This '86 BMW 325iX Is Priced Like a New 3-Series Because It Is One
This all-wheel-drive 3er has only 316 miles on its odo.
The E30-generation BMW 3-Series has been elevated from used-car status to the lofty ranks of the collector car market. Even beat-up, high-mileage examples, which could be had for a song 10 years ago, now command considerable amounts of cash—pricing out most used car buyers seeking a cheap, rear-drive daily driver or track toy. With that said, we don't think the E30 market has peaked yet. And even if it had, we're having some trouble wrapping our brains around this 1986 BMW 325iX's £48,000 (roughly $60,000 at current exchange rates) asking price.
To be fair, this particular example for sale by SuperVettura in the U.K. has a lot going for it. It's one of the earliest 325iX models, the all-wheel-drive 3-Series variant first introduced in 1985. The 325iX was the first BMW ever to offer AWD, and it came with a 2.5-liter M20 inline-six fitted with the better-breathing "i" cylinder head, which produced a respectable-for-the-day 168 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque. The AWD system was designed with a permanent rearward torque bias, and utilized two viscous limited-slip differentials front and rear, in addition to a planetary center diff, to distribute anywhere from 10 to 90 percent of torque to either axle, depending on traction conditions. The iX could be had with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, and came in coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles. The 325iX arrived in the U.S. in 1988 but here it was only offered as a sedan.
This 325iX is also special because it somehow only has 508 km on its odometer, or roughly 316 miles. That insanely low mileage is reflected in the immaculate condition of the body and interior. The original Polaris Silver Metallic paint appears glossy and free of the fading clear coat you normally see on 30-year-old cars that have seen any amount of sun. There are also no visible dents or blemishes, with the fender flares and side skirts—unique to the iX to accommodate its wider track—still looking factory-fresh. Inside, the car is just as clean. The blue houndstooth cloth seats look as though they've never had a butt on them for any significant amount of time—and that might not be far from the truth considering this car has never been registered.
Don't get us wrong—this is an incredibly well preserved E30. But is it really worth 60 grand? Other non-M3 E30s have sold for about that much in the past, but they're usually ultra-rare models like this Alpina or are heavily modified like this S52-swapped car. This one, by comparison, is pretty basic. It has the standard cloth interior, an analog clock, and crank windows. It even has the base 14-inch steel wheels, though the hubcaps are in amazingly good shape. To better understand the price, it probably helps to know the seller's regular clientele. You see, SuperVettura is England's official Koenigsegg dealer. So if their customers are used to shelling out millions for a new Regera or Jesko, they wouldn't bat an eye at $60K for what might be the world's best-preserved E30.
For a little more perspective, this car cost £17,000 when new. When you adjust the asking price for inflation, it comes out to almost the exact same price in 1986 dollars. For a practically brand-new E30, perhaps that's not so bad after all.