The End of an Era

Ok, so maybe not an era, but this car did take over the last year and a half of my life. I said goodbye to it today.

There were good times and bad times. Well, mostly bad times up until I neared the end of the project. I learned a lot, I documented a lot, and hopefully the information from all this will help many current and prospective E30 owners for years to come.

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With a sale price of $8500, I lost nearly $1200 on the project. I had approximately $9700 into it by the time I posted the ads on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

You may recall that my write-up mentioned a total project cost of $8900. That was the number before I decided to replace the transmission, the rear subframe, the differential bushings, the...well you get the idea. These cars will always have areas to spend money on - the difference with this particular E30 is that I’ve eradicated the biggest ones. The next owner will have a great car to drive and enjoy for many miles to come.

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Why, you may wonder, would I want to sell a car I dumped so much time, money, and effort into? Well, it’s quite simple. For me, it’s about the journey, not the destination. I love being part of the process of turning something destined for the scrap heap into an object of desire.

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There isn’t usually a grand objective for any of my projects. There is no massive challenge I’m steering the car to overcome, there is no large financial payoff to make at the end, nor am I chasing concourse-ready perfection. I just really like making things work that didn’t previously. I enjoy making them look good enough to be preserved for the future.

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Upon completing the project, I drove the car for a few months and tried to fully immerse myself in the classic BMW experience. There were times where I felt something; where I thought I could make this my “forever” car. The way the car changed directions with utmost urgency, the pure sound from the inline-6's induction, and the squarish silhouette that stood out in the office car park. It’s a wonderful machine and I get why they foster such a dedicated following.

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But, ultimately, those feelings weren’t enough for me. I always have the itch to take on new mechanical adventures, and that itch has won out once again. I don’t know what ailing vehicle I’ll welcome into the garage next. What I can be certain of is that when the time comes, I’ll be sharing every step of the way.

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About the author

Peter Monshizadeh

Enjoys working on vehicles with poor reputations.