I’m interested in buying a 1987-1989 BMW 325i (E30) convertible as a weekend car. I don’t know a lot about them but I have always loved the styling. Does anyone have any have any thoughts, suggestions, or advise for me? Any problems or weaknesses I should be aware of? Anything in particular I should lookout for and/or avoid? I don’t know a lot about cars and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
The BMW Specific forums are your best bet on these cars, they’re great as long as you can find one that has been well looked after. A BMW specialist would be able to examine any prospect more closely. Will make a great weekend driver as long as you shop carefully.
BMW engines are known for weak cooling systems. It’s not uncommon to have a water pump fail or a thermostat get stuck, which can result in engine overheating. The car typically runs fine for a few hundred miles after overheating, but it eventually begins to leak coolant and ultimately requires a complex head gasket replacement.
If your community has a local chapter of BMW Car Clubs of America (google BMWCCA), I’d advise going to a monthly meeting and asking around.
I have a 1991 E30 coupe with the M42 engine. It had gasket problems. It has nice classic car looks, but it’s no M3.
German cars in general are known for their handling, not for their reliability or affordability. I hope you realize this is likely to be a very expensive weekend hobby. My son has owned two BMWs, and he compares it to the cost of supporting a child.
And I agree with visiting BMW forums. You’ll get far more information about these cars on BMW forums than you will here.