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    Newbie looking for advice

    Greetings! My name is Max and I registered for this forum all of 10 minutes ago. I've been searching and reading this site sporadically over the past few months for information and I've decided that I would like to buy an E30 to match my old BMW motorcycle. However, I still have not driven one and have functionally zero experience. I was hoping I could get some information from the regulars here before setting off to look at one in particular. Here is the advert link for it:

    https://www.coches.net/bmw-serie-3-3...6641-covo.aspx

    Essentially what I am looking for:

    - white or red, near mint 318is
    - cloth seats
    - relatively stock, little or no mods
    - No Rust.

    What I would like to know from you guys is more of a blanket check for things I might not be aware of as a new and inexperienced buyer. Is there anything I should be looking for? Do you guys see anything that stands out based on the ad or the pictures? I have checked over a few buyers guides, but a lot of them can be summarized as "check the wheel wells and the timing belt", and I can't help but feel there should be more to it than that.

    To look at this car, I basically have to go from western Pennsylvania to NYC, fly to Barcelona, and then take a 4-hour bus south to Valencia. I really only get one good chance to look it over in person and don't want to miss anything. Needless to say, I appreciate any and all insight that is offered. Thank you all in advance. Here is my bike, just for fun:

    Click image for larger version

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    #2
    Is this a joke? You are really going to fly from Pennsylvania to Spain, look at, and potentially buy a 318is? Just a regular 318is. It doesn't even have sport seats. I mean, you have yet to drive one and don't even know if you will like it. Now if this was a 320is with the S14, OK. I can see someone possibly doing that. But this just seems too far fetched to be real.
    How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


    Could be better, could be worse.

    Comment


      #3
      100% not a joke. I am looking to move to that region later this year, but I am also unfortunately bound by a work contract for several more months. I'm going in a few weeks for other reasons, and figured I would check this during the trip.

      The common opinion is that really clean cars are hard to find, right?

      Comment


        #4
        Ok, that makes a little more sense now that there are more pieces to the puzzle. My suggestion is to find someone local who will take you for a drive in a stock 318is and get a feel for it. They might let you drive, which would be better. And then if you are still interested to cast a much larger net than just a 318is. You will be over the pond and have so much more easy access to stuff that is difficult to find here. There are no diving boards over the pond so if that is why you were looking at the plastic bumper models over here. Check out the early model E30s with the euro bumpers and color matched euro bumpers. Early model ix variants and tourings. You could find a 320is like I posted on my previous reply. Do more research. A 318is does not have a timing belt.

        As for rust, look for the usual suspects. Front and rear battery boxes, behind the fuse box and anywhere it is difficult to dry. If you could look under the carpet that would be great but most people are not going to tear the car apart for you to inspect it. Most likely if they are going to try and hide something from you then you are not going to see it unless you have an experienced eye for it. Ask to have a PPI done at a BMW dealership and pay for it out of pocket if you have to. But be prepared to spend a lot of money to keep it reliable or a lot of time learning and doing it yourself.

        The reason you are not receiving much feedback is because your question is the same/similar question that has been asked many, many times before.

        How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
        http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


        Could be better, could be worse.

        Comment


          #5
          Oh for sure, I totally believe that X people have asked this stuff before.

          Unfortunately, Europe seems quite aware of how valuable the 320is is- the cheapest I was able to find was floating around $26k USD. I guess I'll just keep looking up information. Thank you so much for your help.

          Comment


            #6
            Do be aware that some Spanish market M42 cars were sold without a catalyst from new and were/are tuned for lower octane. Not sure about the present day implications of that emissions classification, but it's worth exploring any possible restrictions.

            As a good alternative, you could always pick up a 1.8L M40 powered touring for better MPG/utility. Unless you are a completely unreasonable person I suspect that you would find the mere 115 HP engine totally adequate. As a bonus, and if the M42 is something you are interested in, an M42 is a truly simple upgrade to any M40 powered car as they share the same engine block and drivetrain.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
              Do be aware that some Spanish market M42 cars were sold without a catalyst from new and were/are tuned for lower octane. Not sure about the present day implications of that emissions classification, but it's worth exploring any possible restrictions.

              As a good alternative, you could always pick up a 1.8L M40 powered touring for better MPG/utility. Unless you are a completely unreasonable person I suspect that you would find the mere 115 HP engine totally adequate. As a bonus, and if the M42 is something you are interested in, an M42 is a truly simple upgrade to any M40 powered car as they share the same engine block and drivetrain.
              I am in fact not a reasonable person: my last car was an Audi B5 S4 with like $30k of work put into it and then driven to 200k miles. But I appreciate the assumption otherwise.

              I started by looking for cars that are sort of the opposite of that- simple, reliable, naturally aspirated, non-AWD, much less power in favor of better handling. I looked up the usual suspects like the Z3, the 944 NA, the Miata, etc. Almost everyone unanimously puts the E30 above the rest in my research. Which is good, because I kind of like the E30 better than the other options anyway. I understand that each sub-model has its own appeal, but if I'm being totally honest I really just like the 318is more than the others.

              On that note, thank you so much for telling me that about the Spanish variants, I had no idea and I don't think there are any pictures of the undercarriage (I have seen that specific car listed on many different sites by now). To my understanding, Spain has yearly inspection tests on cars more than 10 years old, and this one was passed and then parked for sale. My guess is that is hasn't sold since then because the price is so high. I have secured a price offer from the seller for €13,900 ($15,068) rather than the advert price of €15,900. They have changed it a few times since December.

              Once again, thank you for your help.

              edit: how would I find someone nearby to show me one of these cars up-close? I am currently north of Pittsburgh for about another month.
              Last edited by Vantablack; 02-16-2020, 09:31 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Go to a cars and coffee or post in a facebook post with your intentions. Offer them a case of beer for a ride along. You should instantly get multiple offers.
                How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
                http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


                Could be better, could be worse.

                Comment


                  #9
                  E30 BMW Buying Guide

                  Check how a proper 318 should look like https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/for...318is-restomod
                  Last edited by Vincenze; 02-17-2020, 10:56 AM.

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