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How to Flip an e30 M3 in less than 6 Months

Looks like we were right in assessing this e30 M3 I listed in September as a great buy — because it’s now listed in Seattle for over $6k more!

Check out the new listing for this 1991 BMW e30 M3 for sale on Craigslist:

1991 BMW e30 M3 Alpineweiss For Sale

quoted from CL ad for archive:

For sale is a very rare car in excellent condition! Only a few hundred M3s were imported to the US during that last year of production. The car is very stock with only a few modifications. Here’s some basic info about the car:

Mileage: 118000
Color: White (Alpinweiss II)
Interior: Black Leather
Engine: 2.3L S14

Korman chip for better mid-range performance
E36 OEM BMW Business CD Radio
Short Shifter
Staggered wheels (bought for over 1500$ on eBay!)

Recent jobs done on the car:
Front Right Wheel bearing
Complete tune up:
– wires
– spark plugs
– coil
– air filter
– ignition rotor
– distributor cap

Scratch on the hood
Crack on the dash (a dash can be bought for 100-150$ and is rather easy to install)

I checked the engine and it has perfect compression on all 4 cylinders. Also it doesn’t leak any oil at all. The mechanics on this car are really in an awesome condition. The tires on the original wheels are practically brand new. The ones on the car have some wear but can go for lots more miles. The brakes are almost new as well. The accessory belts should be replaced soon. I already have them and I was planning on replacing them in the summer. It’s a real easy job if you have some DIY skills. The car just passed the emission test with flying colors which also proves that the engine is in excellent health and very well tuned. As for the body it is in very good shape. No rust at all. The interior (other than the crack in the dash) is in perfect condition.


I am open to offers.

I like how he’s even recycling the previous seller’s pictures!

While I thought this car was a fantastic buy at $12,300 the first time, I’m not so enthusiastic about $19k. It’s not that I’m opposed to someone making some money on a good buy, but a big part of me is disappointed a real e30 M3 enthusiast didn’t land the car the first time. Maybe one will this time…


8 replies on “How to Flip an e30 M3 in less than 6 Months”

What a story – I live in Seattle and responded to this same ad on Craigslist (since removed) last weekend. The owner drove the car over (as I am without an automobile at present) and told me a story about how he was moving to Montreal and had to part with his car, that he had searched for months for it. Perhaps it’s all true, how would I know? He said that he replaced the interior himself and poured a lot of money into it for repairs. The car had some issues – the exhaust sounded terrible above 4000 rpm (I didn’t rev it above that because it sounded like something was seriously wrong with it). The transmission was also really difficult to shift, all in all it was a car that just felt like it was going to need some serious work done to it in the near future.
Pretty funny that he recycled the pictures by the way, I should have figured they were from somewhere else as it’s never that sunny up here:)

It’s funny how people think they can trash somebody with no knowledge whatsoever about the situation. Not an enthousiast huh? I don’t know you but you must know me very well to be able to say that.

Anyhow… The car is indeed for sale and indeed for a higher price. I’m in no hurry to sell it so I put the price intentionally high to see what kind of offers I’d get for it. If you need to know the guy I bought it from originally put it on Craigslist for exactly the same price. Also the fact that I want to sell it for more is justified by the upgrades I did to the car since I bought it (replaced the damaged grey leatherette interior with near mint black leather and replaced the ridiculously loud aftermarket exhaust with a stock one).

As for Aaron’s comments, first you should’ve had the balls to tell me what you thought instead of raving how great it was and saying you’d stay in touch. As for the noise he’s complaining about, there’s nothing wrong with the exhaust. I had it checked by Strictly BMW in Bellevue and apparently the rattling is caused by the tight bushings on the aftermarket shifter. Same reason for the hard shifting, which I actually like.

The reason I’m selling the car is indeed because I’m moving. If I can’t sell it, I’ll keep it and drive it all the way to Montreal.

And what’s so wrong about reusing the pictures? Please, do explain?

BTW, the price is now lowered to 16K, slightly negociable for those who care.


Thanks for leaving your comment. Let me start by saying I feel bad that you’re offended. There is a fine line between having an opinion and being malicious and I thought I was on the right side. I will work harder to craft my posts with more care.

To address your concerns specifically, I will expand on my opinions that led me to make this post:

I am a super-fan of the e30 M3, but am appalled at the asking prices that we’ve seen in the past couple of years. It’s a common complaint of mine on my blog and I’m sure regular readers picked up on that. While I think we all agree it’s a fantastic car, there’s no way it’s worth the premium price they have recently commanded. As such, when I first saw your car being sold by it’s previous owner, I was shocked to see such a great looking example go for so little. I hadn’t seen a clean example go for that cheap in some time. From you account, it sounds like the interior needed a fair bit of work, so perhaps that explains the low sale price. Personally, I think I would have made sure the original color leather was utilized, but I consider myself a purist.

Does replacing the interior and returning the exhaust to stock equal $6k+ in increased value (working from your original asking)? Not in my mind. Your current asking of $16k sounds closer to what the market could bear today, though I would also recommend getting that nasty scratch on the hood addressed. A solid $16k car should probably have that corrected before sale.

As for the pictures, I think a better impression could have been made with fresh pictures and of higher quality. Craigslist ads sort of require some detective work to determine if a post is legitimate and worthy of follow-up. Utilizing the same pics from the previous sale just didn’t feel right to me coupled with what I believed was an inflated asking price. A gut feeling kind of response from browsing thousands of ads over the years.

It sounds like you’re not in a hurry to sell and are considering taking the car with you when you move. Sounds like a good plan as you have a car that is worth enjoying! Have a good weekend,


No worries. I didn’t think about the ligitimity side and I guess you’re right about that one. I often see similar posts in different Craigslist regions with the same pictures and they’re obviously scams. I can assure you though that mine is not a scam 🙂

What I paid for the car and wether a 6K increase is justified or not is really beside the point IMO. I do think I got an awesome deal on it and I don’t feel obliged to make others profit from it. If I sell the car I want to make sure to sell it for what it’s worth and the worth of the car is determined by the market. That’s how I see it. The prices skyrocketed in the past few years because it is a rather rare car and there are fewer and fewer decent and unmolested stock ones. But I guess you already know all that, right? 🙂

As for being an enthousiast, believe me I’m one of you guys. That’s one of the reasons I want to sell the car. Montreal weather is horrible and it pains me to bring it to a place that’s just gonna ruin it.

Cool Story ! If it interests you I have a write up on my blog ( about other rare E30s from other companies like Hartge, Alpina and Ac Schnitzers. Regular E30s M3s are still quite common in many configurations through import. One simply needs to put some work into it, but It would be interesting to hear stories similar about something like a Hartge H35-24 🙂

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