How Many Times Does 4 Go Into 3?

I’m not sure if this olelongrooffan has shared with my fellow Hoons the fact that I have owned three, count them 3, different E30 convertibles. As a matter of fact, the first one I bought for then wife as a surprise on Valentine’s Day, 1996 so pissed her off that I traded my Jeep Cherokee Limited for the first gen Honda minivan she really wanted the next freakin’ day. Why do I share this information?

Well, after we split up, I sold that ragtop, which she wanted in the split and thanks to TheGoodAttorney that didn’t happen. Well anyway, I decided to part ways with that beautiful ivory over tan leather vert in favor of a second gen Sable wagon. Hey! I am the longrooffan.
A year or so later, I was thinking about a new Mini and drove over to Miami to check them out. They wanted $5K over sticker and, quite frankly, F that. I headed back to my then home of Naples and got on all things bay that are e. At that time a separate section had not yet been set up for the new Mini so they were listed under BMW.
I logged on and hit BMW and up popped my soon to be new oleragtop just 15 miles from home.

It was offered by the Bonita Springs location of my local Cadillac dealership. My girlfriend, at the time, and this olelongrooffan headed up to check it out. It was in rough shape, needing paint, rotors, struts, top, but the leather interior was in great shape. After a test drive, I returned to the dealer. This was their first time offering a vehicle through ebay and all of the bidders, except me, had no feedback so I kind of figured there was some shill bidding going on. The current bid was $2,350. I told those boys that I had been on ebay for several years and kind of knew how it worked. I then offered them $1,500. The manager looked at his guys and said okay, so long as you log on here and end this auction now and give us good feedback. I did so but neglected to leave the feedback and drove that ragtop off the lot then and there. Appropriate feedback was left later by this olelongrooffan.
So, now where the hell was I?
Oh yeah, my brother did a cosmetic restoration of that oleragtop one summer after I had moved to Slocala, Florida. Yeah, about two weeks of work and a summer of his wife driving my ragtop all over the greater Daytona Beach area. But I finally got it back and all was cool.
Then, one evening while driving home from work, as I was turning left to begin the last mile of roadway to my home, I was clipped by a tattoo bearing, slave wearing, two carseat riding toddlers in the back seat, with her boy-toy in the front passenger seat, young muffin top on her way home from a day at the springs. Whatever that means.

Well, as my fellow Hoons can see, my gold oleragtop was totalled and that yellow light running little chickadee didn’t get the citation. I got it because I violated her right of way. Running a yellow light or not!! Yeah! $186 and three points.
So, I parked that wrecked ragtop in my warehouse at work and was just waiting for the right deal to come along.
And it did.

After I moved over here to the Birthplace of Speed, I was checking out the infamous Craigslist and spotted this black beauty up in the Jacksonville area looking for $1,500 OBO or trade. I called the dude up and told him I would be interested in trading my somewhat troublesome Volvo 850 for it. He told me to come on up and we struck a deal. Ironically enough he had owned two 850’s previous to this and I left Jax with my third E30 oleragtop, this one needing an interior, I had one, a roof, I had one, and five hundred bucks in my pocket. So I switched out all of the newer parts from my oleragtop to my new oleragtop, stripped every part I could think of off that gold ragtop, including the uncracked dashboard and sold the remains to a salvage yard down in MickeyMouseLand.
So now, I am sure my fellow Hoons are saying “WTF? longroof”
Well, since I sold that oleragtop last fall, I have really been jones-ing for another E30 and tonite Mr. Emslie was able to find one for me, less than an 8 hour drive from my Taj Mahal.
However, I think the price might be just a bit out of my range. What do my fellow Hoons think?
thanks to Rob for the inspiration and the link.

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  1. Maxichamp Avatar

    My mom had a red E30 convertible when I was in high school. She and I took a road trip from the OC to Vegas and the AZ and UT deserts. I hated the trip then (typical teenage loathing of parental units) but when I look back now, that was quite a trip. I think there's a great photo of a lankier me (perhaps with a mullet) with the E30 at Zion.

  2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I sold my C70 to get a Dodge Grand Caravan for my wife, I got her old car, a Mazda MPV. At least it was RWD. To be fair a Honda minivan does have a looooong roof so you must have been a fan 😉

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Since this thread is about personal car ownership, may I ask how was the C70? My brother has been trying to convince me that the older hardtop C70 is seriously undervalued right now and would be a wise daily driver choice. Usually this means that I'm about to get suckered into staggering electrical/seal/transmission/bodywork troubles with a very pretty car that mostly isn't on the road. But a C70 is just old "bulletproof" V70 mechanicals underneath, right? Right?

