The BMW 1-series first appeared in 2004 built on the E87 chassis (E88 in convertible), which was a scaled down version of the E90 3-series chassis. The 1-series could best be described as similar to the previous generation 3-series because it kept the signature rear-wheel-drive fun of the 3-series without the ever increasing weight and bloat that seems inevitable in the auto industry. This particular car has not only the coveted single turbo N55 (it kept the same power as the twin-turbo N54 but its reportedly less troublesome) but also a 6-speed manual gearbox to boot. If you are looking for a late model open air car with a small set of back seats, you could do a lot worse. Find this 2011 BMW 135i Convertible offered for $15,988 in San Francisco, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from Rock On who writes; For this price, who cares about the rebuilt title? Buy it, beat on it, fix it, repeat. I couldn’t agree more, because I’ve owned multiple salvage title BMW M badged cars (three now that I think about it…) and never regretted the experience. I think that the combination of sky-high OE repair costs and sky-high speeds lead to drivers over estimating their capabilities and the size of the road and then you can buy one (fixed up!) for 1/2 the going price of a clean title example. Nobody on the road knows its been salvaged and the only difficulty you’ve find is that scares off some potential buyers when you go to sell it. All things considered, if fixed properly, this M Roadster will give you 100% of the enjoyment of any other M Roadster for 50% of the price. Find this 1999 BMW M Roadster offered for $8,500 in Covington, LA via craigslist.
When I saw the model year for this next car, I thought it was a typo. Did BMW really produce their classic Miami-Vice styled E31 8-series all the way through the 1997 model year? Yes. Development started in 1981, production launched in 1989 and BMW pulled the E31 from the US market in 1997 with a total sales figure of 6920 cars (and they continued to sell them in Europe through 1999). Pop up headlights and OB2 isn’t a combination you see very often, but I like it! Find this 1997 BMW 840Ci E31 offered for $15,999 in Hercules, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The E12 generation BMW 530i went on sale in the USA way back in 1975, but this next car doesn’t look like an 70s malaise mobile or a carried over 60s design. Compare it to a Mercury Monarch or a W115 Mercedes-Benz and the Paul Bracq designed E12 looks downright modern and cool. Factor in the rugged BMW M30 inline-6 mated to a 4-speed manual and you’ve got a car that you could drive everyday if you wanted. Win win. Find this 1976 BMW 530i E12 offered for $9,950 in Austin, TX via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
I know what you guys are gonna say…or at least think. Too many BMWs. That might be true. But, unlike those other car sites, where they hype up the value of certain cars by continually featuring them, here at DT, we feature cars and their values go down. Just look at the Fiero market today and compare it to a few years ago…not to mention what we’ve done to the El Camino-d custom market, you can thank me later (I accept cash, venmo, paypal, and car parts). But for now, all you need to know is that your wife is gonna think this is a perfectly acceptable family hauler for taking the kids to school, but you know its got a twin turbo 547 horsepower V8 that’ll catapult this thing across a center divider and upside-down in a ditch quicker than you can say Tiger Woods. 0-60mph…yup FORE seconds!! Tiger might have been driving the new Genesis SUV, but the X5M was the original SUV that was faster than it should have been. Find this 2010 BMW X5M offered for $19,500 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from DT regular Michael who writes; I’ve always had a thing for the BMW 318ti and since the one you posted today is already off the market here’s a couple more! Yes, we love a good lightweight, good handling, sports car that is ready for an injection of V8 power just as much as the next red blooded American. That’s freedom you smell. And tires, and unburnt race gas. Find this 1997 BMW 318ti offered for $5,400 in St Louis, MO via craigslist.
The E36 generation 318ti was an odd little hatchback from BMW that combined the E30 generation rear semi-trailing arm suspension with a 1.8 liter non-turbo 4-banger. It was fun to drive and economical — like a sport compact car should be, but today’s version has taken an interesting turn. It has a twin turbo N55 inline-6 from an E90 BMW 335i, which is unfortunately mated to an automatic transmission, but otherwise this looks like the correct way to double (or triple with a chip and some tuning) the horsepower of the original vehicle. Find this 1995 BMW 318ti offered for $6,500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
The E90 generation BMW 3-series (E90 sedan, E91 touring, E92 coupe, & E93 vert) was first launched for the 2005 model year and continued production through 2013. It was the first 3-series to have a turbocharged gasoline engine and it was quick in 335i trim — fast enough to challenge previous generation M3s when mildly tuned and even faster when covered in stickers and big fart can exhausts. They were preferred by the tuning community and it is almost impossible to find a stock version with low miles and a 6-speed, but here we are: Find this 2007 BMW 335i Coupe E92 offered for $16,500 in Mill Valley, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Somebody (probably a marketing executive) told me that spice is the variety of life. Wait. That’s not right. Variety is the spice of life? Yes. That’s more like it. Therefore, to add some variety to DT, I decided to feature a vehicle that we’ve never featured before, no not some one-off custom Zamboni based supercar, but a BMW and one that you see on the streets on a routine basis. The BMW X6 is, by all reasonable accounts, an ugly vehicle. But what about Latin saying; De gustibus non est disputandum? And everything sounds better in Latin? Right? Wrong — because the drunk Roman who came up with that saying had too much lead in his goblet or hadn’t seen an X6 yet. The only thing redeeming about these cars is that they are reportedly fun to drive and if you don’t believe me, you should believe this guy who wears huge slacks. Find this 2009 BMW X6 xDrive35i offered for $15,900 in Martinez, CA via craigslist.
The Paul Bracq designed E23 generation BMW 7-series was released in 1977, right in the middle of the malaise era, but it was far from a floating slow boat that induced thoughts of suicide, particularly with a manual gearbox. Domestic cars might have offered luxury in the form of a vinyl top or total isolation from the road, but the German version of luxury involved a properly fast ride with a manual gearbox, taught suspension, and rear-wheel-drive. The only thing you couldn’t get in a late 70s/early 80s BMW was a beverage holder for your giant American big-gulp. Life is full of compromises, I guess. Find this 1985 BMW 735i E23 offered for $4500 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist.