On buying a car...phase 1

So, 9am this morning found me at Beechmont Toyota, looking at a 1984 318i with 173,000 miles on it. Yes, this car was made when I was in Kindergarten, here I was, trying to decide how much rust was acceptable on my new "project car" / Daily driver.

Answer: Not this much. No way.

The 1984/1985 318i has the same engine (BMW's M10) as the previous 3-series and the 1970's BMW 2002 (yes, it's alot of numerical designations...please try to keep up). Anyway, this lump of iron produces a bulletproof 101 hp and likes to rev, despite its lumpy cam.

Surprisingly, giving the age of the car, it fired-up smartly and settled into a thrumming idle, and the transmission was still buttery smooth, but the rest was a raft of problems--rust throughout (more on that later), questionable electics, musty smell in the cabin, bad seats, cracked dash, and missing surrounds behind the lights in the engine bay.

After a 30 minute test drive (yep...the suspension is shot...oh, why is the temperature gone stone COLD?!) I came back to the dealership not totally turned-off, but not liking everything. The rear of the car seemed sound, and all the suspension mounting points had no rust, and the engine + tranny felt fine.

Getting the car up on a lift told the tale: Rust on the rear diff, exhaust was shot, catalytic converter held-up by a twist fo wire, and a HOLE THE SIZE OF MY FIST in the unibody beneath the driver's sill.

Game over. Thanked them kindly and then walked out.

Maybe a 325e next?

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