Anyone who has ever been involved with a business decision will recognize the conundrum of make vs. buy. It isn’t just limited to businesses like BMW needing to decide if they should make their own fuel injection systems or outsource it, it also applies to people remodeling a kitchen; DIY or contractor? The make vs. buy decision is made up front when you buy a used classic; spend bucks up front for a nice one or get a project. On expensive makes/models we tend to look at ones that need work to keep our outlay minimal, but on less expensive examples, it is best to spend the previous owner’s money and get one that is already nice, like this 1972 BMW Bavaria 3.0 offered for $11,888 in Sammammammammamish, WA via craigslist.
This Bavaria at first glance presents itself as a very nice example with shiny paint, clean bright work and nice wheels…but beware – the code words “fresh paint” are not music to keen buyer’s ears. Paint needs 6 to 18 months to fully cure and what looks like a great job will rapidly deteriorate into a bubbly mess if the preparation was not done correctly. Anytime you are dealing with fresh paint ask to talk to the shop who did the work, ask for receipts and be wary for $500 Earl Scheib specials. This car could very well have had an $8k job that will last 30 years, but it is best to do your homework or you’ll be trying to dump a car that looks like a teenager’s face 6 months from now.
Under the hood is a 3.0 liter carburetor equipped M30 inline-6 putting out 178 (SAE gross) horsepower into a 4-speed manual transmission. The M30 is a well designed engine that should last for years with proper maintenance and various versions of the engine lasted up through 1993 in the E34 535i. Makes you wonder if the fuel injection manifolds will bolt onto the earlier heads?
Inside is a classic German 70s setup, with no cup holders, but handy dash-top storage for small rectangular items like 1:32 scale cars, cigarette boxes, sardine tins, animal cracker boxes, sponge two-packs, chocolate bars, soap, sanding blocks, soup, model trains, souvenir pen/pencil set, chalk board eraser, et cetera.
See a better car for taking the kids to the surf-side playground? firstname.lastname@example.org