Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10k: Orange Is The New Black: 1976 BMW 2002 with E30 M3 Engine

Update 24-Mar-2015: This BMW 2002 with E30 M3 power is can be found here on eBay with bidding at $9,200 with a few hours to go.  It looks in the same condition from the previous listing 9 months ago, but is located 75 miles away from a new seller (??) who likely decided it was too much of a project.

Original Post 30-Aug-2014: What happens when you combine the vintage hipster bait exterior styling of the BMW 2002 with the screaming boy racer bait of the S14 inline-4 from the E30 M3?   The apocalypse?  A black hole?  Possible profit riddled with unknown potential costs?  Find this 1976 BMW 2002 with E30 M3 Engine offered for $12,000 in Scotts Valley, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

Covered in a nice shade of prison jump suit orange and wearing black mesh wheels, this thing looks just a few numbers on the side away from being 24 Hrs of LeMons ready.  It isn't a bad looking car, just not a show vehicle.

Under the hood lies the 2.3 liter S14 inline-4 cylinder M3 engine which is a 7,000 rpm redline fun-box that is good for 192 horsepower.  The S14 is essentially an S38 inline-6 with 2 cylinders lopped off (the cylinder head is, anyway) and while it is about as powerful as something you'd find in base model Altima in 2014, it was a real hoot in 1989.  The major issue with this car is the lack of smog equipment on the engine, which means that you will need to take it out of state or find all the E30 M3 smog equipment and install it to certify it for road use in California.  Shame about that '76 title...

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced the best way out of this car is to buy it and swap the engine/transmission into a pre '75 smog-free example.  Drop whatever engine you have back into the '76 chassis, sell it for scrap, and hoon on your merry way.

See a cooler way to get E30 ///M power without the E30 $$$M price tag?  tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Looks like lots of fun and not too much to take on. The 4.10 rear with the engine will make that a quick ride! A shame about the diving board bumpers/non-roundie. The is some fabrication so a swap to an older car will require some work but it is not insurmountable. If minimally rusty being a CA car...could be a good start and then drive the wheels off it.

  2. Here is pre-75 on the cheap.


  3. They are called "zip ties" and they can magically make wild wires disappear! (Sorry just a pet peeve)

    I bet this car is really fun to drive, just wish it was presented better.

  4. What do those engines weigh anyhow? A fully dressed LS7 should be around 470lbs. Could that fit in there?

  5. As for the smog...ahem....problem...ahem.....believe it or not in Cali there are pristine areas in some counties....like where there is no smog......that cars are smog exempt, which explains the preponderance of pot bellied angry old man in diesel puking pickups with "Dont Tread On Me" bumper stickers in the rear cab window and belching old cars merrily tooting along.

    One such place is high in the Cleveland National Forest of eastern San Diego County. Buy this and move there. Its a win win...few to no suburbanites, no bi yearly smog and mountain roads to tear it up on!

    1. Yup, folks that live up in Julian, and surrounding areas, are not required to smog their vehicles. Lucky them.

    2. Yup, folks that live up in Julian, and surrounding areas, are not required to smog their vehicles. Lucky them.

    3. Yup, folks that live up in Julian, and surrounding areas, are not required to smog their vehicles. Lucky them.

    4. I believe you still need smog on transfer of title, just not the biennial check.

      And, theoretically, you're still subject to all the same laws, they just don't force the colonoscopy on you every two years.

  6. you could have a poker party on that rear bumper!

  7. I hate to say it, but I'm just no big fan of the S14.

    Would the purists string me up for suggesting that either a Toyota 3S-GE BEAMS 'blacktop' or a Chevy 3.1 V6 would be a cheaper, faster, and more drivable alternative? Yeah, probably.


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