Improbable: 1989 BMW 324TD Touring (In The U.S.?)

I couldn't believe my eyes when I first found this.

It's an E30 wagon. Never available in the U.S. It's a turbodiesel. Never available in the U.S. And it's red over black. Which just plain looks good.

And yet there it was, sitting on Boston craigslist.

The E30 was BMW's legendary 3-series from the '80s. The car only really got great looking for U.S. buyers from 1989-1991, when universal short body-colored plastic bumpers replaced the hideous U.S.-spec diving boards. These cars, when coupled with the bulletproof 6-cylinder engine in the 325i, were awesome: relatively lightweight, rear-wheel drive, superb handling and driving characteristics and, above all else, fun. That they were brilliantly styled is just a cherry on top.

So it's all rather surprising to find a New Hampshire dealer advertising this extremely amazing rare car in the United States. Unfortunately, the photos show the car with European plates, suggesting it may still be in another continent.

Either way, it warrants an investigation.

The E30 Touring was added in 1987 along with a change to the rear-taillights and some other minor adjustments for every 3-series. This is a 324TD, which indicates it is powered by a 2.4-litre inline 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produced a mere 113 horsepower. This is no racecar, and it is also unfortunately coupled with an automatic transmission. You can probably count on it being a endless tank, however.

Inside, we see a non-airbag three-spoke steering wheel and black leather seats. The interior of the E30 is a great place to be, all hard angles, lines, and high-quality plastics. Instrument cluster is stark and crystal clear. Everything is where it should be: within reach of the driver.

The seller doesn't provide any other info besides the VIN and the mileage (100,000), leaving the story behind how and why this rare car is for sale by a U.S. dealer a mystery. I've spotlighted a couple of vehicles from this dealer before, and they certainly have an eye for rare European cars. But condition, documentation and pricing are still up in the air. They list this vehicle for sale at a rather high $9,995. A forum discussion on this same classified here suggests no 324TD came with an automatic, and that would make sense, as an auto somewhat defeats the purpose of a diesel.

But if it is here, you can probably count on it being the only one here.

Find the craigslist ad here and the dealer listing here.


  1. Despite my very strong desire for an E30 Touring, there are roughly a thousand reasons to run away from this. So many inconsistencies, so many questions. Best to wait a few years to import one legitimately.

  2. Nice! What a car it is. This car is so smart and colorful. I really impress to see it. My grandfather used this type of car. I like this car. I am looking for a new car. Now I wanna buy a car. Thanks for posting
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