The first Chicago trip was a gamble in many ways. I was buying a ’91 318iS from a stranger out west. As a bonus, I managed to find a buyer for a spare M42 motor along the way. Have you ever wondered how to get a complete engine into an E30? I removed the passenger seat and built a load bed out of OSB. I bolted it to the floor with the seat bolts, incorporating tie-downs from some spare engine lift chains. A few medium-duty ratcheting load straps kept it reasonably secure. Admittedly, it wasn’t a perfect solution; the car ran quite warm when (over)loaded with nearly 1000 pounds of cargo and tools. I’m sure any accident would have been a pretty significant problem, but we made it there & back OK.
For the 2nd trip out west, the poor car started overheating very rapidly. I didn’t even make 100 miles. So I finally caved in to necessity, parked it, and took the minivan instead. I needed some time to figure out if I’d invest the effort into repairing the car, or if it was time to let her go. I decided to keep it. Among other reasons, the kids are fond of the car. I’ve decided to bring her back to running order. Check that process out here.