So I had to move in November which was a bit unfortunate but at the end of the day was probably for the best. This left me in a bit of a bit of a crappy spot as far as mobility. Nothing was close anymore. The grocery store was a 20 minute walk instead of a 2 minute jaunt, the liquor store is equally far. I’m closer to work but it takes the same amount of time to go 5KM as it does to go 15KM on the bus. This was really starting to take it’s toll.
Those in the know are aware that I have a mid-80’s BMW 3-series that I only drive in the summertime. At my last place of residence this was fine because I genuinely did not need a vehicle in the winter or any time for that matter. I’d go for a drive when I wanted to for fun because every other service I could want was so close to home (which was great, I hate driving in traffic). But with everything becoming much more inconvenient I decided that I needed a second vehicle. This set off a month and a half of scouring Kijijijijijijijijiji.
Being broke as all hell after the move I spent time looking at things I could not afford and trying to figure out what I wanted. Ideally I’d get another BMW, but low dollar BMW’s usually require a boatload of funds to be good cars. I’ve heard it said, there’s no such thing as a cheap BMW. But that said, I was eyeing up E36’s, and E46’s. I’ve wanted a black E34 since I saw my friend Rene’s M5 so there was that too. I was also considering small trucks (S-10, Ranger, etc), Volvo 850/v70 wagons, VW Beetles (so I could VR6 it and make it vulgar) and really anything interesting that was cheap with a manual transmission.
Remember what I said a few lines ago about wanting a black E34? Well, I found an ’89 525i locally really early on. It was listed for a pretty cheap price so I bookmarked the ad and decided I’d go look at it once I got some funds together. There were several other cars I looked at online but by the time I was ready to pull the trigger they were sold but this E34 remained for sale. I figured there must be something catastrophically wrong with it but went to go look at it anyway.
What I found was a car that was in very good shape and very close to being able to pass a safety. But, it was an M20 powered 525i with an automatic transmission which is probably just about the least desirable combination you could ask for. This is also probably why the car did not sell. I got chatting with the seller and it turns out he had some suspension goodies (Bilstein dampers, Bavauto springs) to throw in as well. Anyway, I liked what I saw but was hesitant to pull the trigger because of the reasons listed above. I told the seller I needed to think about it and would get back to him. The next week was basically just spent thinking about this car. I got home that night and decided against it because i’d just want to 5-speed swap the car and at that point i could buy a manual 535i which would be a far better car. I decided against it.
As the week wore on though, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The body is very clean for a nearly 26 year old car. The interior was a bit dirty but no rips or tears in the seats or cracks in the dash. It ran good (although it needs a timing belt/water pump, etc). There was no reason not to buy this car except for the automatic. But after some thought the auto might not be so bad for city/long trips. Also, my girlfriend can drive it without me having to worry about her blowing up the clutch.
So I made the seller an offer, he accepted and I towed the car home. Parts have been ordered so I can get the car safetied, tires are ready to be mounted and soon I won’t have to walk or take the bus to the grocery store. Now I have two BMW’s made in the 80’s.
Here’s the photos that were from the For Sale ad (and one I took myself). I’ll ad some better photos of the car once I clean it because it’s full of salt from the tow over.