E30 Value

I walked away from a 1986 E30 325e today. I won't say what the owner wanted.
It's not running very well but there are no bad engine sounds (even with
a stethescope). The car needs exhaust work, a steering rack (both boots shot, noticeable steering play), brakes, an oil leak fixed, valves adjusted (you could *hear* that they weren't happy), a window regulator, and assorted minor stuff, some of which needs to be fixed and some of which is fairly inconsequential. The owner does not know whether the timing belt and water pump are due (which means they are, to me). 186,000 miles.
On the up side, the car came from California a couple of years ago and has *no* rust, good tires and glass, and a fairly new clutch. It seems otherwise fairly tight.
I can probably get a window regulator and steering rack for around $150. The oil leak is probably the half-moon seals and/or the valve cover gasket (which would need to be changed to adjust the valves anyway). Brake parts are probably in the $100 range but I've no clue what exhaust parts cost. There were no obvious vacuum leaks but the engine lopes when started cold and doesn't want to idle down when warm. Valve adjustments, cap, rotor, wires, and plugs will probably go a long way toward making it run right but I'm not certain they will fix all the driveability problems.
Kelly Blue Book value for Good condition (including some stuff the car doesn't have, like ABS) is $1360. Fair condition is valued at $1030. The good body condition makes the car really tempting, but...
What's actually a reasonable price for this car?
JRE
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I wouldn't touch an "eta" engine car. They were slugs with a 4500 RPM redline. Find a nice "i". You'll enjoy it a lot more.
JRE wrote:

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Guess I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a car for my soon to be 16 year old son. The eta engine is *perfect*. ;-)
(Besides, I have an E46 330i.)
JRE
JimV wrote:

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A great handling, great stopping, well laid out car with a little bit of personality but down on power seems like an excellent choicce for a first car.
Let him graduate to an iS when he gets a few years and a few driving schools under his belt.
-Russ.
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I had a 87 325 e and was impressed with the power it had... considering it was not an i!! It was ok, great first car, now I drive a 540i, after also having a 86 535im. I paid 1500 canadian for the 325e in 2000, so I would say anything around 1000$ is ok if the car is in great shape.

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JRE wrote:

I've owned both, and for everyday driving I prefer the "e".
Matt O.
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Go with the "E" then let him learn what he can do to it to gain performance, and eventually he will have an "I" crusher, and a lot of self confidence and knowledge in maintaining his own vehicles, no matter what he owns later
Matt O'Toole wrote:

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