I hate to do this to you guys, because this next car is ugly. Real ugly. Uglier than a monkey’s armpit. Uglier than a Kardashian without a corset. Uglier than a mud fence. Uglier than a Bangle butt on a Bugatti. Uglier than a LeCar. U…G…L…Y, you ain’t got no alibi. Feel out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down to the ugly pit. Uglier than a shaved ape in a Birkenstocks. Ugg. Beauty may be skin deep, but ugly is to the bones…this car is bound for the crusher or nearest 24 Hours of LeMons racetrack, you decide. Find this 1989 BMW E34 540i 6-Speed offered for $500 in Glen Burnie, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
We posted a nice E39 the other day that had two things wrong with it — first it wasn’t a wagon, and second it had two too many cylinders. I know the 4.4-liter V8 (why didn’t they call it a 544i…eh?) in the 540i is a sweet piece of machinery, but it isn’t an inline-6, and BMW is known primarily for its supremacy with the inline-6. Smooth, fuel efficient, and long is an inline-6 and BMW has made some of the best ever produced. So if you are going to step back into a 90s BMW, why not make it a wagon (that is grounded to the ground low) that is manual gearbox and inline-6 equipped, because BMW didn’t make a manual V8 wagon for the USA market. Find this 1999 BMW 528iT Wagon E39 offered for $11,995 in Los Gatos, CA via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
The BMW 540i wasn’t the fastest of the E39 generation 5-series, but the V8 powered machine came awfully close to dethroning its big brother, the infamous tire shredding M5. Imagine a world where a young Eli Manning juiced some steroids (or more steroids?) and managed to score a victory in one of the games against his legendary older brother Peyton and you get an idea of where the builder of this 540i is going. I like it. Find this 1997 BMW 540i offered for $4,850 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist.
The E30 generation BWM 3-series is starting to turn the page from depreciated junk to expensive collectable. The M3 version made that leap a few years ago, but prices for the basic 4-cylinder 318 and 6-cylinder 325 haven’t been that bad…but I do expect that to change as the rusty examples get crushed and the nice examples get restored. This next E30 is a low end 4-cylinder model, but it is a two door, manual gearbox, and is sold by the original owner. Find this 1991 BMW 318is offered for $6,200 in Concord, CA via craigslist.
Global sales of BMW’s first 3-series started in the 1975 model year and by the time they switched factory operations to build the E30 version in 1983, over a million examples of the E21 had left the shipping dock. Today’s next example is from the final year of production and has a cool set of black/white/grey stripes on the side, plus a manual gearbox. Find this 1982 BMW 320i offered for $6,200 in Torrance, CA via craigslist.
The E60 generation M5 introduced the world to BMW’s first (and only) production V10 powerplant, inspired by the V10 engine used in the BMW Sauber Formula 1 car. The production engine shared nothing in common with the racing machine, (other than cylinder count) but that didn’t stop BMW from selling it as a racing inspired beast complete with quick shifting fancy-pants SMG 7-speed gearbox that was shifted via an electro-hydraulic system. They were expensive when new, but the magic depreciation fairy shook her wand at this thing and now they are cheap. Find this 2006 BMW M5 offered for $17,990 CAD ($13,998 USD) via kijiji.net. Tip from Erik202.
In the Nick Cage classic “Gone in 60 Seconds”, the protagonist (and car thief) hunts his white whale — Eleanor. She is a unicorn, an elusive 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 that is impossible to capture. No matter how many times he tried, Memphis could not capture it…and I’ve got a similar car. Not one I’m planning on stealing for the Ukrainian mafia, but one I’d like to have in my garage. The E28 BMW 5-series. Sure, I’ve driven a few. I even took one to the top of the podium at the 24 Hrs of LeMons in 2007 (and another to the scrap heap after the first race in 2006, training wheels welded on as penalty, People’s Choice award…good times)…but I’ve never owned or daily driven an E28 535i. I still have the itch and someday I’ll get a manual version before they are all crushed or become victim of hipster price bloat. Find this 1988 BMW 535i E28 offered for $2850 in Petaluma, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes from tipper Carter who writes: Maybe DT can have a contest for CL ads where there is something seemingly obvious in the ad that is completely unexplained. And, while this car isn’t as extreme as a Mustang on stoves, or an E30 3-series on logs, it is arguably more perplexing. Those other cars needed the scrap material as impromptu wheels/jacks/jack-stands, but this car is inexplicably sitting on 4 pieces of newish plywood. Afraid of getting the wheels wet? Trying to stay ungrounded? The tires have a bias for ply? Painting the driveway? Find this 2015 BMW 320i xDrive offered for $16,000 in Auburn, ME via craigslist.
When I tell people that I publish a website called Daily Turismo, they cock their head sideways — like a puzzled golden retriever — and ask follow up questions. To describe DT, I use words like “curated collection” and “used car listing aggregator” to describe these hallowed pages. But the truth is, I should just send them this next car, because it describes DT in a way that is unequivocally precise; a mostly modern and supremely comfortable BMW 7-series with a salvage title and 144k miles on a 4.5 liter DOHC V8 that is offered for less than four large. Yes, it will have strange random issues that you’ll need to search on forums and videos for solutions…but you’ll end up smarter and better by the time you can afford a better car. Find this 2002 BMW 745i offered for $3,950 in Menifee, CA via craigslist.
Frenchman Paul Bracq designed many great cars…but few are as affordable for the level of awesomeness as the E24 generation BMW 6-series. You get a big inline-6 in a sporty personal luxury coupe for the price of a piece of junk 15 year old minivan with 150k miles. I’m not saying this car is a good deal, no…I’m shouting at the top of my lungs that it is a STEAL! Find this 1981 BMW 633CSi offered for $8900 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck. Happy Bracq Friday!