Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday – 1989 BMW E30 325iX Touring

I’ll come clean, straight away. This post is dangerously close to being a cynical exercise in ticking as many Hooniverse boxes as possible.

It’s an ’80s BMW 3-series wagon. In diamondschwarz. It’s four wheel drive. It has a tow bar. It runs on ethanol fuel. It wears chunky alloy wheels on studded winter tires. What is there left to improve?

The only thing rescuing this article from being a shameless ploy is the complete accidentalness of the sighting. I did not go out to search for it – it came to me. If you read the green E28 post from last week, you’ll notice the surroundings; this black BMW is parked exactly in the same spot on my street as the green one. It made it easy for me to shuffle around the wagon and document it in its snowy goodness.

Look at the grippy, wide tires. The car stands like a shiny black gecko, ready to grab whatever it can to make progress.

As the bumper is partially metal, it’s slightly bent. The car has 300 000 km on the clock, so it’s completely possible there’s been a tougher-than-expected snow drift along the way.

What’s especially interesting about the car is that it’s an original Finnish car. Most Finnish 3-series have traditionally been 316:s and 318:s, and 325:s have been rare – let alone the four-wheel-drive touring variant. The ones doing daily driving around Finnish roads have been shipped from Germany or Sweden as used cars, or built from a lower spec car, but this one is advertised as being original.

Yes, it’s for sale. The price is coming down almost daily; when I first checked the ad on the weekend the seller asked 5000 EUR for it and it’s now come down to 3800. I’d otherwise blame the exorbitant fuel prices here (nine bucks a gallon), but the seller claims the car’s been converted to E85 ethanol blend without issues and E85 is a damn sight cheaper. It is a fact that E85 burns quicker than regular premium gas, but… the E30 in this spec must suck so much fuel anyway it won’t make any difference how much. For its size, it’s a heavy car with a heavy powertrain & drivetrain and you’re just supposed to drive it at ten tenths all the time.

You can’t pussyfoot with a four-wheel-drive E30, it’s verboten in the stickers on the sunvisors. I tried once and felt like an idiot.

The 325iX is recently serviced and is said to be in good nick all around. I believe the seller, but there’s no mention when it’s last been inspected. A friend who drives a similar white one cast doubt on the CV axles and joints on the car; due to acute onset of frontwheeldriveitis, he’s had to replace some in the rear and it was mostly a pain in the axle to source parts.

It’s also true a lot of parts on the car are “iX Special”: special parts, special price, special availability. As the black car is advertised as having a “sports suspension”, that can be hard on CV parts if it’s been lowered.

Depending of the day you’ll read this and click on the advertisement link, the price can have come down. So – I can ask the inescapable question of whether you feel it’s a good deal, but the deal can change. Lowest I ‘d say he’ll be selling it is somewhere between 3000 and 3500 EUR. Does it feel like worth picking up for that?

[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/ Antti Kautonen | Link for the ad (partially in Finnish)]

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