SOTW: BMW 325i Touring
Can't afford a manual Vanquish conversion? How about a more Shed-priced version...
It's a BMW E30 325i Touring with the conversion work undertaken "'by a previous owner." The advert is worryingly light on details around this major undertaking. Having said that, the interior photo doesn't show a clutch and gearlever sprouting out at bizarre angles, which is at least a positive start. And, apart from the (admittedly rather large) omission of gearbox change details, it appears a straight car for the price.
OK, so it's not quite an original concours model (that gearbox conversion and some rust on the tailgate certainly attests to that). But E30s - particularly six-cylinder ones -once so plentiful within the confines of Shed's £1K budget, are now rare beasts indeed. And besides, the fact it isn't a saloon or coupe makes it distinctly cooler and desirable, even if the bootlid shape leaves a hopelessly narrow and high loading lip. PistonHeads: Practicality Matters...
OK, it will need retaxing at the end of this month, the headlining is sagging, and there are some isolated patches of rust, but it's also the price of a television. The advert seems genuine and the car still looks great to these eyes and we're willing to bet it still sounds sweet, too. But perhaps throw in a few extra gearshifts on the test drive, just to be sure...
Advert is reproduced below
BMW 325i Touring (manual) in alpine white (£750)
1989 (G-reg) 325i Touring in Alpine White (manual). Full stainless exhaust system and manifold. BBS cross-spokes. Cambelt & water pump changed at 119k. Recent disc, pad and brake fluid change.
The interior is in very good condition with no rips or tears in any of the seats, although the headlining has sagged (which only affects rear seat headroom). Electric front windows, door mirrors and sunroof all work.
There are a few small rust patches (bottom of both passenger side doors, driver's side wing at rear of the wheel arch, and tailgate) and a few small scratches on the roof, but nothing that is an mot advisory and no rust holes. The front firewall and bottom of the windscreen is fine, the door sills are fine and the rear arches are both fine. The underside of the car is in good condition too. I've had the car nearly 4 years - mostly as a daily driver - and in that time the rust has not changed massively.
The fuel tank was replaced in 2008 (the old one leaked).
I had a Raceland 6-2-1 S/S exhaust manifold and Longlife S/S exhaust system fitted in 2010, which sounds nice but is not intrusive on the motorway etc.
The rear pads and discs were changed in summer 2010 and still have plenty of life left.
I fitted new front pads and discs and fresh brake fluid in January.
I had the prop-shaft bush (doughnut) and bearing replaced in February.
I fitted a new battery in March.
The front tyres are about half worn, and the rears have about 2.5-3mm of tread left.
It has MOT until Jan 2013 and tax until end of June. I can re-tax it at buyer's expense if required.
The engine sounds lovely and it pulls well pretty much from idle. Economy is not too bad if you avoid town driving - I get around 30mpg when I commute to work in it.
The car is located in Bridgend, South Wales.