1976 BMW 530i: As Cheap As It Gets


OK – I realize a 1976 BMW 53oi with an automatic will not set some of your hearts aflutter, but this is too cheap not to share! Listed here on eBay for only $350, you could buy a non-running but near-bulletproof German sedan that will be a joy to drive on the highways once refreshed. Sure, we could all drive Mustangs and Pacers every day of the week, but would it really be that much fun? Probably not. I just spent the past 4 days driving my ’87 3-Series around with a stiff suspension and peaky powerband – an old-school luxo-barge would be a perfect way to get my classic-driver fix without all the discomfort. The automatic is a shame and the car is rough all over (with no records or title, either), but I’ve seen much worse for this asking price. Sink a few hundred more into this Bavarian cruiser, keep the total investment below $1,000, and you’ve got a supremely comfortable daily driver that will float down the road. For the cost of an iPad, how can you go wrong? If any one of our readers would consider buying it, let us know in the comments below.


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  1. Tom Dove

    $350.00 for a parts car may be too much. Just too many unknowns. So old that not many people will be looking for parts. There are other vintage BMW’s that are more fun and maybe worth your time and money. 635csi, 2002, 1602, 3.0 cs and 3.0 csi

  2. Jeff V.

    Make it a “BarnFinds” project? A grocery-getter then flip-it!

  3. rdc

    I have a more modern version, the 1995 BMW e34 525i with an automatic. Wonderful comfortable road car. However, I would spend a penny on getting a 76 automatic and try to keep it running. I can just imagine the rust and getting that automatic to work correctly. If you had the proper manual tranny and a wrecked 76 model than it might be time to play.

    • rdc

      Forgot there was no title. This will remain a parts car. Actually looks better than I thought initially.

  4. sparkster

    Got to love the one car brick garage it was parked in.

  5. Mark E

    Oh yes! A decrepit car without a title that has a fuel injected engine that has never run.

    What could be wrong with that?

    Did I mention it is a BMW?? o_0

  6. francisco

    “Fuel Injected?” Probaly “Fuel Infected!”

  7. kenzo

    This is a parts car only. There is no way you can have it “On The Road” for $1000. no title, non running 4 door sedan. parts only if you need’em. then you have to pay to get rid of the rest of the left overs.
    Question. how much have you spent on your ’87 3 series? more than the $1000 your quoting?

    Like 1
  8. Jason

    What’s the deal with the next-to-last photo? It’s like the interior has merged with the lawn. Maybe the next step for this car…

    • Horse Radish

      he took a photo through the window with the glass up,
      it shows the reflection of the lawn next to the car

  9. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    The money buys you the hubcaps & trim rings & then there’s the car…

  10. St.Ramone de V8

    Crush it.

    • rdc

      Buy it, if good parts, strip it and sell the shell for scrap. That only works if you need spare parts for a running car.

    • Horse Radish

      You, again,
      I think I remember that you have nothing but negative comments.
      Good on you.

      Before I would crush this there are probably thousands of newer and older American cars that deserve that fate without hesitation.
      These were actually very reliable and durable cars, unless people let them rust….

  11. JD

    Sad to see all the pessimistic comments here – “crush it”, “part it out”. Where’s your “barn find spirit”? I think this car deserves a second chance. Don’t we all? I agree with Jeff – for a total investment of less than $1000 you could have a nice daily driver. If I had $350 lying around, I’d take a chance on it! But what do I know…

    • Jason

      My first car was a 2002 so I love seeing old BMWs, but I would sooner spend a thousand bucks on many other things than this dog.

    • rdc

      This car has no title. can you get re-title? If not it is only good for parts.

  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    This model has fuel rejection, anti-stop brakes, and a driver’s side windbag.

  13. OttoNobedder

    LeMons Racer fershure!

  14. Jeff Staff

    Ironically enough, I found an identical car in a salvage yard in the woods this weekend with a 5-speed manual – and all the other parts you’ll need.

    If you’re a fan of these things and handy with a wrench, it’s not all that hard. Just takes time, committment and a little bit of money. Used parts can keep a car on the road for longer than you might think. Just have to know where to look.

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