For the uninitiated, the obsession might seem odd. Why import a high-maintenance small wagon for much more than the ‘blue book says it might be worth? In many cases, this is one’s only ticket to a reasonably priced, small, German, rear wheel drive wagon with a standard transmission, something that is akin to finding a unicorn with an on-board bacon dispensary.
One of the most loved automobiles among car nerds is now available in wagon form over here (thanks to lifted regulations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the ‘States. What allows this to happen? After going through an approval process, cars that are not produced for the US market can be imported 25 years after they were produced. Not everyone loves themselves a long roofed E30, I don’t particularly understand the attraction of the rear window design; but that really has nothing to do with what we are dealing with. One can essentially order up a car from overseas, have it licensed/taxed here for around $2,000, drop another $2,000 or less on shipping and voila!
The circa ~1986-1991 BMW wagons came with optional sixes and fours and a diesel too. Similar to the E30 M3, most of these cars have been ridden hard and put away wet, so finding a clean and low mileage example will be pretty tricky; expect to pay US E30 rates for the E30s in Europe and elsewhere, though this is of course before the importing and shipping fees. The most costly will likely be the 325iX wagon, which only came with the 168 bhp M20B25 straight six, this will cost somewhere between $6-9 grand in decent shape, though a beaten up M10 or M42 powered 316 or 318 could be had for as little as a grand.
By: Sawyer Sutton