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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cortland, NY
Posts: 40
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Classic Car Insurance Coverage for your E30

This is a little off topic, but seems like something worth your consideration. Last May, I was driving my freshly refurbished '87 325is when a dump truck coming from the other direction blew it's left front tire and came into my lane at highway speed. The driver had not only lost control, but the force of the tire explosion blew up his hood so that he couldn't see where he was going. With seconds to act, I attempted to pass him on his right. I almost got past, when he crossed his lane and went off of the road. His right rear tire caught my right rear quarter panel and my rear wheel.

I had just put over 100 hours and $20K into my low mileage, one owner, southern-rust free E30. In fact, I was out on the first drive of the year after completing the restoration during the previous summer.

Fortunately, I had collector car insurance with an agreed value of $21K. The initial adjuster's estimate said I had about $15K in damage. The NADA value on an old E30 is about $6K and the Hagerty value on a #1 325is was $17,500 ( mine was a 3+ car). Common sense and my wife said to junk it and start over with another car. But it was just too nice for the bone yard.

The damage was severe, but not that deep. The right quarter panel and outer wheel well were crushed. The rear suspension was badly damaged. The gas tank was dented, probably from the large debris that rained from the truck as I passed. The rear end bolts out of the car and is highly rebuildable. I decided to rebuild. That was only possible because I had collector car coverage. If I had regular coverage, I would probably have received less than $6K in collision reimbursement.

The damage went beyond my skills or the tools in my shop. Fortunately, I found a local shop that could perform restoration work on older cars. Many shops don't want to be bothered with careful restoration work. They need to run them in and get them back out quickly. This project took time.

My car sat in the back of my garage for months while the insurance company and the body shop came together on the project. Then we had to wait for parts, which is a story unto itself. But I just got my car back 7 months later. Total cost came to $22,800, including extra work that I paid out of pocket.

For those of you who have a lot of $$ in your E30, consider classic car coverage with agreed value. When I first set my value at $21K, the amount seemed too high, but now I realize that I set the value too low. As you all know, rebuilding an old BMW is expensive, so don't be afraid to set a high value. The amount represents rebuilding cost, not current resale rates.








Old 12-30-2017, 11:47 AM
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Thanks Steve for that bit of insight. I too am an E30 man - Always have loved them.

These things are getting harder to find in good condition - kids are buying these things up and beating the hell out of them.

Im glad you decided to repair and keep it - I don't have full coverage on mine, but mine's not a 20K plus ride either - However it makes me think, I doubt if I could replace it very easily..
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:58 PM
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