JDM Import: 1987 BMW 320i

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BMW’s second-generation 3 Series, known as the E30 chassis, has undoubtedly become one of the most popular vehicles from its era. As high-quality examples of the E30 quickly become a rarity, it is no surprise that the once-affordable and plentiful compact sports car is now desirable to collectors, leading to rapidly rising prices on both parts and whole cars. In any case, this 1987 BMW 320i that’s available here on eBay is an imported model, making it even more appealing than its stateside counterparts.

This E30 is available in Lemont, Illinois with a clean title, but interestingly, it is a left-hand-drive example from the Japanese market. Despite being manufactured in Germany, sold in Japan, and now imported to the United States, there isn’t a ton of history about the life of this BMW, but the seller notes that a “pre-purchase inspection showed that the car is flawless.”

As someone who owns the E30’s bigger brother, BMW’s E28 5-Series, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the large bumpers that U.S. market BMWs received due to safety regulations. While I don’t mind them too much on the 5 Series, 3 Series models are far more attractive with the “euro” bumpers. Additionally, this E30 has a variety of other attractive exterior features, such as the “Euroweave” wheels, M-Tech rear spoiler, H&R springs, Koni shocks, and new tires.

The blue houndstooth cloth interior nicely complements the Lachssilber metallic exterior paint color and its in fantastic shape. There are no cracks in the dashboard material, and there is also an M-Tech steering wheel and shift knob.

Depending on who you ask, vehicles without a sunroof are preferable to ones equipped with them, because of the added weight of a sunroof assembly, as well as the possibility of leaks and mechanical failures. With that being said, those folks will be happy to know this E30 is a sunroof-free model!

This E30 uses the 2.0-liter M20B20 6-cylinder engine, which BMW did not offer for the United States market. The engine pairs to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels, and the drivetrain has 28,214 kilometers on it, which translates to approximately 17,600 miles. This example also benefits from plenty of new maintenance items, including a water pump and timing belt, all vacuum lines, thermostat, drive belts, oil filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, transmission fluid, and rear diff fluid.

At the time of publication, bidding is at $6,200 with the reserve not met. Would you get your hands on this low-mile JDM E30?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Miguel

    I noticed the car has no third brake light. I didn’t know Japan didn’t use them.

    Like 1
  2. grant

    “JDM” (Japanese Domestic Market) refers to something made in Japan, for their domestic market. This BMW would have been built in Germany, for the Japanese Export Market. Sorry, just a pet peeve. Anything brought from Japan isn’t necessarily “JDM.”

    Like 5
  3. downforce

    Great find. wonder if it has air conditioning…

    Like 0
  4. downforce

    never mind, listing confirms that it does, along with power windows.

    Like 1
  5. JCAMember

    Wow, I love it. I wonder how it drives with that 2.0 6?. I drove an E30 318i and it wasn’t fun with the 4 cyl. This would solve that problem and give you that great BMW 6 cylinder sound and smoothness. Not the quickest car but a nice driver.

    Like 1
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking car. I remember when BMW cars looked like this. IMHO, these were the best looking cars produced by BMW. I’d buy one if there were any decent examples left near where I live.

    Like 1
  7. GeorgeL

    This car is also listed on Craigslist for $24,000. It’s a very nice E30, but I’m not sure it’s worth that. The 2.0 6-cylinder isn’t the more powerful of BMW’s straight sixes and it wasn’t offered in the US, so parts might be a challenge, as well as any potential upgrades. A/C is a bonus, though. Most of the 320i models were poverty spec as it was the cheapest of the 6-cylinder models.

    I suspect this eBay listing won’t hit reserve.


    Like 1
  8. Bernie H.

    Timing belt change mandatory before 60,000 miles or you’ll be walking. Definite valve/piston interference. Ive had 6 M30’s, and broke one, what a mess!!, took the block out also.

    Like 0

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