One Family Owned: 1989 BMW 325i

If there’s one generation of BMW’s 3-Series I’ve gotten intimately familiar with, it’s the E30 platform of the 1980s. I bought my 1987 325is over ten years ago now, and it’s been a largely reliable modern classic with tons of aftermarket and factory support. What’s amazing to me is to now see base models like this 1989 325i here on eBay with an automatic transmission commanding a top bid of $6,500 with five days left.

It used to be you wanted a “special” model like a 4WD IX, or a sport-trim example like mine, a 325is. And no matter what, you could easily find a 5-speed and avoid the fun-sapping automatics. Now, even a car like this with the slushbox and its zero-contours “Comfort” bucket seats is driving strong money. To say the secret as to how good the E30 is has gotten out is an understatement.

This car comes from long-term, one-family ownership. What really does help sell the 325i is how well preserved it is. You can still see the factory-applied cosmoline on the engine’s intake manifold, which is a clear sign of a car that hasn’t been messed with. In addition, unlike so many E30s, this car hasn’t been modified, not even with an aftermarket suspension, which is practically unheard of these days.

Many enthusiasts also like these later cars with their smaller plastic bumpers, as opposed to the older cars like mine with their huge “park bench” aluminum bumpers that were installed in the name of safety. This car, despite its lower-tier trim and automatic, looks like a no-stories example. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bought, converted to a manual, and posted again for sale before the end of the year. I’m just glad I bought mine when I did!

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Comments

  1. Sparkster

    Who buys a 325i BMW with an automatic, seriously ?

    Like 6
    • 63Comet

      The kinds of people bidding on it. Times have changed.

      Like 4
    • Uncle al

      I have an automatic….only it’s in the 840CI….just sweet !

      Like 1
  2. Mountainwoodie

    Really!

    Every time I look at my 340K ’95 318ic I think about the ’87 325IS 5 speed I traded in at the dealer for it.

    Guess which car is worth nothing now? :)

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