The E34 turns into an E30

If you’ve been following the narrative up to this point, you’ll know that my E34 was surplus. I wanted something smaller, I really didn’t like the driver’s seat, and my wife refused to drive it. So where do we go from here?

I hate to admit it, but we considered trading it in on something newer as part of the “cash for clunker” program. Alas, we were foiled by my own incompetence. I had let the insurance lapse briefly. Nothing left to do but savor the tartness, right?

So I turned back to my enabler and started browsing Craigslist ads for the sound of desperation. You might not believe this, but I found exactly what I’d been looking for. A trade offer, two BMW E30s for some newer BMW. The first victim was an ’86 325e with a blown automatic transmission. The second victim was a ’91 325i that (supposedly) ran great until it was involved in a roll-over.

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After a great deal of hemming, and hawing, and transport, and police involvement, and dismemberment, and unfortunate endings, and mid-life resurrections, I successfully made two from one. I wasn’t fond of the 325e originally. The black vinyl interior was much like a furnace and it just wouldn’t move. After we cured the not moving problem, I grew to be far prouder of my accomplishment. My daughter christened it “the chocolate BMW” and the name stuck. I didn’t really get to drive it on the road at all due to a bit of paperwork confusion. It did get around the driveway pretty nicely. To resolve the missing title situation, I “sold” it back to the current owner soon after. Many lessons were learned, many spare parts went to other enthusiasts, and many tools were purchased. All-in-all a wonderful learning experience!


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