After looking at this car for the second time, which I am considering buying I am starting to wonder. Is this as good a deal as the seller thinks it is?
Is $600 a good deal, for a 1985 BMW 318i, with 136k (actual? well, the odometer works, but it may be a replacement unit, not sure. carfax report says no sign of mileage fraud). The car barely drives, has no power at all. We adjusted the timing a little, and it stopped stalling when you went to drive it but it still has no power hardly. I fear it may have a clogged fuel filter, or maybe the throttle cable has been tampered with (looks like someone may have shortened it). Owner doesn't know anything about the car, except that he got it for cheap in a trade deal or something. He know's nothing about it's history (I don't feel he is trying to conceal anything, he just doesn't know anything about it).
The car has no rust that I could see on the body, and only one slight dent down on the bottom on the side. All the paint is badly oxidized, since it has sat in the sun. It has an aftermarket paint job that pealed off in a couple places to reveal original paint, which is almost the same exact tint as the repaint. Supposedly the clutch has a hydraulic leak, but I did not notice this when I drove it, it seemed fine. Owner says you have to pump it when you first get in the car after it has sat. Front tires are warn to the wear marks. Rear tires seem ok (maybe they were rotated?). Shifter feels sort of loose, when you shift gears... maybe this is normal on an older bmw. Sunroof crank is broken, car is missing rearview mirror, driver door does not lock, key just turns in the lock, passenger inside handle is popped into the door interior, and is not visible. Handle from outside works. There was water in the trunk, but no rust that I noticed. The AC works, or appears to, it cools the air a little (maybe a lot, if you let it run, I don't know), heater works, fans work, electric windows open and close ok, though they don't completely open, leaving about half an inch of glass sticking up (on both doors). Electric mirrors adjust, though the motors make a lot of noise. Rear defogger supposedly works, though I did not test it (owner said it did). Car has all four hubcaps, though the silver is warn off of them except in a few patches. The hubcaps aren't dented or anything. Interior seats sort of clunk down when you sit in them, not that much support (natural fibers have broken down). The seats however look pretty nice, not very stained or anything, at first glance the interior looks rather nice actually. The front headlights work on dim, but when put to bright the left side does not light (maybe a blown bulb if they are in series?).
Overall, the body is not dented or rusted enough to complain about, the engine runs, and the whole car needs a lot of TLC.
Could I find another car like this for this price easily? I live in a small town, I know I'd have to go to a city to find bmw's for sale. But in general? What do you think of this car?
Is t his a good deal at $600 for a project car? Or could I do better? Maybe one with all interior stuff in much better order, better taken car of?
Thanks for input!!