I ended up buying a 93 325is with 92k miles on the clock, dark blue in color for $5200! It was posted in Portland, about 150 miles from Seattle - I kind of took a leap of faith because the lady selling it didn't have any pics, but it paid off.
The car is in awesome shape - even came with a few things I didn't expect like a 6-disc cd changer and 5-spoke alloys (they're only 15" but look better than stock). Has complete service records since its first visit back to the dealership for warranty work.
Plan on color matching the bumpers and sideskirts as soon as I'm able and transplanting my sound system in - looks doable as a diy - especially with the battery in the trunk.
The paint on the metal stripping around the window is peeling off (it's kind of black textured paint, almost feel like they painted rubber on it or something). Anyone know where I can find touchup paint for the stripping?
Valve cover seems to be weeping a tiny bit, so I'll be ripping that off and putting a new gasket in there. Service records indicate it's had a new radiator, water pump, thermostat and housing installed - but the water pump model # they list is 11511433828. I'm fearing the worst that this is the part number to the plastic impeller pump?
Checked out the Confortis chips and they sound pretty awesome - 22hp claimed increase for only a couple hundred bucks is a steal. I'm cool with using premium gas, I'm just concerned about the increased wear on the engine and other components with a sport chip. I've done some searches and read the FAQs, but is there a possibility that the sport chip can harm the engine? The literature states that the rev limit is increased to 7200 - I'm assuming this is really only applicable to manuals? My automatic won't rev to 7200 rpm between shifts right?!! I know that's kind of a stupid question - thanks!