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The New Normal (E30 Swap values)

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  • The New Normal (E30 Swap values)

    Not sure how many of you follow the E30 M3 market but if you've been paying attention over the last few weeks things have gotten out of control. These cars are heading north and fast as of late. Just in the last 2 weeks 45, 58, 52-57 (not quite sure) and now 62k have either been the price sold or price offered on E30 M3s. Furthermore a trend I've seen w/ our Swaps is indeed that they too have been climbing.

    Rising Tides lift all boats and its true here. Now average to sub average S52 swaps are 25k with the majority of good to very good in the 27-30k range. Of course you'll get some crazy asking prices in the 35k which was S50b32 / S54 territory.

    Anyway, consider this just an opinion but here's what I'm gauging:


    S52 Clean / Good - no Stories: $27,500-30k

    S50B32 Clean and good $35-40k

    S54 Clean to good $35-40k


    LS1's and non M -bmw engines are tougher to gauge but are in the 17-25 area with too many other things to factor in.


    Also, another opinion on high mileage S14s that will need a rebuild soon - those are now in the 25-30k range FYI





    Feel free to disagree but that's what I'm seeing and hearing from fellow E30 owners and Shops around. Would love to hear the forums' thoughts.

  • #2
    Agree with most of what you are saying except these prices are a bit optimistic and really depends on the swap/chassis combo...

    One point I do not agree on is how you pretty much bundled all swap cars to be worth more than high mileage non swap cars. That will never be the case.

    Unless you accidentally threw in "high mileage" in there and you really only meant S14's that will need a rebuild. Ie: Compression low on a cylinder or not running.
    90 Alpine M3

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    • #3
      Mainly agree but I think that S14 car will rise way faster than non s14.

      I have no example of a market where a car with the non orignal engine climb significantly (but I may be wrong)
      my feeling is that time is against S5x engine car

      This is just from a collector point of view, I'm not saying S14 cars are better than S5X 's cars

      william

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      • #4
        You are quoting cream of the crop examples peddled by savy auction houses and greedy dealers. Plus they are collector investment cars, with minimal mileage, ultra clean carfax and provenance. Far from a swapped car with a CL special s52. Most of the average beaters won't command those prices anytime soon but are sure to benefit by the recent fad. I've been monitoring about 5 cars that have been on the market for the past 6 months and haven't moved because they are below average, high mileage examples in need of restoration. Owned by dreamers that believe they can get $30k plus for them because that pristine 40k mile example just sold for $50k+ and rides on 4 tires just as theirs. I've also noticed that swapped cars sit for months until they are just taken off the market or dramatically reduced. Only guys that are in the market for a roller with the ambition of throwing their friend's totaled e36 M3 engine in there end up snatching these after they realize that roller is no longer $5k. But still realistically priced cars will sell fast no doubt, but overpriced cars will have to wait until barrett jackson manipulates the sale of one to $100k claiming it was the last car Shelby drove or the only e30 M3 made on Oct 1989 at 3:33 pm in white. I'd wait too.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feed back guys. So here is my response to each of the first 3 replies.


          TheGoodGuy -

          1. Yes, these are based on asking prices. Whether people are actually paying is a different story but half the time I'm not getting the "actual" purchase price. With that said, there is something to be said for people who are asking more than they were merely months ago.

          2. I know for a fact there are examples of swapped cars going for than non swapped cars. Of course that has to do with the condition of the original S14 E30 M3. An average to below average S14 with high miles, no rebuild, etc.. may cost 12-16k just to get to the same standard as a rebuilt / restored E30 M3 with an S5X [as an example] In that case, the numbers suggest it should go for less. Of course if its a Fresh S14 [rebuilt] in equal or similar condition then I would agree ... IF all Things are equal the S14 should fetch more money, its only natural.

          3. I did mean both. S14's that will need a rebuild [just assumed they did due to high mileage]



          Xilly -

          1. I agree, over time a good running S14 should be worth more than any swap. No disagreements there.
          2. If we are comparing S14s that need some modest to heavy restoration work then yes, those won't go for as much as some clean swapped examples. Looks like for the most part though we are the same page.


          PipeM3 -

          1. There is no reason to throw the word maligned words like "Greed" around. At the end of the day we're all Greedy because we all want the best for ourselves. The market dictates what things are worth and free people willfully spend what they want to spend on the things they want. Funny though, no one excuses people for being Greedy about other things like knowledge or time w/ family - yet when it comes to money envy and jealousy shine.

          2. Back to cars - The cars I mentioned are both, collector grade and quality drivers. The higher the collector grade values go, the higher the rest get dragged up. That's including the basket cases but you clearly agree with that so I don't see why it needed repeating.

          3. The market was very different 6 months ago. No sense in bringing up cars that were over priced then now. Were there ratty examples asking a lot? Sure... but with rising prices you cannot doubt that speculative buyers are reconsidering what it takes to purchase one.
          Last edited by RickySixx6; 08-05-2014, 02:10 AM.

