Deposit is in and car has been taken off the market. Woot!
Next steps: Fine grained inspection in UK. Seller has his mechanic but I'm considering trying to find a very unbiased 3rd party that can inspect the car. Any UK London peeps know of a place?
I'm also getting bids from ICI / RI in US. So far I've looked into three of them. One quoted up to 16k, one 8k and one 6k on their general inquiry forms. Getting more details now. Recommendations are welcome. I'm in Colorado so it would be nice to import to a port closer to me, although a reputable ICI is more important than a close port.
This car is listed on the NHTSA list of eligible vehicles under VSA # 35. I'm trying to determine if this also applies to my car or just the US spec M3. The form just says "M3" 1988-1989.
I do know that the car would need to have catalytic converters fitted, but it is pre OBD and pre airbags so that may make it a bit simpler than many more modern cars... I hope.
Just got off the phone with Dan Kokal from http://www.privatevehicleimports.com/. Spoke with him for 15 minutes. Very nice gentleman with 25 years experience. Bottom line: NONE of that complicated stuff I just wrote above applies to this car because it's an '88. No EPA, no NHTSA, No DOT. It's as simple as choosing a container or a ro-ro vessel, getting the car here, clearing a few customs things, and driving it home and registering it here. I am overjoyed. That just wiped out thousands and thousands of dollars off my cost spreadsheet. W00T!