1989 BMW (E30) 325i Convertible



Price: SOLD

Mileage: 130,200 Miles

Engine: M20B25 2.5-Liter Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic Transmission

Exterior color: Alpine White 2 (218)

Interior: Black Leather Sport Interior (0256)

Additional features:

Limited-Slip Differential

3-Spoke Sport Leather Steering Wheel

Heated Sport Seats

Alpine CD Stereo

BMW Premium Sound

Reinforced Rear Receiver Hitch Mount

14-Inch Basketweave Wheels

Continental Conti Touring Contact Tires

2-Owner California / Colorado Car

BMW Car Cover

Clean Carfax

All Maintenance Up to Date


1989 BMW (E30) 325i Convertible exterior photo

The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW the Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. E30s are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. The population of worthy E30s was decimated when their values were at the bottom of the inverted bell curve of appreciation. Lower mileage, properly sorted, pristine examples like this one are extremely hard to find and have appreciated considerably in recent years. 1989 was arguably the best year of the E30. It had the late model M20B25 “i” motor, projector headlights, and a non-airbag steering wheel. Convertibles were usually well optioned and commanded a significant premium when new. Yet, they represent one of the best buys in the current market, and are some of the most enjoyable E30s to drive.


 exterior photo

We are selling this Alpine White over Black leather 1989 BMW 325i convertible on consignment for a local long-term owner. It is well optioned with the 3-spoke sport steering wheel, premium sound, 13-button on board computer, heated seats, and a limited-slip differential. It was originally delivered by Stevens Creek BMW in Santa Clara, California, which is noted on the original window sticker and is included in a 2-inch stack of records. The window sticker shows a suggested retail price (including mark-ups for the heated seats, automatic transmission, and limited-slip differential) of $35,555.00—that’s $73,563.87 in today’s money! The BMW service booklet shows regular Inspection I and Inspection IIs through 1998, after which the record booklet picks up with services invoices. They document the mileage and show it remaining with the original owner until 2005. The second owner purchased it from them and is now selling it on consignment with us. It was always a second car for them and spared exposure to harsh weather or winter conditions. The paint is in excellent shape, all VIN tags are present, the Carfax is clean, and it has never been in an accident. It has heated sport seats, a crack-free dash, comes with a BMW car cover, and leather bra. It also comes with two keys, all owners’ booklets, and the records binder.

Overall, this is a very clean E30 convertible with desirable options and the best year (1989), but it is in need of some deferred maintenance and has a few cosmetic issues. Rather than make it perfect and price it at the top of the market, it makes more sense to keep it less expensive and available to a broader swath of potential buyers. We can tailor the build at extra cost to suit the buyer’s needs ranging from a complete restoration to someone who wants to drive it away as it sits, or anything in between. There are detailed descriptions in the paragraphs below. Items of note are: the convertible top was replaced at some point with a less-than-OEM quality top. It is presentable, but the fabric is thinning is several areas and is no longer watertight. I have a line on a used OEM top that we can replace it with, if desired, for additional cost. The driver’s seat has some bolster wear, that is worn through to the foam on the inside backrest bolster. The rear passenger seat cover was replaced at some point with a simple covering that does not follow the contours of the underlying foam. The original owner required a powered wheel chair; there is a reinforced receiver hitch that is integrated into the rear bumper support brackets, and air bag rear springs. It’s much more stout than the typical E30 trailer hitches bolted to the trunk floor and actually would be great for a bike rack, light trailer, or motorcycle carrier.

We have priced it to account for these issues. This makes it an exceptional value for what has the potential to be an exceptional E30. It would be a perfect first-car or light restoration candidate—or just drive it and enjoy it as it is. The overall condition of the car, along with its documentation, outshines its issues and will make its new owner very happy.