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          • #6
            Yeah "greed" is a funny word to throw around. Funny how the tune changes when it's time to sell a car we own and we are faced with the decision to be "greedy" or leave thousands of dollars on the table out of the goodness of our hearts. If we want to blame someone for high prices, the fault lays with the buyers who are willing to pay those prices. If nobody paid higher and higher prices then we'd all still live in the perfect world where you could buy an M3 for 10k and some kid who wants to hoon it could afford it. Wait, which is worse, cars being appreciated and given higher values and therefore being properly taken care of or is the better outcome that they stay cheap and get destroyed one by one as cheep thrills? Not that there isn't a middle ground, but... it cuts both ways.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by monovich View Post
              Yeah "greed" is a funny word to throw around. Funny how the tune changes when it's time to sell a car we own and we are faced with the decision to be "greedy" or leave thousands of dollars on the table out of the goodness of our hearts. If we want to blame someone for high prices, the fault lays with the buyers who are willing to pay those prices. If nobody paid higher and higher prices then we'd all still live in the perfect world where you could buy an M3 for 10k and some kid who wants to hoon it could afford it. Wait, which is worse, cars being appreciated and given higher values and therefore being properly taken care of or is the better outcome that they stay cheap and get destroyed one by one as cheep thrills? Not that there isn't a middle ground, but... it cuts both ways.
              Absolutely!

              Can't stand hearing about how people dislike prices going up when it's that function that allows for owners to take extra good care for these cars. In fact, if you're a lover of all things E30 M3 then what you'd want is exactly what is happening, values going up and fine examples staying fine. Yes, cars are meant to be driven but cars are also not meant to last forever - so its true. You can't have it both ways.


              Btw - Greed really is a word that has been demonized by those envious or jealous of others' wealth. Otherwise, we'd hear of Parents being Greedy for spending time w/ their kids. Students being greedy about educating themselves, and talented athletes and musicians being greedy w/ the amount of time they take to practice their skill or craft.

              Funny how greed only factors in with built up & saved labor or value stored in the form of "money".

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              • #8
                Great thread OP.

                This may not hold its weight in words HOWEVER.....

                I have an 88' Zinna/Tan Turn key S54 swapped OBDII car running off of the factory DME. The car has 72,260 miles. No accidents, clean title, clean autocheck etc. I never advertised the car for sale. I was offered $40k cash from an older gentlemen (NJ Doctor) on Rennlist -Porsche forum and I turned it down. I turned it down with a big smile on my face.

                What is funny is...I sold my S52 OBDI E30 M3 in 2009 for $16,700. How foolish I was
                If looks could kill...
                ///freshM3 piff :rastajake:

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                • #9
                  Here we go again. I think many here have been already proven wrong on swap cars values. Probably less than 6 months ago I had a discussion and I stated that the trend is for resto-mods, aka swap cars, to rise sharply, but was ridiculed. I can't remember if this was on S14 or on R3v (during the time this forum was down).

                  I agree in general with the OP stated values, but there are so many variables that it is unfair to make such a scale. I currently have my S52 car up for sale for $35k, so I guess I am one of the crazy ones you are referring to ;-) Truth is that the car almost sold in the first week to a local guy, but he just got laid off from work, the day after he drove the car and wanted to make an offer. Every car is unique and in my car's case, I could part out some expensive parts to bring the price down to the mid $20's. That is why putting a fixed price on some of these cars is difficult. It is a little easier on stock cars.

                  One note about S54's. Yes they are much more $$$ and desirable............................... in most states, but are impossible to smog in CA, unless you convert the whole car to OBD2, which I am not sure anybody has attempted to do. So, although the S52 isn't a true M-engine and not as cool or powerful, it does allow for a CA smog legal swap.


                  “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… that’s what gets you.”
                  Jeremy Clarkson

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                  • #10
                    To my defense, since I wrote this post a few other E30 M3s also went for BIG money so of course prices should have adjusted a bit more so maybe the "crazy" should be taken off the table.

                    With that said I did say "good" examples - not "Great" in my general figures.


                    btw - I agree with the last 2 replies.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RickySixx6 View Post
                      To my defense, since I wrote this post a few other E30 M3s also went for BIG money so of course prices should have adjusted a bit more so maybe the "crazy" should be taken off the table.

                      With that said I did say "good" examples - not "Great" in my general figures.


                      btw - I agree with the last 2 replies.
                      No problem, I didn't take it personal ;-)


                      “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… that’s what gets you.”
                      Jeremy Clarkson

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                      • #12
                        Coming back to this... Seems like the swapped cars are having their value parked and the S14's are firming up.

                        The shell on BAT with a host of issues and questions to it's authenticity sold for $14k and an immaculate S14 E30 M3 with a salvage title (previous theft, fully documented) sold for $29k (Which was a steal IMO, I personally saw the car.)

                        Another high mileage (300k) but all original S14 E30 M3 was put up for $22k in California and sold in less than two weeks while everyone on FB argued it's value in either direction.

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