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        I had the first gen C70 coupe. It is in fact a whole lot like the 850|[SV]70. So I have to say I am sort of a nut for Volvos so you need to take this with a grain of salt. I bought it used with something like 30K miles. I sold it to my father with something like 90K miles. When I had it I had no trouble at all except for the radio needed to be replaced, everything else was as maintained scheduled. One thing was that the ABS light went on, fortunately only a change of the brake fluid and bleeding cleared that. Some things that were peculiar about the car was that the turbo was higher compression than other Volvos, so you would feel it more pronounced come on and there was some torque steer so this was not a good combo if you were not expecting it. The other thing was that the seats were electric and very slow if you wanted someone to get in the back. The leather on the seat backs also easily got ripped. One thing I did is I added a brace across the front shock towers. I think it helped. Also I think that some C70s were made with the lower boost turbos found on the other similar Volvos.
        Now after my father got it he started having some issues. Though he let my little brother take it to college. There the car was just completely abused and not maintained in any reasonable way at all. Finally my brother drove it onto a pond, the car lasted to almost 190K miles though even with his abuse. So the abs did later need to be replaced. Luckily a used module from a S70 worked if I recall correctly. They are these brick like doodads that just plug in and are easy to get at under the hood, same place the relay for the power seats are. The radio broke again, it was 3 disc changer, I think they all break eventually. Also towards the end the transmission (auto) was shifting hard, but again my family never changed the fluid or anything of the sort.

        1. facelvega Avatar

          thanks for this, exactly what I was looking for

    2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq


  3. Syrax Avatar

    A guy rear ended our B5 A4 (an Avant no less) and possessed the same yellow-light-running concentration of egocentrism. He said "it's common knowledge that when it's yellow you're supposed to floor it, not slow down". Then it escalated to "you knew I wouldn't be able to stop so you should have moved". Yes, my KERS-equipped, four cylinder station wagon coupled with my reflexes of a housefly should have ran through what was now a red light because of you. His insurance had to pay anyway…
    And that is the Crack Pipest price I've seen in a while.

  4. Maymar Avatar

    I'm hoping he means $3500. It still seems high, but a little more reasonably so.
    Still, I need something RWD in my life that's not a Chevy Express (or my immobile Jeep). I keep feeling I should hop on the E30 train before they start going up in value.

    1. Feds_II Avatar

      Who doesn't love an extra 0 or two. Van sellers seem particularly prone to this.
      Here's one that hauls a combined 95,000 lbs:
      And here's an old conversion for the price of a new conversion:

    2. Feds_II Avatar


    3. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      Maybe it's in Yen?

  5. tonyola Avatar

    My older brother bought a new 325i convertible with 5-speed in 1987 – it was in a rather fetching pewter color with a tan top and interior. He owned it for nearly ten years and it was pretty much trouble free as well as a real sweetie to drive. However, he realized it was time for the car to go because: 1) it would be turning into a money pit as only aging BMWs can; and, 2) his son was approaching driving age and was dropping hints that the Bimmer should become "his" car. No way was the kid going to get a BMW as his first set of wheels. Bro offered to sell it to me but he wanted too much money, not realizing that 325 droptops were almost as common as Civics down here in Miami.
    As for the advertised car, that's what we at J******k would call Crack Pipe.

  6. facelvega Avatar

    Now that the E30s are mostly dying off and starting to be the most expensive buy-in for 80s Bavarians, I find all the other models more alluring. A reasonably-maintained 6-series is barely any more expensive than an E30 right now, and is a lot more car. Of course it would also cost more to keep it that way, true. The best deals I've seen, though, are for the unloved 528e. Immaculately-maintained ones with many new parts go for peanuts. The fuel economy of a 528e is ridiculously good, and though not a sprinter the engine does have a decent amount of low-rev torque for ordinary driving. Personally I also find the lines of the E28 extremely handsome. I've rattled on about this here before, but threads like this always get me thinking of it again, and of how it's time to get rid of my old Buick beater and get something that can corner.

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      My best friend has had a 528e since new. He is sentimentally attached to it and I've convinced him that he should keep it forever. It hasn't been his DD for 8 years now but he still maintains it religiously, to the tune of $1-3k per year. Besides the fading paint, it is pretty much perfect. I feel partly responsible (albeit slightly) for keeping this now rare gem in the automotive universe. He is literally going to keep it for another 40 years.

      1. facelvega Avatar

        I think it makes sense– you can get one in very fine condition for three grand, and even if you set aside another three grand per year to keep it that way, the long-term costs including fuel would still be lower than, say, buying a new fiesta. Especially over 40 years.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      If the eta E28s are anything like the eta e30s a rear end swap will do wonders for them. My 87 325 had the eta engine, it went from barely being able to get out of its own way with the stock diff to a fun little car with a 3.25 LSD out of a e28 535.

  7. P161911 Avatar

    Assuming he means $3500. Good e30s are getting hard to find. If the paint and interior are in as good a shape as he says this could be a good deal. $4/gal gas makes a 318 sound even more appealing.
    This isn't too far away from me actually. If I had the Z3 sold I might be tempted.