the Original BMW M3

7 hours ago in Articles

We tested BMW's E30-chassis M3 back in 1989. Here's what we thought.

Great Moments in $2000 Challenge History: Minor Gasser

9 hours ago in Articles

Here's what happens when you put a Chevy 350 in a Morris Minor.

What’s the Soonest That You Have Raced Your New Purchase?

14 hours ago in News

This BMW M3 was wearing numbers 24 hours after getting registered.

Follow Us to the Nürburgring

1 day ago in News

Follow along as James Clay from BimmerWorld contests his first ADAC Zurich 24-Hour race at the Nürburgring.

You Need This: 2005 Lotus Elise

1 day ago in News

A Lotus Elise looks so right in British Racing Green.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

1 day ago in New Car Reviews

We're big fans of the Mazda MX-5. Now Mazda went and put a retractable fastback on their fourth-generation car. So, ...

Project Ramp Truck: Installing Sound Deadening

1 day ago in Project Cars

Time to cut down on heat and road noise making its way into the cab.

Eric Foss Sets Fastest Time Ever at the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge

2 days ago in News

47 of the country's fastest cars battled it out for track supremacy.

Who Wants to Design the Next GRM T-Shirt?

2 days ago in News

Blipshift is involved, so you know that it will be cool.

Reader's Ride of the Week: Improving Upon the Ultimate Driving Machine

2 days ago in News

This E36-chassis M3 just keeps getting better.

What Was the Most Powerful Car at the Grassroots Motorsports Dyno Day?

2 days ago in News

What if we told you it was an Audi?

Up to the Challenge

5 days ago in Articles

Torque: It's how Glen Bunch's vintage Dodge keeps pace with today's machines.

OUR SPONSORS

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
vDDi7Idzq05BJ3LGuoQ1A6iCnwQvgl5z