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What is this M3 worth?

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  • What is this M3 worth?

    Just want to get a feel for what this car is honestly worth as it sits. The parts pictured come with the car obviously.

    It has 98k original miles, supposedly it runs fine (even though i see no belts or an intake or fan or radiator in the pics), it has a clean title, although it seems to have been in an accident, and its a 1988.

    I'm completely new to BMW's, but a good friend of mine is going to help me venture into the wide world of E30's.



































    Thanks!

  • #2
    Do you know what type of "hit" it took? I must say I'm a real glutten for punishment when it comes to rebuilding/salvaging cars, but the front end damage doesn't look all that severe to me from the pics. You already have a new core support ready to install! :-) Have a good body shop do this work and make sure the car is within spec.

    Certainly looks like a project that many of us on this forum wouldn't be afraid to tackle. If the car is basically structurally sound and the undercarriage isn't rusted out, I'd say that car might have potential if you can get it cheap enough.

    You say the title is "clean"...not a salvage title?

    What about the condition of the engine? Any specifics? This is where you can easily get in way over your head...the engine work alone can cost more than the car is worth (i.e. $7,000+). I'd like to hear more about the engine. Maintenance records, etc?

    Good luck,

    John

    Comment


    • #3
      Do your homework, run a carfax. It might even benefit you to post the VIN up here, as a lot of these members seem to keep tabs on cars. Some people here have a great memory when it comes to recalling cars that have been available for sale in the past.

      There is a fair amount of body work needing to be done to that front end. Check to make sure your frame hasn't been bent. You'll need a new radiator support. How is the wiring, was everything taken apart with car, or were wires and connectors cut?

      Find out how long its been sitting.... From the looks of the pullies its been sitting for a little while. Also inspect the rest of the car, remove trunk floor mats and look down in each corner to inspect for rust. I see some surface rust on the rear, so check all possible areas for other rust. Inspect all over V.I.N. tags and make sure they match.

      There seems to be good money in parts, but as a whole I prob wouldn't pay more than 5-6K for the car. If you can't turn the motor on and hear it idle/run/ or drive it you have to take the sellers word that the drive train is good.... You'll surely be pissed if you spend months and $$$ fixing the body just to find out the motor needs work as well.

      Seeing as how it needs serious front end work, ultimately it will never be worth as much as a sub 100K car without accident history. Don't buy in too high or you will quickly find out that for the amount of money it is going to cost to fix this car, you can buy one that has clean history and is ready to go.
      What sets the e30 apart is that it set the precedent, the benchmark, for every "M" car since... - Top Gear

      Comment


      • #4
        Really tear into this car and find out the condition of the car. Judging from the pics,
        you really look into the condition of the floor boards, cause there might be some
        rotting where the gas pedal is. Just be ready to spend a healthy amount of money
        on body work. You really need to find out about the condition of the motor cause
        that can get real pricey if it indeed needs a rebuild.

        Also check the wiring. It appears that an aftermarket sound system was in the car
        at one point judging by the hack job done on those red wires running through the
        trunk. Figuring what the previous owner did with the wiring could be cumbersome.
        Please don't enter this project if you think $5k would cut it, cause you'll be in for a
        rude awakening and it won't be long before this car is back on the market. Do your
        homework and determine if this is a project you can tackle with some money in the
        bank to throw at it.

        Comment


        • #5
          tear down all the car to repair rust and repaint all body. After that you could make a forecast and you will know the amount you have to spend in new parts.
          I think the car worth it but the rust (it seems to be stored outdoors) could be important under the floor mats and at the rear trunk.
          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            No expert in these matters of body repairs, but the ABS unit looks to be sitting at a strange angle, so the inner wing/ front leg not all bend and distorted?

            Schwarz 1990 Sport Evolution

            Comment


            • #7
              I would buy this car just from the pictures for around $3000. That being said if there is no to minimal rust and the the frame is straight and the engine turns perhaps even 4000.00. As all have said before if the engine has problems than it's not a good deal. But that's the chance you are taking considering a car like this. A bit of a roll of the dice. Can you put a fresh battery in it and spin the engine for a compression test at least?
              There'll be Spandex jackets one for everyone ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the help guys.

                Here are the details I got from the owner.

                He bought the car in this condition 2 years ago. Once a month he pulls the plugs, squirts oil in the cylinder, and cranks the motor over by hand a few times.

                He says it ran when he got it, and he started tearing it down to repair. He was distracted by 5 other BMW projects going on (e30M3 race car, a rally e36, and some others).

                The title is clean, in hand, no salvage or anything on it.

                He had the car checked out by a body shop when he got it, and the frame was straight as an arrow.

                Whatever hit the car, hit just above the bumper. The owner had plans that fell through, and sold it. The guy I am getting it from had similar plans, but was tied up on other BMW's.

                I'll be taking his word that the engine runs and the trans isn't messed up.

                The front is taken apart so far because he started to do that when I said I was interested. He pulled a bunch of stuff off so I could get to the core support easily.

                I'd like to replace the core support, get a hood and a fender, then title and tag the car so I can drive it around.

                I'm pretty mechanically inclined, and have two good friends who are e30 nuts.

                My main question is: Is the core support a bolt-in affair, or is it a weld-in affair.

                My other question: Where are the key rusting areas to look out for?

                I am going to look at it on Sunday, so I'll note the VIN and post it up when I get home.

                Thanks for your help!

                Comment


                • #9
                  the support is an electrical welding so you must drill the points in order to remove the front.

                  The rust keys are under the floor mats (you must remove the carpet), battery, firewall (next to the fuse box), wheel arcs...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ditto.... The core support is not a bolt in affair, and to be done properly must be drilled out at the original weld points and then rewelded in.

