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1976 530i - sale, scrap, or restore?

Discussion in 'E12 (1975-1981)' started by Hen016216, Oct 17, 2013.

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    This car was my first BMW, purchased in 1978. It has seen me through a divorce, bad times, and good times. Unfortunately I've not been able to take care of it. It's in poor condition, but it does run although not roadworthy now. Along the way I replaced the 3.0 engine (cracked head) with an Euro 3.5. The subject line is my question. I'm wondering how much it would cost to restore it? Where to turn to get rid of it? It's decision time.
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    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    No financial case can be made to restore it. BUT, if you don't need it as a daily driver, you want to learn everything about the car and do lots of it yourself, you have a place to do a project like this and you like long complex projects or you have something like the cost of a new bimmer to spend on having others do it if you don't, then restore it!
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    Hard to put a dollar amount on this because it depends on how bad the vehicle is to begin with. Also you will spend way more then the vehicle is worth. But the fun of the project I think out weighs the money side.
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    If the unibody is rusted or badly rusted, you're potentially facing thousands in repairs, unless you can do your own welding & bodywork. Depending on how far you go or what it may need at a minimum, it likely will still be thousands more beyond any costs for bodywork. Car restoration of any kind typically is a labor of love, because the cost of repairs far exceeds even the highest price valuation you might get in a sale, with the exception of unique, rare, or collector vehicles (which are even more expensive to repair).

    If you have the skills, time, bankroll, desire, & motivation, then go for it - but, I recommend looking at every aspect objectively and without the emotional attachment so you can make the best decision for yourself. Go in with your eyes open - just about everything I've ever heard about car restoration is take the minimum budget you'd set, double or triple it, and then quadruple the time you'd expect it to take, and then maybe, just maybe, you stand a chance of getting close to what it might really take to complete the project. It's entirely possible intangibles such as the satisfaction in completing the project might make it more than worthwhile for you, even though the costs way exceed any outside limit of what you might hope to get for it if you sold it afterwards.

    As far as selling vs. scrapping - selling is preferable (craigslist, autotrader, ebay; don't expect to be able to get much) vs. trying to part it out yourself; you may find yourself stuck trying to offload parts for ages. Sounds like enthusiasts might have interest in the motor.

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