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1990 Brilliantrot on AutoTrader - Not Affiliated

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  • 1990 Brilliantrot on AutoTrader - Not Affiliated

    1990 Brilliantrot with 86k miles for around $26,000:

    The exterior and interior look decent, but I'm worried about the pictures of the engine. I don't have a lot of experience at this, does that look like a motor with a little over 85,000 miles on it? I got the dealer to send me a couple of additional photos:


  • #2
    Just a few observations:

    1. It always irritates me when I see photos of a car for sale where the car has obviously not been washed!

    2. Probably normal wear & tear on the interior....and photos can be deceiving...may look much better or worse in person, especially with regard to the leather condition.

    3. The front air dam has been repainted, or at least portions have foglights, and the normally "black" tow hook cover and vented air intake cover should not be painted the color of the car (at least that's not stock).

    4. The washer bottle has been replaced, and the tubing that exits the hood is obviously misplaced (been re-routed). It is not correctly positioned per stock. The red clip is there but the tubing is not suppose to be where it is...should be closer to the radiator.

    5. Always nice to see an original red A/C sticker on the top of the pass side grill, so that appears to be original.

    6. All reds can be very deceiving in need to be wary of fading on me..I know from experience. It's no fun traveling hundreds of miles relying on owner description of paint and see horrible fading/cracking!

    7. The krinkle paint peeling on the cam cover is normal under certain conditions, although my 199k mile car was perfect when I bought it really depends I suppose.

    8. I really dislike tinted windows.....I know some like them, but over time they usually look bad and it's hell to remove! btdt too.

    As for any purchase, trusting the seller is paramount....get pre-purchase inspection by independent mechanic who "knows these cars"...last three words are the key! And, you can never ask too many questions...look for original VIN tags, rust, maintenance records, history, carfax, etc., etc...buyer beware, and all the usual precautions.

    Good Luck,

    Last edited by 02fanatic; 03-08-2013, 11:30 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks! Sounds like great advice.

      I'm not really interested in this one myself, but the guy offered to send over some pictures to my phone so I thought I'd take a look. Interesting to know about the cam cover, I'm curious as to what the conditions would be to make the paint peel.

      If anyone is interested, I have more pics of this car (and it actually appears washed!) and would be happy to post/send on request.


      • #4
        I know it's a late replay,but just as info,I have a friend who looked at this car for me Saturday-theft recovery with theft recovery plate,body work on right front door,VIN numbers scratchet on both doors,pass.fender has no VIN sticker,and obvious replacement-no sealant between the fender and the body of the car.Overall not a bad car,just a complete mistery,and way overpriced,I don't know actually how bad the theft recovery,and mileage mistery will impact the value.


        • #5
          Hi I am new to the Forum and the E30 M3 world, but I have placed a deposit on this car and am flying out on 5/17 to go look at it, and purchase it. Does anyone happen to know anymore about the car? I beat them up a little on price, I know how much they bought it from BMW of San Francisco for in October. They showed me a shop bill of them replacing rod bearings, main bearings, and rebuilding the head. It seems a touch on the fishy side but the bill is fairly legit looking. It shows that they paid $4,931 to have the work done. Does that seem about right in the M3 world?
          As far as the theft goes, Carfax just started reporting it in February of this year, and it looks like it went missing for just under 2 months. I am not so concerned about the theft as it was so long ago, I am confuse on what a "theft recovery plate" is, I work in the car business and have never heard of such a thing?
          Thanks in advance for any help!


          • #6
            So for anyone that cares, after sleeping on it I have decided to pass on the car. There were just too many issues to justify the price. The guys at the dealership were pretty cool about it other than not refunding any of my deposit (which was my rookie mistake) I do have a detailed PPI for anyone that might be interested in the car. Not a bad car at all just a bunch of little to medium issues. Non operational ODO, A/C inop, paint damage on passenger door were the largest issues for me. Anyways shoot me a PM for the copy of the PPI.

            Carfax shows theft recovery in 1992. and Autocheck shows ODO roll back around the same time but it looks like a very obvious clerical error that can be fixed. went from 19,000 miles to 119,000 back to 20,000 or so in a couple month span.


            • #7
              Sorry it didn't work out. Keep at it. I'm also looking right now and have let a couple of cars go because some stuff just is off about them.


              • #8
                I'm glad I'm not in the market right now....there were many cars for sale 4 or 5 years ago (for much less $) when I was searching. The "hunt" is half the fun though...well, sometimes...losing a deposit isn't a good thing...btdt!...I know how you feel. But, don't get discouraged, and good luck with your search! Oh, and never eliminate "any" car that might have potential simply due to mileage or something else you might not initially like. Some cars are very nice finds when you look "BIG PICTURE"!



                • #9
                  Just something that is kind of bothering me-when my friend was there looking and inspecting the car,and with me on the phone,and the sales person arround all the time,no one mention enything about a repair bill,however,when the oil cap was removed,we did noticed a fresh timing chain guide,meaning something had been done to the engine.
                  The rear fenders have a light damage at the edge from the tires been rubing to the fenders.If i remember well some rust arround the licence plate light-not sure,one if the tail lights has chipped edge,performance swaybars,metal brake lines,nice bbs wheels-obviously,the vin numbers are scratched.
                  the tefth plate is more likely a new VIN# plate or something,it is on the front drivers door jam.
                  I tried to post this coupple days ago,in order to eventually help you reconcider putchasing the car,however I am glad you did not pay for this car-again not a bad car in general,just tooo many question marks,and based on that bit too mush of a money.
                  After I spend almost a year looking for one,and travel all arround the states, fioun one thing incomon-the desctiption is 90% never 100% honest, you have to inspect the car yourself,meaning you have to go and see the car-distance or expence should be never an issue.
                  Good luck!
                  This is I guess all I know about the car.
                  I passed on it because I wanted a car with known history,and real miles,without any gaps of few years with no mileage regisered in the carfax.
                  Just how I already mentioned-too much of a mistery


                  • #10
                    Discouraged I am not, I fly out in a couple of hours to buy one in LA based on the cars history here on This forum has been so helpful in doing research on these cars. I will keep you all posted on the new car.

                    Also, the people that did the PPI said the oilpan, head gaskets, and exhaust manifold gaskets were new on the denver car, somewhat validating the fact that the rod bearings had been replaced too. I also have a copy of that bill from the dealership if anyone is interested in the car.