Saturday, March 9, 2019

Weekend Quickies - A BMW 318ti and an Avanti II

1999 BMW 318ti - The 318ti was BMW's entry level car in the nineties. I have always liked these cars. I know I am in the minority. BMW didn't sell many here.

In the United States we foolishly look at hatchbacks as cheap cars. No one wanted to be seen in a "cheap" BMW. People complained about the 4 cylinder engine. But, honestly, it's not a bad engine. No, it's not an inline 6, but as far as normally aspirated 4 cylinder engines go, it was damn good.

This car is drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, the engine is just dead.

The seller writes "It has M-tech bumpers, skirts and moldings. It's a sport package so you get the highly desirable 3-spoke steering wheel, sport seats and sport suspension. It has the cold weather and premium sound packages... It has the sunroof option too." All of that makes this a very desirable 318ti.

The asking price is a reasonable $2100.00. Find a good used M44 engine (they are around) and you'll have a really nice daily driver. Or, you can go crazy like some folks in the past did (see posts here and here) and create an incredible show car / weekend driver.

Located in the San Fernando Valley Valley of CA click here to see the Craigslist ad.

1971 Avanti II - Great Britain has (Or had. Sadly, the number has dwindled.) a number of small "cottage industry" car manufacturers. Bristol, TVR, AC, Jensen, etc. (Even Aston Martin and Lotus would have been in that category at one time.) For most of the 1960s - 1990s we had just one; Avanti.

You have to give the company and its owners some credit for keeping the car in production from 1965 - 1991. 26 years is a long time. Think of some of the "bigger" names and better funded companies - Bricklin, Delorean, to name a few - that lasted just 1/10th of that time, and you realize what a difficult task it is to start and operate a small car company. Had things gone just a little better, Avanti could have been America's answer to Bristol.

Avanti went in and out of business a few times before being purchased in 2001 (for the second time) by Michael Kelly. Unfortunately, Kelly, besides running Avanti, was also running another company that was a massive Ponzi scheme. He was arrested and Avanti closed its doors for good.

This appears to be a very well taken care of Avanti II. For a car that was built in limited numbers over a limited time, keeping an Avanti II running and looking good is not as tough as you would expect it to be. Virtually all of the mechanical parts are from GM and there are still a number of companies that deal in the Avanti-only parts.

Located in Rochester, NH, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Cool! The 318ti is mine.

nova driving school said...
This comment has been removed by the author.