Part 1 - 20/4/18

So, the Cadillac had left and the resulting cash was burning a hole in my pocket. But I'd promised myself that this time I'd be more sensible: keep the car interesting but keep the price to around £500-£600. That way, there'd be more budget to spruce it up, but also less guilt.

The search began, and initially, it wasn't looking good. Of course, nobody expects a perfect motor down at the depths of this price level, but the difference between the choice of cars at around £1000 and £500 is nevertheless surprising. I trawled through various Mercedes CLKs, early Audi A8s and just missed out on a couple of temptingly cheap Honda Legends. As usual, you can't be fussy with this budget, and with that little list you can probably tell I was being anything but. 

Bangers that work - 20 bargain cars that won't let you down

But then it struck: a 1993 E32 BMW 730i in Glacier Blue metallic paint with a price tag of just £775. OK, so the miles were high at 175,000, but ever since owning the E34 5 Series I'd had a hankering for more '90s BMW ownership. The E32, in particular, is a car I've always thought is superb to look at, and to these eyes at least, one that has only improved with age. The trouble is, there are very few about these days and the ones that do go up for sale tend to be low-miles and in great condition. And therefore, way out of my budget. 

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K78 HHJ appeared on a Sunday morning and I made the journey across to east London the very same day. Upon arrival, there was more rust than the advert had let on, but after a quick test drive, I'd decided I wanted it. Despite it being rough-round-the-edges cosmetically, it was brilliantly tight to drive, and a quick look through the mountain of receipts and impressive service history showed it had been well looked after mechanically. The MOT history suggested the rust was surface stuff, too.