                    If the current owner is a BMW enthusiast, ask him to get the motor in a condition that it can turn over and have a compression test done BEFORE handing over any money. There are a few stories of people being so excited at the chance to purchase and E30 M3, they forget to inspect the car properly before handing over the cash.
                    What sets the e30 apart is that it set the precedent, the benchmark, for every "M" car since... - Top Gear

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My bet is the owner of this car is going to want more than the car is worth! He'll probably use the argument that he can part it out and make money on the car rather than unload it for a "mere pittance". I hope I'm wrong, but if the owner has an "attitude" I'd run from the car. I wouldn't be afraid to ask the owner to see his bill of sale to see what he paid for the car if he argues he needs more than what you think the car is worth....seriously - ask for proof of what he paid!

                      I tend to agree with the numbers above...$3k maybe $4k....if the engine is a solid runner and there is "proof" of maintenance, then maybe $5,000 "tops!" If it goes higher than that, save your money and find a better "project".

                      From your above follow-up comments it sounds like you are leaning toward getting the car...good for you, but be careful you aren't buying a money-pit. I don't care how many cars the owner has, leaving an E30 M3 exposed to the elements is "sinful", and he should be resoundly "spanked" for that....Walmart tarps are very cheap!...it's obviously been sitting outside "bare" for quite awhile.

                      I know it's tempting, but you're looking at alot of money to get that car up to any kind of "runner". If you want a "play thing" and you're not worried about cost, then go for it. Many of us have been there, but just don't ever expect to get your money and sweat equity out of such a project...it'll never happen.

                      If therapy is what you want, then have fun with it!

                      Good luck,

                      John
                      Last edited by 02fanatic; 07-15-2009, 01:18 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Probably true about wanting more than it is worth, but such is life. Absolutley no value in asking for proof of what he paid as it is immaterial. If he paid $100 or $10,000, and when he paid it has no bearing on what it is worth in todays market and to you. I have bought a few cars for less than was owed on them, no seller has in inherent "right" to make money or even break even on a sale.

                        [quote=02fanatic;368309]My bet is the owner of this car is going to want more than the car is worth! He'll probably use the argument that he can part it out and make money on the car rather than unload it for a "mere pittance". I hope I'm wrong, but if the owner has an "attitude" I'd run from the car. I wouldn't be afraid to ask the owner to see his bill of sale to see what he paid for the car if he argues he needs more than what you think the car is worth....seriously - ask for proof of what he paid!

                        81 Ur Quattro
                        87 911 M491 Cab
                        89 M3
                        89 944 T

                        What can I say,
                        I love wide fenders!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If the owner knows about older BMW's I think he'll be hard pressed to sell it for $3 - $4,000, but then again I could be very wrong. Considering its common knowledge that the S14 motor alone sells for +/- $3,000 and the complete black leather interior can fetch on either side of the $1000 mark, the truth is there's good money in parts on that car.

                          I haven't seen an M3 that is for the most part "together" sell for 3-4K in quite sometime. I'm sure there have been such deals, but as far as keeping track on all the major BMW forums and the various internet outlets, that has been the going rate for true parts cars. (i.e. rust buckets, no interior, no motor, ect..)

                          Hopefully this owner wants to see the car go into the hands of one that is willing to put the time and work in and bring it back to its former glory. As mentioned above if the owner wants more than its really worth and pulls the line "I can part it out" walk away. More often than not, the sellers who leverage with a part out never go through with it, and end up selling the car at the reduced price at a much later point.
                          Last edited by Primera; 07-15-2009, 03:32 AM.
                          What sets the e30 apart is that it set the precedent, the benchmark, for every "M" car since... - Top Gear

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Primera View Post
                            If the owner knows about older BMW's I think he'll be hard pressed to sell it for $3 - $4,000, but then again I could be very wrong. Considering its common knowledge that the S14 motor alone sells for +/- $3,000 and the complete black leather interior can fetch on either side of the $1000 mark, the truth is there's good money in parts on that car.

                            I haven't seen an M3 that is for the most part "together" sell for 3-4K in quite sometime. I'm sure there have been such deals, but as far as keeping track on all the major BMW forums and the various internet outlets, that has been the going rate for true parts cars. (i.e. rust buckets, no interior, no motor, ect..)
                            +1 to this. Even as it sits I'd say that car is worth $5k, $6k maybe even $7k depending on its running condition. Actually, I'd say closer to $7k. I have not seen anything but a roller go for $3k in the last year or two.
                            1986 Mercedes 190e 2.3-16 Cosworth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JNJ-qVPBkU

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I suppose it's irrelevant...just trying to make a point. The owner apparently hasn't done squat to the car since buying it other than removing some sheet metal & buying a new core support, and he's obviously left it outside...might not be a "rolling tub", but it has very questionable value IMO "unless the engine runs and good leakdown & compression numbers are found". Heck, maybe the owner overpaid for the thing and just wants out from under it. I've seen complete running cars in much better shape go for the $8,000 to $9,000 range recently. The only way that car is worth $7,000 is if the engine checks out, then it has value.

                              I'd offer the guy $5,000 tops to begin with, if you want to "jump in" with both feet! Just be careful not to overpay. :nope:

                              Originally posted by 1st Roundel View Post
                              Probably true about wanting more than it is worth, but such is life. Absolutley no value in asking for proof of what he paid as it is immaterial. If he paid $100 or $10,000, and when he paid it has no bearing on what it is worth in todays market and to you. I have bought a few cars for less than was owed on them, no seller has in inherent "right" to make money or even break even on a sale.

                              Comment

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