Ran When Parked: 1988 BMW M3

Prices for the E30-chassis BMW M3 have thankfully begun to adjust a bit, particularly as it relates to driver-quality cars. This 1988 model isn’t presented as being anything other than a fair quality example, but it’s not entirely clear how healthy it is given the short description of being in good running condition “before parked.” Find it here on eBay with bidding over $25K and no reserve in place.

The M3’s paint shows as being mediocre at best, with some evidence of the clearcoat failing or lifting in places. Given these were once priced at the upper limits of sanity not too long ago, it’s refreshing to see examples with rough cosmetics staying below $30K. Combined with a likely economic slow down in the next few months, I’m counting on seeing cars like this selling for at or below the current bid price.

The interior is fair but I can’t figure out what’s going on with the carpet. If you decode the VIN, this left the factory with a Pearl Beige – otherwise known as tan – interior. I’m willing to bet the carpet sports a poor and/or failing dye job and the rest of the interior, which is fairly simple to swap, is from another car. Some folks will applaud this upgrade, but on a collector car, it’s a ding in my book to its originality.

The engine bay is grungy and doesn’t speak to fastidious ownership. Given the background of the photos shows a smattering of domestic vehicles, it’s safe to say this M3 hasn’t been stored at a specialist’s garage. These are not cheap cars to refresh, but the current thinking still supports buying a project at $30K with another $15K budgeted for a rebuild. How much longer that holds water is up for debate.


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  1. Mike

    “Car is in good running condition when parked”. Um, so only when it’s parked it runs?

    Like 2
  2. LARRY

    Lol that’s what it sounds like..probably way too much $ but somebody will ante up.

    Like 1
  3. Luki

    Step up and buy a nice one and avoid all the pitfalls of this POS. More money up front but you don’t to have wait years and wind up with a restored bitsa with similar cash invested when you’re done.

    Like 2
  4. Superdessucke

    As a former E30 owner, I can tell you how fast these things suck up money. And mine was a 325is. An M3 would be way more costly given some of the specialized parts.

    I really hope the purchaser is someone who can spin their own wrench. Otherwise this thing will drain their bank account in short order.

    Like 2
    • mountainwoodie

      @Superdessuke.I had an ’87 325is…..they’re bumping up around 15K!……….traded to a dealer for my 95 318ic….gas went to a dolar a gallon and I was pizzed! lol.on the other hand my 4 banger ’95 is going strong with 342 K on the odo. So I cant complain. Never had any trouble with my ’87 is in 8 years! Just lucky I guess :)

      Like 1
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Aug 26, 2019 , 10:01PM
    Winning bid:US $30,200.00
    [ 49 bids ]

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