Your Projects: What Would You Do With a $250 BMW?

By Colin Wood
Dec 22, 2020 | BMW, E46, Your Projects, 330i

There are inexpensive cars, and then there are cheap cars—you know, like the ones that frequently turn up at the $2000 Challenge and sometimes finish the event in one piece. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate a good beater (we're always pleasantly surprised by what those Challenge cars are capable of every year). There is something freeing about getting behind the wheel of a car that didn’t require signing away an arm and leg.

Such is the case for forum user Opti, who just recently was able to score an E46-chassis 2001 BMW 330i for only $250. Yeah, the car was listed for such a low amount because it needs a transmission, but the BMW does have a few high points: a “surprisingly clean” body as well as new struts, shocks, tires and brakes. The previous owner even said he'd throw in a bunch of parts, though Opti isn’t expecting much from that part of the deal.

The plan is to get the BMW running and driving for under $2000. To learn whether or not Opti was able to achieve that goal, you’ll have to check out the build thread over on the Builds and Project Cars Forum.

Also, what's the cheapest car you were able to score? Bonus points if it could (legally) run and drive.

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View comments on the GRM forums
RichardSIA HalfDork
12/23/20 12:08 a.m.

Best recent? Free Miata with a fair amount of performance equipment.

Bad valve stem seals so could not pass CA smog but ran fine except for the heavy oil use/smoke cloud behind it. "Legal" in my state so long as no one phoned me in. Swapped in another used engine and had the same issue all over again about 15K miles later. Forget used engines, do a rebuild and do it only once.

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