1989 BMW (E30) 325i Convertible exterior photo

The Alpine White paint is in very good condition and presents wonderfully. Close inspection does reveal small imperfections; there are some small nicks, dings, and scratches around the car. There is no rust; common areas like the front fender seams, battery and jack trays, floorboards, and lower windshield are clean. All VIN tags are in place, and it has no signs of ever being in an accident. The body and panel gaps are perfectly straight and the Carfax is clean. 1989 E30 convertibles had paint-matched bumper side trim, which are present and look great. The bumper chrome is also in very good shape, but there is some UV fade on the black trim pieces. The windshield is crack-free with only very light pitting. The silver windshield lock strip looks great. The aftermarket convertible top has several worn-through areas, and is no longer watertight. The rear window is in good shape, but the top needs to be replaced if it’s going to be exposed to any weather. The projector headlights are in very good condition and the fog lights are crack-free. The marker and taillights are also in great condition with no cracks. The retractable antenna is no longer powered, but can be partially extended and retracted by hand. The 14-inch basketweave wheels are in very good shape; the center caps are present with only minor curb rash. The Continental tires have 40% tread remaining, with older DOT dates.


 interior photo

The black leather interior is also in good condition with a crack-free dashboard and heated sport seats. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The sport seats have some heavy creasing, with worn-through bolster wear on the driver’s seatback bolster. The heated seat functions work, although the seat bottom heat is intermittent. The rear seat has been recovered with a simple cover that does not follow the underlying contours. It is presentable, but is not the correct cover for a convertible rear seat. The dashboard is crack free—rare for a Colorado E30! The 3-spoke sport steering wheel has a leather cover that is in fair shape. All instrument cluster functions including the odometer work correctly. The 13-button onboard computer has been disconnected due to what was reportedly parasitic battery draw, which we can also address if desired. The factory stereo and premium sound system function correctly and sound great. The heat blows warm, but the air conditioning does not work. The blower fan works at all speeds. All window switches work. The convertible top cover opens freely and the trunk shocks are firm—later E30 convertibles had two trunk struts instead of one. The tool kit is complete, and the spare tire and jack are present.


 engine photo

Overall, this E30 has benefitted from excellent maintenance. The records from both owners show regular and frequent services. Currently, it runs and drives great and you could drive it regularly without issue, but it is in need of some deferred maintenance. The timing belt was last done 5,000 miles ago, but it is 5 years old (which is the normal time interval). Pulling the rear cover, the belt looks healthy, but I would recommend replacing it sooner than later—probably within the next year or two. It also has many of the oil leaks and seeps that are typical for E30s. The usual suspects are the cam seal, valve cover gasket (both of which would done with the timing belt service), head gasket weep, oil pan gasket, and transmission pan gasket. None of these are egregious leaks, and none are abnormal for an E30, but they will leave small spots when parked overnight. There is also small coolant seep at the thermostat housing, which could be easily repaired with the timing belt service. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worse, we’d put them in the 4-7 range. The suspension rubber and shocks are also soft, albeit still serviceable and safe. The rear suspension has air springs associated with the wheel-chair hitch mount that could be removed—unless you plan on hauling something heavy! We can address any of these maintenance items at the buyer’s discretion and none of them are immediate concerns. As it is, the M20 engine fires on command, idles smoothly and pulls strongly to redline. The transmission does not slip and shifts smoothly. The drivetrain is quiet with no excessive whine or vibrations. The suspension is soft, yet still serviceable with no creaks or noise. The brakes are firm with good pad thickness and rotor run-out. There are no exhaust leaks and we pay for and ensure it passes emissions in Colorado.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBABB2301K8875793
  • Type: BB23
  • Model: 325i – USA
  • Development Code: E30 C
  • Chassis: Convertible
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: M20
  • Displacement: 2.50
  • Power: 168 Horsepower
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Color: Alpine White 2 (218)
  • Upholstery: Black Leather (0203)
  • Production Date: 1/11/1989


  • 209 Limited-Slip Differential
  • 219 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 370 Softop Black
  • 494 Heated Seats
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 551 (13-Button) On-Board Computer