Considering buying ...
Hi! I'm considering buying a 1987 325i (4D sedan) from a friend. I'm looking for something that can handle short drives around town (city) and the occasional highway roadtrip. My friend was nice enough to let me drive it for a few days, and I really like it. It has 245,000 miles on it, and he's asking $1,000. Do you think this is a fair price? Any caveats about this model? Thanks, all!
its $1,000. buy it. beat it. when it dies sell it to a junk yard for $300. go for it
Thats a hit or miss situation. I would take it to a service centre (not a BMW dealer) and ask what they thing is going to need replacing soon, and how much it will cost and that will give you a perspective. Thats a lot of miles on an old car. It has only done around 12K a year which isn't bad, but the main aspect would be if your friend has kept up with the oil changes every 5k and belts and flushing of the fluid systems. If it is in good condition and been taken care off there should be nothing stopping you from getting it.
These cars are very reliable if taken care of properly. At 245,000 miles its sure to have a couple issues, so don't go expecting some mint piece. The timing belt will most likely need to be changed, change the water pump while you are in there. If its automatic, the transmission is probably on its last leg. The manual trans seems to hold up far better. The engine itself is pretty robust, just make sure the timing belt is changed every 60,000. change the oil, keep good coolant in it. Its an old car, make sure you check the oil level at every fuel up. Its bound to drop a little here and there, but nothing major in my experience. There is actually a racing class for these cars specifically. Its called Spec E30 and is organized by NASA (national auto sport association). Check your car out for rust, make sure there isn't an obscene amount. Considering the mileage, it may be worth it to invest in shocks/struts and springs. I currently have the H&R Race springs and the Bilstein sport shock/struts. There is a large enthusiast network for these cars and they are all pretty knowledgable about them. Check out r3vlimited.net and e30tech.net They will have an answer to just about anything you can imagine. Just a warning, the electronics in the cabin will probably be sketch at best, but these cars are way worth it.